Geoff has over 20 years experience working with the transport and commodities industries in Australia, and overseas. In that time he has developed a degree of expertise which allows him to anticipate his clients needs and help them to develop effective commercial strategies to win business and resolve disputes.
Geoff's expertise includes:
- Transport contract drafting and advice; including bills of lading, charterparties, ship management agreements and road and rail contracts.
- Commodity contract drafting and advice; including the production, processing, storage and sale of commodities including grain; cotton; coal; precious metals; minerals and ores; oils and tallows.
- International and domestic dispute resolution; including mediation, litigation and arbitration both in Australia, and overseas, including enforcement of arbitration awards.
- Regulatory advice, including marine and navigation, and competition issues involving transport and commodities.
- Commercial transactions, including ship sale and purchase.
International arbitration I acted for an Australian company in a dispute with a Malaysian company that involved arbitration in London. We defeated various procedural objections from our opponents and obtained a highly favourable settlement, saving time and money for our client.
Eliminating demurrage When an Australian exporter and charterer needed advice about demurrage arising under a FOB contract, I provided a solution that removed the obligation to pay any demurrage whatsoever.
Other examples of my experience include:
- providing comprehensive on-going legal advice to a major international commodity trading company in relation to coal exporting from Australia.
- working with a broad-based segment of the Australian grain industry, as well as the ACCC, and Department of Agriculture, in the development of a voluntary industry Code of Conduct for Access to grain export terminal services.
- acting for shipowners and their P&I insurers in defending cargo-claims.
- advising major shipowners in relation to issues of limitation of liability for maritime claims under Australia's limitation statutes.
- acting on two significant ship sales for major Australian shipowners in the last 12 months - on time, and on budget.
- acting for a commodity producer in successfully taking "stoppage in transitu" proceedings in Australian Courts for the first time in 100 years.
- acting for a major Australian bulk-handling company in successfully defending a major "Chain of Responsibility" prosecution pursued by the Road Transport regulator, as well as successfully defending two appeals by the prosecutor.
- regularly advising in relation to claims under the Admiralty Act 1988 including the arrest of ships and negotiation of security.
- conducting international arbitration in various forums around the world, as well as locally.
- acting for local and international companies in relation to interpretation and disputes arising under charterparties and contracts of affreightment.
Qualifications, membership and recognition
- Bachelor of Laws, Australian National University
- Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University
- Director, Grain Trade Australia Ltd
- Honorary Fellow, Australian Institute of Export
- Member, Shipping Australia