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Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt

Kent Roberts

Kent Roberts



  • Business and Corporate
  • Environmental Regulation and Litigation
  • Environmental Regulation and Litigation
  • Environmental Regulation and Litigation

WSG Practice Industries



Kent Roberts helps maritime and transportation businesses in the Pacific Northwest structure transactions, resolve disputes and control risks for successful projects. Over his 35 years of practice, he has earned a well-deserved reputation as Oregon’s business lawyer to the maritime industry.

Kent has handled some of the region’s most complex and high profile projects in transportation and shipping, marine terminals, shipyards, and marine casualties, including sale of the largest drydock in North America, and the construction and shipping of its replacement 15 years later.

With trial experience in dozens of federal courts and before administrative agencies, Kent can help clients anticipate and avoid problems in a wide variety of transportation projects and transactions. He advises maritime transportation companies, shipyards, ports, insurers and service providers on business and regulatory matters that are crucial to their success.

Kent’s deep knowledge of the maritime industry springs from his 11-year association with his mentor, Alex Parks, a worldwide authority on maritime law. Kent helped research and edit Mr. Parks’ leading treatise, The Law of Tug, Tow & Pilotage, and Marine Insurance. For many years, Kent taught Admiralty Law at Willamette University College of Law. He has given dozens of presentations to industry leaders on challenging transportation, port and shipyard issues.

Bar Admissions

  • Oregon State Courts
  • United States District Court, District of Oregon
  • United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit
  • United States Supreme Court


  • Northwestern School of Law, Lewis & Clark College, Juris Doctor degree (1979)
  • University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Bachelor of Arts degree (1976)
Areas of Practice

Business and Corporate | Environmental Regulation and Litigation | Litigation & Dispute Resolution

Professional Career

Significant Accomplishments


  • Has represented multiple tug and barge companies on hundreds of towing contracts, time charters, bareboat charters, and vessel sales.
  • Represents transportation clients and lenders on vessel construction financing and fleet financing.
  • Represented a barge owner in successfully defeating maritime and state lien claims following shipyard default.
  • Serves as outside general counsel to the Pacific Northwest’s leading tankship operator, Alaska Tanker Company, LLC
  • Represented a non U.S.-owned cement supplier in forming a Jones Act compliant barge company under the "Bowaters Amendment."
  • Represented tug company and its insurers in litigation following Washington State’s largest oil spill.


  • Represented international terminal operator in entering 25-year lease with the Port of Portland.
  • Represented Oregon coastal port in litigation following an oil spill from a Port-owned marine terminal constructed from WWII-era cargo ship hulls.
  • Represented Port of Kalama in successfully recovering all damages resulting from major ship casualty at Port’s import steel terminal.
  • Represented maritime operator and port in defeating “Act of God” defense and recovered damages when multiple ships dragged anchor in a 50-year windstorm, damaging four Columbia River docks.


  • Obtained Coast Guard approval for foreign construction of non-integrated cargo tanks installed in U.S.-built barges while maintaining Jones Act compliance.
  • Represented Vigor Industrial in contracting for construction and heavy lift transport from China of a new build 960’ drydock.
  • Represented Gunderson Marine in contracting for construction of 540’ ATB tank barge.


  • Port to Market: Building Infrastructure to Meet Demand


  • Traps for the Unwary Vessel Owner and Claim Professional
  • Maritime Industry Seminar
  • Security for the Financing Purchaser in Yacht Construction

WSG's members are independent firms and are not affiliated in the joint practice of professional services. Each member exercises its own individual judgments on all client matters.

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