Alan Van Praag is of counsel to Chalos & Co, P.C. Mr. Van Praag has litigated thousands of claims and contract disputes on behalf of, or defending, numerous parties significantly engaged in all aspects of the maritime, petroleum, natural resources, banking, auto, and construction industries.
Mr. Van Praag has served as a representative for foreign governments in international settings, and his experience includes appointments to committees related to international law and maritime proceedings.
Areas of Concentration
- Disputes involving issues of private international law
- Representing clients in all manner of commercial contract disputes
- Representation of sovereign nations
- Disputes concerning treaty interpretation and applicability
- Disputes involving time charters, voyage charters, and long-term contracts of affreightment (COAs)
- Disputes involving commodities trading agreements for grain, ore, and petroleum products
- Representation of clients with respect to damaged cargo
- Representation of clients with respect to claims arising from erroneous inspector certificates of quantity/quality
- Disputes involving terminal operations
- Ancillary proceedings to obtain discovery in the U.S. for proceedings pending abroad
- Representation of creditors in cross-border insolvency disputes
- Representation of plaintiffs and defendants with respect to alter ego allegations to pierce corporate veils
- Counseling clients regarding the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
- Expert opinions regarding U.S. maritime law for use in foreign proceedings
- Representation of clients with regard to all manner of bankruptcy proceedings
- Representation of clients with regard to all manner of commercial contract disputes
- Representation of clients with regard to all phases of ship sale contracts and financial transactions
- Representation of clients in all form of arbitration proceedings throughout the world
- Representation of clients in matters concerning congressional investigations and investigations undertaken by various U.S. government entities
- Sovereign nations
- Vessel owners
- Vessel charterers
- Commodities buyers and sellers
- Terminal operators
- Hedge funds
- Law firms
- Construction companies
- International Businesses in a wide diversity of locations
Mr. Van Praag’s special appointments include:
- S. Secretary of State’s Advisory Committee on Private International Law
- Special Adviser in Private International Law (Admiralty) to the U.S. Delegation and Attendee to The Hague Convention Special Commission On International Jurisdiction and the Effects of Foreign Judgments in Civil and Commercial Matters
- S. Secretary of State’s Study Group on Arbitration, Amended Rules of Procedure for the Panama Inter-America Arbitration Conventions
- Round Table Participant, International Conference on Proposed Hague Convention on International Jurisdiction and the Enforcement of Foreign Judgments
- S. District Courts for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York Joint Advisory Committee on Civil Rules (1998-2010).
- Chairman of the Maritime Law Association of the United States (MLA) Sub-Committee serving as Liaison to the U.S. Department of State Concerning the Hague Convention for the International Enforcement of Money Judgments
- Chairman, MLA Sub-Committee on Bankruptcy (1990-2007)
- Chairman, MLA Sub-Committee Liaising with the Comite Maritime Internationale
- Chairman, MLA Committee relating to International Organizations, Conventions and Standards, (2008-2012)
- Member, MLA Practice and Procedure Committee; and served as a Member of the Board of Directors of the MLA.
Additionally, Mr. Van Praag a member of the New York County Bar Association, International Chamber of Commerce and is a titular Member of the Comite Maritime Internationale.
Mr. Van Praag is admitted to practice before the Supreme Court of the United States, has argued appeals before the Second, Third, Fourth, Fifth, Ninth and Eleventh Circuit Courts of Appeals, and has been an arbitrator in both AAA and SMA proceedings.
Awards & Accolades
Mr. Van Praag is listed in, “Who’s Who in American Law,” and has been voted repeatedly by his peers as a New York Super Lawyer, including each year from 2012-17. Mr. Van Praag has repeatedly been named, after research with, “clients and peers,” as being among 400 of the world’s leading Shipping and Maritime lawyers by the publishers of the International Who’s Who of Shipping and Maritime Lawyers 2009-2011.
Mr. Van Praag has been rated as a preeminent lawyer for more than 30 years by Martindale Hubbell. He has been named among the “Best Lawyers in New York,” by various legal journals, and has been selected by his peers to be included in, “Best Lawyers in America.”
Representative Litigation Matters
- Armada (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. v. Amcol International Corp., 2013 WL 5781845 (N.D.III 2013) (Bucklo, J.). Successfully defeated three separate motions to dismiss in matter where our client is pursuing very large fraudulent transfer and RICO claims against various defendants.
