Christopher F. Hamilton is a senior associate in the Tampa office of Shutts & Bowen LLP, where he is a member of the Business Litigation Practice Group.

Chris has a unique outlook developed through naval officer training and representing clients in a variety of commercial, maritime, business, and real property litigation before state and federal trial and appellate courts, recognized by Florida Super Lawyers as a “Rising Star” in Transportation and Maritime Law. His experience includes:

  • Contract disputes, business tort claims, and real property litigation;
  • Recording and foreclosing maritime liens;
  • Private and commercial dock permitting and design disputes;
  • In rem vessel arrest and attachment proceedings;
  • Maritime transactional matters, including vessel documentation and drafting/revising charter parties for commercial and private entities;
  • Federal admiralty actions seeking exoneration from or limitation of liability for vessel owners;
  • Vessel collisions and allisions; and,
  • Maritime wrongful death and personal injury claims, as well as recreational boating, insurance coverage and premises liability matters.

Chris also serves on the Board of Directors for the International Propeller Club Port of Tampa and as a vice chair for the American Bar Association's TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee.  Chris he is an avid boater and sailor, competing for four years as a Varsity Letterman and Skipper on the United States Naval Academy's Offshore Sailing Team.

Credentials

Education

  • Stetson University College of Business, M.B.A., 2012
  • Stetson University College of Law, J.D., 2012
    • Victor O. Wehle Trial Advocacy Award
    • William F. Blews Pro Bono Service Award
  • University of South Florida
    • B.A., Economics, 2009
    • B.A., Political Science, 2009
  • United States Naval Academy, 2004 – 2008
    • Major: International Relations with focus on Asia.

Bar Admissions

  • Florida

Court Admissions

  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida
  • U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida

Professional and Civic

  • The International Propeller Club of the United States, Port of Tampa (2014–Present)
    • Board Member (2016–Present)
    • 3rd Vice President, Harbor Improvements and Port Business (2020–2021)
  • American Bar Association TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee
    • Vice-Chair, Membership (2014–Present)
    • Vice-Chair, Newsletter Editor (2011–2013)
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (2012–Present)
  • Hillsborough County Bar Association (2014–Present)
  • Tampa Bay Mariner's Club (2012–Present)

News & Insights

Presentations

  • Presenter, Vessel Arrest & Attachment Symposium in San Diego, California - February 2016, American Bar Association & Federal Bar Association.

Publications

  • "Navigating the Initial Channel Marks in a Maritime Limitations Act Proceeding," Tort Trial and Insurance Practice, American Bar Association Young Lawyers Division, Committee Newsletter, Spring 2016.
  • Contributing Author, “Recent Developments in Admiralty and Maritime Law,” ABA Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Law Journal, Vol. 49, Issue 1.  2014; and, Vol. 50, Issue 2, 2015.
  • Research Contributor, “Think Different:  If a Container Could Be the ‘21st-Century Trojan Horse,’ Must the U.S. Mandate 100% Scanning of All U.S. Bound Cargo Containers?” Society of Maritime Arbitrators: The Arbitrator, November 2011. Volume 42, No. 3; Author – Christopher R. Nolan, Partner, Holland & Knight LLP

Practice Areas

Industry Focus

Accolades

  • Best Lawyers: Ones to Watch, Commercial Litigation, 2021
  • Florida Super Lawyers, Rising Star, Transportation/Maritime, 2016-2020

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Shutts & Bowen, established in 1910, is a full-service business law firm with approximately 300 lawyers located in eight offices across Florida.

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