• New York
  • Supreme Court of the United States
  • 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 Fourth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit


  • American Bar Association
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York
  • Fellow of the American Bar Foundation


  • Georgetown University Law Center, JD
  • Duke University, BA
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John D. Kimball


New York, NY v. +1.212.885.5259 f. +1.917.332.3730 m. +1.973.981.2106


John Kimball is a member of our Maritime Emergency Response Team (“MERT”).

John Kimball concentrates his practice in the areas of admiralty and maritime law and commercial litigation. He has more than 30 years’ experience both domestically and internationally and counsels clients regarding maritime matters, including:

  • maritime casualties, including ship collisions, sinkings, groundings, explosions, and fires
  • charterparty disputes
  • insurance coverage disputes
  • creditors’ rights
  • bankruptcy and insolvency
  • mass tort litigation
  • maritime environmental law, including oil spills
  • maritime salvage and general average cases
  • maritime piracy cases
  • general commercial litigation

   His knowledge and intellect are second to none. He has one of the sharpest minds in this industry. 
—Chambers USA

Chambers USA states that Mr. Kimball is a “knowledgeable shipping lawyer who has excellent knowledge and experience in supporting the client,’” and has honored him with a “Star Individual” ranking, which is only given to lawyers with exceptional recommendations in their field, noting that he is “renowned for his prowess in marine insurance issues” and highlighted as “an absolutely top choice for these matters—his knowledge and intellect are second to none.” Clients add that “he has one of the sharpest minds in this industry” and “he’s so good he can turn his hand to anything.” They also laud him as “a go-to person for anything of size and substance.” According to market sources, Mr. Kimball is “clearly a leader” and described as “one of the best maritime lawyers in the USA.” Chambers Global calls him “talented, well prepared and methodical.” Commentators say “he really is excellent.

Mr. Kimball is a prolific writer and speaker both domestically and internationally on legal issues facing the maritime industry.


  • Voyage Charters (4th ed. 2014)
  • Time Charters (7th ed. 2014, and 6th ed. 2008)
  • Benedict on Admiralty, Vol. 3A: The Law of Salvage (2014 revision)
  • The Healy Lectures (Editor, 2005)


  • “The Importance of Commercial Knowledge in Maritime Arbitrations: Observations from New York,” The Role of Arbitration in Shipping Law (2016)
  • “Helping Clients Stay in Compliance with Maritime Law Regulations,” Understanding Maritime Law (2015)
  • Chapter on American law in Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims (4th ed. 2005)

He also presented the 2005 Donald O’May Lecture on Maritime Law at the University of Southampton, England.

Mr. Kimball is an adjunct professor at New York University Law School, where he teaches courses in admiralty law and oil pollution within the marine environment.


Mr. Kimball holds leadership positions in maritime industry publication and organizations, including the board of editors for the Journal of Maritime Law & Commerce and the New York Maritime Inc. (“NYMAR”) board of directors. He is a titulary member of the Comite Maritime International and is a former member of the board of directors for the Maritime Law Association of the United States. Mr. Kimball is also a member of the ABA House of Delegates as the representative of the Maritime Law Association of the United States.


  • 1989–2018, Admiralty and Maritime Law in New York, listed in Best Lawyers in America©
  • 2003–2017, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation Law, listed in Chambers USA
  • 2006–2017, “Super Lawyer” for Transportation & Maritime, listed in New York Metro Super Lawyers magazine
  • 2017, listed in Who’s Who Legal – Transport
  • 2017, “Leading Lawyer,” listed in The Legal 500’s Guide to Outstanding Lawyers Nationwide
  • 2017, listed in Legal 500
  • 2012–2016, Global-wide, Shipping: Litigation, listed in Chambers Global
  • Shipping and Maritime Law, listed in Who’s Who Legal and by the Legal Media Group
  • AV-Preeminent®, listed by Martindale-Hubbell®

A description of the standard or methodology on which the accolades are based can be found here.