- Ravenna Tankers Pte., SRL v. Omni Ships Pte. Ltd., CIV.A. 13-127, 2013 WL 2153544 (E.DLa. 2013). Successfully argued that funds which had been deposited into a court’s registry as substitute security for the seizure (by maritime attachment under Supplemental Rule B) of one vessel were subject to a maritime lien against sub-hire owed for the use of a second vessel such that the deposited funds were subject to maritime arrest under Supplemental Rule C.
- In re Ashapura Minechem Ltd., Bankr. Case No. 11-14668 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2012 (Peck, J.). Represented a creditor (for which EVW obtained a U.S. judgment of approximately $70 million) in connection with its opposition to the continued U.S. recognition of an Indian insolvency proceeding. The court ordered the foreign debtor to post security for EVW’s client’s claims and to take necessary steps to enable it to fully participate in the purported Indian insolvency proceedings. The debtor failed to comply and the Court terminated U.S. recognition of the foreign proceedings and dismissed the Chapter 15 bankruptcy case. This was the first Chapter 15 case resulting in dismissal on “changed circumstances” grounds.
- Armada (Singapore) Pte. Ltd. v. Ashapura Minechem Ltd., 837 F.Supp.2d 880 (N.D.III 2011) (Bucklo, J.). Represented a plaintiff in connection with maritime attachment proceedings. A garnishee contented the attached property (a substantial sum of money due in connection with a securities transaction) was owed to an individual rather than to the named defendant. The Court held a bench trial and ruled in EVW’s client’s favor, holding that the disputed funds were owed to defendant. The Court ordered the garnishee to pay the concerned stock sale proceeds to EVW’s client.
- Hawknet Limited v. Overseas Shipping Agencies, Case No. 07-5912 (S.D.N.Y. 2009), aff’d, 590 F.3d 87 (2d Cir. 2009). Counsel to defendant alleged to be the alter ego of a Persian Gulf-based shipping group. At trial, defense counsel defeated plaintiff’s alter ego allegations and the court dismissed claims against EVW’s client. Plaintiff was again defeated on appeal to the Second Circuit.
- Congentra AG vs. Sixteen Thirteen Marine S.A., in the High Court of Justice, Queens Bench, Commercial Court, September 2008. The Court, relying on Mr. Van Praag’s Expert Opinion on American Law and stated so repeatedly in its opinion, rejected a claim for malicious prosecution, wrongful attachment and abuse of process.
- Florida Day Cruises, Inc. v. Insurance Co. of North America, Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 2003 WL 22100691, S.D.N.Y., September 11, 2003 (NO. 03 CIV.71 DLC)
- In re Arbitration between Monegasque De Reassurances S.A.M. v. Nak Naftogaz of Ukraine, 311 F.3d 488, 2002 WL 31528664, 2002 A.M.C. 2783, 161 Oil & Gas Rep. 976, C.A.2 (N.Y., November 15, 2002 (NO. 01-7947, 01-9153). Significant opinion concerning the application of the Arbitration Act to sovereign nations.
- Nitron Intern. Corp. v. Golden Panagia Maritime, Inc., Not Reported in F.Supp.2d, 1999 WL 223155, S.D.N.Y., April 16, 1999 (NO. 98 CIV 8718 (DLC)).
- Thyssen, Inc. v. S/S Eurounity, 21 F.3d 533, 1994 WL 124542, 1994 A.M.C. 1638, C.A.2 (N.Y.), April 08, 1994 (NO. 93-7682, 93-7708, 93-7718).
- Ferrostaal Corp. v. M.V. Singa Wilgaurd, 838 F.Supp. 757, 1993 WL 496078, S.D.N.Y., November 12, 1993 (NO. 90 CIV. 6340 (BN)).
- Estate of Charitou, 156 Misc.2d 952, 595 N.Y.S.2d 308, 1993 WL 79378, N.Y.Sur., February 17, 1993 (NO. 93-120).
- Fabrica De Tejidos La Bellota S.A. v. M/V MAR, 799 F.Supp. 546, 1992 WL 174522, 1993 A.M.C. 721, 27 V.I. 247, D.Virgin Islands, July 14, 1992 (NO. CIV. 1989-357, CIV. 1990-341).
- Matter of Arbitrations Between Benship Intern., Inc. and Phosphate Chemicals Export Ass’n, Inc., 771 F.Supp. 87, 1991 WL 162794, S.D.N.Y., August 21, 1991 (NO. 91 CIV. 2309 (PKL)).
