Admiralty, Shipping and Maritime

All aspects of Admiralty, shipping and maritime law, including casualty management, transactional, marine insurance, international trade, and disputes.

The key areas include the following:

Marine casualty management

We have extensive experience in attending, investigating and handling marine casualties, including collisions, groundings, FFO damage including to marine flora and fauna and subsea infrastructure, fire, pollution, cargo loss or damage, and personal injury.

In this context, and often in concert with recommended experts, we assist owners and their insurers with start-to-finish management and coordination of salvage, towage, and wreck removal matters.

Admiralty and Shipping Litigation

We appear regularly in the Admiralty jurisdiction of Australian courts, including in relation to ship arrests.

Some recent highlights include CMA CGM SA v Chou Shan [2014] FCAFC 90 (forum non conveniens); Sam Hawk v Reiter Petroleum Inc [2016] FCAFC 26 (recognition of foreign maritime liens); OMSA v Leighton Contractors [2017] FCA 333 (liability to contribute in common law GA); Guardian Offshore v Saab Seaeye Leopard [2020] FCA 273 (scope of Admiralty jurisdiction over ROVs); Malayan Banking Bhd v Proceeds of the Sale of Teras Bandicoot [2021] FCA 285 (mortgagee’s priority interest in proceeds following judicial sale).

We are consulted on various aspects of maritime regulation and Admiralty procedure, and our Tim Cocks sits on the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Admiralty Rules Committee.

Marine insurance

Our expertise covers a wide range of marine insurance matters including P&I, defence (FD&D / LCC), charterers’ liability, hull & machinery, cargo, general liability, and professional indemnity.


Our clients (on a number of whose panels we sit) include P&I Clubs, other marine and general insurers, brokers, owners and operators, charterers, and professional services providers (marine consultants and surveyors, ship designers and builders, etc).

Commercial

We regularly advise and assist in negotiating and drafting of charterparties, bills of lading, contracts of affreightment, transhipment agreements and other vessel utilisation agreements for owning and chartering clients in the commodities, container, heavy-lift, oil and gas, offshore support, towage, live export, commercial fishing sectors.

Ship building, sale and purchase, financing

We assist our shipbuilding and owning clients with all aspects of due diligence and negotiating and drafting of ship building and sale and purchase contracts relating to recreational vessels and commercial vessels in the dry bulk, oil and gas, offshore support, live export, fishing, passenger and marine tourism sectors.

We also advise and assist with financing and securitisation arrangements, and operational matters such as insurance, flagging, safety, and manning requirements.

Port development and operations

We advise a number of clients in relation to port development and upgrading projects, including in relation to the construction of port facilities and associated project documentation.

Yachts

We advise in relation to the building or purchase of recreational vessels, from small craft to superyachts, including as to financing, flagging, manning, customs and import requirements etc.

We also advise on yacht racing rules and protests.

Seafarers

We have extensive experience with assisting owners with seafarer compensation and workers’ compensation matters, including under Seacare.


We also assist a number of our commercial fishing clients with appropriate crewing and share fishing arrangements and documentation.

Disputes

We act in relation to any disputes in these areas, whether by way of mediation, arbitration, court litigation, or other means of dispute resolution as may be agreed.

Our Expertise

Admiralty, Shipping and Maritime

  • Marine casualties and investigations
  • Admiralty
  • Commercial shipping
  • Marine insurance
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Regulatory

  • Commercial fishing – WA and Federal
  • Export control
  • Regulatory enforcement actions
  • Freedom of Information
  • Administrative review
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General Commercial

  • Commercial transactions
  • General insurance
  • Probate and estate management
  • Commercial dispute resolution
  • Property – residential, commercial
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