15 December – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – The Transport & Trade Groups of the Melbourne offices of leading Australian firms Middletons, and Blake Dawson & Waldron will come together in a move to HFW. The office will be headed by 4 of Australia’s most distinguished maritime and trade lawyers, Robert Springall, Gavin Vallely and David Roylance of Middletons and Chris Quennell of Blake Dawson & Waldron.
HFW has an extensive network of offices in Asia and Europe and identified the establishment of a strong presence in Australia as a logical step to enhance the firm’s capability to provide clients with the best possible regional service in its core areas of Shipping & Transport, Trade & Energy, Commercial law and Insurance & Reinsurance.
Greg Gray, HFW’s Managing Partner, points out that Australia is one of the world’s largest exporters of bulk commodities, in particular grain, coal and iron ore. HFW’s strategy is to ensure that the firm is able to provide the highest quality legal services to its clients in those regions of high shipping and trade activity. The establishment of the Melbourne office will place HFW in a unique position to service participants in the Asia/South Pacific trades.
HFW recently further strengthened its international network by announcing the setting up an office in Dubai. The establishment of the Melbourne and Dubai offices brings HFW’s offices to 10. “From the clients’ perspective the value of these offices is greatly enhanced by the involvement of extremely high quality partners with many years of local and international experience” said Greg Gray.
The partners joining from Middletons’ top ranked Transport & Trade practice bring more than 50 years’ experience of legal practice in all aspects of international transport and trade activities in Australia to HFW. In addition, Robert Springall and Gavin Vallely have also practiced for significant periods in London.
Robert Springall has been in the transport industry for over 20 years. He specialises in P&I risks, Maritime Transport & Trade, Industrial Relations disputes involving boycott activity, disputes arising from commercial shipping and agency contracts and Immigration.
Gavin Vallely concentrates on dry and liquid bulk shipping operations and specialises in Australian commercial shipping projects and related regulatory, operational and taxation issues, FD&D disputes, sale & purchase of bulk commodities, and marine pollution and occupational health prosecutions. He recently received the Australian Lloyd’s List DCN award for ‘Newsmaker of the Year’ in recognition of his work in representing Australian and international shipping interests in relation to a range of issues involving the Australian Taxation Office.
David Roylance is also a Maritime Transport & Trade specialist and is regarded as one of Australia’s leading commercial lawyers in respect of ship sale & purchase/conversion contracts and offshore oil and gas projects – including large scale litigation in these areas. David Roylance also specialises in advising multi modal logistics operators and has drafted standardised carriage contracts for the leading liability insurer of multi modal carriers’ risks.
Chris Quennell has led Blake Dawson & Waldron’s Melbourne Transport & Trade Group for the past 7 years. Chris has 25 years experience in Maritime and Trade law, having practiced in London, Hong Kong and Australia. He specialises in maritime disputes and international bulk commodities contacts and related regulatory issues. Chris also advises in relation to international trade issues including UN actions involving Australia exporter interests.