Hospitality, Retail & Tourism

Businesses in the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors contribute strongly to the Australian economy and range from SMEs to large corporate entities providing goods and services to the entire population.

Carter Newell provides legal service to a wide range of enterprises within the hospitality, retail and tourism sectors from retail shopping centres to pubs, clubs, hotels, tourism operators from helicopter rides, dive schools to resorts and farm stays.

Our multi-disciplinary team supports organisations at all stages of their development and can provide solutions for the broad range of legal issues facing the industry - from investment, acquisition and constructions, to management of commercial issues and claims.

The core of expertise that Carter Newell provides to these industries revolves around supporting clients exposed to liabilities from their interaction with the general public, their clients and their employees, as well as from products’ liability.

All these sectors are exposed to personal injury claims ranging from slip and fall type incidents, for example in a shopping centre, to catastrophic injury and permanent impairment resulting from participating in a high-risk recreational activity (such as diving).  In the hospitality sector, claims which arise have particular demands associated with incidents involving the handling by security of patrons at late night venues. The defence of such claims is highly specialised, sometimes requiring medical knowledge, and a focus on managing claims with a sensitive but commercial approach.

Within this sector, product liability insurances may cover defective products and the necessity to recall such products can lead to significant claims resulting from personal injury, property damage, business interruption, product recall costs and damage to brand reputation. In addition, supplier contracts and leases are critical to get right if you operate a business such as a coffee shop, retail premises, hotel, resort or a pub, club or restaurant. Carter Newell has the in-depth knowledge and specialist expertise to advise on matters as they arise including claims, policy wording, disputes and contract documentation.

From greenfield sites to extensions and upgrades, the Carter Newell team provides support for planning approvals, construction contracts and dispute handling, as well as staffing issues for all facilities in this sector.

Recognised expertise

Brand reputation management from product liability

Acted for an international cosmetics company in relation to a voluntary product recall. Carter Newell provided advice on management of the recall process and product returns and complaints. Recovery of losses were then pursed against the manufacturer responsible for the defect. During this process, Carter Newell also worked with the insured to protect the impact on its brand reputation.

Construction claims

Acted for a large architectural company who was contracted as architect and superintendent on the construction of a large shopping centre. A multi-party claim was bought by the developer relating to significant water penetration issues. By undertaking early detailed investigations and obtaining an early expert assessment, Carter Newell were able to control costs and negotiate the resolution of the matter.

Defective and/or damaging product

Carter Newell has been involved in large scale product liability claim involving over 2,000 claimants whom have suffered loss as a result of the faulty product with damages exceeding $50 million.

Licenced premises

Acted on behalf of a hotelier who was being sued for failing to stop a patron from being assaulted. The patron had been hit in the arm with a pool cue, causing injury. Through a close frame-by-frame analysis of the CCTV footage, interviews with witnesses and security staff, it was established the claimant’s partner accidentally hit her.

Obvious risk

Represented an amusement company which runs a number of attractions at carnivals and festivals. The claimant alleged she sustained significant spinal and psychological injury as a result of diving into a shallow inflatable swimming pool under the operation of the amusement company. This claim was successfully resolved by negotiation which included the consideration that diving into shallow water was an obvious risk.

Acting in numerous claims involving injuries and death caused by scuba diving activities. These claims involved the interpretation of waivers signed by participants to exclude liability for injuries arising from diving activities.

Product recall

Acted on behalf of an insurer of various manufacturers of egg products in advising on prospects of recovery against producers of eggs infected with salmonella. The matter involved mass recall of eggs and consideration of expert evidence proving levels of salmonella infection and food handling techniques.

Related services and sectors


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