Helping You Meet Challenges And Seize Opportunities
Christopher J. McNally Esq.
The ocean is and always has been a central part of my life. I have been unable to escape it, though I have not really tried all that hard. I am always drawn back to the sea. I have studied, sailed, fished, explored, played and worked on the ocean throughout my life. I have come to respect and cherish the ocean, its inhabitants and our interactions and dependency upon the world’s oceans.
Eighty percent of the world’s population lives in close proximity to the shore, and that population places significant burdens upon the dynamic systems at the interface between land and sea. I understand the conflict that exists between natural systems and our desire to live, play and work close to the ocean. I was born overseas and traveled extensively with my family as a child and then while working as a professional mariner until discovering Newport. My wife, two boys and I have made Newport our home since 2000.
Newport, and Rhode Island in general, are special. Rhode Island leads the way in facing the challenges of living at or near the shore. Our extensive coastline, fantastic harbors, and prestigious maritime history in both commercial and recreational seagoing endeavors furthers our connection and interdependence on the ocean. Accordingly, we have extensive regulations managing almost all of our interactions between the land and the sea.
My passion and understanding of the ocean combined with my knowledge of maritime and coastal law and regulations allow me to provide sound advice and counsel for my clients and to advocate vigorously on their behalf when necessary.
I attended St. George’s School in Middletown, RI before earning my degree in Marine Biology from Eckerd College in St. Petersburg, FL and then returning to Newport. After fifteen years in a multitude of roles in the Maritime Industries I earned my J.D. from Roger Williams University School of Law. I have a strong focus in Admiralty and Ocean and Coastal Law, Business Organization, Land Use and Environmental Law. I successfully competed in the National admiralty Moot Court competition, earning second place and recognition for drafting the Best Respondent’s brief.
As a Professional Mariner licensed by the U.S.C.G. and the Royal Yachting Association / Maritime and Coastguard Authority (RYA/MCA) I remain actively involved in many aspects of the Maritime industry. I maintain and sail on both my U.S.C.G. 500 Ton Master and R.Y.A. 200 Ton Yacht master licenses, both with Oceans Endorsements.
I consider myself to be a passionate advocate with a solid understanding of the complex issues effecting coastal properties and business interests. My keen interest in Admiralty, Ocean and Coastal Law, Land Use, Zoning and Environmental Law stem from having grown up on the water and constantly trying to better understand the ocean and our roles within it.
Membership / Affiliations:
Massachusetts Bar Association (MBA), Propeller Club of Narragansett Bay, Marine & Oceanographic Technology Network (MOTN), Cruising Club of America (CCA), Bermuda Ocean Race Organizing Committee (BROC), Maritime Law Association (MLA).
Areas of Practice
- Ocean and Coastal Law
- Massachusetts, 2013
- Rhode Island, 2014
- U.S. District Court District of Massachusetts, 2014
- Roger Williams University School of Law, Bristol, Rhode Island
- J.D. – 2013
- Honors: Moot Court
- Eckerd College
- B.S. – 1997
- Major: Marine Biology
Honors and Awards
- Assistant Town Solicitor, Town of Middletown, Rhode Island, 2014
- Best Respondant’s Brief; Second Place Finalist – John R. Brown Admiralty Moot Court Competition, 2013