Transportation and logistics companies in Australia face unique legal challenges that only a legal team with transport industry knowledge and experience can assist with.

Our legal industry involvement and experience means that we are at the forefront of finding solutions to legal issues that face the transport industry, including heavy transport, bus and road transport and marine.



Our team acts for a variety of road transport operators from owner drivers to national logistics companies. We also act for heavy machinery and earthmoving contractors and for insurers involved in the heavy motor insurance industry.

We can help your transport business with:

  • drafting conditions of carriage
  • preparing and advising on contractual documentation such as subcontracting agreements, hire agreements and fleet provider contracts
  • advising on issues relevant to the operation of warehousing facilities
  • sale and purchase of transport businesses
  • commercial litigation including:
    • claims arising from heavy motor vehicle accident
    • claims in relation to the sale and purchase of heavy vehicles and machinery involving fit for purpose, representation, quality or warranty issue
    • claims for damage to goods in transit or storage
  • industrial relations issues such as negotiating collective bargaining and workplace agreements, defending unfair dismissal proceedings and union right of entry and Award application
  • proceedings, including dispute settlement,  in the Road Safety Remuneration Tribunal
  • managing ill and injured drivers
  • considering a range of safety matters, including fatigue management, drug and alcohol testing and general driver conduct
  • defences to Work Health & Safety Act 2011 prosecutions
  • advising in relation to and appearing at coronial inquests
  • advising on the effect of the Personal Property Securities Act (PPSA) and implementing appropriate strategy to safeguard interests
  • advising on all of the planning requirements for the establishment of and expansions of depots
  • advising on the infringement of planning legislation and any enforcement action relating to the infringement
  • interpreting transport legislation and regulations.


Cooper Grace Ward’s team has more than 50 years’ combined experience in road transport. We have assisted and represented private bus operators in a range of issues including business and share sales, as well as bus contract negotiations with state governments.

Our major services in this area include:

  • industrial relations issues such as negotiating collective bargaining and workplace agreements, defending unfair dismissal proceedings and union right of entry and Award application
  • managing ill and injured drivers
  • defences to Work Health & Safety Act 2011 prosecutions
  • defending anti-discrimination complaints in the area of employment and provisions of bus services
  • due diligence, drafting of contracts and advice on business sales, mergers and acquisitions Australia-wide
  • general commercial and property advice to private bus and transport operators, including advice on succession, restructuring and shareholder agreements.

Cooper Grace Ward has extensive experience in the transport industry and works with a range of clients in the maritime sector. We act for marine insurers, insurance brokers, carriers, cargo owners, freight forwarders, ship brokers, charterers and other participants in the maritime and shipping industry.

We advise on a range of matters including:

  • marine insurance policies, including hull and cargo, carriers’ liability and load and ship repairers’ policies
  • claims in relation to lost or damaged cargo
  • charterparty disputes, including disputes as to laytime and demurrage
  • general contract disputes including storage and repair disputes
  • liability of intermediaries such as insurance brokers, freight forwarders and ship brokers
  • marine casualties, collisions, groundings and salvage claims
  • claims by crew and passengers, including personal injury claims
  • occupational health and safety compliance issues
  • industrial relations and risk management issues
  • vessel licensing, registration and certification requirements
  • marine pollution incidents
  • securing maritime property, ship arrest and admiralty litigation
  • general average claims
  • alternative dispute resolution including arbitration and mediation.