Briton P. Sparkman

Briton P. Sparkman concentrates his practice on civil and criminal litigation with a focus on admiralty and maritime law, including but not limited to contract disputes, maritime liens, maritime attachment, carriage of goods, vessel collisions, oil and hazardous material spills and discharges, personal injury, and the criminal defense of ship owners, managers, and crewmembers. In addition to handling cases pending in a variety of state and federal courts, as well as arbitrations before the Society of Maritime Arbitrators (among others), Mr. Sparkman also regularly assists clients navigating regulatory and administrative proceedings, including actions pending before the United States Coast Guard, the National Pollution Fund Center, the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the Environmental Protection Agency, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

Cases of Interest

  • USA v. Angelex Ltd., et al., 2:13-cr-70 (E.D. Va. 2013) – Owner and Manager clients acquitted by federal jury of sixteen (16) felony counts following nine (9) day trial in Norfolk, Virginia
  • USA v. Fafalios, 15-30146 (5th Cir. 2016) – Chief Engineer conviction overturned on appeal by Fifth Circuit based on wrongful charge and conviction following government misapplication of APPS statute and implementing regulation.
  •  Blue Whale Corp. v. Grand China Shipping Dev. Co., 13-0192 (2d Cir. 2013) – Vacatur of Rule B Attachment overturned on appeal.
  • Topoil AB v. M/V ORUC REIS, 15-cv-460 (S.D. Tex. 2016) – Summary Judgment granted in favor of foreign supplier enforcement of maritime lien for necessaries supplied to foreign vessel.


Hofstra University School of Law, JD 2008
Furman University, B.A. 2005


New York
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit


New York County Lawyers Association
Maritime Lawyers Association
Connecticut Maritime Association
Houston Mariners Club

Articles and Presentations:

  • The Effective Use of Expert Witnesses at Civil and Criminal Trials: Know the Rules and Your Audience, Chalos, G. and Sparkman, B., CMA Shipping 2016, March 23, 2016.
  • So What’s it Worth: High Dollar Personal Injury Claims in the Maritime Industry”, Otero-Valdes, M. and Sparkman, B., Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club Marine Seminar, November 4, 2015.
  • Tax that Other Fellow – U.S. Source Gross Transportation Income, Chalos, G., Gaitas, G., and Sparkman, B., The Charterer Newsletter, June 2015.
  • Something is Fishy: US Supreme Court Finds that “Grouper” are not a Tangible Object under 18 U.S.C. 1519, Sparkman, B., March 6, 2015.
  • Criminalization of the Maritime Industry: The Fight for Due Process Continues for Owners, Operators, and Seafarers, Chalos, G. and Sparkman, B., July 30, 2014.
  • A “Game Changer”: The Failed Prosecution of the Owner & Manager of the M/V ANTONIS G. PAPPADAKIS, Chalos, G. and Sparkman, B., CMA Shipping 2014, March 19, 2014.
  • What is a Vessel: A Review of Recent Court Decisions, Chalos, G. and Sparkman, B., March 6, 2013.
  • Sailing the Seas of Uncertainty: The Fight for Due Process for Ship Owners and Seafarers in U.S. MARPOL Related Detentions, Chalos, G. and Sparkman, B., CMA Shipping 2012, March 21, 2012.