Maritime Law

Our highly experienced and skilled professional team would be pleased to work with you to achieve maximum commercial value solutions for you.

ACM delivers high quality legal services to clients that are accessible, timely and cost effective. Throughout the conduct of a matter, our clients have direct access to the professional staff performing their work, including the commercial correspondent or lawyer responsible for its management.

Our professional rates are also below our national competition, despite our correspondents and lawyers having comparable experience.

Principal Adrienne Cahalan is one of the few lawyers and correspondents who has the practical background in the marine industry together with commercial marine qualifications and a degree in Meteorology. Our team is able to assist clients in person at any port of Australia and the Western Pacific.

Shipping, Insurance and General Commercial

Our marine team provide legal services to the commercial shipping, insurance, transport, fishing, superyacht and recreational marine industries, including general maritime claims, marine casualties and litigation. We act for vessel owners, operators, charterers and offshore operations; transport companies, industry participants, insurance companies and underwriters.

Our expertise in the marine industry includes not only marine commercial and professional qualifications but also our team members enjoy participating in recreational marine activities, outside the office including yachting. Our services include providing assistance in the following areas:

  • Maritime casualty incident response, including collision, recovery, wreck removal, pilotage and salvage;
  • Marine and environmental pollution including general commercial, fishing and recreational vessels;
  • Maritime safety compliance including review of Safety Management Systems;
  • General marine commercial issues including drafting of contracts, charter parties, and other agreements;
  • Vessel sale and purchase; and
  • Customs and quarantine matters;
  • Matters involving marine authorities.

Vessel Registration and Documentation

We routinely advise sellers and purchasers on a range of commercial matters, including vessel purchasing and sale contracts, shipping contracts, charter parties and registration in Australia or offshore. We can assist with vessel documentation for many aspects of commercial and recreational vessels particularly superyachts.

Advising parties on the requirements and operation of marine related legislation including the National Law relating to Domestic Commercial Vessels, Australian Regulated Vessels and foreign registered vessels operating in Australia together with advising on and assisting with protocols published by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) and the suite of legislation the body administers. 

Maritime Casualty Response and Pollution

Emergency response capability for monitoring, controlling and organising an immediate and appropriate response having regard to safety of crew, vessel and environment including medivacs, appointing surveyors and casualty management. We have an extensive network of contacts in the South Pacific region to give advice and practical assistance.

We have experience dealing with marine casualty responses in Australia and the Western Pacific including collision, groundings, wreck removal, pilotage, damage to fixed and floating objects and salvage. Such experience involves defending criminal prosecutions arising from fatalities, oil pollution, collisions and groundings. Our experience includes Coroner’s Inquests and other government enquiries in Australia.

Acting for underwriters and international owners with respect to oil pollution, salvage and groundings on and around the East Coast of Australia, the Great Barrier Reef and responding to environmental implications in Australia and the Western Pacific.

P & I Correspondent

The people at ACM have gained significant expertise through their work as P & I Correspondents for the International Group Clubs for over 25 years in national legal firms.

Our office is in Sydney, however members of our team are able to provide correspondent services throughout the Western Pacific Region in addition to the services we provide in Australia in particular Northern Queensland, the Northern Territory and the Australian East Coast. One of our primary areas of practice is acting for P & I Group Clubs as lawyers and general correspondents for Australia, Papua New Guinea and Western Pacific Ports. We can assist in the following countries in the Western Pacific in addition to Australia such as American Samoa, East Timor, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Mariana Islands, New Caledonia, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Western Samoa.