The disputes and investigations team at Allens has an impressive client roster which includes blue-chip international, regional and national public and private companies, handling complex regulatory investigations, competition litigation and law reform advocacy. Andrew Maher leads the practice from Melbourne, with a particular focus on the oil and gas industries, financial services and product liability claims. Both Guy Foster (in Sydney) and Belinda Thompson (in Melbourne) are notable team members in the class action and regulatory spaces, and alongside Maher recently represented Crown in a case regarding its Australian casino operations. Other areas of activity include the transport, TMT, infrastructure, power and utilities, and health and government arenas, amongst others. Clients also benefit from the firm's fully integrated legal, technology and review offering.
Dispute resolution: litigation in Australia
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is deep in knowledge, people and talent and is always a pleasure to work with. I feel genuinely supported by this firm in difficult situations, with the firm always finding a way through. Always professional, and wonderful colleagues.’
‘Alex Mason is a breath of fresh air. It is wonderful to see such a talented woman rise through the ranks and do so well. Alex operates well beyond her years as a partner and has a significant practice. She is well known for her high performance teams, and strategic approach to matters. I truly value Alex as a colleague.’
‘Peter Haig is the ultimate professional, who always sets out to achieve the best objectives for his clients. He is an absolute pleasure to work with, even during stressful periods. I will always be thankful to Pete for leading us through very challenging times.’
‘Paul Nicols is an exceptional communicator and very effective at presenting complex legal issues.’
‘Malcolm Stephens stands out for his vision, legal skills and tactics.’
Crown Resorts Limited and its subsidiaries
ANZ Banking Group Limited
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Department of Justice and Community Safety, Victoria
Ford Motor Company of Australia
PTTEP Australasia (Ashmore Cartier) Pty Ltd
REST Super Fund
Snowy Mountain Engineering Company
Westpac Banking Corporation
- Advising Crown in relation to various significant matters arising in connection with the NSW Casino Inquiry.
- Representing REST Super Fund in litigation concerning climate-related risk disclosure.
- Acting for and advising the Department of Justice and Community Safety, including Emergency Management Victoria and Corrections Victoria, throughout the Victorian COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry.
Ashurst‘s dispute resolution team is highly adept at handling energy and resources, financial services, construction and infrastructure disputes, as well as class actions and domestic and international arbitrations. The practice is heavily involved in contentious litigation, regulatory and corporate investigations, and enforcement. Brisbane-based Jeremy Chenoweth is practice group head, and the team has benefitted from the arrivals of financial services litigator Nicholas Mavrakis from Clayton Utz, and construction and projects disputes specialist Matthew Blycha, who was previously managing partner at HFW and is based in the Perth office. Andrew Carter has specialist expertise in corporate and securities regulation and litigation and Rani John and Wen-Ts’ai Lim have strength in commercial litigation. All named lawyers are based in Sydney unless noted otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is great in all aspects of its practice and provides excellent analysis and support.’
‘The team has offered us both great strategic insight, blended with very efficient and responsive client service.’
‘Easy to work with, highly commercial and switched on Disputes Team. Good understand of our values and commercial drivers. Bring thoughtful and clearly explained solutions to complex problems.’
‘Experienced, thoughtful and well-rounded litigators.’
AGL Energy Limited
Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty Ltd
CBRE Pty Limited
Gold Coast City Council
Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty Limited
Leighton Offshore Pte Limited
MMA Offshore Limited
MMI Indonesia Investments Pty Ltd
Nexus Infrastructure Pty Ltd
Northern Oil & Gas Australia Pty Limited
Northern Star Resources Ltd
NorthWest Healthcare Australian Property Proprietary Limited
Paladin Solutions PNG Ltd
Roads and Maritime Services
Shell International Limited
SRG Global Limited
Whitehaven Finance Company Pty Ltd
Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Limited
Woodside Energy Ltd.
WorkPac Pty Ltd
WSA Co Limited
Yanzhou Coal Mining Company Limited
- Representing CPH Crown, James Packer, Guy Jalland and Michael Johnston in the high profile Inquiry initiated by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority (the Inquiry) in August 2019.
- Acted for ANZ in defending a civil penalty proceeding brought by ASIC relating to periodical payment non-payment fees.
