Joe Walsh acts primarily on behalf of multinational shipping and energy companies. Joe's practice involves the full range of contentious maritime and environmental issues, including oil and chemical pollution, casualty investigations, crisis response and litigation stemming from industrial casualties. He has also tried general maritime and admiralty law matters including claims for cargo damage, personal injury and vessel damage.

Joe has served as lead counsel on behalf of responsible parties and their underwriters involved in marine and on-shore pollution incidents; coordinating unified command activities, managing and defending third-party claims, challenging and negotiating natural resource damage assessments and defending against enforcement actions.

Joe has also been involved in numerous investigations and criminal enforcement actions initiated by federal and state agencies throughout the U.S. relating to pollution, Oily Water Separators, and alleged violations of the Clean Water Act, MARPOL, APPS and the Clean Air Act. He has led internal investigations, audits, and implementations of environmental compliance programs in defense of these actions. Acting primarily on behalf of vessel owners/ managers, refineries, terminals, and multinational transportation and energy companies, many of Joe's cases have also involved parallel and/or coordinated investigations by federal, state and foreign governments.

He has been recognized for inclusion in The Best Lawyers in America, and listed by Chambers USA and The International Who’s Who Legal of Shipping & Maritime Lawyers. Joe regularly writes articles and speaks on pollution matters in both national and international forums.

Upon his graduation at U.S. Merchant Marine Academy at Kings Point, New York, he served on active duty as a qualified Surface Warfare Officer in the United States Navy. With more than 26 years of continued service on active duty and reserve tours, Joe retired as a Captain from the U.S. Navy in 2009. Captain Walsh was also licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard to serve as Master (1600 tons) and Second Mate (unlimited) onboard commercial vessels.


  • California


  • J.D., cum laude, University of Arizona, James E. Rogers College of Law, 1989
  • B.S., honors, Nautical Science/Marine Transportation, US Merchant Marine Academy, New York, 1983


  • Proctor in Admiralty and a member of the Board of Directors in the Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Board of Governors for the Port of Los Angeles-Long Beach Chapter of the Propeller Club of the United States