Christopher R. Nolan

  • T 212.513.3307

Christopher R. Nolan is a partner in Holland & Knight's New York office and a member of the firm's Litigation Section. He concentrates his practice in the areas of international law with emphasis on admiralty and commercial litigation. He routinely represents domestic and foreign businesses involved in high-value disputes in both federal and state court, as well as in domestic and international arbitrations, including matters involving: marine casualties with environmental impact, charter party disputes, energy contractual liabilities and indemnities, SMA arbitral security and Rule B attachment applications and defense, international marine insolvencies, judgment enforcement, Section 1782 discovery applications in aid of foreign maritime proceedings and otherwise, and the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act and its implications. Mr. Nolan has been quoted in maritime publications Tradewinds and Fairplay on a wide range of topics.  In 2013 and 2014, he served as co-chair of a national conference on the defense of admiralty and maritime claims and litigation.

In the legal community, Mr. Nolan has been recognized in The Best Lawyers in America guide, Admiralty & Maritime Law, 2014, by the New York Super Lawyers Magazine in 2014 for Transportation and in 2012-2013 as a "Rising Star," a designation given to no more than 2.5 percent of the attorneys in the state. Mr. Nolan served as the 2011-12 chair of the American Bar Association (ABA) Tort, Trial and Insurance Practice Section's (TIPS) Admiralty & Maritime Law Committee, the 2013-2015 ABA TIPS Liaison to the Union Internationale Des Avocats (UIA), the 2013-2014 ABA TIPS representative to the Joint Study Committee on Harmonization of the Law of Canada, Caribbean Nations and the United States Concerning Registration of Foreign Judgments, and remains active throughout the Section. In May 2014, he served as delegate for the Comite Maritime International at the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law - Working Group IV - on the pending convention on electronic shipment documentation to determine its impact on the proposed new ocean cargo liability convention known as the "Rotterdam Rules."

Within the firm, Mr. Nolan maintains a pro bono case load, handling matters with The List Project to resettle Iraqi Allies, persons for the arts, a worker's compensation proceeding arising out of the September 11th tragedy, and as the New York pro bono coordinator for cases referred by Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), a pro bono initiative which aims to provide legal representation to unaccompanied children in removal proceedings. In 2013, Mr. Nolan accepted the "Allegiance Award" on behalf of the firm at KIND's annual gala. In 2014, he participated in KIND's NASDAQ Closing Bell ceremony. Concerning charitable endeavors, Mr. Nolan is the chair  of the New York office Public and Charitable Services Committee. Since 2011, Mr. Nolan has led the New York office's 9/11 Day of Service efforts with organizations throughout New York City.  Since 2007, Mr. Nolan has served as a business partner with PENCIL, an organization that builds relationships between New York business leaders and public school principals to inspire innovation. Mr. Nolan's ongoing support has included participation in the PENCIL Principal for a Day Program at P.S. 19, Manhattan and various programs at Brooklyn Prep High School, and as a result, he was invited to the PENCIL "Honor Rollers" program.

Mr. Nolan previously served as an intern for the Honorable Anita R. Florio, Associate Justice, Appellate Division of the Supreme Court, Second Judicial Department, and the Honorable Luis A. Gonzalez, the Honorable John P. Collins and the Honorable Alexander W. Hunter Jr., Justices of the Supreme Court, Bronx County.

Honors & Awards

  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Admiralty & Maritime Law, 2014, 2015
  • Holland & Knight Public and Charitable Service All-Star, 2014 
  • New York Super Lawyers magazine, 2013, 2014
  • Rising Star, New York Super Lawyers magazine, 2011, 2012 
  • Co-Chair of ACI's Forum on the Defense of Admiralty and Maritime Claims and Litigation, 2013, 2014
  • Selected by Tulane University Law School as the 21st John W. Sims Distinguished Admiralty Practitioner in Residence, 2013
  • ABA TIPS Overall Excellence Award, Highest Award given by the Section, Received by the Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee during Mr. Nolan's year as Chair, 2012
  • Holland & Knight Opening Doors For Children Volunteer of the Year Award, primarily for leading the Reading is Fundamental Program and Goldilocks on Trial mock trial program at Public School 19 in Manhattan, 2005
  • Distinguished Service to School Award, Corpus Juris Secundum Award in Contracts, Hofstra University School of Law


  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Section
    • Chair, Admiralty & Maritime Law Committee, 2011-2012; Vice Chair 2008 to present
    • Vice-chair, International Law Committee, 2012 to present
    • Liaison to the Union Internationale Des Avocats (UIA), 2013 to present
    • Representative to the Joint Study Committee on Harmonization of the Law of Canada, Caribbean Nations, and the United States Concerning Registration of Foreign Judgments, and remains active throughout the Section, 2013 to present
    • Continuing Legal Educaton (CLE) Board, member; Free CLE initiative czar, 2013 to present
    • Task force on corporate counsel, 2013 to present
    • Revenue enhancement committee, 2013 to present
    • Long range planning committee, 2013 to present
    • Section meetings task force, 2014-2015; Annual meeting program committee, 2013 to present; Spring meeting program planning committee, 2013-2014
    • Technology committee, 2013-2014
    • Task force on outreach to young lawyers, 2012-2013  
  • Proctor in Admiralty, Maritime Law Association of the United States
    • Arbitration & ADR Committee member
    • YLC liaison to the Arbitration & ADR Committee, 2010-present
  • Connecticut Maritime Association
  • Federal Bar Council, Joint Committee on Local Rules, Local Admiralty and Maritime Rules Subsection, 2012
  • Association of the Bar of the City of New York, Committee on Admiralty, Rule B Subcommittee, 2009
  • PENCIL, Honor Rollers "Young Leaders" Program (