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James H. Roussel

Senior Counsel
New Orleans
T: 504.566.5278
F: 504.636.3978

Jimmy Roussel is senior counsel in the Firm's New Orleans office.

Featured Experience

Represented a large shipping company in a $40 million seven-year unsecured financing.

Represented a large shipping company in 16 separate transactions totaling $40 million, involving the sale of U.S. Government Guaranteed Ship Financing Bonds.

Represented a large shipping company in the sale of $31,586,000 in U.S. Government Guaranteed Ship Financing Notes and Bonds.

Professional Biography

Overview

Mr. Roussel practices in the areas of marine insurance coverage disputes, cargo damage claims, maritime allisions and collisions, commercial transactions including financing (conventional, leveraged lease, and Title XI), public offerings of the securities of marine companies, ship construction contracts, salvage contracts, sales contracts, and ocean and inland chartering agreements. His areas of experience also include litigating matters arising from these transactions. 

Mr. Roussel represents maritime employers and vessel owners and operators, dock and terminal owners, and Underwriters in connection with collisions, allisions, sinkings and cargo damage claims.  He represents general liability and marine Underwriters in regard to coverage issues involving a broad range of marine, general liability, excess and umbrella forms of coverage, including representation of Underwriters' interest in litigation arising out of coverage disputes.  He also represents ship owners, charterers and lenders in commercial transactions.

During the course of his career, Mr. Roussel has been involved in numerous large-scale casualties. He represented Underwriters and the vessel owner in regard to the M/V BRIGHT FIELD allision with the New Orleans Riverwalk in December 1996. The matter involved over 1,800 personal injury claims and approximately 400 business interruption and property damage claims against the clients. He has also represented a pipeline company in two separate class actions lawsuits in regard to damage to its natural gas pipeline and a resultant release of a cloud of natural gas. The combined class actions involved approximately 11,500 claims for personal injury. Both suits were the first class actions tried in Louisiana and taken to the Louisiana Supreme Court. They were subsequently settled after remand from the Supreme Court for damages trials.

Mr. Roussel has also represented the largest ammonia storage facility in the United States in regard to an ammonia release. There were approximately 4,900 claims filed claiming personal injuries and seeking punitive damages. He represented the Underwriters of a refinery in regard to an explosion of a ROSE heater. There were approximately 4,000 claims filed for both personal injury and property damage.

Mr. Roussel was the lead counsel for the dredging interests in connection with claims asserted by approximately 50,000 residents of New Orleans as a result of the flooding of New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, allegedly due to bank erosion caused by the dredging of the Mississippi River Gulf Outlet.

Representative Matters
  • Represented a large shipping company in a $40 million seven-year unsecured financing.

  • Represented a large shipping company in 16 separate transactions totaling $40 million, involving the sale of U.S. Government Guaranteed Ship Financing Bonds.

  • Represented a large shipping company in the sale of $31,586,000 in U.S. Government Guaranteed Ship Financing Notes and Bonds.

  • Represented a large shipping company in the sale of $20,328,000 in U.S. Government Guaranteed Ship Financing Bonds.
  • Represented a large shipping company in regard to an $18,680,000 public offering.

  • Represented the underwriters and bond purchasers in regard to the sale of $9,547,000 in U.S. Government Guaranteed Ship Financing Bonds issued by Gulf Pacific Partnership.
  • Represented the underwriters and bond purchasers in the sale of $7,931,000 in U.S. Government Guaranteed Ship Financing Bonds.
Professional Honors & Activities
  • Named to The International Who's Who of Shipping and Maritime Lawyers (since 2008)
  • Listed in The Best Lawyers in America® in the areas of Admiralty & Maritime Law, Commercial Litigation, and Mass Tort Litigation (since 2001); Bet-the-Company Litigation (since 2011); Oil and Gas Law (since 2015)
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2016 New Orleans Mass Tort Litigation/Class Actions - Defendants "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Named the Best Lawyers' 2012 New Orleans Admiralty & Maritime Law "Lawyer of the Year"
  • Listed since 2005 in Chambers USA: America's Leading Business Lawyers as a leading maritime lawyer in Louisiana
  • Listed since 2007 in Louisiana Super Lawyers   
  • Listed as among top 50 attorneys in Louisiana by Louisiana Super Lawyers (2007 – 2015)
  • Listed as among top 50 attorneys in New Orleans by Louisiana Super Lawyers (2014, 2015) 
  • Listed as among top 10 attorneys in Louisiana by Louisiana Super Lawyers (2013) 
  • Recognized as a "Top Lawyer" by New Orleans Magazine (2010, 2013, 2015) 
  • Named to "Leadership in Law," New Orleans CityBusiness (2007)
  • Member – Maritime Law Association of the United States (Committee on Marine Financing and Committee on Marine Insurance)
  • Member – Louisiana and New Orleans Bar Associations
  • Associate Member – Association of Average Adjusters of the United States
  • Associate Editor – American Maritime Cases
  • Distinguished Maritime Lawyer Award, Maritime & International Law Committee, New Orleans Bar Association (2003)
  • Member – Advisory and Transportation Committees of the World Trade Center of New Orleans
Representative Transactions

Mr. Roussel has represented clients in the following litigation matters:

  • AFRICAN STAR/MIDWEST CITIES collision in the Mississippi River
  • UNION FAITH/WARREN DOUCET collision in the Mississippi River
  • MARINER I blow-out and explosion offshore Trinidad
  • MIYUNHAI/OVERSEAS ALEUTIAN collision in the Panama Canal
  • BISCAY 30 sinking while towing MASTER PETROS in Mississippi River
  • MARIKA sinking in North Atlantic
  • McDERMOTT DB-29 capsizing in the South China Sea
  • AZALEA SEA allision with Nashville Avenue Wharf in New Orleans
  • OSLO LADY fire and explosion in Chaguramas, Trinidad
  • YA MAWLAYA/NEW WORLD collision off Gibraltar
  • NEPTUNE CENTAURUS/LANEY BLESSEY collision in the Houston ship channel
  • M/V BRIGHT FIELD allision with New Orleans Riverwalk
  • CHRISTINE CENAC/AMERICAN HERITAGE collision and 69,000 gallon oil spill in the Mississippi River
  • Loss of Petronius Platform in Gulf of Mexico
  • IVAN SUSANIN/ANANGEL ENDEAVOUR collision in Gulf of Mexico
  • MARINA and ALEJANDRA sinking in Caribbean Sea
  • WEBB CROSBY - Pipeline allision and 85,000 gallon oil spill in Little Lake
  • BOW LION/COOPERATIVE SPIRIT collision in the Mississippi River
  • DLB-269 sinking in Bay of Campeche
  • MRGO claims against Dredgers, Hurricane Katrina
Press Releases

James Roussel of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC is recognized for his expertise in marine financing. He regularly acts for vessel owners and operators, dock and terminal owners and maritime employers.

James Roussel of Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, PC is a recognized authority in marine financings, handling such matters as part of a broader maritime practice that also includes insurance coverage matters and cargo damage disputes, among other matters.

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