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Australia > Transport > Transport: shipping > Law firm and leading lawyer rankings

Editorial

Index of tables

  1. Transport: shipping
  2. Leading individuals
  3. Next generation lawyers

Leading individuals

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Next generation lawyers

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Clyde & Co LLP has significantly bolstered the team with the addition of marine insurance specialist Jonathan Wyatt from Sparke Helmore Lawyers, and with special counsel (and offshore oil, gas and marine specialist) Barry Cameron, who joined from Transocean, the world’s largest offshore drilling contractor. Novel matters included the team’s work with litigation funding companies and running marine-related class actions; it represented the claimants comprising the commercial fishing fleet and businesses reliant on fisheries in a class action against a port authority for environmental damage arising from vessel channel deepening and dredging activities in the port of Gladstone, the world's fourth-largest coal exporting terminal. Polarcus DMCC instructed the team in a $4m charter party dispute in relation to Polarcus’ provision of a seismic survey vessel to an Australian oil and gas company. Practice head Maurice Thompson represented Transocean as owner of an offshore drilling rig in a dispute with a global energy company in relating to the failure of a blow-out preventer at a site between East Timor and Australia.

HFW’s ‘highly recommended’ team, headed by Gavin Vallely, is ‘the best we have used’; it is able to draw on the strength of its global shipping offering and includes Nic van der Reyden, who possesses ‘comprehensive subject matter expertise’, as well as ‘client focus and attention to cost’. The team has been acting for Triton Shipping in relation to a collision at Port Botany, a £1.3m case, which has been settled during London-based mediation proceedings, and notable work also included Vallely’s advice to the Federal Department of Employment on its amendments to the Seafarer’s Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 1992. Another strength is the team’s work in the offshore energy sector, where it attracts matters involving floating production storage and offloading units (FPSOs) and support vessels, oil and LNG transport vessels and the carriage of specialist cargoes. Hazel Brewer and Stephen Thompson are singled out; the team also includes newly promoted partner and shipping and marine disputes specialist Simon Shaddick.

Norton Rose Fulbright comprehensively covers the sector, assisting with matters related to ship finance, asset restructuring and insolvency, commodities, casualty response, environmental and regulatory issues, sanctions, and cybersecurity. The international client base includes financial institutions, government departments and marine insurers, as well as oil and gas and commodity companies. Ernest van Buuren and Hazel Brasington jointly head the 11-partner team, which handles high-quality contentious and non-contentious work.

Colin Biggers & Paisley’s five-partner team, headed by Andrew Tulloch, acts for shipowners and P&I clubs, charterers, marine insurers, exporters and importers and commodity traders on a wide range of matters, among them charterparty disputes, cargo and liability claims, ship sale and purchase, procurement, trade and commodity disputes, personal injury claims and ship finance. Tulloch acted for the Country Fire Authority in a multimillion-dollar dispute arising out of a vessel fire on board the livestock carrier Awassi Express, and in a high-value matter, acted for two AIG-insured companies defending claims arising from the grounding of the Miclyn Venture while carrying materials for the Gorgon Tanks LNG project off the coast of Western Australia. Stuart Hetherington advised a cruise vessel operator on chartering arrangements for a cruise service into the Arctic and Antarctica. The team also includes marine transactions specialist Stephen Thompson and Michelle Taylor, who joined from Norton Rose Fulbright.

HWL Ebsworth’s firmly established practice can rely on a large number of ongoing client relationships. Contentious work included representing Mount Isa Mines, Glencore and Navigators Insurance as owners of Thor Commander’s cargo in a dispute arising out of salvage services provided after an engine breakdown near the Great Barrier Reef. In an emerging area of law, the team advised the board of directors and receivers of insolvent Italian shipowner Rizzo-Bottiglieri-de Carlini Armatori in relation to applications to the Federal Court of Australia for recognition under the Cross-Border Insolvency Act. In a cross-border maritime dispute, the team acted for Australian fishing company Seafish Tasmania regarding its $2m sale of fishing quota rights to a Dutch-owned fishing company. The head of the firm’s shipping and trade practice, Joe Hurley, ‘is able to break down legal issues that enable understanding and an orderly response’, and ‘accommodates and listens prior to providing advice’. Maritime liability law expert Anthony Highfield and Simon Liddy are also recommended.

Perth-based firm Cocks MacNish attracts a strong flow of Western Australian maritime work, particularly regarding the development of offshore oil and gas fields, but also handles national and cross-border matters for oil companies, government departments and ship financiers as well as shipowners and charterers. Longstanding practitioner and practice head Timothy Cocks enjoys an excellent reputation; Ashley Nichols has experience in P&I matters and maritime casualty investigations.

Mills Oakley Lawyers has a strong marine insurance track record, ‘demonstrates strong experience and skills in handling high-value, complex cases’ and ‘delivers effective, successful results’. It represents a substantial proportion of marine insurers in Australia, and regularly acts for a number of European insurers. It represented Australia Capital Financial Management in relation to a claim against a freight-forwarder for misleading conduct and breach of warranty in relation to the issuance of bills of lading. Practice head Frazer Hunt and senior associate Maurice Lynch are the names to note; both deliver ‘work of the highest quality’, which is ‘always clear, concise and to-the-point’, and have ‘unparalleled knowledge of marine claims’. The team’s ‘depth of knowledge provides a great level of comfort from a client’s perspective’.

Based in Brisbane, Thynne + Macartney has a strong Queensland presence and the team includes Michael Fisher, who handles commercial issues as well as disputes; marine insurance specialist Matthew Hockaday; and former shipmaster and consultant Brian White, who regularly handles shipping casualties investigations. It enjoys a good reputation for P&I-related issues and cargo damage claims and acts for ship managers and agents, shipowners and charterers and repairers. Vero National Marine, QBE Insurance, the International Transport Intermediaries Club and all members of the International Group of P&I Clubs are among the team’s clients.

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