Shipping and Offshore Services > Overview


Over the past decade, the shipping and offshore services industries have undergone a rollercoaster ride of historic changes that continue to have a profound impact on virtually every industry participant (vessel and rig owners, shipyards, ports, banks, private equity and hedge funds, bond holders, commercial and technical managers and retail investors). Although shipping and offshore services are historically cyclical industries, several macro factors have contributed to what appears to be a prolonged and painful downturn in both industries. These macro factors include low oil prices, a dramatic drop in the Baltic Dry Index, oversupply of ships and rigs, and China’s significant reduction in imports of raw materials as it transitions to a more consumer-based economy. Very few industry participants have been immune to this slowdown. As a result, there has been a surge in shipping and offshore services companies seeking to restructure their businesses, banks disposing of non-performing loans, vessel owners looking for consolidation opportunities, private equity firms looking to exit investments made earlier in the cycle, and strategic investors with access to capital seeking investment opportunities and to acquire assets. Market participants have had to adapt to this new environment and are developing strategies to weather the downturn and optimize their ability to profit from the next boom. 

Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld LLP has extensive experience representing a wide-range of clients across the global shipping and offshore services industries as they address the current market challenges and develop strategies for protecting or growing their businesses. We have a dedicated and experienced shipping and offshore services team with a global reach, spanning major shipping hubs, including Europe, the United States, the Middle East and Asia. One of the distinguishing factors for our practice is our team’s extensive experience representing clients involved in capital markets, mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and financial restructuring matters, particularly in the Nordic region. We are known for our well-rounded approach to representing our shipping and offshore services clients and investors in complex, cross-border transactions and financial restructurings.

We represent a broad range of industry participants, including vessel owners/operators, issuers/controlling shareholders, bondholders, independent committees of directors, private equity firms, hedge funds and investment banks. With our comprehensive industry knowledge, we have advised clients acquiring, disposing or contracting for the use of all types of shipping or offshore services assets, including product tankers, bulkers, crude carriers, LPG carriers, LNG carriers, semi-submersible and jack-up rigs, FPSOs, FSRUs, FSUs and floating LNG liquefaction facilities, chemical tankers and accommodation and container vessels.

Our experience in the shipping and offshore services industries spans a range of practices including:

  • antitrust
  • corporate
  • cybersecurity, privacy and data protection
  • environment and natural resources
  • finance
  • financial restructuring
  • global investigations and compliance
  • international trade
  • litigation, international arbitration and investigations
  • oil and gas and natural resources
  • private equity
  • project development
  • securities