Utsav Mathur

Norton Rose Fulbright US LLP

United States
T:+1 713 651 5374
United States
T:+1 713 651 5374
Utsav Mathur

Utsav Mathur

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Utsav Mathur is a commodity trading, shipping, and offshore energy lawyer based in Norton Rose Fulbright's Houston office.  Utsav's practice spans disputes (litigation and arbitration), regulatory, and certain transactional work.

Utsav represents energy companies and commodity traders on disputes arising from physical commodity trading activity and any related marine, pipeline or rail transportation activity.  He also advises on pre-disputes issues and assists traders in resolving contentious matters prior to initiation of litigation or arbitration.  Utsav also acts on charterparty disputes, pollution incidents, Rule B and C proceedings, cargo claims, collisions, allisions, and other marine casualties.  Utsav routinely assists commodity trading and energy clients avoid disputes and mitigate risks by advising on and negotiating the slate of contracts typically implicated in commodity trading, storage, and transportation activity.

Utsav also assists financial institutions and lenders enforce security interests against vessels through mortgage foreclosure litigation under the Commercial Instruments and Maritime Liens Act.

Utsav has represented energy companies with upstream, midstream, or downstream commercial litigation matters.

In addition, Utsav advises clients on significant offshore energy projects. He has represented developers, contractors, and vessel owners on US offshore wind projects, with particular emphasis on unique Jones Act, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, and US general maritime law issues related to such projects. Moreover, he has assisted clients on a variety of other energy infrastructure projects, including the construction of crude oil pipelines, deepwater ports, FPSO charter/O&M agreements, and LNG-fuelled offshore power generation facilities. He has advised companies on litigation risks related to subsea pipeline construction, relocation, and ruptures. Utsav routinely advocates for clients on matters involving the US Coast Guard, US Customs and Border Protection, and US Maritime Administration.

Public companies and private investors also consult Utsav on structuring investments in the US Jones Act shipping market. 

Utsav's exposure to the maritime industry began early in life as he descends from a family of mariners and has spent time at sea.

Professional experience

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JD, The University of Texas School of Law, 2011
BA, Government and History, The University of Texas at Austin, 2007

While in law school, Utsav was admitted to the Order of Barristers, an honor reserved for the top student-advocates in each graduating class. Utsav was the champion of the 2010 Haynes & Boone Intermediate Trial Competition and the 2011 Voir Dire Competition. He was also selected as the "Top Advocate" at the Peter James Johnson National Civil Rights Trial Competition. Utsav was a staff editor for The Review of Litigation.

