Michelle Otero Valdés

Michelle Otero Valdés  has been engaged in the practice of maritime, admiralty and marine insurance law for over twenty (20) years and is experienced in all facets of civil litigation, with primary emphasis in admiralty and maritime law, including, but not limited to, collisions, allisions, groundings, emergency casualty response, maritime attachments and arrests, marine pollution claims under OPA90 and CLC Conventions, defense of maritime death and injury claims, passenger and crew claims, marine casualty investigations, P&I and FDD matters, H&M claims, claims coverage evaluation, salvage and SCOPIC matters, cargo claims and recoveries, charter party disputes, Marpol and environmental matters, general liability defense, freight forwarders/NVOCC liability claims, and the negotiation and drafting of maritime-related contracts, including marine loan documents, purchase and sale agreements, charter parties, yacht purchase/sale agreements, chartering, and registration of domestic and foreign vessels, shipbuilding contracts, crew agreements, corporate non-compete/non-disclosure agreements and a host of other international commercial transactions and agreements.

Ms. Valdés has been counsel in several high profile cases and, as a previous Account Executive of Thomas Miller Inc. (Miami), Managers for the United Kingdom Mutual Steam Ship Assurance Association (Bermuda) Ltd. and The United Kingdom Freight Demurrage and Defense Association Limited, is recognized for her in-depth knowledge of marine insurance and casualty matters. Ms. Valdés has authored numerous published articles involving marine insurance, coverage topics, international litigation and arbitration, casualty contingency planning and is regularly asked to speak at conferences throughout the world on a variety of topics of interest to the maritime industry.

Ms. Valdés routinely blogs on a wide variety of topics related to the maritime industry at http://miamishippinglaw.blogspot.com/. She can be contacted by email message at mov@chaloslaw.com, via Twitter at @miamimaritime or via LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/michelleoterovaldes/.


J.D., St. Thomas University School of Law
B.A., Florida International University

  • International Business and Management


Board Certified by the Florida Bar in Admiralty and Maritime Law
The United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida
The United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
The Untied States District Court for the Northern District of Florida
The United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


Ms. Valdés is Crew Qualified by the United States Coast Auxiliary and a member of several organizations, including but not limited to: the Florida Bar Admiralty and Maritime Law Certification Committee (Chair 2012-2013, Vice Chair 2011-2012); Florida Bar Admiralty Law Committee (Seminar Chair 2012-2013); U. S. District Court for the Southern, Middle and Northern Districts of Florida; U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit; Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI); Proctor Member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States; Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association, USA (Co-President Florida Chapter since 2014); Connecticut Maritime Association; Federal Bar Association (Sections and Divisions Council Member 2016-18; FBA Admiralty Law Committee Seminar Co-Chair 2014) and the Fort Lauderdale Mariner’s Club (Skipper 2017; First Mate 2016, Purser 2015, Yeoman 2014, Program Chair 2013).