Coastal + Offshore Resources


From ports to marinas, from manufacturing facilities to private residences, the coastal zone is home to thousands of shoreline and water-dependent uses, all governed by a web of federal, state, and local laws and regulations.  Robinson+Cole’s Coastal and Offshore Resources Practice Group is committed to representing the legal interests of our shoreline clients across a broad range of coastal permitting; environmental, real estate, litigation, construction, transactional, and data privacy matters. With a national practice and offices spanning the East Coast from Massachusetts to Florida, Robinson+Cole is ideally positioned to advise our coastal clients on the host of complex legal issues they may confront, both on land and off-shore.

Our Services

Our extensive Coastal and Offshore Resources experience and capabilities include the following:

Coastal Management, Development, and Permitting

We advise clients with waterfront and water-dependent facilities on all aspects of coastal management, development, and federal, state, and local permitting, including coastal resiliency and sea level rise adaptation, flood plain management, tidal and freshwater wetlands regulations, and zoning and subdivision applications. Our lawyers have represented property owners and developers before regulatory agencies at the federal, state, and local levels, and have litigated land use cases in state and federal trial and appellate courts. We also counsel clients regarding climate change-driven issues impacting coastal development as well as environmental compliance and risk.


Our group of environmental lawyers, one of the largest in the Northeast, provides sophisticated, practical and cost-effective advice tailored to port, terminal and other water-dependent clients facing a broad array of environmental, health, and safety (EH+S) challenges and needs. We have litigated issues on behalf of those clients under a full range of environmental laws, including the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA, a/k/a Superfund); the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA); the Clean Water Act (CWA); the Clean Air Act (CAA); the Occupational Safety and Health Act (OSHA); and others, including their state equivalents. Our toxic tort experience includes mold, lead paint, and asbestos litigation. We have also represented clients in environmental and remediation projects, including contaminated sediment cleanups, and assisted clients with crisis planning and management, including matters related to vessel casualties, oil spills, and incidents unique to marine and waterfront operations. Our compliance and permitting services position us as integral counselors and representatives in state and federal permit application and related proceedings.

Business Litigation

Our litigators have represented shoreline interests in a host of business disputes, encompassing claims of contract breach, business torts, unfair and deceptive trade practices, securities and antitrust violations, and intellectual property claims, as well as defending civil and criminal enforcement matters. Members of the business litigation section often team with our environmental lawyers to respond to claims involving a variety of environmental matters and manage emergency response and fire and explosion investigations. We work with our clients to minimize litigation risks, reduce dispute resolution costs, and preserve important business relationships. 


From acquisition and compliance to renovation and construction as well as operation and maintenance, our construction lawyers are experienced in the unique pressures faced by ports, terminals, and other water-dependent clients when they undertake capital improvements, including funding, timetables, and community outreach. Our breadth of experience also includes managing the legal aspects of coastal construction projects, including projects to plan for and promote coastal resiliency.

Real Estate Leasing

We represent landlords and tenants in complex leasing transactions involving shorefront commercial and residential space nationwide. Our leasing experience encompasses industrial and warehouse facilities in a variety of arrangements, including ground leases, subleases, multi-tiered arrangements, umbrella leases, and equity and cash flow participation leases. We also handle structuring and implementing of commercial leasing programs for building owners and are well versed in green building leasing issues and provisions.

Data Privacy + Security

Clients benefit from our broad-based knowledge of data privacy and security laws and regulations as well as data breach preparedness, response, notification, remediation, coordination, and litigation, including investigations by federal and state authorities. Our lawyers are experienced in data mapping and development of enterprise-wide privacy and security plans, compliance with various privacy and security requirements, and industry-specific regulations.

    • News
      • December 20, 2023

        Peter Knight, Jess Bardi, and Eden Yerby Author Article on “Tidal Changes in U.S. Offshore Wind Development” in The Maritime Executive

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      • August 17, 2023

        78 Robinson+Cole Lawyers Listed in The Best Lawyers in America© 2024

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      • August 4, 2023

        Jess Bardi Presented with 2023 EBC Ascending Leader Award

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      • July 14, 2023

        John Casey Selected to EBC Ocean and Coastal Resources Committee Leadership Team

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      • April 4, 2023

        John Casey Receives Person of the Year Award at CT Marine Trades Association 2023 Industry Day Conference & Annual Meeting

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      • September 4, 2020

        Kathryn Rattigan Featured in Intellectual Property Magazine Podcast on Autonomous Ships

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    • Publications + Presentations
    • "Protecting Your Intellectual Property in a Collaborative Supply Chain," co-presented by Kyle G. Hepner, David W. Leibovitch and John L. Cordani, presented as part of the Naval & Maritime Consortium’s (NMC) “NMC Thames River Working Group Meeting Live” (5/19/2023)
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      "EBC Ocean and Coastal Resources Virtual ‘Coffee Hour’: Recent Coastal Legal Decisions," presented by John P. Casey, hosted by the Environmental Business Council of New England's (EBC) Ocean and Coastal Resources Committee (5/10/2023)
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      "New Federal Speed Regulations for Coastal Waters" co-authored by John P. Casey, Michael S. Giaimo and Madeleine M. Laffitte (9/28/22)

      "Favorable Winds for Offshore Development – Inflation Reduction Act and Other Updates" co-authored by Peter R. Knight and John P. Casey, blog post published on Environmental Law + (8/9/2022)

      "Long Island Sound Blue Plan" co-authored by Jessica D. Bardi and John P. Casey (5/28/2021)

Our Team