- Acting for AGL in a multi-billion joint venture dispute between Tri-Star Petroleum and APLNG, concerning the marketing and sale of natural gas and the ownership of project infrastructure.
The commercial litigation team at Clayton Utz has a national presence, with offices spanning across Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth. The practice has a particular strength in financial services regulatory enforcement actions, and the Brisbane and Perth offices also have notable expertise in mandates from the energy and resources sectors. National practice head Nick Cooper, based in Perth, has substantial experience in energy-related disputes, as well as in handling government sector mandates, whilst Sydney-based Ross McInnes has expertise in the financial services arena. Scott Grahame and Fred Prickett are also notable team members in Sydney and Melbourne, respectively.
‘Great team players, very sympathetic characters, easy to work with – always a pleasure to work with CU.’
‘Highly skilled people able to work in a small team on important matters.’
‘The team is dynamic, technically and practically brilliant and generally available to assist with our firm’s matters. The speed with which advice and work is provided, and the quality of the same, is never short of exceptional.’
‘Having a partner who is highly involved in the matter and adding their high level of expertise at each step is a key benefit.’
‘They provide excellent strategic support backed up by attentive, responsive service and a great relationship with the barristers engaged in our matters. They have an excellent working relationship with our legal group.’
‘The team are efficient with their time, have a deep knowledge of the background to the matters we are running and know us well. Their values and ours are in close alignment. The individual practitioners are of the highest integrity and we are of the view that they practise with impeccable honesty both towards the courts and their opponents.’
Subaru (Aust) Pty Ltd
Johnson & Johnson
Dick Smith Electronics directors Nick Abboud (former CEO) and Michael Potts (former CFO)
Suez SA and Veolia Environnement SA
Brisbane Airport Corporation Pty Ltd
Kipoi Holdings Mauritius Limited
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Sheahan Lock Partners, as liquidators for BCI Finances Pty Ltd (in liq) and various other companies
PNG Ports Corporation Ltd
- Acting in two separate class actions proceedings in Australia, for both Volkswagen and Subaru, in relation to the Takata airbag recall.
- Acting for Kipoi Holdings Mauritius Limited in a financially significant and legally complex cross-border proceeding involving Chinese controlled entities, a major copper mine in the Democratic Republic Congo and the intersection of Australian, English and Congolese law.
- Acting for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in defending civil penalty proceedings commenced by ASIC in the Federal Court of Australia early in 2021.
The commercial litigation practice at Corrs Chambers Westgarth is led from Sydney by Mark Wilks, who is frequently called upon to assist international firms. The team acts for domestic and international corporations, service providers and government entities, and is particularly strong in litigation in the technology and financial services sectors, in addition to acting in Royal Commissions. James Whittaker is skilled in class actions, Royal Commission inquiries and product liability claims, whilst special counsel David Anthony has strengths in political and corporate governance matters. Perth-based Kirsty Sutherland is a notable team member with a focus on claims relating to the energy and natural resources sectors. The Melbourne office was also joined by Charles Scerri QC in June 2021, following his retirement from the bar.
Other key lawyers:
‘Corrs has a highly skilled and experienced commercial litigation practice, with very capable lawyers. The Corrs team have the forensic skills and tactical experience to achieve the commercial results sought by their clients. They are easy to work with, and focused on achieving the result sought by clients. ’
‘Their strength is the service they provide over and above the instruction. They are approachable, helpful, regularly share industry insights and articles and offer support, sometimes before we know we need it. They are the stand out law firm from this perspective.’
‘Corrs are one of, if not the, pre-eminent full service dispute resolution practices in Australia, with strength in depth across commercial litigation, insolvency, class actions, arbitration, IP, and other areas. They have good people in all the main state capitals, they have real industry and sector expertise, and they act for claimants as well as defendants so they see both sides of the picture.’
‘I have worked with a variety of partners and associates at Corrs Chambers on cases from insolvency to modern slavery. All of them have been professional, knowledgeable, responsive and mindful of the situation in-house lawyers are in. The lawyers act as if they are part of the team and not as external consultants. We have had a long term relationship with many of them and they understand our business and needs.’
