Liam T. O’Connell


Liam T. O'Connell

Liam T. O’Connell


​Phone: 978-744-8918 x3


Attorney Liam T. O’Connell is a former U.S. Coast Guard marine inspector with extensive background in regulatory and environmental compliance. On graduating from the Massachusetts Maritime Academy he received a U.S. Merchant Marine Third Mate’s license and a Commission as a USCG Officer. As a USCG Marine Inspector, he served the maritime industry along the Houston Ship Channel in Texas.

After leaving Active Duty, Attorney O’Connell co-founded an international maritime consulting firm, which specialized in regulatory compliance, serving shipowners, marine terminals, the U.S. Government, and law firms. In federal court he has testified as an expert witness in USCG MARPOL investigations and has served as a court-appointed auditor and monitor for U.S. Department of Justice Environmental/Enhanced Compliance Programs.

Attorney O’Connell has sailed as a Deck Officer onboard T/S KENNEDY for the Massachusetts Maritime Academy’s annual training cruise and taught a continuing education course there entitled “Marine Pollution and Vessel Engineering Systems.” While attending law school he was a law clerk for the U.S. Department of Defense Institute of International Legal Studies and was activated by the USCG to serve as the first ever Mission Commander and Officer in Charge of a U.S. Navy anti-terrorism detachment at Submarine Base New London, CT. Following graduating from Suffolk Law School, Attorney O’Connell served in the USCG’s Reserve JAG Officer program.

Attorney O’Connell’s practice includes marine insurance, criminal defense, and general civil litigation. His focus on regulatory and environmental compliance provides FSO’s clients with added expertise in dealing with government authorities following a marine casualty.

Practice Areas

  • Admiralty and Maritime Law
    • Insurance and Criminal Defense
    • Pollution and Environmental Law
    • Regulatory Compliance
  • Trials
  • General Civil Litigation
  • Administrative Law and Appeals
    • M.G.L. Ch. 91 Licensing and Appeals
    • Zoning and Planning Board Appeals


  • Commonwealth of Massachusetts
  • U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts
  • U.S. Court of Appeals, First Circuit


  • Suffolk University Law School, with Distinction in International Law, J.D.
  • Massachusetts Maritime Academy, B.S. Marine Transportation
  • St. John’s Preparatory High School

Professional Affiliations & Bar Associations

  • Connecticut Maritime Association
  • Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Boston
  • The Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor Member
  • Chairmen, The Maritime Law Association’s Marine Pollution and Maritime Crimes Committee
  • Massachusetts Bar Association
  • Cape Ann YMCA, Board Member

Notable Cases​

  • BoatU.S. v. Carman, 419 F. Supp. 3d 336, 2019 AMC 2986, 2019 WL 5690307 (D. R.I. 2019) (insured denied hull coverage for drilling holes in boat before final voyage on which mother died — and that’s just the tip of the iceberg — Google “Nathan Carman”)
  • In re Block Island Fishing, Inc., 323 F. Supp. 3d 158, 2018 AMC 1540 (D. Mass. 2018) (self-critical analysis privilege protects from discovery our LNG tanker owner’s subjective evaluations in SOLAS-required internal post-collision report)

Qualifications and Honors

  • ISO 14001 Lead Auditor Certification
  • Various military awards
  • Houston Federal Executive Committee Excellence in Government Award (2008)
  • Military Officer magazine, “Active Duty Spotlight” as elite triathlete (June 2008)

Speeches & Presentations

  • “Preventing Environmental Crimes and USCG Enforcement Actions Through Voluntary Compliance Plans” Maritime Law Association of the Unites States Annual Meeting (2017)
  • “Root Cause Analysis Reports and the Self-Critical Analysis Privilege” Thomas Miller (Americas) Inc. Bodily Injury Seminar (2019)
  • “5th Amendment Assertions in a Civil Case” Maritime Law Association of the Unites States Fall Meeting (2019)
  • “Enforcement of US Maritime-Environmental Regulations: Ship Owner/Manager Risks and How to Mitigate Them” The Swedish Club, Gothenburg, Sweden (2020)
  • “Responding to a Marine Casualty Sea-L-E” Maritime Law Association of the United States Fall Meeting (2021) 

Contact Liam