Michael G. Chalos

Michael G. Chalos  has been practicing maritime law for more than 40 years. During such time, Mr. Chalos has handled a number of matters involving traditional maritime issues such as collisions, groundings, failure of equipment, damage to cranes and offshore rigs, cargo and other damages, general average, personal injury and other Jones Act issues, Death on the High Seas Act, arrests, insurance (relating to cargo, P&I, hull, indemnity and general liability),including issues involving Certificates of Financial Responsibility (COFRs) for both vessels and off-shore rigs and platforms, the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 (OPA), the Clean Water Act and other environmental related statutes, dealing with the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund (OSLTF) and related governmental agencies such as the Coast Guard, EPA, Department of the Interior, Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement (BOEMRE), and its sub-agencies, as well as commercial disputes, drafting of charter parties and other lease agreements, Memorandum of Agreements for the sale and purchase of vessels, Management Agreements, pooling arrangements and agreements, registration of vessels in U.S. and other jurisdictions around the world, financing of vessel purchases and leasing.

Mr. Chalos also has extensive experience advising clients on civil and criminal environmental law matters. Mr. Chalos has represented a number of clients involved in high-profile civil and criminal environmental litigation. This has included the successful defense of the masters of the Exxon Valdez oil tanker and Selendang Ayu cargo ship, as well as numerous United States and foreign-based corporations, ship owners, managers, operators, and crew who were the targets of criminal investigations by the U.S. government. In addition to the Exxon Valdez matter, Michael has represented owners, operators, and/or underwriters involved in major pollution casualties, including the Morris J. Berman, the Buffalo 405, the Cape Mohican, the Bermuda Islander, the Athos I, and the Cosco Busan.

In this regard, Mr. Chalos has substantial experience in defending and resolving oil pollution incidents, MARPOL, and the Act for the Prevention of Pollution from Ships (APPS) violations, and other environmental claims. He frequently interacts with government entities involved in the enforcement of environmental regulations, such as the Department of Justice, the Environmental Protection Agency, the United States Coast Guard, Federal and State Trustees, and the Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund, as well as various state departments of environment.

Michael is a Member of the United States Maritime Law Association and a Proctor in Admiralty.


J.D., Fordham University School of Law, 1975
B.S., SUNY Maritime, 1970, (Marine Transportation)


Bar of the State of New York
Supreme Court of the United States
United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit
United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
United States District Court for the District of Connecticut
United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York
United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas



  • 20/20 Vision for the 2020 Global Low Sulfur Requirement for the Shipping Industry, U.S. Maritime Alert, 31 August 2018
  • Do You Clearly See What’s Coming?, U.S. Maritime Alert, 9 July 2018
  • The New MARPOL Annex VI Regulations, Requirements and Issues, International Conference of Maritime Arbitrators, Hong Kong, 11 May 2015
  • US May Shift to Stricter ECA Sulfur Enforcement, Michael Chalos quoted by Eric Martin in TradeWinds, 19 December 2014
  • International Oil and Gas Seminar, 21 October 2014
  • The Criminalization of Maritime Accidents and MARPOL Violations in the United States, University of San Francisco Maritime Law Journal. Volume 23, Number 2, 2010-11



  • Chalos has been selected by his peers for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America publication for his work in Admiralty and Maritime Law.
  • Since 2014, Chambers USA has ranked Mr. Chalos in the category Transportation: Shipping Maritime: Litigation (New York).
  • Chalos was honored as the Alumnus of the Year for 2018 for the SUNY of New York Maritime College at Ft. Schuyler.