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Jorge Romero

Of Counsel
+1.202.661.3815
Fax +1.202.778.9100

Mr. Romero is in the Finance, Transportation, and Restructuring and Insolvency practice groups. He has extensive experience in international and domestic U.S. financial transactions in the maritime industry, focusing on asset-based structured financings and related capital markets transactions. In that context he has represented borrowers, lessees, hedge funds, and institutional investors and banks. He has also represented shipping company debtors and creditors in restructurings and bankruptcies.

Mr. Romero’s commercial experience includes a broad variety of contracts and transactions involving maritime assets, such as bareboat and time charters, contracts of affreightment, shipbuilding contracts, vessel sale and purchase agreements, and contracts for private marine security services, and related regulatory matters.

An important part of Mr. Romero’s practice focuses on advising investors and target companies on compliance with U.S. maritime laws relating to ownership and operation of vessels, such as the Jones Act and similar laws.

Highlights of Mr. Romero’s recent transactions and representations include:

  • Advising a major U.S.-based international tanker company in connection with its $2.5 billion bankruptcy restructuring.
  • Advising a coalition of bondholders in a series of transactions and regulatory filings as part of a $652.8 million financial restructuring of a U.S. container shipping line.
  • Advising a major U.S.-based international container liner in connection with a contract to build two state-of-the-art, LNG-capable vessels that was negotiated simultaneously with three U.S. shipyards.
  • Advising debtors with U.S. and international operations in U.S. bankruptcy and insolvency proceedings in the offshore, tanker, and cruise ship industry sectors.
  • Advising publicly-traded U.S. shipping companies on compliance with the ownership requirements of the Jones Act, and actively participating in an ad-hoc industry group that obtained public guidance from the United States Coast Guard on this matter.
  • Advising leading inland waterway carrier on legal and regulatory issues relevant to the low water conditions in the Mississippi River in late 2012.
  • Advising a Singapore company in the sale-leaseback of an offshore supply vessel in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico.
  • Advising a private equity fund in more than $1.2 billion in financings associated with the purchase, initial financing, and subsequent refinancings of an inland waterway carrier.
  • Lead counsel on vessel transactions and documentation to leading U.S. inland waterways carrier with fleet of approximately 4,000 vessels.
  • Advising leading U.S. fishing company on compliance with the ownership requirements of the American Fisheries Act on an on-going basis, in preparation for an initial public offering, and in financings totaling over $800 million.
  • Advising foreign and U.S. investors on compliance with the ownership requirements of the American Fisheries Act.
  • Advising a private equity fund in acquiring and financing fleet of 24 harbor cruise vessels.
  • Advising a U.S.-based international specialty cruise company on vessel transactions and related regulatory matters.
  • Over $1 billion in new ship construction financings under U.S. government-guaranteed Title XI ship financing program.
  • Advising the project sponsor in a co-financing between several export credit agencies of an electric power plant in Central America.
  • Advising the project sponsor in financing two electric power plants in the Caribbean.
  • Advising a development-stage company with design for next-generation lift-boat in connection with financing, chartering, and corporate matters.
  • Advising a major diversified entertainment company in financing two 85,000 grt cruise ships.
  • Advising an institutional lessor in sale-leaseback of two Brazilian oil production platforms.
  • Advising a major U.S. domestic oil producer in sale leaseback of its half-interest in Panamanian-flag deepwater oil production facility in the Gulf of Mexico.

Professional Background

Mr. Romero's professional background includes:

  • Of Counsel, K&L Gates 2007 - present
  • Of Counsel, Preston, Gates, Ellis and Rouvelas Meeds 1998 to 2007
  • Associate, Fort & Schlefer 1992 to 1998

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Chair, Fund for the Future of Our Children
  • Member, Connecticut Maritime Association
  • Member, Propeller Club of Washington, D.C.

Speaking Engagements

  • Presentation on the Inland Waterways Trust Fund at the Pacific Northwest’s Mission to Washington, March 2012;
  • Presentation on Water Resources Infrastructure Funding at the National Waterways Conference’s 50th Anniversary Annual Meeting, September 2010;
  • Presentation on Alternative Funding for the Inland Waterways Trust Fund at the National Waterways Conference’s Annual Meeting, September 2009;
  • Presentation on government guaranteed ship financing in 2009 North America's Marine Highways Conference, Jacksonville, Florida.
Highlights of Mr. Romero's transactions and representations include:
  • Lead counsel on new vessel financings for several major U.S.-flag carriers.
  • Outside counsel on vessel transactions and documentation to leading inland waterways carrier with fleet of approximately 4,000 vessels.
  • Special maritime counsel on vessel transactions and regulatory matters to U.S.-based international specialty cruise company.
  • Represented project company in co-financing between two federal government agencies of a 124 MW electric power plant in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.
  • Represented project company in co-financing 185 MW electric power plant mounted on two Panamanian-flag barges in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
  • Special U.S. maritime counsel to project company in financing of barge-mounted 50MW electric power plant in Puerto Plata, Dominican Republic.
  • Represented international multilateral lender financing of a barge-mounted, 110MW electric power plant in Puerto Quetzal, Guatemala.
  • Primary outside counsel to development-stage company with design for next-generation lift-boat responsible for financing, chartering, and corporate matters.
  •  Special U.S. maritime counsel to major diversified entertainment company in financing two 85,000 grt cruise ships.
  • Acted as special U.S.maritime counsel to lessor in sale-leaseback of two Brazilian oil production platforms.
  • Acted as Special U.S. maritime counsel to major domestic oil producer in sale leaseback of its half-interest in Panamanian-flag deepwater oil production facility in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Primary outside counsel to leading third-party certifier of women-owned businesses for supplier diversity programs.