John Keough's practice focuses on maritime and shipping law and commercial litigation. He has litigated complex maritime, insurance and commercial disputes in state and federal courts throughout the United States. He also has extensive experience in arbitrating maritime and commercial matters. John has served as lead counsel at trial in state and federal courts, and has argued appeals in numerous cases in state and federal courts in New York and in other US courts of appeal. He regularly advises clients in the shipping, commodities and marine insurance sectors on US economic sanctions issues.  John also advises and acts for clients in regulatory matters, ship finance, and commercial trading transactions and disputes. He has also advised clients in litigation in foreign courts, including such jurisdictions as Hong Kong, Greece and Italy. He was previously head of a well-respected New York shipping and litigation firm.

John's experience covers a wide array of cases, including disputes arising from cargo loss, commodities trading, international fraud, international sales contracts, marine and inland marine insurance, reinsurance, the arrest and attachment of ships, bank funds and other property, charter party disputes, federal bankruptcy and foreign liquidation proceedings, vessel sales, maritime criminal proceedings against ship owners and seafarers, and the defense of serious personal injury and death cases. John also has handled the investigation and litigation of major marine casualties, including collisions, sinkings, fires and strandings. He has advised ship owners, managers, charterers, hull and liability insurers, cargo insurers and P&I Clubs. John has also represented major film companies in marine cases and has advised major shipping, commodities trading and food companies in a variety of litigation and transactional matters.

John was selected by his peers for recognition in The Best Lawyers in America® 2020 for his work in admiralty and maritime law. John is also recognized by The Legal 500 as a recommended lawyer in shipping litigation.


  • New York
  • US District Courts for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York
  • US Courts of Appeals for the Second, Third, Fifth and Eleventh Circuits
  • Supreme Court of the United States


  • J.D., Vermont Law School, 1980
  • B.A., with honors, University of Vermont, 1976


  • New York State Bar Association
  • Maritime Law Association (MLA) of the United States, Committee on Practice and Procedure