‘Mark Wilks is one of Sydney’s leading commercial litigation partners, experienced in large scale commercial litigation including ‘bet the company’ litigation. His skill and experience in litigation of that type, and ability to supervise a team of solicitors, often working with other partners, places him in a rarefied category of leading commercial litigation solicitors.’
‘Simon Johnson is a very experienced, client focused and skilled litigation partner. He has a long and established history of acting for and achieving results for commercial clients, particularly in technology disputes.’
‘David Anthony is a hardworking and very considered young partner, experienced in the most complicated disputes. He is a delight to work with.’
‘James Whittaker is a masterful tactician and always thinking ahead. Very focussed on alternatives to litigation.’
Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd
Victorian Government, Department of Justice and Community Safety
- Acting for Hancock Prospecting, Australia’s largest private company, in various court proceedings in the High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia, Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Supreme Court of Western Australia regarding the referral of various claims for dividends worth billions of dollars, and allegations of corporate oppression, to confidential arbitration.
- Acting for Veolia Environnement, a Paris Euronext listed company, in relation to competitor Suez SA’s rejection of Veolia’s takeover bid to acquire 100% of the shares of Suez.
- Defending Google in the ‘location history’ proceedings commenced by the ACCC in the Federal Court, in which the regulator alleges that Google engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to the collection, retention and use of consumers’ location data on Android phones and tablets.
Gilbert + Tobin
Experienced in handling disputes, investigations and regulatory compliance and enforcement issues, the team at Gilbert + Tobin is also strong in class actions and Royal Commission inquiries. Richard Harris heads up the national practice out of the Sydney office, with a particular focus on assisting banks in litigation matters. Colleen Platford is also a name of note in Sydney, with expertise in insolvency litigation, as is Crispian Lynch, who focuses on large-scale and complex commercial litigation. Janet Whiting leads the team in Melbourne, acting for global corporations, regulators and government entities.
‘I found the G+T team had strong black-letter legal knowledge, but at the same time were very pragmatic and understood the client’s objectives.’
‘A first-rate team that you can trust to be across the detail of a case. Really smart lawyers who grapple with the complexities of the case (legal and strategic) and offer considered, measured and focused advice. Strength in depth across the whole team, with star individuals at the partner and counsel/associate level.’
‘The partners we work with at this firm are excellent all round. They are across the detail, and involved in all key workstreams and decisions. They think commercially and strategically and offer consistent case direction, confidently navigating litigation through the highs and lows, and in a reassuring way.’
‘Excellent team and great client base and quality of matters.’
‘Very good lawyers and good people.’
‘Excellent customer service; great legal skills; easy to work with; very responsive and very strategic.’
‘Peter Munro is extremely calm under pressure and highly responsive.’
‘Janet Whiting is highly strategic, provides excellent customer service, and is responsive and reliable.’
Westpac Banking Corporation
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
The Commonwealth Government of Australia
The State of Victoria
- Advising Westpac in relation to separate investigations by ASIC and APRA in relation to directors’ and officers’ duties and market disclosure following the allegations by AUSTRAC of more than 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering laws; and in relation to three class actions concerning the market disclosure of the AUSTRAC issues.
- Advising New Hope Group and a number of its subsidiaries in legal proceedings commenced in the Supreme Court against Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd successfully disputing claims that New Hope had guaranteed more than $155m worth of debt for two of its subsidiaries.
- Acting for QBE in class action proceedings regarding consumer credit insurance.
Herbert Smith Freehills
Herbert Smith Freehills is adept at handling complex commercial litigation in the mining, construction, energy and transport sectors, amongst several others. Joint global managing partner Anna Sutherland heads up national disputes team, while Cameron Hanson, Elizabeth Poulos, Harry Edwards and Ante Golem lead the disputes practices in Sydney, Brisbane, Melbourne and Perth, respectively. Jason Betts is notably strong in the class action space, along with Melbourne-based Damian Grave; both are active in product liability and shareholder litigation. Luke Hastings and Andrew Eastwood both have particular expertise in regulatory and financial services disputes. The team also expanded at senior level in 2021 with the partnership promotions of competition litigator Christine Wong, Mark Smyth and Melbourne-based Emma Iles, whose science background reinforces her expertise in IP disputes in the life sciences sector. Juliana Warner was appointed as president of the Law Society of New South Wales for 2021. All named lawyers are based in Sydney unless stated otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
King & Wood Mallesons
King & Wood Mallesons‘ dispute resolution team has particular strengths in the financial services arena, as is demonstrated by the team’s involvement in class actions arising out of the Financial Services Royal Commission, in addition to the practice’s government, individual investigation and white-collar crime expertise. Managing partner Matthew Swinn heads the team from the Melbourne office, where Domenic Gatto is also a name to note. In Sydney, Moira Saville is recognised for her skills in the class action space, and Alexander Morris is active in regulatory matters. In Brisbane, Justin McDonnell is noted for his strength in class actions, and was involved in shaping the class action regime in Queensland, while Emma Costello is also a key contact.
