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September, 2015 - Portland, Maine



Verrill Dana Introduces North Atlantic Group to Leverage Emerging Arctic Opportunities


The United States is the 2015-2016 Chair country of the Council of Arctic Nations. Portland is the host city for the 2016 plenary meeting of the Council. Commercial shipping traffic in the Northwest Passage (at the top of North America) and the Northern Sea Route (along Russia’s north coast) is increasing exponentially and the international competition to access and control the resources of Arctic is building in intensity. Responding to this unprecedented confluence of events, Verrill Dana has assembled a multi-disciplinary group of attorneys and governmental professionals who are focusing their skills, experience and governmental, international and industry relationships on the accelerating pace of commercial and technological innovation now happening in the North Atlantic countries and the Arctic. Concurring with the Arctic focus of the Maine-North Atlantic Development Office and the Maine International Trade Center, and that of the federal government’s Departments of State and Commerce, Verrill Dana believes these developments present a tremendous opportunity for Maine’s economy: shortened shipping routes between Asia and Europe are likely to spark significant investment in existing and new navigational and environmental technologies, as well as revitalization of Maine’s port infrastructure multi-modal transportation.

“The specialized requirements of operating in the high-latitude North Atlantic and the Arctic present opportunities for new applications of Maine’s maritime technologies, jobs for its expert marine labor force and opens the door to accelerated research and development that will lead to new products and services,” says Roger Clement, a commercial lawyer and member of the group. “Maine is geographically situated and logistically poised to serve as a shipping and commerce hub, the eastern North American contact point for potential new businesses that will evolve from increased, intensified interaction with Canada, Iceland, Scotland, The Russian Federation, Greenland and the Scandinavian countries.”

Verrill Dana’s extensive experience in international, transportation and maritime law, intellectual property, commercial finance, and mergers and acquisitions, is essential for clients looking to capitalize on these emerging opportunities. In addition, the group includes attorneys who focus on bio-tech and life sciences, combining intellectual property and academic/clinical research perspectives, as many of the established and emerging North Atlantic area’s entrepreneurial businesses are predicated on the development and commercialization of products and technologies derived from fish and other resources obtained from the ocean. With increased international competition in the Arctic prompting a new emphasis on defense and security issues, the group also includes attorneys who specialize in government contract-related work, as well as export control and other compliance issues relating to military and non-military products and services. The group also includes experts from the firm’s Maine Street Solutions affiliate, who provide the governmental relations and coalition-building experience that can make the difference between a plan and a project.

Next week, the North Atlantic and Arctic Group is hosting an international discussion and networking event in New York City with seven other law firms, each representing one of the member nations of the Arctic Council. In October, the group’s representatives will attend the Arctic Circle Conference in Reykjavik, Iceland and speak on technology transfer and related issues at the Oceans ’15 conference in Washington, D.C.


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