- Associated Metals & Minerals Corp. v. S/S TAI GU HAI, Not Reported in F.Supp., 1991 WL 33306, S.D.N.Y., March 06, 1991 (NO. 89 CIV. 7354 (JFK)).
- Bowers v. Egyptian Nat Line, 721 F.Supp. 490, 1989 WL 112523, S.D.N.Y., September 13, 1989 (NO). 88 CIV. 7317 (CSH)).
- Siderius Inc. v. Astramar Cansac BS AS, Not Reported in F.Supp., 1988 WL 42046, S.D.N.Y., April 21, 1988 (NO. 84 CIV. 6761 (RLC)).
- Drew Ameriod Intern. V. M/V Green Star, 681 F.Supp. 1056, 1988 WL 22414, 1988 A.M.C. 2570, S.D.N.Y., March 09, 1988 (NO. 86 CIV. 6020 (CSH), 86 CIV. 6050 (CSH)).
- K. Webster for United Commercial Agencies, Ltd. (Saudi Arabia) v. M/V “Ascanius”, Not Reported in F.Supp., 1987 WL 5794, S.D.N.Y., January 13, 1987 (NO. 85 CIV. 2423 (JFK)).
- Outbound Maritime Corp. v. P.T. Indonesian Consortium of Const. Industries, 575 F.Supp. 1222, 1984 A.M.C. 2067, S.D.N.Y., December 22, 1983 (NO. 83 CIV. 8403 (KTD)).
- Sidarma Societa Italiana Di Armamento Spa, Venice v. Holt Marine Industries, Inc., 515 F.Supp. 1302, 1981 A.M.C. 2729, S.D.N.Y., June 09, 1981 (NO. 75 CIV. 6265(RJW)).
- Navieros Oceanikos, S.A. Liberian Vessel Trade Daring v. S.T. Mobil Trader, 554 F.2d 43, 1977 A.M.C. 739, C.A.2 (N.Y.), April 20, 1977 (NO. 965, 76-7284, 76-7297, 439).
- Brenden Chartering Corp. v. Fos Shipping Co., Ltd., Famagusta (Cyprus), 378 F.Supp. 368, E.D.N.Y., July 01, 1974 (NO. 71 C 403).
Mr. Van Praag has represented clients in more than 80 arbitrations at various fora including International Chambers of Commerce, AAA Arbitrations, JAMS Arbitration and Rules, SMA Arbitration. He specializes in Commodity Arbitrations including GAFTA and FOFSA wall board, lumber, scrap, etc.
Representative Lectures and Seminars
Mr. Van Praag has lectured on maritime law and private international law, and has presented a number of papers at commercial and government venues including the U.S. Capitol and various international fora, including at The Hague Peace Palace, and aboard an International voyage of the USS Anzio, an active U.S. Navy Cruiser.
His articles, published twice in Brooklyn Law School Law Review, were re-printed in other Law Reviews. Mr. Van Praag has authored articles published in the ABA Litigation Journal; the International Journal of Shipping Law; Fraud Magazine; Les Nouvelles (the magazine of the licensing industry); and is a contributing author to the well-known text by Aleka Sheppard, “Modern Maritime Law and Risk Management Issues,” 3rd Edition 2013, informa.
- International Enforcement of Maritime Judgments and Arbitration Awards (2009)
- Rule B(1) The Easy Fast and Inexpensive Way To Obtain Security in the United States For Maritime Claims (2004 – Revised 2010 and 2013)
- Recognition and Enforcement of Foreign Judgments in United States Courts (2010)
- Recognition Of The United States Law of Foreign Liquidation and Reorganization Proceeding, Journal of IBA Insolvency Section (April 2013)
- Post-Recognition Conferences and Relief Present New Avenues for Protecting Creditors’ Rights in a Chapter 15 Case, Insolvency and Restructuring International, Vol 7 No.1 (April 2013)
- Chapter 2A – Freezing Injunction And The US Rule B Attachment
- Rule B(1) Attachment – Security For Maritime Claims In U.S. (2014)
- Tanker Company Officers Embezzle Unhindered, Fraud Magazine, (November/December 2007)
- The Enforcement Of Foreign/Domestic Licensing Arbitration Awards In The United States, Les Nouvelles (Spring 2011)