Environmental and Toxic Tort Litigation

Our toxic torts lawyers represent manufacturers and end-users of hazardous products in the defence of complex litigation, often in class action and multi-plaintiff claims. We have acted in litigation involving pharmaceutical and agricultural products, asbestos, chemical poisoning, mould, dust diseases, toxic waste, and microwave technology.

Few Australian law firms have the niche experience or expertise to advise clients on both the legal and scientific complexities of toxic torts. Our lawyers include a member from an internationally-recognised product liability practice, and many hold dual qualifications in areas including chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology, pharmacology and physiology. This capability means that our lawyers quickly recognise and understand the critical scientific issues in each matter, making our service more cost-effective and efficient.

With the most extensive class actions experience of any Australian law firm, our lawyers are best positioned to advise clients on the unique impact of a toxic tort class action, and the specialised legal strategies required to deal effectively with class actions claims.

We have experience in advising on a broad range of hazardous materials, including pesticides, radiation, solvents, diesel, asbestos, heavy metals including nickel/silica, cobalt, lead, zinc, cadium, arsenic, and gases including cyanide, carbon disulphide and ammonia. We also regularly provide risk management advice in relation to potential exposures to these materials.

We also have specific experience in complex property and environmental litigation stemming from the impact of hazardous and toxic substances. Our experience includes acting in litigation involving agricultural products, environmental pollution, contaminated land and microbiological pest control.

The broad range of our experience also enables us to advise clients on their potential exposure to future liabilities, and to develop legal strategies to reduce those risks.

The diverse environmental, health and safety issues involved in these matters often requires input and evidence from scientific experts, and we have developed and maintain close relationships with Australian and international experts in fields including neuroscience, clinical toxicology, psychopharmacology, immunology and pathology. Our experience working with scientific experts in litigation matters gives our clients access to the most comprehensive and effective expert advice available.

We provide clients with advice on:

  • pre-emptive risk management strategies and implementation (including internal and external communications strategies on legal risk issues)
  • investigations, prosecutions and penalties
  • the preparation of complex forensic scientific evidence related to novel causation issues
  • insurance issues relating to claims
  • compliance issues and working with regulatory bodies
  • defending class actions and personal injury claims
  • due diligence, risk allocation and disclosure of environmental assessments in property transactions