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With over 20 years’ experience, Nic specialises in shipping and commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Nic’s clients include shipowners, charterers, traders, logistics and mining companies and their insurers including P&I and H&M.
Nic’s work involves the broad cross section of marine matters including charterparties, contracts of affreightment, bills of lading, offshore oil & gas and ship construction disputes, as well as contract drafting and advisory work. He has accumulated significant experience acting for owners and operators of offshore supply vessels and FPSO's, in matters relating to heavy lift and project cargoes, marine casualty and fire investigations, ship arrest, coastal shipping regulation and ship sale & purchase transactions.
He has extensive experience in domestic and international commercial arbitration and mediation, having conducted arbitrations and mediations in London, Hong Kong, Singapore and Australia. His litigation experience spans courts in South Africa, England and Australia, in which jurisdictions he is qualified to practice.
Nic is recognised by his clients, peers and international legal directories such as Chambers and Partners, Legal 500, Who’s Who Legal, Best Lawyers and Doyles Guide. Nic’s clients describe him as "a very good communicator who is able to explain the more technical concepts in a way a layman can understand” and “He is sensible, practical and very good to deal with” (Chambers Asia Pacific). He is also described as having “extremely good industry knowledge” and is rated for his “excellent client focus and support” (Legal 500 Asia Pacific)
Admiralty arrest: Advising and representing clients on arrest of ships, including the Admiralty Marshal, mortgagees, charterers, cargo claimants, ship owners and their insurers defending claims. In one of Australia's leading Court of Appeal cases on ship arrest ("The Dangjin") he successfully challenged the Federal Court's jurisdiction on appeal thereby obtaining the vessel's release from arrest without having to provide US$9 million security demanded.
Charterparties, COAs and Bills of Lading: Nic regularly advises clients on all aspects of charterparties, COAs and bills of lading, in both contentions and non-contentious matters. Having practiced in London for seven years he has significant experience in London Arbitration. More recently Nic acted for a slot charterer of the "YM Efficiency" following the loss of numerous of containers off the coast of NSW and the charterers of the "Iron Chieftain" that caught fire at Port Kembla and was subsequently declared a constructive total loss.
Marine insurance: Advising marine insurers on cargo claims, charterparty disputes, freight forwarder liabilities, port liabilities, stevedoring claims and other marine liability claims. Nic acted for the owners and insurers of the "APL Sydney" in defending a AUD 120 million claim following the fouling and rupture of a major gas pipeline by the vessel's anchor and the successfully limited the liability of the owners under the Limitation Convention.
Ship sale & purchase: Advising clients on ship sale and purchase agreements, ship registration, hire and lease back arrangements.
Ship design and construction: Regularly advising on ship design and construction contracts, including non-contentious contracting advice, for example Nic recently advise the main contractor under an EPC contract for the refurbishment of an FPSO and acted for a demise charterer in a dispute arising under a contract for the refurbishment and lengthening of ropax ferry involving overseas yard work and installation.
Ship recycling: Advising clients on all regulatory aspects associated with ship recycling in Australia, including their obligations under the Basel and Hong Kong Conventions when engaging recycling yards in EU and Asia. Nic has also advised client on the removal and disposal of wrecks.
Offshore Oil & Gas: Advising Owners and operators of FPSOs and supply vessels, in relation to charterparties, towage, collisions, pollution and regulatory issues, including NOPSEMA. Nic recently represented the owners of a FSO operated of WA in relation to off-hire and off-take disputes as well as claims for damage to submersible pumps following the emergency activation of the marine breakaway coupling on the FSO's import hose.
Marine pollution: Acting for P&I Clubs and owners defending marine pollution claims arising from oil, noxious liquid substances and waste. Nic successfully defended the owners of a tanker that was pushed off her berth whilst discharging a cargo of crude oil at Williamstown, VIC and charged with of numerous pollution offences.
Ports: Advising on all marine issues associated with port operations and port facility development including the development of a new offshore supply base and bulk liquid storage facility. Nic has also advised client on port and terminal access and user agreements.
Construction and real estate: Nic regularly acts for developers, landlords and managers of commercial properties including listed property trusts in relation to disputes under construction contracts, management agreements and leases, including retail leases. Recently he acted for a trustee of a property trust in relation to an access dispute concerning multiple commercial properties the subject of a 40year lease and also for one of Australia's largest property developers in relation to claims under various service agreements.
Trade & Commodities