Rachel A. de Cordova recently joined Phelps Dunbar LLP as a partner practicing in the firm’s Houston, Texas office. Ms. de Cordova brings nearly a decade of legal experience to the firm, where she will practice as part of the regional marine and energy and litigation practice groups.

“We are so pleased to welcome Rachel to the firm,” said Marty McLeod, Admiralty Practice Coordinator. “She brings greater depth to our firm’s marine and energy practice and strengthens our ability to serve our clients in Texas as well as along the Gulf Coast.”

Ms. de Cordova’s expertise includes the areas of tort, commercial, maritime, and energy litigation with a special emphasis in handling complex, commercial litigation; premises, product and toxic tort litigation; and maritime litigation. She served as national maritime counsel for one of the country’s largest oil refiners and marketers where she handled all maritime related litigation, as well as regulatory matters before government bodies overseeing pilot and port tariffs and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She also handled personal injury suits in Texas and Louisiana as well as advising her client regarding indemnity, defense and additional insured provisions to comply with Texas state law.

Her practice also includes the defense and investigation of claims resulting from oilfield and maritime catastrophic incidents under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990, including handling the settlement of all major refinery and vessel detention claims in the EAGLE OTOME oil spill. Ms. de Cordova defends vessel owners and operators from claims arising under the Jones Act, the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act.

“Bringing my practice to Phelps Dunbar gives me the opportunity to deliver a higher level of service to my clients,” said Ms. de Cordova. “The experience and resources the firm offers to its clients are unparalleled.”

In addition to her professional activities, Ms. de Cordova is also engaged in the Houston business and nonprofit communities. She currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Houston Maritime Museum, where she is the past Chair and a current member of its capital campaign. Ms. de Cordova is also active with the Houston East End Chamber of Commerce, where she previously served as Chair of the Board of Directors. She is also a member of the Women’s International Shipping & Trading Association (WISTA), the Federal Bar Association, and the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

Ms. de Cordova received her J.D. with honors from the University of Texas School of Law in Austin, and received her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from New York University. Prior to beginning her legal career, Ms. de Cordova was the co-founder and executive director of The Millennium Theatre Company in New York, New York.

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