Abstract New ternary transition metal complexes of formulations [Ni(bpa)( p-AB)Cl] n · 3 nH 2O (bpa = 2,2′-bipyridylamine, p-AB = aminobenzenecarboxylic acid) ( 1), [Cu(bpa)( p-AB)Cl] · H 2O ( 2), [Zn(bpa)( p-AB) 2] · H 2O ( 3) are prepared, their structural features are characterized by crystal structural studies, and their DNA binding propensity has been evaluated by fluorescence and viscosity method. In complex 2 and 3, both bpa and p-AB act as the bidentate N and O-donor ligand, respectively. While in complex 1, p-AB acts as a rare tridentate ligand. In the packing pattern of each complex, π–π interaction in their solid state is also described. The complexes show the competitive inhibition of ethidium binding to DNA, and the DNA binding propensity can be reflected as the relative order: 1 > 2 > 3.