Michael B. Holt

Michael Holt

Title: General Counsel, Senior Vice President
Company: Ports America
Location: Wall Township, New Jersey, United States

Michael B. Holt, General Counsel and Senior Vice President at Ports America, has been recognized by Marquis Who’s Who Top Lawyers for dedication, achievements, and leadership in maritime law.

Drawing upon more than 35 years of practiced experience in corporate and maritime law, Mr. Holt is a prominent attorney and corporate executive whose expertise is unparalleled. Serving as general counsel and senior vice president of Ports America since 2018, he previously served TOTE, Inc., as general counsel, chief ethics officer and senior vice president from 2011 to 2018 and NYK Line, Inc., as general counsel, chief compliance officer and vice president from 1995 to 2011. Holding a private practice in Secaucus, NJ, from 1991 to 1995, he formerly served as partner for Carroll & Holt from 1989 to 1991 and O’Halloran, Holt & Associates from 1987 to 1989. He commenced his career as an associate with Keane, Brady & Hanlon from 1982 to 1984 and Waters, McPherson, McNeill, PA, from 1984 to 1987.

To prepare for his career, Mr. Holt pursued a formal education at Providence College, where he graduated magna cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in 1978. Transferring to Seton Hall University soon thereafter, he received a Doctor of Jurisprudence in 1982 and was subsequently admitted to the New Jersey State Bar the same year. Admitted to practice law before the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern and Southern Districts of New York, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit and the U.S. Supreme Court, Mr. Holt was later admitted to the New York State Bar in 1990. He also holds a Master of Business Administration from Montclair State University.

Mr. Holt was responsible for handling the legal aspects of the El Faro tragedy in 2015, where Totes, Inc., settled all 500 cargo claims and any lawsuits filed by the victims’ families within two years. He also developed the NGA Office of the General Counsel and was responsible for all legal matters for NGA group companies. Appointed as the first NGA chief compliance officer, he designed and implemented the NGA Compliance Program, the NGA code of ethics, and the first NGA Compliance Hotline number to be serviced by a third party. Likewise, he created, designed and implemented the NGA Insurance Project and mandated that all NGA legal matters be filed in the Serengeti Tracker System.

Affiliated with the American Bar Association and the Association of Corporate Counsel, Mr. Holt is also a member of the Maritime Law Association of the United States, the New Jersey General Counsel Group, the New Jersey State Bar Association and the New York State Bar Association. When asked of his career highlights, he cites starting the compliance program at NYK Line, Inc., to be a crowning achievement, as the company was selected as one of the world’s most ethical companies. Later on, TOTE, Inc., was also selected as one of the world’s most ethical companies under his guidance.

In light of his exceptional undertakings, Mr. Holt was named one of the 2014 Attorneys Who Matter and One of the 2013 Attorneys Who Matter by the Ethisphere Institute, and he was a finalist for the New Jersey General Counsel of the Year Award in 2013. The previous year, he won the Board of Directors Leadership Award from the Park Performing Arts Center. Likewise, he was selected for inclusion in Who’s Who in Finance and Industry, Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, Who’s Who in the World and Who’s Who of Emerging Leaders in America.

Married to Mary Patricia Butler since 1982, Mr. Holt has three children and two grandchildren. Enjoying travel in his spare time, he intends to remain as general counsel of Ports America in the near future.

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