  • Texas State Bar
  • Represented vessel-owning claimants in a Limitation Act proceeding arising from a series of allisions and collisions involving five vessels and two marine terminals during Hurricane Harvey involving over US$100 million in total damages.
  • Represented marine services provider in connection with claims arising from vessel capsizing off the Atlantic coast.
  • Advised terminal owner on liability risks related to marine dredging operations, including subsea pipeline rupture and pollution risks.
  • Advised consortium of pipeline companies on the relocation of subsea pipelines in connection with waterway deepening and widening projects in Corpus Christi, Houston, and Beaumont.
  • Represented vessel classification society in connection with multiple USCG investigations into US Gulf Coast and Atlantic Coast investigations.
  • Represented marine services provider in connection with third-party prosecution of MARPOL violations.
  • Represented voyage charterer in connection with VLCC allision and potential safe-port/safe-berth claims.
  • Advised cargo owner on general average and cargo loss claims arising from vessel collision near Ningbo, China.
  • Advised commodity traders on time and voyage charterer liability for hydrocarbon spill risks under US law.
  • Advised energy major regarding marine risks related to FSO operations in the Gulf of Mexico and attendant risks arising from vessel chartering and commodity trading activity via shuttle tankers.
  • Defended a global chemical company against a series of vessel detention claims arising from a refinery shutdown and the ensuing 43-day delay in vessel discharge operations.
  • Represented port lessee in a contract dispute against lessor; advised lessee on constructing port facilities in compliance with Rivers and Harbors Act and related regulations administered by United States Army Corps of Engineers (USACE).
  • Advised European manufacturer of power systems on the applicability of US federal maritime law to LNG-fueled floating power plants; worked with Customs and Border Protection (CBP) and United States Coast Guard (USCG) to ensure compliance with federal law.
  • Assisted bunker supplier recover compensation for unpaid bunker invoices by arresting ocean-going vessels in multiple jurisdictions.
  • Represented the owner of a deep-water drilling vessel in a contract dispute against an oil company involving the operational readiness and seaworthiness of the vessel.
  • Represented a major energy company in the acquisition of easements across central Texas for the construction of a crude oil common carrier pipeline.
  • Represented one of the largest pipeline owners in the United States in its dispute against its general contractor for cost overruns, poor workmanship, and delay.
  • Advised European banks on enforcement remedies under the US Ship Mortgage Act in a case arising from US government detention of a vessel.
  • Advised foreign lenders on structuring investments in the US Jones Act market; worked with the United States Maritime Administration (MARAD) and United States Coast Guard on client inquiries related to such foreign investments.
  • Represented owners of crude oil tankers and offshore drilling rigs in multiple Jones Act personal injury cases.
  • Texas Rising Star, Civil Litigation, Thomson Reuters, 2017 – 2023
  • The Best Lawyers in America, Ones to Watch, Best Lawyers, 2021
  • Best Lawyers - Energy Law Best Lawyers, 2022 - 2023
  • Best Lawyers - Transportation Law, Best Lawyers, 2022 - 2023
  • Legal 500 US, Energy litigation: oil and gas, The Legal 500, 2022
  • Houston Top Lawyer, aviation, admiralty, maritime and transportation, Houstonia Magazine, 2018
  • Tops Attorneys - Texas' Outstanding Young Lawyers, American Registry, April 2018
  • Presenter, "The Impact of US Cabotage Law on Offshore Wind," NRF Shipping Training Series, November 2022

  • Presenter, "Hook Line & Sinker – Litigation Nightmares Arising When My Ship's Anchor Strikes Your Pipeline," Institute for Energy Law, March 2022
  • Presenter, "Catastrophic Container Casualties," NRF Shipping Training Series, January 2022
  • Presenter, "Common Considerations for Commodity Traders," NRF Shipping Training Series, January 2022
  • Presenter, "Oil Pollution Liability for Traders and Charterers," NRF Shipping Training Series, January 2022
  • Presenter, "Safe Berth Clauses and the Legacy of the Athos," NRF Shipping Training Series, December 2021
  • Presenter, "IMO 2020 Considerations for Traders and Charterers," NRF Shipping Training Series, October 2020
  • Presenter, "What Keeps You Up At Night: US Cabotage Law Issues in Shipping and Trading Operations," NRF Shipping Training Series, May 2019
  • Co-Panelists, "Fit for Purpose: Ironing Out the Wrinkles in Project Logistics Contracting," 2019 Breakbulk & Project Cargo Conference, May 1, 2019
  • Presenter, "Offshore Wind: Navigating the Jones Act and US Cabotage Law," NRF Shipping Training Series, March 2018
  • Speaker, "The Impact of US Cabotage Law and OCSLA on Offshore Wind Projects," Operating Specialist Wind Vessels 2018 Conference, November 22-23, 2018
  • Co-Panelist, "Scanning the Horizon: Future Challenges in Shipping Arising from Unmanned Vessels and the Proliferation of Blockchain Technology," ABA Regional CLE, October 25, 2018
  • Speaker, "Recent Trends in Shipping Litigation:  From Headline-Grabbing Insolvencies to the Growing Threat of Cyber Attack," 16th Vessel & Fuel Management Conference, June 22, 2017
  • Speaker, "Issues in International Shipping," Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association, March 9, 2016
  • Speaker, "Blue Water Blues, Part II: Assessing and Mitigating Cargo Risk," Break Bulk North America, September 29, 2016
  • Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association, Chairman of the Board 
  • Samunder Club
  • Houston Young Lawyers Association, Energy Counsel Committee
  • American Bar Association, Admiralty Litigation Committee
  • Houston Bar Association, Oil Gas & Mineral Law Section
  • Business Executives for National Security, Energy Council
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States
  • Hindi