Matthew J. Valcourt

Matthew J. Valcourt Partner

P 305 537 3420 M 305 763 2891
600 Brickell Avenue
Suite 1400
Miami, FL 33131
600 Brickell Avenue, Suite 1400, Miami, FL 33131
Overview

Matthew Valcourt is a Partner at MG+M’s Miami office and practices all aspects of maritime law including commercial disputes, insurance defense liens and vessel seizures, cargo damage, collisions, and salvage and wreck removal. From his service with the U.S. Merchant Marine and educational background, Matthew understands the shipping business and is able to skillfully resolve transportation-related disputes.

Practice Areas
Bar Admissions
  • Florida
  • Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court - Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court - Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court - Southern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court - District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals - 11th Circuit
Education
  • New England School of Law, J.D., 1995
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy, B.S., 1986

Matthew has handled major collisions, groundings, oil spills, maritime worker injuries and deaths, P&I matters, pilot and captain licensing issues, limitation of liability, and vessel arrests.

In addition, he has significant experience with the defense of personal injury and wrongful death claims filed by passengers, crew members, and offshore workers. Matthew has a very active litigation and transactional practice for commercial vessels, shipping lines and recreational vessels.

On the transactional side, Matthew is involved with negotiation and drafting of contracts related to the construction, purchase, sale and vessel financing including ship mortgages and UCC secured transactions. He frequently drafts bills of lading, contracts of carriage for passengers, service contracts, terminal agreements, and general commercial agreements. 

Matthew is Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime, holds a degree in Marine Transportation, and is the Past Chair for both the Florida Bar Admiralty Committee and the Florida Bar Board Certification Committee for Admiralty and Maritime Law.

Matthew’s background is unique in which he has a first-hand perspective of the maritime industry, having sailed as master or mate on cargo vessels, mega-yachts, tugs, barges, dredges, container vessels, cruise ships, passenger excursion vessels, commercial fishing vessels, charter fishing vessels, and oil and chemical tankers. He currently holds a USCG Unlimited Chief Mate's License and a 1600 Ton Masters License Any Oceans.

Experience
  • 1996-Present: Employed as a maritime attorney and consultant for various companies including Marine Lenders, Private lenders, marine transportations companies, dredge companies, towing companies, law firms. Currently a Managing Member of Valcourt & Associates LLC, a maritime law and consulting firm.
  • 1982-Present: US Merchant Marine. Sailed as master, mate or as AB/Ordinary seaman on dredges, cargo vessels, mega-yachts, tugs, barges, container vessels, cruise ships, passenger excursion vessels, commercial fishing vessels, charter fishing vessels and oil and chemical tankers. 
  • 2012-Present: Outside General Counsel for St. John’s Ship Building Inc., a Florida shipyard. Responsible for development of financing programs, collections, security & safety programs, mooring and fleeting services, OSHA compliance and environmental compliance and programs.
  • 2015-Present: Adjunct Professor for the University of Miami School of law, teaching Marine Insurance Law and Complex Maritime Transactions.
  • 2014-Present: Outside General Counsel and Vice President of Sons Marine & Industrial Inc., a temporary employment agency providing skilled tradesmen to manufacturers, shipyards, boat repair facilities and the construction industry.
Recognition

Recognition

  • Voted Super lawyer in the area of Maritime Law by Florida Bar 2006, 2008 – 2018
  • Board Certified in Admiralty and Maritime Law by the Florida Bar
  • Past chair of the Florida Bar Board Certification Committee for Admiralty Law
  • Past Chair Florida Bar Admiralty Committee
  • Member of the Year, Propeller Club, Tampa Bay 2001
  • Past President/Skipper of the Ft Lauderdale Mariner's Club, a marine organization which provides marine education through seminars and continuing education programs
  • USCG Unlimited Chief Mate's License, 3000 Ton Masters License ITC, and a 1600 Ton Masters License Any Oceans.

Involvement

  • The Florida Bar, Admiralty Law Committee, Board Certification Committee, Past Chairs
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy Alumni Association, Former Board Member
  • Propeller Club, Port of Tampa
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
  • Fort Lauderdale Mariners Club, Skipper 2013
News & Insights

Speaking Engagements

  • Speaker:  Florida Admiralty Committee Presentation on Admiralty and Maritime Jurisdiction, and Maritime Liens  Florida Bar Meetings January 2017.
  • Speaker: “Anatomy of an Insurance Coverage Claim, Loss to Verdict” Tampa Bay Mariner’s Club Seminar, May, 2016.
  • Speaker: "The Tripartite Relationship, Attorney, Insured & Insurer” Tampa Bay Mariner’s Club Seminar, May, 2013.
  • Speaker, “Industry Responses to The Piracy Problem,” Florida Admiralty Bar Annual Meeting, 2011
  • Speaker: “Seizures and Forfeitures under Admiralty Rule G and US Customs and Border Protection Laws,” Florida Bar Admiralty Seminar, 2010
  • Speaker, “Hurricanes and Derelict Vessels,” Tampa Bay Mariner’s Club, 2009
  • Speaker, “Marina Operators’ Legal Liabilities under OPA-90,” Sarasota Yacht Club 2001
  • Guest Lecturer: University of Miami Law School:  Marine Insurance and Admiralty Courses, 2003-2006

Publications

  • Author: "That sinking feeling - liability for wreck removal for owners, operators, and waterfront facilities"  Maritime News, November 2012
  • Author, “Know the Cause and Effect of Shipyard Repair and Insurance Contracts,” Maritime News, January 2012
  • Author, “Regulation of Vessel Discharges Under New EPA Guidelines,” Maritime News, September 2011.
  • Author, Florida Bar Handbook on Admiralty, Chapter One, “Admiralty Jurisdiction”, published in 2017 and to be revised in 2018.

News