Moderator

Joe Hughes
Chairman & CEO , The American Club
https://www.american-club.com/

Joe has served as chairman and CEO of the managers of the American Club, an International Group mutual, for over twenty-one years. Joe also oversees the activities of Eagle Ocean Agencies, Inc., an affiliate of SCB, which operates the Eagle Ocean Marine and Eagle Ocean America insurance facilities, the latter as a coverholder for underwriters at Lloyd's. He also serves on the board of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, Ltd., a Cyprus-based hull underwriting investment of the American Club. Joe has served as chairman and CEO of the managers of the American Club, an International Group mutual, for over twenty-one years. Joe also oversees the activities of Eagle Ocean Agencies, Inc., an affiliate of SCB, which operates the Eagle Ocean Marine and Eagle Ocean America insurance facilities, the latter as a coverholder for underwriters at Lloyd's. He also serves on the board of American Hellenic Hull Insurance Company, Ltd., a Cyprus-based hull underwriting investment of the American Club. Having graduated from Oxford University, Joe was called to the Bar of England and Wales, thereafter specializing in maritime commercial law before commencing his career in marine insurance. Prior his arrival in the United States, Joe worked for other P&I clubs in the United Kingdom and Norway, latterly serving as chairman of the global marine practice of Jardine Insurance Brokers, a leading Lloyd's broker in London. In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Joe is chairman of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), a director (and former president) of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey, a former chairman of the Association of Average Adjusters of the United States, a director of New York Maritime, Inc. (NYMAR) and a member of the National Cargo Bureau. Joe also serves on the classification committee of the American Bureau of Shipping, and the North American advisory committee of Lloyd's Register. He is a 2011 inductee of the International Maritime Hall of Fame, and was designated one of the top ten global marine insurance personalities on the 2015/16 Lloyd's List One Hundred.

Having graduated from Oxford University, Joe was called to the Bar of England and Wales, thereafter specializing in maritime commercial law before commencing his career in marine insurance. Prior his arrival in the United States, Joe worked for other P&I clubs in the United Kingdom and Norway, latterly serving as chairman of the global marine practice of Jardine Insurance Brokers, a leading Lloyd's broker in London.

In addition to his corporate responsibilities, Joe is chairman of the North American Marine Environment Protection Association (NAMEPA), a director (and former president) of the Maritime Association of the Port of New York and New Jersey, a former chairman of the Association of Average Adjusters of the United States, a director of New York Maritime, Inc. (NYMAR) and a member of the National Cargo Bureau. Joe also serves on the classification committee of the American Bureau of Shipping, and the North American advisory committee of Lloyd's Register. He is a 2011 inductee of the International Maritime Hall of Fame, and was designated one of the top ten global marine insurance personalities on the 2015/16 Lloyd's List One Hundred.

Panelists

John Keough
Partner, Clyde & Co US LLP
https://www.clydeco.com/

John Keough is a partner in Clyde & Co's global commodities and shipping practice based in New York.

John's practice focuses on commodities trading, maritime and shipping law and commercial litigation. He advises and acts for clients in regulatory matters, investment transactions and in commercial trading transactions and disputes, and advises clients on sanctions compliance issues.

He has litigated complex trading, maritime, insurance and commercial disputes in state and federal courts throughout the United States, including marine fuel oil trading disputes. John has served as lead counsel at trial in state and federal courts, and has argued numerous appeals in the federal and state courts across the country. John also has extensive experience arbitrating maritime and commercial matters, and advising clients in litigation in foreign courts, including such jurisdictions as Hong Kong, Greece and Italy.

John's experience covers a wide array of such cases, including international sales contracts, marine casualty litigation, marine insurance, the arrest and attachment of ships and charter party disputes. His clients include commodities traders, investment firms, ship owners, managers, charterers, hull and liability insurers, cargo insurers and P&I Clubs.

Bruce G. Paulsen
Partner, Seward & Kissel LLP
https://www.sewkis.com/

Bruce G. Paulsen is co-chair of Seward & Kissel's Litigation Group and has been a partner since 2002. Chambers USA 2018 reported that Bruce "has a knack for distilling things into practical advice."

Bruce specializes in handling complex commercial and maritime disputes. He recently won or settled a series of securities litigations against publicly-held companies. He has achieved landmark victories in trial and appellate courts in a variety of business litigations. He has scored a series of recent litigation victories in the wake of the global collapse of the world's second largest seller of marine fuels. He obtained the largest sanctions award in New York history. Bruce has no fear of taking cases to trial when a reasonable settlement cannot be obtained, and is comfortable before judges, juries, and arbitrators. Commercial disputes handled by Bruce have included contract disputes, fraud, trade claims, securities, commodities, derivatives, international disputes (including international arbitration), banking, investment funds, bankruptcy, regulatory disputes, and others. He has substantial expertise in the area of international trade sanctions and has been deeply involved in handling piracy issues before U.S. government agencies. He is an expert in the recognition and enforcement of arbitration awards.

