Chris Sacré


Qualifications: GdipLaw (England & Wales), BEng (Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering)



Chris is a leading transport and trade lawyer with extensive experience in shipping, international trade and marine insurance.

Chris has practiced in London, Hong Kong and Sydney, including time inhouse with a ship management company and P&I insurer.

Chris’ experience ensures a deep understanding of all aspects of shipping and trade as well as the insurance that underpins it. Chris advises many corporates on the transport and supply of goods globally, covering both pre-transportation contractual advice and the resolution of disputes arising out of the carriage.


Chris’ contentious and non-contentious practice covers the following areas:

  • Shipping and Transport: Advising shipowners, charterers and cargo interests on disputes arising out of the carriage of goods by sea, land and air;
  • Marine Insurance: Representing Australia’s leading marine insurers of cargo, hull, marine liabilities and pleasurecraft on coverage issues and subrogated recoveries;
  • Petroleum: Contractual advice concerning the petroleum supply chain from exploration to retail sale;
  • LNG and projects: Advising owners and operators of vessels involved in LNG and other projects on all regulatory issues arising out of importation and operation in Australian waters;
  • Commodities: Advising commodity traders on disputes arising out of international sale and carriage of goods; and
  • Commercial litigation and arbitration: Litigating regularly in the Supreme and Federal Courts as well as ACICA, LMAA, GAFTA and ICC arbitrations.


  • Leading Australian Marine Insurers:
    • Constructive total loss of dredging barge while under tow from PNG to Australia;
    • Non-disclosure defence to cargo claims arising out of international courier network;
    • Damage to $25 million superyacht while being carried on a heavy lift vessel. Coverage issues concerning double insurance and recovery claims against shipowners;
    • Cargo losses by wetting arising out of insufficiency of packing;
    • Subrogated recovery claim against electricians in respect of the total loss by fire of a commercial tourism vessel in northern Queensland;
    • Defence of numerous personal injury claims arising out of shipboard operations, yachting collisions and pleasurecraft accidents
  • Container Lines/P&I:
    • Handling all cargo claims arising out of the total loss of forty containers at sea in heavy weather;
    • Investigating the deaths of two crewmembers onboard a vessel in Kiribati;
    • Advisng on wreck removal liabilties and executive orders following the sinking of a domestic commercial vessel off NSW;
    • Defending the Master of a product carrier prosecuted for navigating within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park.
  • LNG: Advising ship owners on all regulatory aspects of the two FSRU projects planned for Crib Point (Victoria) and Port Kembla (NSW);
  • Oil and gas: Advising one of the world’s largest trading houses on petroleum and LNG sale, purchase, carriage and storage agreements;
  • Fuel retail: Advising one of the worlds largest owners/operators of retail fuel sites on all issues arisng out of the operation of service stations and the supply of petroleum products in Australia.
  • Iron ore trader: International trade dispute concerning a contract for the supply of iron ore valued in excess of US$750 million and the associated letters of credit. Freezing injunctions in the Supreme Court and ICC Arbitration in Geneva;
  • Grain trader: Representing one of Australia’s largest grain traders in GAFTA Arbitration arising out of the non-performance of a contract for the sale of wheat to China;
  • NSW oil spill response, evidence gathering, minimising liabilities and handling the resulting prosecution; and
  • Ship Arrest: Representing ship owners in arrest proceedings in the Federal Court.


Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2024

Recognised in the Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2024 guide as Leading – Transport: shipping and described as ‘conscientious, commercial and has wide experience of maritime law issues in London and Hong Kong in addition to Australia’.


Ranked in Chambers & Partners legal directory for shipping and described as having 'impressive skills in shipping and international resources transportation matters'.

Best Lawyers

Recognised in Best Lawyers in Australia in Shipping & Maritime Law and Transportation Law every year since 2020.

Who's Who Legal: Australia

Recommended by Who’s Who Legal: Australia for Transport and Shipping. Chris is described as having a 'thoroughness and ability to understand clients’ commercial needs“ and an impressive “ability to appreciate the commercial complexity that surround parties in litigation'.

Doyles Guide to the Australian Legal Profession

Recommended by Doyles Guide for Admiralty, Shipping and Maritime.

Awards and recognition

Best Lawyers in Australia 2020-2025
Recognised – Shipping & Maritime Law and Transportation Law
Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific 2022-2024
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2024
Leading – Transport: shipping
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2023
Leading – Transport: shipping and Recommended – Insurance
Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2022 & 2023
Recommended – Australian Admiralty, Shipping & Maritime Lawyers
Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession 2023
Recommended – Transport Law – Australia
Who's Who Legal: Australia & New Zealand 2022
Recommended – Shipping

Professional Membership

  • Shipping Australia Ltd
  • Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand

Latest thinking

Transport & Trade | 15 Dec 2023

Sanctions update: a quick-reference guide to Australian sanctions in respect of Russia and Ukraine

We offer information on both the latest expansion of sanctions affecting the supply of machinery to Russia and provide a broader overview of the Russian sanctions regime.