Image: Raymond Waid
Raymond T. Waid
Shareholder, New Orleans
Hancock Whitney Center
701 Poydras Street
Suite 5000
New Orleans, Louisiana 70139


Ray Waid is a maritime lawyer and veteran-naval officer focused on helping companies in the marine and energy sector. Ray represents clients through all phases of litigation and in government investigations.  He also provides clients with legal advice on maritime and environmental regulations and assistance in transactional matters, such as vessel sales, charterparties, and service agreements.

Vessel owners, operators and others involved in the marine and energy sector rely on Ray's advice and aggressive advocacy.  They turn to him because he has the unique experience of operating a vessel at sea combined with a successful and diverse practice devoted to admiralty and maritime law.

Ray’s experience is vital in the high-pressure environment immediately after marine casualties, when companies need a lawyer to quickly identify the legal issues, know what questions to ask, and what actions to take in order to put companies in the best position.  This same experience makes him a highly effective advocate in marine and energy cases involving personal injury, property damage, and economic loss.  As a full-time maritime lawyer, he has successfully handled the gambit of cases, including collision, allision, cargo, pollution, salvage, and injury cases.  Here, for example, are a couple of high-stakes cases in which Ray was deeply involved:

  • Represented the owners of a chemical tanker involved in a collision and a 282,000-gallon oil spill on the Mississippi River that resulted in multiple-party claims of approximately $90 million.  Ray helped obtain a zero-fault verdict after a nine-day, front-page trial in federal court in New Orleans.  "Exoneration in a collision case is rare," Ray added.

  • Defended a ship owner whose tanker was involved in a three-ship collision on the Mississippi River.  "This is one of those cases where my sea time came in very useful," Ray explains, "My detailed study of the other vessel’s engineering log revealed several discrepancies, leading to a strong argument that the logs were altered after the collision."  The opposing lawyers had not discovered the error, which enabled Ray to surprise his opponents when he confronted them during depositions in Athens, Greece.  The case settled shortly thereafter.

  • Represented a container ship operator after an allision with a container terminal.  ”We took the unconventional tactic of immediately suing the terminal in federal court for violation of its safe berth obligations,” Ray explained.  “Allision cases often end with the vessel writing a large check, but we had a strong case that we wanted to highlight from the very outset of the litigation by throwing the first punch.”  The aggressive approach to the case continued throughout the litigation, resulting in a large recovery on the eve of trial.

“I love my practice.  I get a lot of personal and professional satisfaction from taking clients through a process that can be extremely frustrating.  Nothing makes me feel better than winning for my clients."


Ray combines years of real-world maritime experience in the United States Navy, a deep, technical knowledge of admiralty and maritime law, and a passion for helping his clients.  Here's a list of selected claims that Ray has handled:

Personal injury, fires and explosions

  • Ship owner in a Jones Act personal injury case involving a plaintiff who was severely burned in a diesel engine explosion. Recovered several million dollars from third-party defendants after a 12-day state court jury trial and increased the recovery on appeal.

  • Pipeline owner in a vessel allision involving a constructive total loss of the vessel, a wrongful death, and multiple injury claims.

  • Jones Act employer in a commercial diver personal injury case where the plaintiff claimed traumatic brain injury.  Obtained a favorable settlement at the conclusion of the first day of federal trial.

  • A working-interest holder in litigation seeking to recover repair costs for property damaged in an offshore production platform explosion.

Contractual claims and disputes

  • Owners of a spud barge against hull underwriters who wrongfully denied a constructive total loss claim after the vessel was severely damaged by a storm in Alaska.  Underwriters’ wrongful denial of insurance coverage caused their insured to miss a gold mining season.  Obtained a favorable resolution allowing the vessel owner to return to work and eventually be featured on the Discovery Channel’s Bering Sea Gold television show.

  • Major international common carrier in claim against its subcontractor arising from an inland river transportation incident resulting in containers being lost over the side.  Asserted contractual and additional assured claims against subcontractor and its insurers to resolve cargo and container damage claims.

  • Underwriters in litigation of a $30 million builders’ risk insurance coverage claim arising from cost overruns on construction of an oil tanker.

  • An offshore services company in asserting a salvage claim against a jack-up rig that was drifting in the Bay of Campeche during a tropical storm.

Collisions and allisions

  • Owners of a chemical tanker involved in a collision and a 282,000-gallon oil spill, resulting in claims of approximately $90 million.  Obtained a zero fault verdict after a nine-day trial in federal court. 

  • Container ship owner as part of a global litigation team defending claims of $336 million arising from a collision in Chinese territorial waters.

  • A container ship owner in litigation arising from a grounding and allision in the Mississippi River.

  • A ship owner whose tanker was involved in a three-ship collision in the Mississippi River.  Settled favorably after litigation in federal court, 2008-2009.



“I love helping clients, and I try to stay on the cutting edge of my field so that I can better serve them. I teach a maritime law class at Tulane University Law School and serve on the Board of Advisory Editors of the Tulane Maritime Law Journal. I enjoy participating in a number of maritime organizations and frequently speak at maritime events all over the world.”

