Ernest van Buuren

Norton Rose Fulbright Australia

Ernest van Buuren

Ernest van Buuren


Related services and key industries


Ernest is the Head of Transport for Asia Pacific and the Head of Shipping for Australia.  He is also a qualified master mariner and is based in Brisbane and Sydney. 

Ernest has a strong focus on solutions critical for clients.  His strong service mentality is supported by an ability to listen well and grasp key issues in the industry and deliver commercial advice.

Ernest has extensive experience in providing advice on shipping, maritime and aviation matters in the Asia Pacific region, including Australia, Fiji, New Caledonia, New Zealand and Papua New Guinea.   The diversity of matters he has advised on include collisions in the Malacca Strait; fatalities and claims arising from a helicopter incident in New Caledonia; groundings, major cargo claims, charter party and stevedoring disputes in PNG, a major engine failure at a power station in Fiji; and the 2nd largest casualty in the world involving the grounding of a container ship in New Zealand.  In Australia and Asia Pacific he is recognised  as a leading lawyer including in Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017 for Transport - Shipping and as a recommended lawyer for Transport – road, rail and aviation.

He regularly advises on high profile and complex admiralty matters, including the grounding of “Sheng Neng 1” on the Great Barrier Reef in 2011, grounding and salvage of “Rena” in New Zealand in 2011, collision between “B Oceania” and “Xin Tai Hai” in Malacca Strait in 2011 and “APL Sydney” damage to pipeline in Melbourne in 2008.  He also advises on international trade, the regulation of shipping, sale and purchase of ships, ship building, dry docking, repair and conversion contracts, cargo and other marine insurance claims and charter party disputes.

His clients include government agencies both State and Federal, financial institutions, insurers, cargo and ship owner interests, intermediaries, freight forwarders, mining companies and oil and gas companies. 

Professional experience

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  • Supreme Court of Victoria 1994
  • High Court of Australia 1996
  • English