• PRACTICE FOCUS+
  • INDUSTRIES+
  • EDUCATION+
    • University of Texas School of Law
      J.D., 1966
    • Lamar University
      B.S., 1963
  • ADMISSIONS+
    • U.S. District Court, Southern District of Texas
    • U.S. Supreme Court
    • U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Texas
    • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
    • Texas
  • CLERKSHIP+

Robert H. Nicholas, Jr.

Bob Nicholas concentrates his practice in the admiralty, environmental and international trade law areas for energy industry clients, as well as companies engaged in the international trade. He has extensive experience in the drafting and preparation of virtually all types of marine-related agreements. In the administrative law area, he has prepared filings with the U.S. Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard in connection with the use, documentation, charter or financing of vessels and maritime terminals. Mr. Nicholas has also prepared oil spill response contracts.

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Bob Nicholas concentrates his practice in the admiralty, environmental and international trade law areas for energy industry clients, as well as companies engaged in the international trade. He has extensive experience in the drafting and preparation of virtually all types of marine-related agreements. In the administrative law area, he has prepared filings with the U.S. Maritime Administration and U.S. Coast Guard in connection with the use, documentation, charter or financing of vessels and maritime terminals. Mr. Nicholas has also prepared oil spill response contracts.

In the energy law area, his experience includes providing legal advice in connection with offshore drilling and offshore support vessels and seismic research vessels. Mr. Nicholas has also been involved in the sale and purchase of offshore drilling rigs and all types of offshore support vessels. In the area of environmental law, he provides legal advice on compliance with state and federal environmental laws affecting clients’ ocean and inland marine operations including the handling and disposition of hazardous waste under federal and state law. In the international trade area, he has been involved in a number of projects involving the importation of large floating offshore production facilities (SPARS) and components. Mr. Nicholas has experience in obtaining ruling requests from U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on a variety of issues including NAFTA, foreign shipyard repairs and Jones Act coastwise trade issues. He conducts compliance audits for marine clients and provides advice in connection with such audits.

Mr. Nicholas previously served as in-house counsel to SeaRiver Maritime, Inc.; general counsel for Exxon Shipping Company, a position he held at the time of the Exxon Valdez oil spill; and Assistant U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas.

Insights

Publications
  • Author, "Federal and State Preemption Regarding Vessel Construction and Operation," Tulane Law Review
  • Author, "Fifth Circuit Survey," Texas Tech Law Review
  • Author, A Guide for Investigating Marine Casualties
Speaking Engagements
  • University of Texas 22nd Annual Admiralty and Maritime Law Conference (September 2013)
  • Speaker, "The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 Revisited," University of Houston Oil Spill Symposium
  • Speaker and Panel Member, "The Ethics of Dealing with Mass Disasters in Maritime Law," UT Admiralty Seminar
  • Panel Member, "The Oil Pollution Act of 1990 Going on Twenty Years," Tulane Maritime Law Institute
  • Speaker, "Ocean Transportation of Oil and Gas and Hard Minerals," Rocky Mountain Mineral Law Institute
  • Speaker, "New Laws Governing the Jettisoning of Oil," Proceedings National Research Council, Salvage Symposium

Memberships & Affiliations

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