Other key lawyers:
Westpac Banking Corporation
National Australia Bank (NAB)
Telstra Corporation Ltd
Commonwealth of Australia and State Governments and Government departments
- Acting for the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, established in response to the extreme bushfire season of 2019-20, which resulted in loss of life and significant property, wildlife and environmental destruction.
- Acting for Woolworths Group Ltd in class action proceedings brought on behalf of shareholders.
- Represented Lochard Energy in its $1bn damages claim against EnergyAustralia.
Allen & Overy LLP
Allen & Overy‘s litigation department is split across Sydney and Perth, and handles high-level litigation (including Supreme Court cases), spanning contentious regulatory mandates for corporates and individuals, including CEOs and senior executives, as well as M&A-related and white-collar criminal litigation. The global presence of the firm allows the team to be active in cross-border disputes, with sector focuses on energy and resources, and banking and financial services. Mark Van Brakel heads up the Australian and Asia Pacific disputes practice out of Perth. Michael Shepherd and Jason Gray are also notable names from the Sydney office, which was joined by restructuring and insolvency specialist David Walter from Baker McKenzie in July 2020.
‘The A & O litigation practice is highly specialised and provides an outstanding service. The team are all very well regarded commercial litigators who work seamlessly on complex commercial litigation.’
‘Mark Van Brakel is technically brilliant, responsive and able to communicate and engage with our business at all levels. Very commercial, practical and down to earth.’
Genesee & Wyoming
An incorporated joint venture of Mineral Resources Ltd
Foretescue Metals Group
- Acting for a portfolio company of Bain Capital in high-profile litigation concerning the Only About Children childcare business.
- Advised the former CFO of Rio Tinto Limited in relation to civil penalty proceedings recently brought by ASIC, concerning market disclosure requirements and asset impairment rules.
- Advising a global investment bank in relation to a class action filed in the Federal Court of Australia in relation to allegations of collusion among five defendant banks to rig FX rates during 2008 – 2013.
Arnold Bloch Leibler
The team at Arnold Bloch Leibler is recognised as being particularly strong in acting for high-profile corporates and individuals in complex commercial litigation. Leon Zwier heads up the practice is proficient in commercial litigation in addition to acting for the government. Sydney-based Susanna Ford is adept at regulatory inquiries, investigations and white-collar crime matters. Elyse Hilton handles cases across the Supreme, Federal and appellate Courts, whilst Teresa Ward focuses on class actions, financial and commercial disputes, and competition and intellectual property litigation. All named lawyers are based in Melbourne unless stated otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team works with you and partners with you rather than waiting for instructions.’
‘I genuinely felt my interests and getting to an outcome that was acceptable to me as a client were foremost in their minds. Whenever possible they tried to find an outcome that kept us out of court but when required they remained tough and most importantly took the care to know the law and how it could be used to improve our position. They were never arrogant, they were very even tempered, especially when under enormous pressure. I would not hesitate to recommend them and have recommended them to others.’
‘Leon Zwier and Elyse Hilton stand out as being excellent advisers rather than just being lawyers. They are very proficient at the law and then take everything to the next level.’
‘Caroline Goulden was always professional, extremely practical, knew the law and provided us with options, was very stable emotionally even when under enormous pressure yet was able to laugh with us when the tension needed to be broken. I trust her as a person and as a professional.’
‘John Mitchell stands out for the timeliness and quality of his advice.’
‘Calm and professional service, with good collaboration.’
