Mark T. Coberly

Mark T. Coberly: Attorney with Vandeventer Black LLP AV stamp icon
  • Partner at Vandeventer Black LLP (53 Attorneys)
  • 500 World Trade Center, 101 West Main Street, Norfolk, VA 23510
    View Mark T. Coberly's office location
  • Peer Reviews
  • Profile Visibility [ i ]


Mark is a partner with Vandeventer Black and is manager of the firm’s Maritime Law Department. His practice is focused in the area of maritime and transportation matters, including litigation and arbitration. His federal court trial experience includes major casualties such as collisions, pollution, cargo damage, and serious personal injuries; as well as transactional disputes including charter parties, ship repair contracts, tariffs and towing agreements. He also litigates maritime matters in state court including personal injury defense and business transactional matters. Administrative law related to the marine industry such as Coast Guard, Customs, and NOAA/NMFS are also areas in which Mark specializes.

In addition to local clients, Mark represents domestic marine insurers as well as the P & I Clubs in the International Group together with their domestic and foreign vessel operators.

Representative matters include recently obtaining a jury verdict in a case involving a dispute between the owner of a large custom yacht and the shipyard that performed design modifications. Mark has represented a client in an oil pollution matter in which his team succeeded in obtaining limitation of liability under the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and sustained the ruling through appeal. Mark and his team have both conducted and defended vessel arrests and attachments in multiple East Coast ports and successfully prosecuted same through the federal appeals courts. Other recent matters include representation in Coast Guard proceedings of operators of ships that have collided with yachts. And, on an ongoing basis, Mark is representing vessel operators and terminals in defending personal injury claims in litigation in state and federal courts.

Mark practices in federal and state court as well as before administrative law judges in proceedings of the United States Coast Guard, Customs, and National Marine Fisheries. He handles arbitrations before multiple tribunals. He is admitted to practice in Virginia as well as the United States Court of International Trade, the United States Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit, the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, and the Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia.


Martindale-Hubbell AV Preeminent Peer Review Rating

Best Lawyers in America, “Lawyer of the Year”, Transportation Law (2018), Admiralty and Maritime Law (2017)

Listed in Best Lawyers in America: Admiralty and Maritime Law (2007-present); Transportation Law (2007-present)

Thomson Reuters, “Virginia Super Lawyers” - Transportation/Maritime Law (2006-18)

Virginia Business, “Virginia Legal Elite” - Transportation, Admiralty & Intermodal Law


•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Listed as ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ of 2019
•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as “Lawyers of the Year” for 2018
•27 Vandeventer Black Attorneys Named ‘The Best Lawyers in America’ of 2018
•Vandeventer Black Attorneys Recognized as Virginia Super Lawyers
•Four Vandeventer Black Attorneys Named Lawyer of the Year for 2017
•25 Vandeventer Black LLP Attorneys Named Best Lawyers In America 2017
•12 Vandeventer Black LLP Attorneys Selected as 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers
•24 Vandeventer Black LLP Attorneys Included in the Best Lawyers in America 2016
•Vandeventer Black LLP Achieves Victory for Client at U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit
•12 Vandeventer Black LLP Attorneys Selected as 2015 Virginia Super Lawyers


•Existing Caselaw that Honors U.S. Choice of Law Clauses in International Contracts is Left Undisturbed by Supreme Court

Areas of Practice (3)

  • Commercial Litigation
  • International Business
  • Maritime & Admiralty Law

Education & Credentials

Contact Information:
757.446.8614  Phone
757.446.8670  Fax
University Attended:
University of Virginia, B.A., with distinction; Albert-Ludwigs University, Freiburg, Germany, one year
Law School Attended:
Washington & Lee University, J.D., Law Review Editor
Year of First Admission:
Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit; Eastern and Western Districts of Virginia; Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit; United States Court of International Trade; United States Supreme Court; 1978, Virginia


Maritime Law Association of the United States, Board Member

Virginia Maritime Association, Board Member and General Counsel

Vandeventer Black, Maritime Department, Manager

Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute, past-Director

Virginia Bar Association - Sections on Transportation and International Law

American Bar Association

Virginia Arts Festival, Board Member

Virginia Chorale, Board Member

Propeller Club, Port of Hampton Roads

Hampton Roads Foreign Commerce Council

Birth Information:
Aurora, Illinois, 1953
Reported Cases:
REPRESENTATIVE MATTERS: World Fuel Services Trading, DMCC v. M/V Hebei Shijiazhuang, et al., 2014 AMC 1149 (E.D. Va. 2014) (maritime lien, vessel arrest). Dry Handy Investments v. Corvina Shipping Co., et al., 2013 AMC 196 (E.D. Va. 2013) (alter ego Rule B, vessel attachment). Suslick v. Sparkman & Stephens, et al., (Fairfax Cir. Ct. CL 2013-11742) Oct. 10, 2014 (yacht design/repair jury trial - defense verdict). Dominion Resource Services, Inc. v. 5K Logistics, Inc., 2010 WL 2721355 (ED Va., July 8, 2010), (Carmack Amendment, trucker liability). Norfolk Dredging Co. v. City of Chesapeake, 2007 WL 2126293, (E.D. Va.2007), (Maritime declaratory judgment action). Virginia International Terminals, Inc. v. M/V KATSURAGI, 236 F. Supp. 2d 1025 (E.D. Va. 2003), (pier allision, docking pilot and tug liability). Franklin v. U.S., 289 F.3d 753 (Fed. Cir. 2002), (Customs duties and fines). Enterprise Ship Co. v. Norfolk Southern Ry. Co., 185 F. Supp. 2d 622 (E.D. Va. 2001), (pier allision, docking pilot liability). National Shipping Co. of Saudi Arabia v. Moran Trade Corp. of Delaware, 122 F.3d 1062 (4th Cir. 1997), aff' g., 924 F. Supp. 1436 (E.D.Va. 1996), cert. denied, 523 U.S. 1021 (1998), (collision, OPA 90 limitation of liability).
Payment Information:
  • Credit cards accepted
  • Accepts Visa and MasterCard

Peer Reviews

  • 5.0/5.0
  • High ethical standing icon
  • A Martindale-Hubbell Peer Rating reflects a combination of achieving a Very High General Ethical Standards rating and a Legal Ability numerical rating.

*Peer Reviews provided before April 15, 2008 are not displayed.

Documents (1)

Documents by this lawyer on

Norfolk, Virginia

Contact Mark T. Coberly

Required Fields

Required Fields

By clicking on the "Submit" button, you agree to the Terms of Use, Supplemental Terms and Privacy Policy. You also consent to be contacted at the phone number you provided, including by autodials, text messages and/or pre-recorded calls, from Martindale and its affiliates and from or on behalf of attorneys you request or contact through this site. Consent is not a condition of purchase.

You should not send any sensitive or confidential information through this site. Emails sent through this site do not create an attorney-client relationship and may not be treated as privileged or confidential. The lawyer or law firm you are contacting is not required to, and may choose not to, accept you as a client. The Internet is not necessarily secure and emails sent though this site could be intercepted or read by third parties.