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The transport and trade industry plays a significant role in the vitality of Australia’s economy. The maritime sector is currently challenged by lower oil and commodity prices, reduced freight rates and increased regulation relating to operations, all of which can hold significant implications for ship owners and other industry players.

The aviation industry in the Asia-Pacific region is the fastest growing sector in the industry globally and is forecast to grow ever more rapidly, driven by increasing growth in China, India and Indonesia, amongst other countries. The local aviation and tourism industries are constantly challenged in terms of providing the infrastructure to keep ahead of demand to ensure Australia does not lose its share of this global phenomenon.

For over 110 years we have been recognised as the leading transport practice in Australia. We offer a unique, fully integrated national Transport and Trade team with unparalleled practical experience in these sectors in Australia. We provide a full service on all commercial, finance, regulatory, insurance and operational requirements to the transport industry. Our team advises across the full spectrum of interests in a range of sectors including airlines, airports, rail, road, shipping, marine and trade.

Our insurance specialists advise a broad range of stakeholders in the aviation, shipping, maritime and trade sectors including operators, owners and their insurers/P&I Clubs. We provide advice on the full spectrum of claims issues, management of losses as well as emergency response and coronial enquiries.

Members of our team have practiced as in-house counsel and worked in commercial roles in airlines, airports, shipping companies and international law firms. As a result of our extensive international and local experience, we provide customised cross-disciplinary advice on a transaction by transaction basis, with fully integrated specialist teams for local and international clients. This means we are ready to go with efficient expert teams providing practical, commercial, cost-effective and value-added solutions.

We also have the full suite of traditional Construction & Infrastructure legal services required for transport infrastructure projects, with a proven reputation for cost-effective infrastructure delivery with industry experts in each sector. We are market leaders in the development and operation of airports from greenfield through to operating international, regional and GA airports. In addition to our specialist Transport advice, the firm provides a full commercial service for all general corporate, employment, property and day to day legal issues for industry participants.


  • Reiter Petroleum Inc: Acted in an appeal to the Full Federal Court of Australia concerning the right of our client to arrest the ship “SAM HAWK” for a US/Canadian maritime lien under s 15 of the Admiralty Act 1988 (Cth);
  • MTC Shenzhen Co Ltd (MTC): Advised in a dispute with Dick Smith Electronics (DSE) regarding MTC’s ability to exercise its right to stoppage of TVs in transit to DSE, that were sold immediately before administrators, receivers and managers were appointed to DSE in January 2016;
  • Vessel Hanjin California: Instructed by Owners and the London P&I Club to respond to the arrest of the Hanjin California in Sydney following the fall of Hanjin in September 2016;
  • Thor Commander: Acting for Mount Isa Mines Limited (and Navigators Insurance), the owners of cargo on board the Ship “Thor Commander” in relation to salvage services provided to the ship following an engine breakdown in 2015 close to the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland;
  • NSW Government Sydney Trains: Acting and advising on numerous commercial contracts and risk management issues;
  • Tigerair: Advising on the start-up of a domestic high capacity RPT airline in Australia;
  • Various airlines: Advising airlines and their insurers on liability for Deep Vein Thrombosis, successfully arguing that airlines are not liable;
  • Commonwealth of Australia: Advising Airservices Australia on the procurement of its new “Airport Collaborative Decision Making Program” covering all airports and airlines in Australia;
  • Aeromedical services: Advising Aspen Medical on its WARAME (Western Australia Resources Aero Medical Evacuation) contract with numerous resource companies in WA; and
  • Foreign Airlines – including from Korea, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Philippines: Advising on the successful start-up of numerous foreign carriers to Australia.

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