phone: (713) 225-0905

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Cameron Hatzel’s practice is focused on maritime litigation, maritime commercial disputes, and maritime casualty response and investigation. He regularly acts for vessel owners, charterers, managers, operators, P&I clubs and other marine insurers in a wide variety of marine casualties and commercial disputes. Mr. Hatzel possesses more than a decade’s worth of experience interacting with and responding to federal and state authority with jurisdiction over maritime commerce including the U.S. Coast Guard, National Transportation Safety Board, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, as well as local port authorities.

Mr. Hatzel began his practice with a global London-based shipping firm. He later served as in-house counsel position for a U.S.-flag operator with assets positioned primarily in the U.S. Gulf of Mexico and on the U.S. East Coast. In 2016, he took a secondment with an International Group P&I Club in Oslo, Norway, where he worked on P&I and FD&D matters for the Club’s members based in Scandinavia, the Baltic Sea, and Russia. As a result of these expansive and diverse experiences, Mr. Hatzel is well positioned to effectively and efficiently respond to the varied commercial needs of the firm’s clients.

Personal injury experience includes:

  • Obtained complete defense (e., Plaintiff take nothing) verdict in a personal injury case arising from claims of excessive force against two police officers in a federal jury trial in Houston in January 2020
  • Defense of U.S.-flag vessel operator against seaman’s maintenance and cure claim where seaman developed pneumonia and eventually sepsis follow disembarkation from vessel 
  • Obtained dismissal of longshoreman’s personal injury claims made under § 905(b) against time charterer 
  • Onboard investigation of a shipyard worker fatality resulting from fall from height and advice to vessel interests regarding exposure under § 905(b)

Commercial and collision experience includes:

  • Representation of a local harbor pilot in connection with a major collision and pollution event between a geared bulk carrier and chemical tanker in the Houston Ship Channel
  • Representation of local harbor pilot in major collision and pollution event between a tow pushing multiple petroleum barges and a geared bulk carrier in the Houston Ship Channel
  • Representation of local harbor pilot in major collision during overtaking situation between chemical tanker and container ship in the Houston Ship Channel
  • Assisted shipowner successfully navigate complex litigation with the United States of America involving an amalgamation of more than 400 cargo claims arising from dozens of voyages over multiyear timeframe
  • Representation of shipowner in major collision between articulated tug barge unit and bulk carrier during nighttime crossing situation in the Gulf of Mexico
  • Representation of major U.S. towing company against breach of contract claims where offshore towing vessel was forced to abandon its tow (a large floating drydock) in the Gulf of Mexico to seek refuge during a tropical cyclone, but subsequently located, reconnected, and completed its towing voyage
  • Successfully assisted shipowner obtain contractual defense and indemnity in case of first impression concerning the valid incorporation of online terms and conditions into a maritime contract
  • Successful representation of a U.S.-flag vessel operator in connection with claims by U.S. Customs and Border Protection for foreign vessel repair duty

Mr. Hatzel previously served as a Port Director for Houston on the Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI)’s Board of Directors. In 2015, he spoke at the SEALI annual seminar in Point Clear, Alabama on the topic of practical considerations for U.S. Limitation of Liability Act proceedings.

  • Admiralty & Maritime
  • Personal Injury Defense: General Liability; Product Liability; Insurance Defense
  • Business and Commercial
  • Environmental & Toxic Torts
  • Appellate
  • University of Houston, J.D., 2010
  • University of Pittsburgh, B.A., 2006
  • State Bar of Texas
  • Texas Supreme Court and all lower Texas courts
  • United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
  • United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Eastern District of Texas
  • United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Southern Admiralty Law Institute