All aspects of Admiralty, shipping and maritime law, including casualty management, transactional, marine insurance, international trade, and disputes.
The key areas include the following:
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.
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  FCAFC 90 (forum non conveniens); Sam Hawk v Reiter Petroleum Inc  FCAFC 26 (recognition of foreign maritime liens); OMSA v Leighton Contractors  FCA 333 (liability to contribute in common law GA); Guardian Offshore v Saab Seaeye Leopard  FCA 273 (scope of Admiralty jurisdiction over ROVs); Malayan Banking Bhd v Proceeds of the Sale of Teras Bandicoot  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.
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).
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.