Firm Biography

The present law firm of Leefe, Gibbs, Sullivan & Dupré, LLC was originally founded in 1986 and has evolved into today’s firm practicing on both a domestic and international basis. The firm offers years of experience in business matters and is available twenty-four hours a day to address even the most immediate of emergencies. The firm can provide assistance at any time, and with its offices located in the metropolitan New Orleans area and Louisiana, the firm can easily service the Gulf of Mexico area and has historically traveled as needed to address any problem all around the world. Having established a reputation for responding aggressively in international matters, Leefe│Gibbs provides the attention needed to assure protection of the rights of our clients, while keeping in mind the need to minimize their costs.

Leefe│Gibbs offers expertise in both commercial matters on a domestic and international basis and representation in litigation relating to these types of matters. The firm and several of its members enjoy an AV Preeminent rating from the Martindale-Hubbell Law Directory, the highest rating in both legal ability and professional ethics. The firm has a foundation in insurance defense, maritime and business litigation, and business transactions, as well as a great deal of experience in real estate litigation, business, maritime insurance and vessel owner representation, oil field operations, and various international transactions. The firm has represented major oil companies, marine service companies, certain underwriters at Lloyds of London, several state agencies, manufacturers, businesses involved in import and export transactions to and from the United States, and other clients in their dealings with both the domestic and international community.

Leefe│Gibbs is the ideal size firm that can and will give you personal attention, while providing pragmatic, flexible, and creative solutions to any problem, at a reasonable cost. We look forward to the opportunity to show you the service we can provide and, naturally, we will be glad to personally provide any additional information you may wish to review.

Areas of Practice

Commercial: The firm has dealt with all types of business and commercial issues and has provided representation to clients from all parts of the world in contracting, banking, construction, real estate, bankruptcy, offshore corporations, international sales/purchases/services, securities, and other areas of business. The firm has negotiated leases, joint ventures, construction contracts, trade agreements, provided political contacts and solutions for business problems. The firm is seasoned in representing and dealing with banks on a domestic and international basis. The firm has created and serviced corporations for its clients and provides the expertise to deal with such legal entities on a daily basis.

Energy and Environmental: Richard K. Leefe, engineer and attorney, has historically represented a number of exploration and production companies, including for example: Getty Oil Company, Century Exploration Company, Consolidated Natural Gas (CNG), and Texaco. Moreover, the firm is experienced in the defense of occupational exposure cases both onshore and offshore, providing its expertise to both private and public corporations and providing over a decade of experience in handling environmental matters before state and federal courts and regulatory agencies.

International Commercial Transactions and Litigation: The firm has handled many international transactions and represents international companies in their dealings on a continuing basis. The firm has been involved in making necessary arrangements for export and import of goods relative to the United States and has supported clients of the firm in making bids on international projects. The firm has represented clients in the United States, England, Scotland, Germany, South Africa,Venezuela, Chile, Brazil, Nicaragua, Canada, Mexico, Cayman Islands, the Bahamas, China, Ukraine, Russia, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangladesh, and the Caribbean. The firm has developed an expertise in dealing with international banking and trade which has proven invaluable to the clients of Leefe│Gibbs. As an example, the firm has acted as representative of a firm of Brazilian coffee producers, representing them in both Brazil and the United States. The firm has also represented a Russian trading company in their activities all around the world, including Brazil, Ukraine, and the United States. The firm has litigated cases involving shipping and cargo claims, international trade disputes, real estate issues, other corporate related disputes, and insurance defense and claims. The firm has handled various hazardous material matters and has a long background in commercial litigation.

Insurance: As stated in the sections above, the firm has many years of experience in insurance matters, having been defense counsel for many insurance underwriters, which have included: Certain Underwriters at Lloyds of London, The Travelers Insurance Company (Ocean Marine Division), CNA Insurance, Continental Underwriters Ltd., Sentry Insurance Company, TransAmerica Insurance Company, TIG Insurance Company, Penn America Insurance Company, Automotive Casualty Insurance Company, ITT Hartford Insurance Company, St. Paul, Navigators, among others. The firm has shown and has a willingness to react immediately to pending matters and has defended claims all along the coast of the Gulf of Mexico, including litigation in Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.

Admiralty: From its beginning, the firm has been very involved in providing representation in maritime matters and provides an expertise in admiralty law. The firm’s founder, Richard Leefe, being an engineer and avid sailor, became involved in admiralty law and has years of experience in representing both ship owners and maritime insurance underwriters. For years the firm has represented Lloyds of London underwriters and has been defense counsel for several domestic American maritime insurance companies, acting as defense counsel for Travelers Insurance Company (Ocean Marine Division) and handling maritime matters for major oil companies. The firm has represented many American ship owners, as well as shipping companies from Brazil (Lloyds Brasileiro, CBTG, Companhia de Navegacao Nacional), Venezuela, Netherlands, Cayman, Panama, and other countries. Richard Leefe has been counsel for the Marine Surveyors Guild and the Panama Bureau of Shipping. Members of the firm have a great deal of experience in maritime claims, insurance defense, and coverage issues, including crew claims, cargo damage, hull claims, third party personal injury and related matters.

Administrative Law: The Firm represents State Boards and Agencies in the State of Louisiana, and is familiar with Administrative Law, and can assist clients in navigating Administrative matters, including applications and Administrative Hearings. For several years, the Firm has represented the Louisiana State Board of Practical Nurse Examiners, and has recently become Special Counsel to the Louisiana Cemetery Board.

Real Estate: The firm has an extensive background in both commercial and residential real estate transactions and litigation. George Gibbs, a founding partner of the firm, has extensive experience in this area.