  • Pro Bono Project - Board of Directors

  • Washington State Bar Association - Member

  • Tulane University Law School – Adjunct Lecturer in Law, Cargo Law Class

  • Tulane Maritime Law Journal – Board of Advisory Editors

  • American Bar Association - Tort Trial & Insurance Section, Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee, 2010-2016 Vice Chair, 2016-17 Chair

  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute - Member of the Long Range Planning Committee 2010-2013

  • Federal Bar Association - Member

  • Louisiana State Bar Association - Member


  • The Best Lawyers in America, 2021-2022

  • Recognized as an Acritas Star lawyer, 2019

  • AV Preeminent Martindale Hubbell Rating, 2019

  • Monte M. Lemann Distinguished Teaching Award, Tulane University Law School

  • Proctor, Maritime Law Association of the United States

  • New Orleans Magazine's List of "Top Lawyers," 2017-2019

  • Louisiana Super Lawyers “Rising Star,” 2013-2018

  • Louisiana Super Lawyers, 2019-2022

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A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.


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  • “Naval Collisions: The Importance of Training and Looking Out the Window,” 28th Annual David W. Robertson Admiralty and Maritime Law Conference (2019).

  • “State of the Nation: Maritime Punitive Damages Post-Baker, Townsend, and Dutra,” New Orleans Bar Association (2019).

  • “Focus on the Law,” TradeWinds International Shipping Forum – Bermuda (2019).

  • “Contractual Indemnity and Insurance – The Basics,” Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI) (2019).

  • “Business Challenges in the Coming Decade,” Admiralty Disruption, American Bar Association (2019).

  • “New Tech and the Ethical Lawyer: Trends and Challenges,” New Orleans Bar Association 11th Hour Ethics & Professionalism CLE (2018).

  • “A Primer on Limitation of Liability and the Procedural Requirements of Rule F,” 16th Judge Alvin B. Rubin Conference on Maritime Personal Injury Law, April 13, 2018

  • “A Discussion of Maritime International Dispute Resolution,” ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee and Vancouver Maritime Arbitrators’ Association Regional Program, February 2, 2018

  • “Maritime Best Practices Roundtable,” ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Regional Program (2018).

  • “Issues Keeping Maritime Clients Up At Night,” New Orleans Bar Association’s Procrastinator’s Programs CLE Series (2017).

  • “Legal Issues Involved in the USS McCAIN and USS FITZGERALD Collisions,” Eighth Annual Oslo-Southampton-Tulane Colloquium, Panama City, Panama (2017).

  • “Maritime Law Roundup,” ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee Regional Program (2017).

  • “Anatomy of an Emergency Response: In-House Counsel, Government, and Insurance in the Golden Hour” ABA TIPS Section Conference (Moderator) (2017).

  • In-House Counsel Perspective,” American Conference Institute’s Sixth Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation (Moderator & Conference Co-Chair) (2017).

  • “Mediating Maritime Personal Injury Claims” Federal Bar Association Admiralty Section and ABA TIPS Admiralty and Maritime Law Committee’s Maritime Law by the Bay (Moderator & Program Co-Chair) (2016).

  • “Civil Pro Bono Program Overview,” Federal Bar Association, Eastern District of Louisiana Chapter (2016).

  • “Maritime Torts,” American Conference Institute’s Fifth Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation (Panelist) (2016).

  • “Maritime Law Update,” New Orleans Bar Association’s Procrastinator’s Programs CLE Series (2015).

  • “Vessel Responses to Emergencies on Board or Casualties,” American Conference Institute’s Fourth Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation (Panelist) (2015).

  • “Government Roundtable,” American Conference Institute’s Fourth Annual Forum on Admiralty & Maritime Claims and Litigation (Moderator) (2015).

  • “Fundamentals of Vessel Arrest and Attachment,” ABA Tort and Trial Insurance Practice Midyear Meeting (2015).

  • “Maritime Law Update,” New Orleans Bar Association’s Procrastinator’s Programs CLE Series (2013).

  • "Admiralty Practice in the 21st Century - the Government and Private Practice Perspective," ABA Tort and Trial Insurance Practice Spring Meeting, (Panelist) (2013).

  • “Maritime Law Update,” New Orleans Bar Association’s Procrastinator’s Programs CLE Series (2009).

  • “Recent Developments in the Fifth, Ninth, and Tenth Circuits,” Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute (SEALI) (2009).



Prior to attending law school, Ray was an officer in the United States Navy. He was stationed onboard USS O'BRIEN (DD 975) in Yokosuka, Japan, from 2001 to 2004. During that time, he stood watch on the bridge, engine control room and combat information center. He accumulated over 500 days at sea, including 55 consecutive days at sea between Bahrain and India after September 11, 2001, in support of Operation Enduring Freedom. He attained the rank of Lieutenant on active duty and was subsequently promoted to Lieutenant Commander in the Navy Reserve.


Ray Waid US Navy

Ray Waid US Navy 2

After Hours

"I played water polo in college and law school and still enjoy swimming on the weekends."

"I also get a lot of satisfaction from performing pro bono legal work.  I've been appointed to represent indigent defendants by our local federal and criminal courts and I serve as a U.S. State Department panel attorney for international child abduction cases.  I represent parents whose children were abducted from a foreign country to the U.S. I've helped recover children for three foreign clients as their pro bono lawyer."  

"Lawyers have great power…and an even greater obligation to serve those who need but cannot afford representation."