Andrew Richards
Andrew Richards ()

Seattle-based fishery and maritime lawyer Andrew Richards is Garvey Schubert Barer’s catch of the day. Richards, who previously practiced at his own two-lawyer shop, has joined the firm as a partner.

He practices in Alaska, Oregon and Washington state handling litigation, regulatory and transactional matters for clients that include commercial fishermen and fishing businesses, fishermen’s cooperatives, maritime support service companies, nonprofit organizations and trade associations.

Garvey Schubert Barer (GSB), which is based in Seattle and has offices in Beijing; New York; Portland, Oregon; and Washington, D.C., has a maritime practice of about 20 lawyers. Richards said he looked forward to being able to draw on their expertise.

“The team at this firm pretty much covers the waterfront in terms of practice areas,” he said. “It’s a much larger firm with offices around the country.”

The relative youth of GSB’s maritime group was also a draw for Richards, who graduated from the University of Washington School of Law in 2004 and clerked for U.S. District Judge John Sedwick in Anchorage before entering private practice.

“[Youth] is definitely a need, not only in the legal industry, but in the commercial fishing and maritime sectors,” Richards said. “There’s a generational turn on the horizon.”

GSB is one of just a few big firms that have formalized maritime practices, including Blank Rome, Cozen O’Connor, K&L Gates, Seward & Kissel and Troutman Sanders. Richards began his legal career at Mundt MacGregor, a small, full-service Seattle firm with an emphasis on business consulting for the fisheries industry.

In a way, Richards has been building his resume for his current role since fifth grade, when he started working on his father’s commercial salmon troller as a deckhand while school was out.

“That’s how I spent my summers when my friends were playing baseball,” he said.

Richards kept at it even after getting his J.D., cruising the waters from Northern California to Alaska. His experience at sea helped steer him toward maritime law.

“It’s a field that a lot of people may not necessarily become aware of growing up, unless you’ve had some personal experience with boats and fish,” Richards said.

Sullivan & Richards, his former firm, has now disbanded, with fellow name partner Joe Sullivan launching his own Seattle-based shop. As for GSB, a firm that has done work for the legal cannabis industry, has been busy this year making some new recruits.

In January, GSB bolstered its litigation team in Portland, Oregon, by adding partner Joseph Arellano, of counsel Daniel Keppler and an associate from local shop Kennedy Watts Arellano. In March, GSB hired tax of counsel Alex Golubitsky in Seattle. Golubitsky had previously been an associate at Marjorie Rawls Roberts, a small firm based in the U.S. Virgin Islands on the island of St. Thomas.