Gregory J. Ligelis


  • Overview


    Greg Ligelis has over four decades of experience as a litigation lawyer, and he focuses on property subrogation cases, maritime litigation involving ship mortgage foreclosures, and marine insurance coverage disputes. He frequently represents insurance carriers, banks, financial companies, ship repair facilities, and high-end yacht owners. Greg is a member of the firm’s Insurance + Reinsurance Group.

    Property Damage Subrogation

    Greg handles large loss property damage subrogation cases in New York and Connecticut involving fires, explosions, sprinkler system failures, and other casualties. He represents insurers who have compensated their customers for damage pursuant to their property insurance policies, and pursues reimbursement from responsible third parties. He has successfully litigated and resolved several high-stakes subrogation cases, including one involving a $2 million fire loss in a strip mall against the restaurant where the fire started. He also obtained a favorable resolution in a case involving extensive water damage after a fire sprinkler pipe burst.

    Ship Mortgage and Lien Foreclosures

    Greg represents banks and financial companies in the enforcement of, and foreclosure on, ship mortgages. He also handles lien foreclosures and arrest of vessel actions. Throughout his career, he has foreclosed on over 100 ship mortgages and numerous maritime lien claims. He recently successfully represented a maritime lender in foreclosing on a ship mortgage on a tugboat and defeating the competing lien claims of other creditors.

    Marine Insurance Coverage

    Greg frequently advises clients with respect to marine and inland marine insurance coverage issues. He represents marine insurers in coverage disputes and litigation with insured parties. He has obtained positive results for clients, such as successfully defending a $2 million coverage claim for damages to a 110-foot racing yacht which capsized in a race.

    Alternative Dispute Resolution

    Greg also has extensive experience in commercial arbitrations and dispute resolution involving insurance claims. These disputes have included international sales and commodity contracts as well as property and marine insurance subrogation and casualty losses. He has decades of experience with evaluating a case and bringing it to a cost effective and timely resolution for clients in mediation.

    Greg also represents finance companies and banks with regard to enforcing their Uniform Commercial Code rights as secured creditors in bankruptcy and litigation and defending unfair trade practice and lender liability claims.

    He has attained the Proctor in Admiralty designation through the Maritime Law Association of the United States and has taught admiralty and marine insurance at the University of Connecticut School of Law. Greg also serves as a member of the firm’s Pro Bono Committee.

  • Experience
    • Experience


      • Defended at trial one of the insurers of the World Trade Center complex that litigated the issue of whether the attack on the World Trade Center was one or two occurrences.

      • Retained by Parsons Brinckerhoff and the City of New York to prepare a regulatory analysis of the city’s proposal to upgrade and convert various existing movable bridges to fixed bridges. Part of this regulatory analysis was assessing the applicability of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) to the proposed project actions. 

      • Successfully defended a yacht owner and its marine liability carrier in connection to damage of several other yachts caused when the insured yacht broke loose from its mooring in a storm.
      • Successfully defended a tug and barge company, and its marine insurance liability carrier, from liability in connection with a large oil spill and the total loss of an oil barge.
      • Successfully defended an insurance company in its denial of a $350,000 yacht claim under a marine insurance policy on the grounds that the yacht was not within the care, custody, and control of the yacht dealer at the time of the loss.
      • Represented a large insurance company and its insured, a national seller of athletic shoes, in successful subrogations of inland marine claims against a number of truckers to recover over several million dollars in payments made for hijacked goods.
      • Represented a maritime lender in foreclosing on a ship mortgage on a tugboat and defeating the competing lien claims of other creditors.
      • Representing a marine insured in settling a personal injury claim against the insured when a water skier on the boat severed several tendons in her leg, leaving her scarred and with a permanent partial disability.
      • Successfully defended a marina on behalf of its insurance company from a riparian rights action by a neighboring marina seeking to have floating docks removed, which would have cost the client millions of dollars in lost revenue.
      • Defended the owner of a fishing vessel from a $4 million dollar damage claim asserted by Connecticut Light & Power against fishing vessel owner when its fishing gear severed a power line in the Long Island Sound, resulting in power outages. The claim was settled on very favorable terms.
      • Defended a terminal facility against a claim for pier damage when a barge broke from its mooring during a storm. The claim was settled for nuisance value.
      • Representation of CIT Small Business Lending Corporation in New York and New England in workouts and foreclosure of its SBA guaranteed commercial loans, including foreclosures on hotels, manufacturing facilities, and small businesses. Handled replevin of commercial assets, negotiation with landlords over collateral to be replevied, eviction of commercial tenants, and defending lender liability claims brought by borrowers.
      • Representation of a financial institution in defending a $20 million lender liability claim concerning a commercial loan application, which the bank declined to make. The case was litigated to the point of picking a jury but settled before trial.
      • Representation of banks and financial institutions in defending lender liability claims and unfair trade practice claims, which are normally asserted by debtors when the banks seek to foreclose on the loans and the commercial property.
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    • Professional Associations

      Professional Associations

      National Association of Subrogation Professionals
      Professional Member (2002)

      American Bar Association
      Tort Trial and Insurance Practice Section

      Maritime Law Association
      Arbitration Committee
      Maritime Finance Committee
      Recreational Boating Committee

      Connecticut Bar Association

      International Bar Association
      Maritime and Transport Law Committee

      New York County Lawyers Association

      Defense Research Institute

      Connecticut Maritime Association
    • Publications


      "Bailing Out Marinas from Liabilities for Stored Boats," published in IMI paper (2/1997)

      "Maritime Lien Law Arresting Boats," published in ABBRA's Boating Industry Magazine (9/1996)

      American Boat Builders and Repairers Association Marina Operator's Manual, second edition (9/1996)

    • Presentations


      "Avoiding Lender Liability Claims in SBA Loans," co-presented with Robin P. Keller, Webinar (3/21/2011)

      "Outside Contractors," at International Boat Builders’ Exhibition (2/7/2001)

      "Outside Contractors at Boat Yard," at ABBRA (9/19 to 9/22/2000)

      "Restraints of Trade," at ABBRA (1/13 to 1/15/2000)

      "Summary of 1998 Maritime Cases Affecting ABBRA Members," at ABBRA (1/13 to 1/15/1999)

      "Inland Marine Coverage vs. Property Coverage: 'To Be in Transit or Not To Be in Transit'," (4/30/1998)

      "Licensing Joint Venture and Protecting Trade Secrets in the International Market Place," at International Trade Seminar of the Connecticut District Export Counsel, Shelton, Connecticut (4/29/1998)

      "Check It Out . . . To Be Paid or Not To Be Paid: Collecting Maritime Debts," at American Boat Builders and Repairers Association, Annapolis, Maryland (3/3 to 3/4/1998)

      "Maximizing Subrogation Recovery," at in-house training, Travelers Property Casualty (7/1997)

      "Subcontractors: Asset or Liability," at International Boat Builders' Exhibition (2/1997)

      "Buying and Appraising Marinas and Bailing Out Marinas from Liabilities for Stored Boats," at International Marina Institute (5/1996)

      "Construction Workouts and Collections in the Marina Industry," at IMI (12/1990)

    • News

      R+C in the News

      • April 5, 2011

        Gregory Ligelis Delivers Webinar on Avoiding Lender Liability in Small Business Administration Loans

        • » more info
      • December 2, 2009

        Robinson & Cole’s Subrogation Team Attends Annual Conference

        • » more info

      R+C News Releases

      • June 21, 2013

        Local Organizations Recognize Robinson & Cole’s Pro Bono Service

        • » more info
        • View article