Michael J. Frevola is a litigator focusing on the areas of admiralty and commercial litigation. He has tried cases, argued motions and briefed and argued appeals before federal and state courts. He has represented clients in federal mediations and maritime and commercial arbitrations, and has conducted shipboard and overseas investigations in support of maritime litigation and to perform owners' due diligence.

In the admiralty and maritime field, Mr. Frevola focuses on charter party disputes, bunker quality and claim disputes, Rule B maritime attachments and Rule C arrests, lien priority and maritime bankruptcy disputes, vessel sales and purchase disputes, and collision litigation. He recently has advised clients on the implementation and enforcement of IMO 2020 regulations as well as COVID-19 force majeure disputes. He also has advised clients in the context of embarrassment to navigation, maritime trespass and encroachment disputes, and litigation over access to navigable waters. In the context of Rule B maritime attachments, Mr. Frevola has represented plaintiffs and defendants in numerous proceedings and has been the prevailing lawyer in a number of the most-cited U.S. maritime attachment decisions. He has attached vessels, cargo, bunkers, bank accounts, debts and other property nationwide. Mr. Frevola coordinates maritime proceedings nationally with Holland & Knight offices in Boston, Chicago, Jacksonville, Fort Lauderdale, Miami, Tampa, Houston, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Portland, as well as with local counsel relationships in Wilmington, Delaware; Baltimore; Norfolk, Virginia; Charleston, South Carolina; Savannah, Georgia; New Orleans and Seattle. He has been published and has spoken multiple times internationally regarding vessel arrests and attachments, bunker quality disputes, sales and purchase disputes and U.S. maritime arbitration.

Mr. Frevola has represented the prevailing parties in the two largest to date (as far as amounts in dispute) arbitrations in the history of the Society of Maritime Arbitrators Inc.: the $137 million OVERSEAS DONNA arbitration, in which he represented the vessel seller in a dispute over the vessel’s material condition, and a $300 million dispute in which he obtained the largest-ever pre-arbitration security award for approximately $63 million on behalf of his client.

Mr. Frevola is the Special Professor of Admiralty Law at Hofstra University. He is the chairman of the Subcommittee for Maritime Liens and Ship Mortgages for the Federal Practice and Procedure Committee of the Maritime Law Association of the United States. As a U.S. Navy officer, he served in Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm while on active duty, and resigned his commission as a Lieutenant Commander in 1999 after 15 years of active and reserve service. He has been listed multiple times as a person of interest in Chambers USA ‒ America's Leading Lawyers for Business under the Transportation (National) category, as a person of interest in Who's Who Legal: The International Who's Who of Business Lawyers, Shipping & Maritime and in New York Super Lawyers. In October 2013, he was named The American Lawyer magazine's "Litigator of the Week" for the entire United States as a result of appellate court victories in a famous treasure salvage case.

Representative Engagements

Quoted and Cited Articles

  • Quoted, "Blue Whale Scores Corporate Veil Piercing Legal Victory in New York," Tradewinds, July 26, 2013 
  • Quoted, "Golden and Eitzen Clinch Rule B Claim," Tradewinds, April 1, 2010
  • Quoted, "Court Takes 'Soft' Line on Rule B Issue," Tradewinds (Quote of the Week), April 22, 2010
  • Quoted, "Rule B Appeal Creates Claims Uncertainty - Front Carriers' Stay Order the First Since Jaldhi Where a Party With Attached EFTs Has Held Onto the Money," Lloyd's List, March 29, 2010
  • Quoted, "Court Agrees to Hear Rule B Revival," Lloyd's List, March 26, 2010
  • Quoted, "Rule B Revival is Rejected - U.S. Supreme Court Judges Refuse to Grant Further Appeal By SCI," Lloyd's List, March 25, 2010
  • Quoted, "Impending Appeal Decision is Latest Rule B Watershed - U.S. Supreme Court Will Decide On Friday Whether Key Appeal Can Be Heard," Lloyd's List, March 17, 2010
  • Quoted, "Rule B Filings On Track As Normal," Tradewinds, April 24, 2009
  • Quoted, "Owners Advised To Set Up In New York To Avoid Money Freeze," Tradewinds, November 15, 2007
  • Cited, "Legal Eagle," World Bunkering Electronic Magazine, Spring 2010
  • Cited, "Lawyers in New Bid to Seize Funds," Tradewinds, December 23, 2009
  • Cited, "Lawyers Chasing More Rule B Cash," Tradewinds, December 4, 2009

Representative Experience

  • Casualty: represented the P&I insurers of a barge, the Texas, in obtaining a contribution from the hull insurers for damages payments made to cable owners following an anchor-drag incident that led to a $30 million claim for subsea cable damages


  • Hofstra University School of Law, J.D., with distinction in all subjects
  • Duke University, B.A., History
Bar Admissions/Licenses
  • New Jersey
  • New York
Court Admissions
  • U.S. Supreme Court
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York
  • U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Practice and Procedure Committee
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Subcommittee on Maritime Liens and Ship Mortgages, Chairman
  • American Bar Association, Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section, Admiralty and Maritime Committee, Vice Chair, 2009-2010, Newsletter Co-Editor, 2007-2009
Honors & Awards
  • Chambers USA – America's Leading Business Lawyers guide, Transportation: Shipping/Maritime: Litigation (New York), 2009-2024
  • The Best Lawyers in America guide, Admiralty & Maritime Law, 2014-2024
  • The Legal 500 USA, Transport: Shipping – Litigation and Regulation, 2021, 2022; Leading Lawyer, Transport: Shipping – Litigation and Regulation, 2024
  • The Best of the Best USA, Shipping and Maritime, Legal Media Group's Expert Guides, 2019
  • Who's Who Legal: Transport, Shipping, 2015-2018, 2020, 2021
  • New York Super Lawyers magazine, 2010-2022


Speaking Engagements