Adrienne Cahalan OAM
Adrienne has combined a career in international professional yacht racing with her work as a lawyer and expert witness in navigation, marine and weather. Adrienne sailed her first Sydney Hobart Races in 1984, started sailing as a professional sailor in 1988 on 18 foot skiffs, was admitted to practice law in 1991and raced her first Whitbread as navigator 1993-1994.
Adrienne is best known for her extensive and successful career in yacht racing as a navigator from 1988 to date including 18 foot skiffs, 28 Sydney to Hobart Yacht Races, 3 circumnavigations, Whitbread and Volvo round the world races, 5 multihull world speed sailing records including the 24 hour record and the Round the World Record with Steve Fossett on the catamaran Cheyenne in 2004 (58 days). She was nominated for Female world sailor of the year 4 times in 1998, 2002, 2003 & 2004 and was Australian Yachtswoman of the Year in 2003 and 2005. In 2019 she was awarded an Order of Australia Medal and inducted into the Australian Sailing Hall of Fame.
Since 1992 Adrienne has practiced law in the area of commercial law specialising in maritime law and marine insurance engaged by clients from government and high net worth companies and individuals to small business and other organisations to advise and act for them in litigation, incident response, commercial transactions and compliance. She also works as a weather, climate and navigation consultant for marine, litigation and corporate advisory matters.
Adrienne graduated from the University of Sydney in Arts (Hons) and Law in 1989 and has been admitted to practice as a solicitor in the State Supreme Court of NSW & Queensland, Federal and High Court of Australia since 1991. Adrienne currently holds a practicing certificate from the NSW Law Society. She was admitted to practice in Queensland from 1999-2019 and returned to practicing lase in NSW in mid-2019 when she opened her own law firm Agar Cahalan Maritime. Adrienne completed post graduate studies in Applied Meteorology at the University of Reading UK in 2003 She also has commercial marine qualifications (Master 5, MED 3).
Adrienne joined the shipping, insurance and transport department as a graduate solicitor at Norton Smith & Co in Sydney in 1992 and moved with the firm to Cairns Queensland which later became Brian White & Associates (BWA) (1998-2016). At BWA, as a consultant P & I correspondent Adrienne specialised in maritime law engaged in all aspects of shipping, insurance, commercial and transport including marine casualties, marine contracts and transactions, wreck removal and other commercial and transport/shipping related claims in northern Australia and the south west Pacific. This was done in conjunction with here sea going career. In December 2016 she joined RBG Lawyers in Brisbane as a consultant working remotely establishing a new marine department specialising in marine and commercial transport matters.
Adrienne regularly participates in industry groups and on panels including the Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand, Women in Maritime and WISTA (Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association).
Adrienne was a member of the World Sailing Council, a member of the International Regulations Committee and Oceanic and Offshore Committee at World Sailing from 2009-2016. She was the first woman appointed to the Board of the national body Australian Sailing from 2004-2010.