How Can I Help You Move Forward?

I believe in partnering with clients to gain a full understanding of their business, their needs and their constraints to arrive at right-sized solutions. As a former electrical engineer and current law professor, I am uniquely qualified to help my clients find the most efficient and elegant solutions to their most complex problems. 


Based in Lugenbuhl’s New Orleans office, David Sharpe’s practice is focused on risk management in the marine-transportation and energy-service industries. Since 1990, David has represented vessel interests, their insurers, and service companies who work both onshore and offshore. He helps his clients understand and manage their risks in the oilfield and alternative-energy markets in the Gulf of Mexico and beyond. 

David’s work includes negotiating, interpreting and litigating master service agreements and equipment-rental contracts, vessel charterparties, purchase-and-sales contracts, and related marine insurance policies. His work frequently involves the complicated interplay of insurance and contractual indemnity, and the enforceability of contractual reallocations of risk under federal law, maritime law and state law, including the Louisiana Oilfield Anti-Indemnity Act. 

David is widely published and has lectured about maritime risk management in the U.S., U.K., Norway, Singapore, and India. He is an editor of Cases & Materials on Admiralty (6th ed. 2017), a leading law-school casebook on admiralty and maritime law. David is also an adjunct professor at Tulane Law School, where since 1999, he has taught an upper-level class currently called “Towage & Offshore Services.” 

Prior to practicing law, David worked for Motorola in Houston for several years as a radio-systems engineer. 

Outside the Office

David is an avid scuba diver and enjoys being on (or under) the water whenever possible. He and his wife Eleanor have three adult children with whom they spend as much time as possible. 


  • George Washington University Law School, J.D., with honors, 1990
  • Tulane University, B.S.E.E, 1985


Bar Admissions

  • Louisiana

Court Admissions

  • All Louisiana State Courts
  • U.S. District Courts for the Eastern, Middle and Western Districts of Louisiana
  • U.S. District Courts for the Southern District of Texas
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Fifth Circuits
  • U.S. Supreme Court


  • Louisiana State Bar Association 
  • New Orleans Bar Association 
  • Tulane Law School, adjunct Professor of Law 
  • Maritime Law Association of the United States 
  • Tulane Admiralty Law Institute 
  • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute 
  • American Bar Association 
  • Bar Association of the Fifth Federal Circuit 


  • Adjunct Professor of Law, Tulane University Law School, teaching Towage & Offshore Service Law since 1999 
  • Chairman of the School Board, St. Andrew’s Episcopal School, 2006-2009 

  • Best Lawyers in America® in Transportation and Maritime Law (2018-2024)
  • Super Lawyers (2008-2024)
  • New Orleans Magazine’s “Top Lawyers” (2014, 2019-2023)
  • Martindale Hubbell: AV Preeminent Rating
  • New Orleans CityBusiness Leadership in Law (Class of 2018)
  • Secretary / Treasurer for the Tulane Admiralty Law Institute; served on Program or Planning Committees continuously (2000-present)
  • Board of Directors, New Orleans Bar Association (2005-2007)
  • Fleur de Lis Leader, New Orleans Bar Association (2006)
  • Proctor in Admiralty, Maritime Law Association of the United States (1996–Present)

  • Sharpe, Sharpe & Winship, Cases and Materials on Admiralty, 6th Ed., West Academic Publishing, American Casebook Series, 2017
  • Editor, removal practice section in the admiralty context, Moore’s Federal Practice (3d ed.), Vol. 29, LexisNexis
  • “Automation of Port & Terminal Operations in the U.S.,” OST (Oslo-Southampton- Tulane) Colloquium in Southampton, England (Sept. 26-27, 2019)
  • “Towage Services for Autonomous Vessels under U.S. Law,” OST (Oslo-Southampton- Tulane) Colloquium in Oslo, Norway (Oct. 25-26, 2018)
  • Coauthor, Stewart F. Peck and David B. Sharpe, “What is a Vessel?: Implications for Marine Finance, Marine Insurance, and Admiralty Jurisdiction,” 89 Tul. L. Rev. 1103 (June 2015)
  • Author, “Jurisdiction and Choice of Law Issues Relating to the Direct Action Against the Insurer: the Position Under U.S. Law,” 17 J. Int’l Maritime Law 41 (2011)
  • Author, “Supreme Court Answers the Question, ‘What is a Vessel?’ Under the Jones Act and LHWCA,” 3 Benedict’s Law Bulletin 1 (1st Quarter 2005)
  • Author, “Legal Systems Engineering in Maritime E-Commerce,” 9 Int’l Mar. L. 299 (2001)
  • Coauthor, J. Barbee Winston and David B. Sharpe, “Choice of Law in P&I Insurance,” Chpt. 18 of the Marine Protection & Indemnity Policy Annotation Project, published in The MLA Report, Doc. No. 761 (Oct. 19, 2001)
  • Coauthor, Charles E. Lugenbuhl and David B. Sharpe, “The Law of Towage at the Millennium: What Changes Are Needed?”, 73 Tul. L. Rev. 1811 (1999)
  • Coauthor, Healy, Sharpe, Sharpe & Winship, Admiralty: Cases and Materials (5th Ed. 2012)
  • Coauthor, Healy, Sharpe & Sharpe, Admiralty: Cases and Materials (4th Ed. 2006)
  • Coauthor, Healy, Sharpe & Sharpe, Handbook of Maritime Laws & Forms (2007 Ed.)
  • Coauthor, Berns, Sharpe & Sharpe, “Maritime Arrest,” Benedict on Admiralty , Matthew Bender, (2004)

David 's Insights