SMA Friends and Supporters Purpose


Traditionally the SMA has focused on charter party arbitration. Because of changing market conditions, however, arbitration disputes now often involve parties unfamiliar with the work of the SMA and the advantages it offers. Among these is our membership of over 80 highly experienced maritime and commercial arbitrators and our Award Service, with more than 4,200 published reasoned awards, which serves as a unique and valuable guide to our industry. In order to assure our continued success, we therefore need to have a broader base of industry support and funding.

While many foreign arbitration venues have institutional or government support, we do not enjoy similar benefits. Both London and Singapore, for example, have “supporting” membership categories, while for most of its 50 years, the SMA has relied on its membership dues to fund expenses for the promotion of New York arbitration at conferences and seminars, and meetings with shipowners and operators, P&I Clubs, and national and local maritime associations. We are deeply grateful for your past support; however, in order to succeed in our campaign, we need a more systematic and targeted approach to spread the word about the advantages of SMA arbitration and mediation. The F&S program is the means of achieving that objective.


Here is a list of some of the activities that have been funded by F&S members so far:

  • SMA presentation at the ASBA Cargo Conference in Florida
  • “New York & London – Perception and Reality Today” seminar at the Harvard Club (with NY Maritime Consortium)
  • SMA presentation to the Brazilian Bar Association Maritime Law and Port Conference
  • SMA presentation at CMA Shipping 2015
  • SMA presentation at the Washington State Bar conference on “Current Issues in Maritime Law”
  • SMA presentation at the ASBA Annual Tanker Luncheon in Houston
  • SMA presentation to P&I Clubs in London
  • Sponsorship of CMI 2016 New York co-hosted by the MLA of the U.S.
  • Sponsorship (with NYMAR and others) of a reception at Posidonia June 2016
  • Sponsorship, with others, of NY Maritime Forum with a panel discussion: “Maritime Arbitration: Global Trends & Developments – New York as Maritime Arbitration Center” September 2016

We have seen positive results from these initiatives; however, effective promotion requires continuous effort. In addition to our current corporate and individual supporters, we will be reaching out to a broader base in the maritime community, which will include underwriters, brokers, commodities traders, tug and barge operators, surveyors and salvors, and others who can benefit from our experience and expertise.


As a 501(c)3, contributions are fully tax deductible.
These funds and are placed in a dedicated bank account for the funding of F&S promotional activities.

Make the check payable to: the Society of Maritime Arbitrators, Inc.

designate on the memo line “Friends and Supporters” and send to:

Patricia Leahy
157 New Hyde Park Road
Franklin Square, NY 11010

If you have any questions do not hesitate to contact us.