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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 international energy company in the purchase of a foreign flag vessel, redocumentation in another foreign flag, and sale of an interest to a joint venture partner.
  • Advising major cruise line in the sale of three passenger cruise ships.
  • Advising a Singapore company in the sale-leaseback of an offshore supply vessel in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and related financing, including bareboat charter, option agreement, and time charter.
  • Advised industrial conglomerate based in the Middle East in connection with the purchase of its first commercial cargo vessel.
  • Advising international hotel properties manager in connection with the acquisition, operation, and management of fleet of passenger vessels for island hotel in the Middle East.
  • Advising private equity fund in connection with complex restructuring of large U.S. fishing harvesting and processing company in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Advising foreign fishing and fish products company in the acquisition of interests in U.S. fish harvesting and processing operation in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Advising private equity fund in the sale of interests in U.S. fish harvesting and processing company to foreign buyer.
  • 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 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.
  • Advising leading U.S. inland waterways carrier with fleet of approximately 4,000 vessels on vessel transactions and documentation.
  • 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.

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:

  • Advising international energy company in the purchase of a foreign flag vessel, redocumentation in another foreign flag, and sale of an interest to a joint venture partner.
  • Advising major cruise line in the sale of three passenger cruise ships.
  • Advising a Singapore company in the sale-leaseback of an offshore supply vessel in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico, and related financing, including bareboat charter, option agreement, and time charter.
  • Advised industrial conglomerate based in the Middle East in connection with the purchase of its first commercial cargo vessel.
  • Advising international hotel properties manager in connection with the acquisition, operation, and management of fleet of passenger vessels for island hotel in the Middle East.
  • Advising private equity fund in connection with complex restructuring of large U.S. fishing harvesting and processing company in the Pacific Northwest.
  • Advising foreign fishing and fish products company in the acquisition of interests in U.S. fish harvesting and processing operation in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Advising private equity fund in the sale of interests in U.S. fish harvesting and processing company to foreign buyer.
  • 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 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.
  • Advising leading U.S. inland waterways carrier with fleet of approximately 4,000 vessels on vessel transactions and documentation.
  • 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.