With more than 40 years of experience, James Kearns balances his practice between maritime finance and intellectual property transactions.
On the maritime finance side of his practice, Mr. Kearns regularly represents shipowners, operators, financial institutions (as both lessors and lenders) and end users in the purchase, construction and financing of vessels engaged in both the foreign and domestic trades of the United States. He began advising on maritime financing structures for oil tankers and other ocean-going vessels early in his legal career and expanded his focus to include inland waterway matters.
Today Mr. Kearns advises on purchase and sale transactions, construction contracts, lease and loan financings, preferred ship mortgages, bareboat charters, time charters, contracts of affreightment and vessel operating agreements. He has specialized experience structuring transactions under the provisions of U.S. law that allow foreign-source lease financing for vessels engaged in the U.S. coastwise trade, including lease financing with financial institutions in Japan, Canada and Switzerland.
Mr. Kearns is an officer and member of the Board of Directors of Inland Rivers, Ports & Terminals, Inc.
Mr. Kearns also represents and advises clients in the development, application, transfer and protection of their technology and intellectual property. These projects include a variety of technology transfer and licensing arrangements and research and development agreements for multinational corporations, academic institutions and independent research organizations in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Europe, the Middle East and the Far East.
With an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, graduate studies in biology and hands-on experience with computers and software, Mr. Kearns innately understands the business of information technology and biotechnology companies. In the areas of information technology and telecommunications, Mr. Kearns prepares and negotiates agreements for the development, licensing, distribution and implementation of computer software and network technology, integrated information technology systems, data processing service agreements, value-added reseller agreements and source code escrow agreements. For enterprises engaged in biotechnology and the chemical and physical sciences, he handles technology transfer agreements, contracts for sponsored and collaborative research and licensing arrangements for the commercial development of research discoveries.
Mr. Kearns’ practice also encompasses mergers and acquisitions, private placements and venture capital financing, joint ventures, strategic alliances, corporate governance, federal and state securities law matters, and other forms of business transactions for clients across multiple sectors.