Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Legal Counsel for World Shipping Council

The World Shipping Council, whose member firms transport the vast majority of global container shipments, have named John Butler as the trade group's General Legal Council, effective Sept. 1.

Butler, currently a partner in the Washington, D.C. law firm of Sher & Blackwell with a long history of maritime and regulatory experience, has been on retainer to the WSC since the founding of the Council nearly a decade ago.

The non-profit WSC formed in 2000 to lobby national governments regarding container and cargo shipping regulation. It's membership includes the world's ten largest container shipping companies as well as smaller firms collectively comprising 90 percent of the world's container shipments.

In his new role with the WSC, Butler will advise WSC members on legal and regulatory issues covering WSC President and CEO Chris Koch, noting that the Council has been pleased with the work performed by Sher & Blackwell and will continue to retain the firm's services as outside counsel, said that in his new role Butler will advise the group's membership on government regulations and the legal system on a very wide range of issues – from environmental stewardship and regulatory compliance, to Customs and security regimes, to competition and shipping regulatory systems, to the laws governing cargo liability claims.

Ron Widdows, chairman of the WSC and group president and CEO of Neptune Orient Lines added, “The addition of John Butler to the WSC staff will further strengthen our capabilities to serve the industry well and to help the liner shipping industry fulfill its objective of developing thoughtful and effective strategies for the future.”