• PRACTICE FOCUS+
  • EDUCATION+
    • University of Houston Law Center
      J.D., with honors, 1979; Phi Delta Phi; Order of the Barons; Editor, Houston Law Review
    • University of Houston
      B.S., with honors, 1975
  • ADMISSIONS+
    • Texas
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
    • U.S. Court of Federal Claims
    • U.S. Supreme Court
  • CLERKSHIP+

John M. Elsley

Senior Partner

Houston

John Elsley practices in the areas of admiralty law and litigation. He has handled a range of litigation for maritime clients in state and federal courts, including trials and appeals. Most recently, Mr. Elsley represented Transocean in the Deepwater Horizon MDL and related insurance litigation before the Eastern District of Louisiana, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Texas Supreme Court. He also has represented numerous vessel owners and operators in connection with major pollution incidents, collisions, cargo damage, Charter Party disputes, Contracts of Affreightment, demurrage/freight, general average, salvage, ship repair and general commercial litigation matters.  

Mr. Elsley is a registered arbitrator with the Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association and has had significant experience in HMAA, SMA, AAA and other arbitrations.

Experience

  • Representation of Transocean in the MDL litigation arising out of the Deepwater Horizon/Macondo Well casualty.
  • Representation of Transocean in the insurance coverage litigation against BP before the Eastern District of Louisiana, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit and the Texas Supreme Court arising out of the Deepwater Horizon casualty.
  • Representation of refinery owner in AAA arbitration involving $50 million dispute with oil major over RCRA clean-up of one of the largest refineries in the United States.
  • Representation of refinery owner and terminal operator as Plaintiffs resulting in multi-million dollar recoveries on claims arising from significant OPA oil spill incident in Lake Charles, Louisiana.
  • Representation of a Houston based oil major as U.S. national maritime counsel.
  • Representation of vessel owners and operators in numerous pre and post OPA oil spills impacting Houston and Galveston, including the M/T Alvenus and the M/T Shinoussa oil spills.
  • Representation of insurers in numerous and varied insurance coverage matters.
  • Representation of vessel owners and platform owners in pipeline and platform damage incidents.
  • Representation of marine and energy clients negotiating and drafting master service agreements, vessel bareboat, time and voyage charters, operating agreements and terminal agreements.

Insights

Speaking Engagements
  • Panelist, “Lessons Learned from the Deepwater Horizon Spill,” IRMI Energy Risk & Insurance Conference, (March 2015)
  • Panelist, “Insurance Coverage in the Oil Patch: The Deepwater Horizon Rulings,” UT Admiralty and Maritime Law Conference, (October 2013)
News

Memberships & Affiliations

  • Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States

Recognition

  • AV® Preeminent Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • The Best Lawyers in America© - Admiralty and Maritime Law