Phone: 978-744-8918 x 13
Olaf’s practice involves a full range of maritime, environmental, insurance and commercial matters. He represents numerous underwriters, insurers and protection & indemnity (“P&I”) clubs, as well as many vessel owners, fishing companies, marinas, tug and barge companies, passenger vessel operators, banks, private lenders and investors. Additionally, Olaf assists both individuals and businesses in a wide array of general civil matters.
Olaf has considerable experience in casualty investigations, oil spills and crisis response and litigation resulting from marine casualties. Olaf has significant trial, appellate and arbitration experience relating to admiralty and maritime cases, environmental pollution matters, commercial disputes, personal injury, cargo and property damage, and insurance coverage litigation.
Olaf also has extensive experience advising clients in business, finance, fisheries and commercial maritime transactions. This includes general business formation and corporate concerns, workouts, loan participations, charter parties, vessel and fishing permit transactions, foreclosure/arrest, preferred mortgages, maritime liens, fishing rights, shipbuilding contracts, and Coast Guard, NOAA/NMFS, and Maritime Administration regulatory issues, including Jones Act citizenship issues.
Before joining Farrell Smith O’Connell, Olaf worked for nine years at a prominent maritime defense firm in Boston, Massachusetts and for two years at Holmes, Weddle & Barcott, PC in Seattle, Washington. Olaf brings the unique perspective of practicing admiralty and maritime law on both the East and West Coasts and representing interests in both the New England and Alaska fishing industries.
Before becoming an attorney, Olaf worked for most of his life as a deckhand onboard F/V BLACK PEARL harvesting lobster out of Gloucester, Massachusetts with his father and brothers. Olaf attended the University of Massachusetts at Amherst tuition free and graduated with a Bachelor of Arts cum laude in Philosophy. Olaf attended New England School of Law on a full tuition merit scholarship and graduated magna cum laude in the top 10% of his class. While in law school, Olaf served as an Editor on the New England Law Review, was a student prosecutor for the Essex County District Attorney, and interned for the Hon. David A. Lowy, who presently sits on the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court.
Olaf lives in Gloucester, Massachusetts with his wife and children and often assists local community causes. In the past he has served on the board of directors of The Gloucester Adventure, Inc., which is entrusted with restoring and maintaining the schooner Adventure. Olaf has also provided assistance to Sail GHS (Gloucester High School Sailing Team), and the Gloucester Harbor Community Development Corporation.
Admiralty and Maritime Law
General Litigation, Trial and Appellate Practice
Insurance Coverage and Defense
Oil Spills and Pollution
Personal Injury, Jones Act, and Longshore defense
Cargo and Property Damage
Collisions, groundings, and other marine casualties
Commercial Maritime Transactions
Coast Guard and Maritime Administration regulatory issues
NOAA/NMFS regulatory issues and defense of enforcement actions
Vessel Arrests and Foreclosure
Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution
General business law and corporate concerns
Commonwealth of Massachusetts
U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit
U.S. Supreme Court
New England School of Law, J.D., magna cum laude, 2007
University of Massachusetts, B.A., Philosophy, cum laude, 2004
Gloucester High School, 2000
Maritime Law Association of the United States
Massachusetts Lobsterman’s Association
Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Boston
Obtained dismissal of warranty claim against manufacturer of a bow thruster for lack of personal jurisdiction. Ace American Insurance Co. v. Oyster Harbors Marine, Inc., 310 F.Supp.3d 295 (D. Mass. 2018).
Obtained dismissal of claims for cleanup and removal expenses against contract operator of naval ship under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co. v. U.S.A., 2016 WL 10651867 (April 19, 2016). Obtained affirmation of the same on appeal before the First Circuit. Ironshore Specialty Insurance Co. v. U.S.A., 871 F.3d 131 (1st Cir. 2017).
Recovered Arbitration Award and Judgment exceeding $3.5 Million on behalf of Mexican Tug & Barge Company in unpaid charter hire earned in Mexican pipelaying project. See CHM Maritime SAPI de CV v. Micoperi, SrL, 15-CV-13092-ADB (D. Mass. 2015); Micoperi, S.r.L. v. CHM Maritime SAPI de CV, 15-CV-10296-ADB (D. Mass. 2015).
Obtained summary judgment in favor of hull insurer (no liability) for insured’s breach of the lay up warranty in yacht policy. New Hampshire Insurance Company v. Rinkem, Inc., 2015 WL 12964338 (D. Mass. October 21, 2015).
Obtained summary judgment in favor of cargo insurer (no liability) for lost textiles exceeding $2 Million under warehouse endorsement in Dominican Republic. See Eveden, Inc. v. Northern Assurance Company of America, 2014 WL 952643 (D. Mass. March 12, 2014).
Obtained defense verdict in favor of ship owner (no liability) in wrongful death action brought by Harbor Pilot. See Cordes v. M/V BALDOCK, 2013 WL 1282842 (D. Mass. March 29, 2013).
Obtained defense verdict and judgment in favor of passenger vessel owner (no liability) in Jones Act personal injury claim brought by crewmember. See Stovich v. Woods Hole, Martha’s Vineyard and Nantucket Steamship Authority, 08-CV-10202-RWZ (D. Mass. September 8, 2010);
Obtained $8.5 Million Judgment for cleanup and removal costs on behalf of vessel owner responsible party under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. See In re Alex C. Corp., 2010 WL 4292328 (D. Mass. November 1, 2010).
Obtained summary judgment in favor of carrier for unpaid freight based upon the carrier’s filed tariff. Horizon Lines, LLC v. Expert Forwarders, Inc., 2009 WL 2578981 (W.D. Wash. August 19, 2009).