Bruce G. Paulsen is a partner and co-head of Seward & Kissel’s Litigation & Investigations Group, head of the Sanctions Practice Group and has been a partner since 2002. He was named as a member of Legal 500’s “Hall of Fame” in 2022 and as one of the global Top 10 Maritime Lawyers by Lloyd’s List, in December 2020. Legal 500 2022 reported that Bruce “is an industry veteran, and first class in his knowledge and performance.”

Bruce specializes in handling complex commercial and maritime disputes. Bruce handles finance and securities-related disputes in the shipping industry as well as traditional maritime disputes, lien claims and environmental matters. He also has substantial expertise in the area of international trade sanctions; has been deeply involved in handling piracy issues before U.S. government agencies and is highly experienced in the recognition and enforcement of arbitration awards.

Further, Chambers USA 2022 reported that Bruce “has particular expertise in finance and securities litigation in the shipping industry and acts for a wide variety of clients including bondholders, secured lenders, shipowners and charterers.” Legal 500 USA 2022 described Bruce as “at the very top of his field.”

Bruce has written and lectured frequently on litigation, arbitration, bankruptcy, piracy and sanctions issues, and is highly engaged, on a pro bono basis, in non-profit governance. He is also a contributor to Seward & Kissel’s Maritime Blog.


  • One of the top 10 maritime lawyers – Lloyd’s List 2020
  • Legal 500 2022 (shipping and securities litigation) Hall of Fame
  • Chambers USA 2020 – 2022 (transportation litigation and international trade: export controls & economic sanctions)
  • Best Lawyers in America 2022 (admiralty and maritime law)
  • Who’s Who Legal: Transport 2022
  • New York Super Lawyers 2022 (business litigation)
  • AV Peer Review Rated by Martindale-Hubbell
  • Rated “Superb” (9.5 out of 10.0) by