Maritime law practice involves all legal activities related to marine activities. In most cases, companies that work in marine related companies require advice on contractual agreements, legal suits as well as advice on how to handle different things within the stipulated frameworks. In addition to this, the maritime law firms and lawyers are involved in situations where major catastrophic activities or events have occurred in order to advice different marine companies appropriately to avoid or minimise liability in cases where they are engaged in a legal tussle. They are also involved in commercial activities that relate to marine vessels, equipment, employees and other types of negotiations.
In the choice of a lawyer or maritime law firms, there are a number of issues that you should consider. First, is the level of specialisation of the lawyers or firm in question. Given the nature of law, working with a specialised firm gives you an edge over working with someone who is a jack of all trades. Specialisation ensures that the lawyer has an in depth understanding of all aspects of maritime law, in depth knowledge of similar cases, procedures, legal loop holes that could work to your advantage or against you and has most likely come across other lawyers in the field and understand their litigation style. He or she understands what documents are required for the specific case and will therefore have a higher quality of work compared to lawyers who are not specialised.
The level of experience is also an important aspect to consider. While understanding the theoretical aspect of law is great, there are things that cannot be learnt behind a classroom door. There are things that come along due to experience and continued practice. This makes it very important to work with a firm that has accumulated maritime legal experience over time. Such a firm is likely to deliver high quality work compared to inexperienced firms. Remember that maritime law may differ from state to state and therefore, it is advisable to work with a firm that has prior experience in your state.
The cost of the services is a great factor that should never be overlooked. Lawyers charge differently depending on their level of specialisation, experience, education and their target clients. It is essential to carry out an assessment of the legal rates in your state to avoid an over charge. Note that higher fees do not necessarily imply higher quality of work. Weigh the quality of work, the level of specialisation, the charges and the amount of time dedicated to your company while gauging how reasonable the fees quoted are. Remember that there is always room for negotiation and that some of the payments can be done in kind, especially in cases where your company may be facing financial stress.