ANCHORAGE, Alaska - Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt is excited to announce the opening of our newest office in Anchorage, Alaska, as well as our three recent maritime attorney hires. With the addition of Bert Ray, Philip Lempriere and Zach Berne we are expanding our Transportation, Ports and Maritime industry group to 29 attorneys.

This strategic move bolsters Schwabe’s presence in Alaska and its other locations along the West Coast. Schwabe now has one of the largest maritime teams among Pacific Northwest full-service firms.

Bert, Phil and Zach have more than 60 years of combined maritime industry experience. Their respective connections in maritime matters as well as regulatory and environmental knowledge will complement Schwabe’s maritime practice. They have served the interests of members of all 13 clubs in the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs as well as China P&I Club and Korea P&I Club, bringing extensive maritime experience to Schwabe’s current clients.

Schwabe’s growth of its presence in Alaska aligns with the firm’s commitment to its industry focus, specifically with clients in the transportation, ports and maritime; natural resources; and real estate and construction industries.

“The opening of an Alaska office and additions of Bert, Phil and Zach will benefit our clients greatly,” said Noah Jarrett, Transportation, Ports and Maritime Industry Group Leader. “We are excited to offer excellent legal services on the ground in Alaska, and I can’t think of better lawyers to help expand the industry knowledge and legal expertise of this industry group’s attorneys.”

Bert Ray joins Schwabe as a shareholder and will lead the Anchorage office. Bert has practiced in Anchorage for most of his 30-year career, and he brings deep maritime experience to Schwabe’s Transportation, Ports and Maritime industry group. He has a diverse general litigation practice that includes environmental, maritime, commercial, insurance, securities, malpractice and white collar criminal matters. He practices extensively in state and federal courts, as well as in commercial arbitrations and before administrative agencies. Bert regularly represents clients in casualty responses in Alaska and along the U.S. West Coast, serving as lead counsel during response operations and in resulting litigation. He also has significant experience representing clients in natural resource damage assessments conducted by state and federal agencies.

Philip Lempriere joins Schwabe as a shareholder in the Seattle office. His legal experience coupled with his time serving as both a deck cadet and third officer aboard U.S. ships uniquely positions him to understand clients’ admiralty and maritime legal issues. From litigation of all traditional maritime claims—including vessel arrests and attachments, cargo loss and damage, personal injury claims and vessel casualties—to employment disputes on behalf of employers, Phil has experience in virtually every aspect of maritime law. With more than 28 years of litigation experience, Phil integrates his knowledge of vessel management and operation with mastery of legal issues to create exceptional strategies to solve complex problems.

Zach Berne joins Schwabe as an associate in the Anchorage office. His practice focuses on maritime, environmental, insurance and securities matters. Zach works on and is eager to learn about all manner of maritime matters, from injury accidents and fatalities to collisions to claims for reimbursement from the National Pollution Funds Center.