JANUARY 27, 2014 — Matthew J. Thomas has joined the Washington, D.C. office of law firm Blank Rome as a partner in the maritime, international trade, and public contracts group.
Mr. Thomas has more than twenty years of experience in maritime and international trade regulation and government affairs, representing leading shipowners, energy and trading companies, ports, P&I clubs, shipyards, and marine terminal operators.
He works extensively in the areas of trade sanctions and export controls, particularly with fast-moving Iran policies and related banking and insurance matters. His OFAC sanctions work has included issues as diverse as delisting blocked parties, licensing for Cuban oil spill recovery services, Libyan rebels' supplies, and piracy ransom payments. He also represents major energy and trading companies with regard to export controls, customs, and maritime regulation for U.S. crude and petroleum products. In addition, he acts as regulatory counsel for leading container carriers and marine terminal operating companies, and guides global offshore energy companies in maritime and export compliance matters.
Throughout his career, Mr. Thomas has built strong relationships with U.S. government officials, trade associations, and the local legal and lobbying community. He guides international businesses in their dealings with the Departments of State, Treasury, Commerce, Transportation, as well as independent regulatory agencies and Congress.
Prior to joining Blank Rome, Mr. Thomas was a maritime attorney at Am Law 100 and 200 firms; served as the Assistant General Counsel for International Affairs at the Federal Maritime Commission; and worked as a federal lobbyist.
Mr. Thomas is admitted to practice in the District of Columbia. He received his Juris Doctor and Bachelor of Arts from the University of Virginia. Mr. Thomas is a member of the Connecticut Maritime Association, and a member and past President of the Maritime Administrative Bar Association in Washington, D.C.