Bruce also handles finance and securities-related disputes in the shipping industry. Bruce has successfully defended significant securities claims brought against publicly-financed shipping ventures, including claims brought in offshore jurisdictions. He has represented bondholders, bond issuers, secured lenders and other creditors in matters arising from some of the most significant financing defaults in the shipping business. Further, he has acted for shipowners, charterers, lenders, borrowers, marine insurers, shipyards and others in litigations and arbitrations involving more traditional maritime disputes, lien claims and environmental matters.

Bruce is a member of the Committees on Commercial Litigation and Business Litigation of the American Bar Association and the Transportation Law Committee of the International Bar Association. He is a Proctor member of the Maritime Law Association. He is chair of the board of trustees of the Seamen's Church Institute and he is a faculty member of the Practising Law Institute, the Regulatory Compliance Association and the Tulane Admiralty Law Institute.

Chambers USA 2018 reported that Bruce "brings very deep knowledge of maritime issues," and described him as someone who "understands the industry well and how business works, and how to communicate issues that reflect business." Legal 500 USA 2018 described Bruce as "particularly impressive for his strong analysis and strategy."

Bruce has written and lectured frequently on litigation, arbitration, bankruptcy, piracy and sanctions issues and is highly engaged, on a pro bono basis, in non-profit governance.

Daniel Pilarski
Partner, Watson Farley & Williams LLP
http://www.wfw.com/

Daniel is a Partner in the firmís Tax group in New York. His practice primarily focuses on the US tax aspects of cross-border transactions. His advice includes structuring transactions to achieve the optimum tax result by minimizing withholding tax and addressing anti-deferral regimes. Daniel advises several clients regarding the US Foreign Account Tax Compliance Act (FATCA), both in compliance and in documenting FATCA provisions in loan and other agreements. Daniel also helps clients analyze the US freight tax on shipping income and the exemption from tax.

Daniel also heads the firm's US sanctions practice, and advises clients in understanding and complying with the rules and regulations of the Department of the Treasury's Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC). In addition, Daniel advises on ERISA (US pension law) and the regulation of swaps and other derivatives. Daniel also represents clients in and negotiates real estate joint ventures and other corporate transactions.

Matthew J. Thomas
Partner, Blank Rome LLP
https://www.blankrome.com/

Matthew J. Thomas has more than 20 years of experience in international trade, transport and maritime regulation, and government affairs, representing leading energy and commodities companies, shipowners, governments, insurers, investors, ports, shipyards, and marine terminal operators. He is currently co-chair of the Firm's Maritime Industry Team.

Matt works extensively in the areas of trade sanctions (OFAC/AML) and export controls. He represents clients around the world on compliance and investigations in connection with sanctions on Iran, Syria, Sudan, and other targets; guides leading energy firms through the implementation of U.S. sanctions on Russia; and, counsels companies in connection with the gradual opening of the Cuban market. He has investigated numerous cases of smuggling and money laundering in the commodities and shipping sector.

In addition, Matt has extensive expertise in the maritime, logistics, and container shipping sector. He has represented leading carriers, terminals, and logistics providers in regulatory proceedings before the Federal Maritime Commission ("FMC"), where he formerly served as the Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs, and is experienced in global container operators' merger and integration projects.

He also counsels private companies and foreign governments on matters of international law and diplomatic strategy, particularly in defending national sovereignty or combating international trade barriers. During his government tenure, he was responsible for the FMC's relations with foreign shipping regulators and multilateral bodies, such as the European Union ("EU"), World Trade Organization ("WTO"), and Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development ("OECD").

Matt works with leading maritime and marine terminal clients on a broad range of compliance issues, including environmental, safety, citizenship and "Jones Act" coastwise compliance. He has represented leading energy companies in key Jones Act rulings and investigations that have shaped domestic petroleum trade, and structured complex Jones Act compliance ownership structures.

Throughout his career, Matt has built strong relationships with U.S. government officials, trade associations, and the local legal and lobbying community. He guides international businesses in their dealings with the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, and Transportation, as well as independent regulatory agencies and Congress. In addition to his professional experience in maritime and international trade, Matt has also served as a federal lobbyist and led successful lobbying efforts on the behalf of local governments, advising on federal affairs and managing relations with congressional offices.

Matt's broad and diverse Washington career has given him unique skills in legal and regulatory strategy and project management, including the design and execution of hybrid legal and government relations efforts to shape policy and achieve client objectives.

Matt wrote the United States chapter for Ports and Terminals (3rd Ed.), a global compendium of port law that was published in 2018 by Getting The Deal Through.