Transport & Aviation

Carter Newell Lawyers provides legal services on liability, regulatory, planning, environmental and commercial matters to the transport industry.  Carter Newell’s Transport team acts for heavy transport and rail operators, logistics companies and insurers in defence of personal injury, property damage and contract dispute claims, workplace health and safety, cargo, business interruption, employers’ liability and personal injury claims across a wide range of matters including defective vehicle manufacturer and repair, product liability, driver negligence and fatigue management.  We can assist companies operating in the mining and mineral sector which need to secure access to road, rail and port capacity. This includes specialised logistical agreements that can impact a company’s ability to get products to market, including exporting.

Within the aviation sector there is a requirement for highly specialised advice, the aviation industry alone has complex regulatory requirements including multi-jurisdictional regulations.

Carter Newell’s Aviation team works across the Asia Pacific Region supporting clients including airports, airlines, helicopter operators which provide services to the aviation sector including ground handlers, refuelers, LAMEs, airport contractors and aircraft repairers.

Whilst the general business issues facing airlines and airports may be common to other sectors, the overlay of significant regulatory frameworks imposes a need for specialist advice, e.g. air-side safety and security.

Airlines and airports operate in an unique business environment and can access specialised legal services from Carter Newell on matters ranging from property, construction, real estate development, corporate governance, aircraft acquisition and financial and ferry arrangements, aircraft and property leasing, security, compliance and risk management issues and regulatory compliance matters, in addition to / as well as, working with their various underwriters for general liability, ISR, and contract works insurance policies. 

Advice on aircraft and aviation insurance is a focus of Carter Newell’s Aviation team, with the ability to provide insurance and risk management advice (both pre and post loss).

Within this sector, we specialise in the following areas of expertise:

  • Coronial inquiries including supporting clients following major air catastrophes throughout the coronial procedures 
  • Marine insurance
  • Rail and port capacity ‘take or pay’ agreements.

Recognised expertise


Conducting defence litigation for an airline service provider following one of Australia’s worst landside airport toxic PFAS spills.


Acted in major aviation loses including the mid-air collision between a Cessna 172-N and a Piper PA38-112 Tomahawk during a training flight, accidents in Papua New Guinea including the NG Dash-8 and the DCH6-300 Twin Otter Aircraft crashes, as well as three Airlink disasters.

Business interruption

Acted in relation to a demand for substantial business interruption costs incurred by the airline as a result of a night stop at an International Airport. The night stop ensued following a mechanical failure in a specialist high lift (A380) truck; the failure meant the aircraft and the truck could not be detached without causing damage to the aircraft. By the time mechanical repairs could be effected, the curfew applicable to flights was in force and the aircraft was delayed overnight.

Commercial issues

Advised a number of Australian and overseas based carriers on a variety of commercial issues ranging from charter agreements, finance and sales contract, terms and conditions of carriage and wet / dry hire terms.

Property damage

Acted in a Supreme Court claim involving damage to a prime mover owned by a company involved in high end heavy transport. The prime mover was damaged when a 'feeder breaker’ moving along a track was being walked onto the back of a trailer and slid along the tray and collided with the cabin of the truck.


Acted in the Queensland Supreme Court litigation arising out of phase 1 of the Gold Coast Light Rail Project (claim value $330 million).

Related services and sectors

Professional Guides and other documents