HBN can be traced back to the height of New York City’s rise as an internationally recognized sea port. In an effort to take advantage of the ever expanding seaport of New York, lawyers, Leavitt Hunt, Charles Hill, and George W. Betts developed a law firm specializing in maritime and general corporate and business law, officially establishing Hunt, Hill, & Betts in 1898. Through a series of mergers acquisitions, HBN, was officially formed in 1956 and continues to represent the maritime community from the heart of the financial district in New York City.
Since its origins, HBN, has represented clients in some of the most well-known maritime disasters, including the sinking of the RMS TITANIC and RMS LUSITANIA, as well as representing the French Governments vessel, the S.S. GRANDCAMP, in the aftermath of the Texas City Disaster, the deadliest industrial accidents in American history and one of the world’s largest non-nuclear explosions. Other maritime disasters that HBN assisted in were the grounding and ensuing oil spills of the TORREY CANYON, AMOCO CADIZ, and possibly the most-well known tanker vessel to have ever existed, the EXXON VALDEZ.
Throughout the Twentieth Century Hill, Betts & Nash stood on the forefront of ship-owner defense and was one of the most well-respected and well-known maritime law firm in the world. However, disaster struck HBN, when its entire office in the North Tower of the World Trade Center was destroyed as a result of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001. Although, no employees of HBN were killed in the terrorist attacks, the priceless artifacts from its representation of some of the biggest maritime disasters in the world were destroyed and ultimately lost. Nevertheless, HBN persevered and continues to this day, expanding the firm's internationally recognized reputation for providing expert legal counsel on matters relating to admiralty and general maritime law.
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Hill, Betts & Nash has developed – not only a domestic reputation – but also, an internationally recognized reputation for providing expert legal service to the maritime industry.