John A Orzel


  • New York
  • US Court of Appeals, Second and Fourth Circuits
  • US District Court, Eastern, Northern and Southern Districts of New York


  • Tulane University School of Law, LLM (with distinction), 1989
  • Duquesne University School of Law, JD, 1988
  • Heidelberg College, BA, 1984

John is a Partner in the Basking Ridge office and represents clients with matters relating to marine casualties and wreck removals, transportation loss and damage (marine, air and surface), charter parties, maritime attachments, the drafting of bills of lading and service contracts, vessel financing and documentation, general corporate matters, corporate mergers and acquisitions, bankruptcy, international trade, public works projects, off shore mineral exploration, marine insurance coverage issues and international joint ventures.

Throughout his years of practice, he has represented virtually every category of transportation client – from maritime to surface to air – before federal and state courts and in arbitration proceedings before the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, the American Arbitration Association and the Judicial Arbitration and Mediation Services.

Widely regarded as an authority in transportation and trade law, John is the contributing author to "Goods In Transit," a seven-volume treatise on the law of transportation which encompasses marine, rail, truck and air transportation. He has contributed to the Society of Maritime Arbitrators Award Digest and has spoken on various topics related to transportation law.

John graduated with distinction from Tulane University School of Law in 1989 with a Master of Laws in Admiralty & Maritime, earned his law degree from Duquesne University, and holds a bachelor’s degree in Politics, Government and History from Heidelberg College.

Market recognition

  • Top Lawyers of New York as published in the National Law Journal
  • Top Lawyers of New York as published in New York Magazine
  • AV Peer Rating from Martindale-Hubbell

Presentations and publications

  • Co-author, "Logistics providers beware! - in transit financing agreements may result in a loss of protections," published for Kennedys (December 2018)
  • Co-author, “Volcafe Decision Examined From UK and US Perspective,” published for Kennedys (December 2018)

Work highlights

  • Advised a P&I insurer with regard to the sinking of a tug boat while at its dock in Alaska.
  • Advised a P&I insurer with regard to a jack-up barge punch through and resultant wreck removal.
  • Represented P&I insurer with regard to personal injury to crew member seeking multi-million dollar recovery for unseaworthiness.
  • Advised marine insurer with regard to claims for environmental damage to endangered turtle nesting area.
  • Successfully represented trucking company with regard to the unexplained loss of cargo during international carriage.
  • Successfully represented ocean carrier with regard to multi-million dollar loss of cargo during intermodal carriage.
  • Represented international banking institution with regard to state court attachment of New York based correspondent bank account.
  • Advised international commodities trader with regard to claimed breach of sales contract.
Market recognition
  • av2018-rating-full

    John Orzel Martindale Hubbell

    AV Peer Rated by Martindale Hubbell