Speaker Details

Speaker Company

Sean Pribyl

Sean is a business attorney in Holland & Knight’s Washington DC office, where he focuses his practice on maritime regulatory compliance matters, international law and trade, autonomous transportation (including autonomous vessels), marine claims, civil litigation and dispute resolution, Jones Act compliance, and white-collar criminal law. Sean has more than 25 years’ combined experience in the transportation sector as a commercial marine operator, federal regulator, international maritime and trade attorney, active-duty military attorney, federal prosecutor, and international protection and indemnity (P&I) club marine insurer. He is an internationally recognized thought leader on Shipping 4.0 and assists clients on the use of autonomous vessels and novel technologies in the maritime sector. He is also a regular speaker at international conferences and seminars on topics related to maritime law and advanced automation in the transportation sector. Sean is a widely published author and contributed to the recently released Scandinavian Institute of Maritime Law treatise Autonomous Ships – Legal Issues. He is also the author of Regulating Drones in Maritime and Energy Sectors in the Handbook of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Outside the law firm, Sean is a member of the National Academies of Sciences Marine Board, where he leads the subcommittee on MASS and e-navigation. He served as a committee member to the recently published Consensus Report Leveraging Unmanned Systems for Coast Guard Missions, serves on the Comité Maritime International MASS International Workgroup, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International Unmanned Maritime Systems Advocacy Committee, and is chair of the Maritime Law Association of the United States Regulation of Vessel Operations, Safety, Security and Navigation: Maritime Autonomous Surface Ships subcommittee. Sean is a graduate of the United States Merchant Marine Academy, Washburn University School of Law and United States Naval War College.


The role of counsel in building the business case for autonomy, with views from the United States

Modernizing the maritime industry is a sea change that may offer more sustainable solutions related to economics, environmental impact and societal benefits. However, it brings a new set of legal challenges as innovation will affect regulatory and legal compliance, liabilities, design, operations, safety and security. This session will explore the business cases for introducing uncrewed, optionally manned or AI-enhanced system technologies into maritime commercial and military operations and why ‘experience matters’, including a discussion on the key legal and regulatory considerations in the maritime space. This session will also explore the role of counsel in emerging areas of regulatory oversight in the aftermath of the IMO Regulatory Scoping Exercise MSC 103 meetings and what this means for legal obligations going forward, with a focus on the emerging US markets.