Michael G. Chalos, the senior partner of Chalos O’Connor LLP, has joined the New York office of K&L Gates as a partner in the law firm’s maritime practice. Chalos was joined by associates Luke Reid in Boston, and George Kontakis in New York.
John A. Bicks, Administrative Partner of K&L Gates’ New York office said, “Michael’s considerable experience, deep knowledge, and reputation in the global maritime industry further strengthens our thriving maritime practice, through which we represent clients on transactional, legislative, and regulatory matters and in litigation.”
Chalos has substantial experience defending and resolving oil pollution incidents, Natural Resources Damage Assessments, MARPOL and the Act for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships violations, and other environmental claims. He is experienced in handling environmental regulation enforcement entities such as the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, United States Coast Guard, the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, federal and state trustees, and various state departments of environmental protection.
With a focus on traditional maritime and criminal environmental law, Chalos represents clients involved in high-profile civil and criminal environmental litigation. He has led the successful defense of the masters of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker and Selendang Ayu cargo ship, as well as numerous United States- and foreign-based corporations, ship owners, managers, operators, and crew who were the targets of criminal investigations by the U.S. government.
In addition to the Exxon Valdez matter, Chalos has represented owners, operators, and/or underwriters involved in major pollution casualties, including the Morris J. Berman, the Buffalo 405, the Cape Mohican, the Bermuda Islander, the Athos I, and the Cosco Busan.
With Chalos and two associates joining the law firm’s maritime practice group in Boston and New York, K&L Gates strengthened its four-decade old maritime practice that boasts the presence of lawyers like Emanuel Rouvelas, the only practicing lawyer to ever receive the Admiral of the Ocean Sea Award.