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Richard A. Branca



Richard began working as a maritime lawyer after graduating with JD and MBA degrees from the Fordham University School of Law and Fordham Graduate School of Business respectively. He was admitted to the bars of New York and New Jersey in 2003 and practiced in these jurisdictions, including the federal courts therein, until 2007, when he joined Royston Rayzor in Houston, Texas where he is now a senior partner. He is also admitted to the Texas bar and all federal courts for Texas where he actively practices. 

Richard focuses on several subsets of maritime law, including charter party disputes, collisions/allisions, vessel arrests and maritime attachments, pollution, and personal injury. In addition, Richard has assisted with the negotiation and preparation of several maritime contracts, including charter party terms, freight forwarding/NVO agreements, and bills of lading. Richard has litigated sizeable maritime controversies and has arbitrated cases to conclusions before the American Arbitration Association, Houston Maritime Arbitrators Association, and the Society of Maritime Arbitrators in New York.

Richard is the first point of contact for many maritime incidents occurring in Texas as he is a listed as a Houston and Galveston correspondent for many of the Protection & Indemnity Clubs that form the International Group of Protection & Indemnity Clubs. Accordingly, he has been on several vessels and advised their masters and crew in real time with respect to considerable matters, including United States Coast Guard investigations, spills, collisions/allisions, groundings, surgings, fires, cargo loss and damage, bunker disputes, and issues pertaining to seafarers. Richard also serves various Hull & Machinery underwriters.

Richard has most recently prevailed on a matter before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit on the issue of the scope of responsibility of a time charterer to the public arising out of a vessel allision. Richard is a Proctor Member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States.

Richard A. Branca was included in the 2023 Edition of The Best Lawyers in America© for Admiralty & Maritime Law.

Honors & Distinctions

Graduate Certificate in Chartering Operations issued jointly by the Association of Shipbrokers and Agents and Graduate School of International Transportation, Maritime College, State University of New York

BIMCO Diploma in Time Charter Workshop (with Merit)

"Particular Admiralty Actions," Co-Editor fo Chapter 707 of Moore's Federal Practice

Recipient of the Medical Bridges Chairman's Award for 2012 for pro bono legal services product to charity

Recipient of The Emmet J. McCormack Prize for the highest grade in Admiralty Law

Associate Editor, Fordham Journal of Corporate & Financial Law

Eagle Scout


  • Fordham University School of Law, J.D. 2002
  • Fordham Graduate School of Business, M.B.A. 2002
  • Queens College, City University of New York, B.A. 1996

New York, 2003 New Jersey, 2003 Texas, 2009 U.S. Courts of Appeal for the Second and Fifth Circuits U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of New York U.S. District Courts for the Northern, Southern, Eastern and Western Districts of Texas U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey

  • Maritime Law Association of the United States, Proctor Status
  • Connecticut Maritime Association
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