Murray Tavener

Senior Associate
Maritime + TransportInsurance

About Murray

Based in Thynne + Macartney's Cairns office, Murray has more than 18 years of experience in insurance, public liability and personal injury litigation across industries and sectors, including maritime, transport, building and construction and medical malpractice.

Murray's goal is to achieve resolution for his clients in an efficient and effective manner.

With extensive knowledge and experience of the laws governing maritime operations, Murray is able to achieve practical and efficient results for his clients. Whether a client's issue is contentious or non-contentious, he can assist at all stages of a matter whether involving advice, investigation of a claim, negotiation or representation at court.

Focusing on the defence of liability claims for national and international insurers and P&I Clubs, Murray regularly advises on insurance issues and claims involving property damage, personal injury and the carriage of goods.

He also assists vessel operators and fishermen with regulatory requirements, including for operating in the Great Barrier Reef, Gulf of Carpentaria and Northern Territory regions.

He has worked across jurisdictions in Australia and internationally. Clients rely on him to manage and resolve complex matters, bringing together his expertise in indemnity insurance, liability claims, interpretation of multi-jurisdictional policy and legislation, and drafting of complex legal instruments and development of innovative strategies.

Client testimonials



  • Bachelor of Biomedical Sciences - University of Newcastle
  • Bachelor of Laws - University of Newcastle
  • Admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in February 2009


Memberships & Appointments


Relevant Experience

  • Defending personal injury claims for vessel operators, including from slips and falls, equipment failures, rough weather, swimming and snorkelling incidents and shark attacks.
  • Defending liability claims (for property damage and personal injury) arising from vessel collisions.
  • Defending claims for cargo damage and advising on the application of terms and conditions for carriage of goods.
  • Representing vessel operators and crew in workplace health and safety investigations.
  • Acting for clients charged with offences for fishing in a prohibited zone, which carried potentially significant penalties. Our clients pleaded guilty to 'strict liability' offences, and we made submissions in mitigation of penalty which resulted in favourable fines being achieved.
  • Representing insurers and shipowners in marine pollution events.
  • Advising on towage contract terms and negotiating suitable contracts.
  • Assisting vessel owners with the detention of vessels by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority for various deficiencies.
  • Assisting charter operators with preparing appropriate carriage documents, including liability waivers and risk warnings for passengers.
  • Representing a client charged under the Torres Strait Fisheries Act. Our client pleaded guilty but demonstrated the offence had been committed in exceptional circumstances and no conviction was recorded.
  • Advising on the purchase of foreign flagged vessels and for registration in Australia.
  • Advising on an investigation and prosecution by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority relating to a missing crew member.
  • Responding to a 'show cause notice' issued to a client by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority seeking to vary conditions for a vessel's certificate of operation.
  • Advised on a contractual dispute for the sale of a vessel and the buyer's entitlement for specific performance and damages. The vessel was located in Australia but the parties to the contract were located in various international jurisdictions, including Hong Kong, Turkey, Malta, the Isle of Man and the United Kingdom.
  • Advising the owner of a vessel arrested for unpaid fees for towage services owed in another jurisdiction, which required consideration of chartering arrangements and international sanctions.
  • Assisting shipowners with Border Force investigations related to crew members.