‘Strategic acumen, attention to detail and the unwavering commitment to the case is unparalleled.’
Metro Tunnel Project
Arrium Limited, Arrium Finance Pty Ltd & Arrium Iron Ore Holdings
Non-executive directors of Dick Smith
Rolleston Coal Holdings Pty Ltd
The founder of a national child care business
Nicky Winmar and Wayne Ludbey
Royal Commission work: Japara Healthcare and Opal Aged Care in Royal Commission into Aged Care & Quality and Safety
Board of Crown Resorts in Victorian and WA Royal Commission into Crown
Slea Pty Ltd – Supreme Court of Victoria
Freedom Foods Class Action
- Advised the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority, the Premier of Victoria, Treasurer and Minister, and the State of Victoria on its negotiations with the Cross Yarra Partnership on the Metro Tunnel project.
- Acting for the liquidators of Arrium Limited, Arrium Finance Pty Ltd and Arrium Iron Ore Holdings in prosecuting proceedings against the former directors for insolvent trading spawned by the collapse of the Arrium Group in 2016.
- Acting for four former non-executive directors of iconic Australian retailer Dick Smith, including its former Chairman, in proceedings commenced in the Supreme Court of New South Wales by Dick Smith’s receivers and managers.
Georgie Farrant heads up the dispute resolution practice at Baker McKenzie, which is adept at handling commercial litigation, regulatory disputes, investigations and class actions for domestic and international corporates and individuals. Its sector expertise spans healthcare, IT, telecoms, financial services and consumer goods, amongst others. Lynsey Edgar is a specialist in consumer and competition litigation, while Mark Chapple has strengths in the class action space. Melbourne office managing partner Alex Wolff is also a notable team member. All named lawyers are based in Sydney unless stated otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
‘Across the board, Baker McKenzie understands clients’ problems and thinks strategically, with a great understanding of legal principles, in order to design and deliver a solution which addresses the core issues of that problem. They are a great firm, one of the best in the country. They are also very economical and efficient with their time which is reflected in their billing practices.’
‘The team has a breadth of work, knowledge and experience (with access to a global network of connections) which makes them a strong and valuable team.’
‘Georgie Farrant is an excellent legal mind, sees the big picture but also never misses the detail and has a prodigious work ethic.’
‘Alex Wolff is one of the best strategic litigators I have met.’
‘Andrew Salgo has an in-depth understanding of the litigation process and the arguments that win or lose, and can guide a client perfectly through the difficult waters of dispute resolution.’
‘David McCredie is a diligent, careful and experienced practitioner who remains down to earth and is an incredibly pleasant person.’
‘The team is extremely client-focused and very well able to manage multiple clients and witnesses. I would without hesitation recommended the Bakers team to clients engaged in large commercial litigation.’
‘Mark Chapple and Andrew Salgo are exceptional technical lawyers. Notably they are both very hands-on in their approach, which is particularly appreciated by clients.’
Astora Women’s Health LLC
American Medical Systems LLC
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission
Australian Energy Regulator
- Acting for eight clients in the defence of three related NSW Supreme Court proceedings, and for three of those clients in defence of a new Victorian Supreme Court class action, all arising out of one of Australia’s largest ever insolvencies (the Arrium Group).
- Defending Mr. Brett Eagle in civil penalty proceedings brought by ASIC which has also been bought against GetSwift Limited and two of its executive directors.
- Acting for VicForests against two public interest groups in two matters in the Supreme Court of Victoria and a further Federal Court of Australia proceeding concerning the construction and interpretation of legislative and subordinate instruments relating to timber harvesting in Victoria and management of endangered flora and fauna in State forests.
Paul Buitendag in Melbourne and Paul Reidy in Sydney co-head the dispute resolution practice at Johnson Winter & Slattery. The team acts for both defendants and plaintiffs in corporate and commercial disputes, class actions, regulatory prosecutions and competition cases. Areas of expertise includes the construction, infrastructure, energy and resources, technology and logistics sectors. Sydney-based Robert Johnston is active in handling cases in the Supreme and Federal courts, as well as high-value class actions, whilst Tom Jarvis in Melbourne acts for large corporations, government bodies and regulators.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practise creates a personalise boutique feel without compromising on expertise and credibility. JWS litigation is technically very strong but also very strong in delivering the more subjective parts of managing through litigation matters including; managing clients time, resources, expectations and well-being.’
