J. Kelly Duncan - Jones Walker LLP

J. Kelly Duncan

Listed in Best Lawyers since 2005

Kelly Duncan is a partner in the firm's Admiralty & Maritime Practice Group and is a member of the firm's board of directors. He was honored in 2005 and 2009 as a recipient of the New Orleans CityBusinessLeadership in Law Award, which recognizes 50 New Orleans attorneys for their success in the legal profession and for their contributions to the community.

Mr. Duncan has more than 30 years of experience handling admiralty, maritime, and international and customs law matters. His maritime practice includes both domestic and international matters relating to marine acquisitions, financings, vessel construction, regulatory issues, maritime lien enforcement and foreclosures, contracts of affreightment, terminal tariffs, and charter parties. Mr. Duncan has served as a speaker at maritime seminars throughout the country. His international practice includes, among other things, international commercial transactions, customs rulings, protests, reliquidations, seizures, forfeitures, and classification disputes.

Mr. Duncan also serves as the head of the firm's Gaming practice and is a member of the International Association of Gaming Advisors and  is Immediate Past President of the International Masters of Gaming Law. He was one of only eight gaming attorneys from the United States listed in the 2014 edition of Chambers Global Guide as a notable practitioner in the area of Gaming & Gambling. Mr. Duncan was also recognized in the 2009-2013 editions of the publication.

Since the passage of legislation in states outside of Nevada and New Jersey starting in the early 1990s authorizing video poker, riverboat gaming, land based casinos, and racinos, Mr. Duncan has been integrally involved in the representation of major casino companies, manufacturers, suppliers, and financial institutions regarding all matters relating to the development, financing, and operation of such facilities. His extensive experience in such matters includes public private leases, financings, land use approvals, statutory and regulatory interpretation and compliance, gaming operations, administrative hearings, and litigation. He regularly serves as a speaker at international gaming conferences. Mr. Duncan's clients include many of the largest gaming operators and gaming equipment manufacturers and suppliers in the world, as well as major investment banking firms and large commercial lenders involved in secured and unsecured lending, and debt offerings and bond offerings in connection with the development of various gaming projects.

As a result of his maritime, gaming, and international practices, Mr. Duncan has extensive experience appearing before regulatory bodies and state and federal courts.

Georgetown UniversityAB 1976Tulane Law SchoolJ.D. 1979
Audubon CommissionBureau of Governmental Research International Masters of Gaming Law

Case History

Recent Marine Finance and Gaming Transactions
  • Special maritime counsel in a $405-million sale of all marine assets of a publicly traded utility to a private equity group
  • Special maritime counsel in a $9.5-billion acquisition financing associated with a publicly held entity being taken private
  • Special maritime counsel in a $2.2-billion debt exchange offer
  • Special maritime counsel in a $5-billion debt exchange offer
  • Gaming counsel to a multijurisdictional casino company in connection with its $2-billion-plus Chapter 11 bankruptcy

Office Location

201 Saint Charles Avenue
New Orleans, LA 70170-5100
United States

Lawyer of the Year Awards

2017 Lawyer of the Year in Gaming Law of the New Orleans Metro Area2015 Lawyer of the Year in Gaming Law of the New Orleans Metro Area2011 Lawyer of the Year in Gaming Law of the New Orleans Metro Area
J. Kelly Duncan has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2017!J. Kelly Duncan has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2015!J. Kelly Duncan has earned a Lawyer of the Year award for 2011!

Practice Areas

Admiralty and Maritime Law (Charter Parties, Commercial, Contract, Ship Financing, Terminal Operations)
Gaming Law

Other Information

Gender: Male