McKasson & Klein Reception

Neil Klein

Neil Klein was born and raised in South Africa. He graduated from Natal University in 1977 and worked for a commodities & shipping company as in-house counsel for a few years. He then served articles under the British tradition and practiced as a solicitor in Johannesburg with a major law firm, with a focus on maritime and commercial disputes and drafted commercial agreements (including a memorable contract for the world heavyweight boxing championship with the boxer who broke Mohammed Ali’s jaw).
He immigrated to the US in 1986 and joined a prominent maritime firm in Houston, Texas for a few years before moving to California and becoming a California lawyer in 1989. He worked for a maritime and commercial firm in Long Beach for several years and then joined forces with John McKasson as a founding partner of the firm.

Neil is a member of the International Bar Association, as well as a Proctor member of the U.S. Maritime Law Association. He is a frequent speaker at seminars and conferences, and has published many articles on commercial litigation, employment and maritime issues (see News & Articles section). He has been an expert witness on U.S. choice of law in China and the Bahamas, and on charter party disputes in New York maritime arbitrations.

Neil’s practice focuses on maritime, commercial/business litigation, employment law and corporate formation and set-up. He is well versed on Rule B attachments for security, Rule C vessel arrests for maritime liens, and Rule D arrests in the maritime arena, and has represented creditors in Chapter 11 and Chapter 15 maritime and commercial bankruptcies.

His clients include ship owners and charterers, container lessors, P & I Clubs, importers & exporters, freight forwarders, recycling companies, manufacturers and distributors in the automobile, motorcycle and parts industry, as well as entrepreneurs, local companies and foreign businesses with a U.S. and California presence. And he represents companies on a wide array of employment issues, including wrongful termination, discrimination and harassment litigation.

Neil used to be a marathon runner and enjoys old movies. He would like to think he plays a fair game of tennis and admits to bad golf. He likes to travel to exotic places and has an unfulfilled bucket list. He speaks Afrikaans (close enough to Dutch).

Reported Decisions:

Krish v. Balasubramaniam | 2007 WL 1219281 (C.D. 2007)
A true international case of forum non conveniens – California was held to be a “convenient forum,” not India, despite application of Indian law with regard to real estate contract dispute.
Trans-Tec v. M/V Harmony Container | 437 F. Supp 2d 1124 (D. Cal. 2006)
Application of U.S. “choice of law” clause to bunker fuel contract; no U.S. maritime lien applicable with regard to foreign supplier, foreign supply, foreign vessel and foreign port.
Trans-Tec v. M/V Harmony Container | 435 F. Supp 2d 1015 (D. Cal. 2005)
Application of Malaysian law to breach of contract claim in U.S. federal court.
Kan v. Coastal | 108 F.3d 1385 (9th Cir. 1997)
Ship broker claim for commission re fixing charter party.
G.F. Plywood v. Pan Ocean Shipping | 23 F.3d 1498 (9th Cir. 1994)
Bill of lading issue; cargo claim under COGSA.
C-Art, Ltd. v. Hong Kong Islands Line | 940 F2d 530 (1991)
Misdelivery of goods shipped to CA.
Neil Klein

Practice Areas:

Admiralty / Maritime Law
Business Law
Employment and Labor Law


Natal University, Pietermaritzburg: Law (1977)




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Neil Klein

Neil Klein