Transport, Logistics & Maritime

About Transport, Logistics & Maritime

The Australian transport and logistics industry is dynamic and central to our national prosperity. A complex, onerous and ever-changing regulatory regime, coupled with a highly competitive market, presents numerous challenges to all operators. Our clients rely on us to provide accurate and timely advice, and value our in-depth understanding of their businesses.

Cornwalls is widely recognised for its expertise in the heavy transport, logistics and maritime sectors. Our clients are indicative of the industry’s diversity and range from road freight companies and logistics businesses to developers of rail transport facilities and marinas.

We can advise on all legal, regulatory and compliance issues relating to transport, logistics and maritime industries. We work closely with our teams across the firm, providing industry specific assistance in relation to corporate, finance, dispute resolution and litigation, real estate, construction, workplace relations and safety and intellectual property.

The maritime and boating industry has its own laws, language and customs. It also faces problems not found in other industries or other areas of law. Having experience not just as maritime lawyers but with added practical experience gained from marine business ownership and marina operations, we know how to deal with these challenges – legally and commercially.

We provide a full range of legal services relating to the maritime industry, including marina developments and restructures, arrest of ships and other admiralty law matters, contracts and claims, negotiation of ship charter and management agreements, and the construction, purchase and sale of vessels.


Maritime Matters


  • commercial contracts, including transport and logistics agreements
  • owner driver contracts
  • property transactions
  • road and rail infrastructure
  • regulatory issues including carbon emissions
  • workplace relations and occupational health and safety
  • dispute resolution
  • intellectual property issues
  • sale and purchase or supply agreements including common sale of goods issues relating to passing of risks and titles, and Incoterms
  • dealing with cargo interests, including liaising with cargo insurers
  • enforcing and exercising rights or defending against claims relating to liens on cargo
  • retention of title issues, where applicable
  • carriage of goods by sea issues including claims made against ocean carriers and claims under bills of lading
  • transhipment issues
  • late deliveries including issues such as retention of cargo in bonded warehouses, damage to cargo
  • liaise with and advise on issues relating to multiple parties in a multi-modal transport situation
  • handling and running arbitrations seated in Singapore, London or Australia
  • marina developments and restructures
  • arrest of ships and other admiralty law matters
  • negotiation of ship charter and management agreements
  • the construction, purchase and sale of vessels


  • Acting for Followmont Transport in advising on and securing the Australian trademarks of their logo and their name.
  • Acting for Followmont Transport in reviewing their PPS security register relating to the company and over 2,000 PPS registrations over the company and its assets. Advising on the external parties’ PPS registrations to be removed and the streamlining and removal of internal registrations between related entities and vehicles. We also advised on the corporate structure, inter company rentals, loans and security and the steps to document and secure same on the PPS Register.
  • Acting for Felicitas in funding a corporate restructure of Evolution’s companies. Evolution is an Australian company that provides Traffic Management, Traffic Plans, Fleet Management, Civil Maintenance and Training & Safety for the transport, infrastructure and construction industries.
  • The restructure of the leasehold arrangements of three marinas. This involved negotiating with multiple parties including the state government, a complete restructure of the wet and dry leasehold arrangements of two associated marina complexes, and a 10 year extension of the lease term. A significant obstacle to the project was solved by the innovative use of concurrent leases, allowing the existing leasehold structure to remain but be overlaid with new leasehold structures – something never done before in this setting. This allowed the restructure, which would otherwise quite likely have been impossible, to succeed. Without this, the club involved would most likely have failed and hundreds of marina berth holders could have lost their investments, as occurred at Port Hinchinbrook.
  • The reconfiguration of the wet lease for a marina, involving renegotiation of the head and subleases and the registration on title of some 280 marina berths, which to date had been unprotected by registration.
  • Acting for BHD Transport & Logistics which is a mining and logistics company in the gas field of South East Qld providing corporate structure advice, internal and external loan/hire and PPS position, assisting with ACCC complaint and action against a transport finance hire company and assisting with overturning incorrect classification by Workcover from Transport to Mining Logistics.
  • Acting for Retracom Holdings’ group of companies that sell and hire shipping and storage containers throughout Australia in relation to PPS dispute with Korda Mentha, being the liquidator of Scott’s Refrigeration.
  • Acting for TriTech which is an Australian company providing refrigeration engineering for large commercial and industrial refrigeration plants and machinery clients, with work involving PPS protection, multi-million dollar tender and contract negotiations and advices.
  • Acting for SmartCap Technologies, a fatigue monitoring solution provider for the transport and mining industries, regarding international exclusive distributor agreements in Africa, Middle East and South America.
  • Acting for Valenhold in relation to international agreements with Chinese mining parts providers and US and Australian mining parts customers and structuring and PPS advice.
  • Advised for the member of a team representing the foreign owners of a commercial vessel (tugboat) involved in a fatal collision in North Queensland. This involved advising the owners and employees of the vessel on their obligations and potential prosecution under the Work Health and Safety Act, and dealing with the union, Queensland Police Service, Maritime Safety Queensland, Maritime Safety Australia Authority, other parties involved in the incident and the Port Authority.
  • Representing other marine industry participants, such as boat builders, charter operators and specialist marine suppliers, and working with marine surveyors and insurers, is another part of the team’s work.
  • Actively representing the interests of more than a dozen boating and yachting clubs as well as marinas, means that our Maritime team has the experience and can help clubs and marina operators with the various challenges by which they are confronted.

Transport, Logistics & Maritime Articles

Our Experts

Ian Heathwood

Partner, Brisbane

Robert King

Partner, Brisbane

Viknesh Pillay

Senior Associate, Melbourne