John Kissane



T: +1 212 922 2200
D: +1 212 922 2219
M: +1 973 229 6174


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John Kissane>

John Kissane

Summary Open

John’s practice focuses on commercial litigation and arbitration, insolvencies and work-outs and a broad range of corporate and commercial work ranging from stock and asset acquisitions and sales to company filings and commercial contracts.

John advises and represents lenders, vessel owners, insurers, trading houses and industrial companies. He has broad experience in asset enforcement and foreclosure actions under maritime and State law. John also has extensive experience defending and prosecuting complex fraud, corporate malfeasance and alter ego actions.

John’s recent performance in a high stakes arbitration was highlighted in the GAR 100 as “exemplary” and he was noted to be “a person a client may rely upon”.

Experience Open

    • Represented a port authority in Chapter 15 bankruptcy proceeding after the collapse of a major container carrier and obtaining an order lifting the stay to allow the sale of cargo containers to pay off accrued storage charges owed to the port.
    • Represented publicly listed trading company in ICDR arbitration involving joint trading venture with Brazilian metal producer.
    • Defended shipping company against $30m breach of contract claim arising from vessel purchase contract including defeating alter ego claims against parent-corporation.
    • Defended real property owner in $60m ICDR arbitration involving complex fraud claims related to commercial real property investments in Texas and New York.
    • Represented metal producer that was the largest unsecured creditor in Chapter 11 bankruptcy of its exclusive US representative.
    • Represented Panamanian cable and wireless company in AAA arbitration against Mexican joint venture for breach of contract relating to the provision of financing.
    • Represented Monaco based shipping company in AAA arbitration concerning a joint venture dispute.
    • Represented various lenders in the foreclosure actions against vessels throughout the world.
    • Defended US-listed company in the federal court from claims under UCC Article 9 on the reasonableness of the disposition of collateral.
    • Represented various international software companies in federal court on patent infringement claims.
    • Represented NASDAQ listed company in connection with intentional interference with contract claims.
    • Represented various Lloyd’s syndicates and policy holders in marine insurance coverage disputes in federal court.
    • Represented UK registered financial service company in connection with breach of contracts related to catastrophe bond re-insurance agreements.
    • Represented investment banking firm in claim against US-listed company for breach of contract in New York federal court.
    • Represented commodities broker in action against carriers and insurers for loss of 45 barges of grain in transit.
    • Represented commodities broker in action against purchaser of oil cargos.
    • Represented US distributor in action to prevent German manufacturer from terminating distributorship.
    • Reported decisions include: FR8 Singapore PTE Ltd v. Albacore Maritime and Prime Marine Corp, 754 F. Supp. 2d 628 (2010); Zacharious v. Manios, 854 N.Y.S.2d 694 (App. Div. 2008); Decana Inc. v. Contogouris, 45 A.D.3d 363, 846 N.Y.S.2d 20 (App. Div. 2007); Stavrou v. Contogouris, 43 A.D.3d 334, 841 N.Y.S.2d 53 (App. Div. 2007); Decana Inc. v. Contogouris, 27 A.D.3d 207, 810 N.Y.S.2d 453 (App. Div. 2006); Griffin Industries, Inc. v. Petrojam, Ltd., 72 F. Supp. 2d 365 (S.D. New York); Sabay v. The Governor and Company of the Bank of Scotland, 211 F.3d 261 (5th Circuit Ct. of Appeals), cert. denied, 531 U.S. 959; Planned Properties Ltd. v. Imrex Computer Systems Inc., 104 F.3d 349 (2d Circuit Ct. of Appeals).
    • Represented a publicly traded company in the acquisition of a deep water port facility in New England.
    • Represented a publicly traded company in sale of its aerospace divison.
    • Represented world’s largest recycling and scrap metal company in the purchase of various industrial complexes throughtout the United States.
    • Representing distributors in the sale of businesses.
    • Represented an investment fund in connection with investments in, and operation of, a fleet of vessels.
    • Represented a software company in connection with the sale of membership interests and negotiation of operating agreement.
    • Represented various cruise lines in connection with the negotiation and drafting of commercial contracts including concession and credit/debit card contracts.
    • Represented an investment fund in connection with JV agreement to purchase catastrophe bonds.
    • Represented shipping companies in connection with the negotiation and drafting of various types of long term contracts of carriage.
    • Represented various finance institutions and companies in connection with loans secured by collateral including receivables, inventory and assets.

Education Open

  • 1991: Tulane University, J.D. cum laude; Order of the Coif; Lemle & Kelher Award for Outstanding Maritime Law Student
  • 1987: Maritime College, State University of New York

Author/Speaker/Awards Open

  • Quoted in IHS Fairplay article ‘How a PDVSA default could impact the crude tanker industry’, November 2017.
  • Speaker at a business partnership event between the Consulate General of Lithuania in New York, the Baltic American Chamber of Commerce in New York, the New York Lithuanian Professionals and the European American Chamber of Commerce, on Legal tips for doing business in the US, March 2017.
  • Paying employees through prepaid debit cards is efficient, but potentially risky for employers”, Financier Worldwide, March 2017.
  • Speaker at the iLaw2017 conference, Miami, February 2017.
  • Speaker at the New York Bar Association (NYSBA) conference in Paris, October 2016.
  • Chapter 11 bankruptcy case study, WFW annual Hamburg Shipping Conference, September 2016.
  • Litigation and insurance coverage for cyber fraud”, Financier Worldwide, February 2016.
  • OW Bunker’s Bankruptcy – who has the Maritime Lien?”, Seatrade Maritime News, June 2015.
  • Securing your claim: Liens, Attachments and Arrests of Assets Lloyd’s Maritime Academy (2013)
  • International Dispute Resolution Clauses Lloyd’s Maritime Academy (2013)
  • International Legal Practice and Principles Tulane University Law School (2010-11)
  • ISM Code Ravenscroft Shipping, Miami

Membership of Professional Societies Open

  • American Bar Association
  • New York State Bar Association
  • FSMAA (Ft. Schuyler) Alumni Association
  • Maritime Law Association

Employment Record Open

  • 2012-present: Partner, Watson Farley & Williams, New York
  • 1994-2012: Counsel, Watson Farley & Williams, New York
  • 1991-1994: Palmer Biezup & Henderson

Publications Open

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