David represents clients on a wide variety of maritime interests, including admiralty and maritime law and maritime pollution law. Prior to entering private practice, David served for fourteen years as a commissioned officer and law specialist in the United States Coast Guard, eventually reaching the rank of Lieutenant Commander.

David served as the Coast Guard and Department of Transportation liaison to Capitol Hill for the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and related bills, providing technical input regarding the legal and practical implications of various proposed legislation dealing with vessel construction, operations and environmental response. Before serving as a law specialist, David served as Operations Officer on a medium endurance Coast Guard cutter, commercial vessel marine inspector, Coast Guard investigating officer and pollution response officer.

David has represented marine terminals in all aspects of marine operations as well as cargo disputes and riparian rights issues for over twenty years. David has extensive experience in charter party drafting, charter party interpretation and conflict resolution. He is experienced in drafting and revising Contracts of Affreightment as well as providing training sessions for clients describing and interpreting the Contracts of Affreightment and charter parties he drafts. David is also experienced in defending marine pollution claims, including defending suits by the United States pursuant to the Oil Pollution Act of 1990 and suits by third parties. David also represents parties with marine interests before the United States Coast Guard, U.S. Maritime Administration, United States Customs Service and the Federal Maritime Commission.

David is experienced in vessel purchases, vessel sales, vessel financing and vessel foreclosures. David has represented national and local banking institutions in preparing and reviewing loan documents, security agreements, preferred ship mortgages, buy/sell agreements, etc. associated with vessel transactions.

David has represented a variety of maritime clients in civilian practice for the past 20 years, concentrating in the area of prosecution and defense of various property damage claims, vessel collision and grounding claims, marine personal injury and wrongful death claims, as well as addressing issues involving maritime construction and marine contracts. He is acknowledged as one of the leading attorneys in marine pollution and riparian rights and is experienced in state and federal procurement/contract claims and protests.

Practice Areas
    • Education

      • J.D., William & Mary School of Law, 1988
      • MBA, Cleveland State University, 1985
      • B.S., U.S. Coast Guard Academy, 1979

      Professional Recognition

      • Best Lawyers in America, Admiralty and Maritime Law (2005-2024)
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    • Leadership

      • Member, National Navigation Safety Advisory Committee
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      • Maritime Law Association of the United States
      • Southeastern Admiralty Law Institute
      • Virginia Bar Association
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Published Work

  • Author, The Oil Pollution Act of 1990: A Glance in the Rearview Mirror” Tulane Law Journal Volume 85, Page 1101 (2011)
  • Author, "No Frills" Primer on Iran Sanctions Benedict's Maritime Bulletin August 10, 2013
  • Author, "OPA 90: Twenty Five Years of Judicial Interpretation" Tulane Maritime Law Journal Volume 39, Page 439-469 (2015)

News / Publications


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dsump@wilsav.com David H. Sump Member Willcox & Savage, P.C. (757) 628-5615 (757) 628-5692 https://www.willcoxsavage.com/media/1327/david-sump-maritime-lawyer-willcox-savage.jpg?anchor=center&mode=crop&width=175&height=175&rnd=131124665940000000
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