‘A team that is full of energy, really smart people, and who consistently deliver. They listen to clients and work with them to get the best outcomes on cases. Some superstar associates in the team, and partners who are savvy and extremely experienced. A very safe pair of hands, and able to deal with the most complex of matters.’
‘The teams we work with have some exceptional associates who you can really trust. They are hard working and drive litigation. A number of the partners we work with too are extremely impressive and bring strategic direction to challenging litigation, and rigour to decision making.’
‘Paul Buitendag is user-friendly, incredibly hard-working, commercial and able to manage a case to a successful conclusion.’
‘The group, led by Paul Buitendag, is very strong. They are super flexible when it comes to fees and arrangements, as well as commercial. And they have experience on both sides. A class act.’
‘Paul Reidy, builds great rapport and client confidence easily. His technical skills and strategic and open approach to matters is fair, reasonable and in the client interests over fees.’
‘Felicity Karageorge, is a great example of someone managing to transition between being heavily in the details and massive workload while successfully also stepping into senior strategic decision making. Very approachable and extremely knowledgeable.’
Sarah Pearce the former Group Treasurer/Treasurer (Acting) of Arrium Limited
WSP Australia Pty Ltd
New Hope Corporation Ltd
Australian Securities & Investments Commission
Mondiale VGL Logistics
Australian Pacific LNG Pty Ltd
BSO Netowrk Inc and Aspara Networks
Fitness Systems United Pty Ltd
Vehicle Monitoring Systems
Drawing on its four Australian office as well as the firm’s international presence, the global disputes team at Jones Day is able to conduct both national and cross-border litigation. It is adept at handling class actions, general litigation, Royal Commissions and test cases. John Emmerig leads the national team from the Sydney office, whilst Tim L’Estrange leads the Melbourne practice. Sydney-based Holly Sara is a name of note in the corporate disputes arena. Defamation and IP litigator Michael Lundberg joined the Perth team in 2021 from Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP.
‘Excellent understanding of complex disputes and ability to resolve these in unusual circumstances.’
‘A mix of experience and youthful energy. All very good at their job, and commercial at the same time. Their Agility Leadership series is best in market, being able to draw on relevant and interesting speakers from their partner group around the world.’
‘They deal with complex matters and are comfortable in doing so. They listen and come up with commercial solutions.’
‘Tim L’Estrange is a top-notch lawyer with great technical skills and commercial acumen.’
‘John Emmerig, Holly Sara and Tim L’Estrange are all highly experienced litigators and have exceptional judgment.’
‘The people at Jones Day are exceptional, knowledgeable, and able to turn around the most obscure work given to them in the most expeditious manner possible. They never provide anything less than absolutely outstanding customer service.’
‘An outstanding team. They are first class – great depth in the team and a seamless truly global practice. John Cooper is one of the best partners I have dealt with.’
Minter Ellison‘s litigation practice is strong across a wide range of sectors, including financial services, insurance, energy and resources, telecoms, media and technology, infrastructure and transport, amongst others. The practice is adept at handling commercial litigation, regulatory disputes and public inquiries. James Beaton heads up the team. Melbourne-based Glen Ward has a strong reputation for representing gaming and wagering clients, whilst David Taylor is particularly skilled in class actions. Beverley Newbold and Melbourne-based Ross Freeman are both experienced in acting for public companies and directors in ASIC and ASX investigations. All named lawyers are based in Sydney unless noted otherwise.
Other key lawyers:
‘Depth of staffing and effective use of appropriate resourcing to deliver quality work at a fair price.’
‘Technical expertise and industry familiarity.’
‘Glen Ward is commercially astute, drives towards a strategic outcome and seeks to understand our business before providing counsel.’
‘Strong senior associate support provides deep bench strength. Great access to partners and senior associates.’
‘David Taylor takes the time to understand the client’s perspective and applies it well to strategic advice about the conduct of the litigation.’
‘A great collaboration of exceptional industry expertise within one part of the firm working with excellent litigation expertise.’
‘What stands out is their ability to work with and communicate well with non-lawyers. The strong partner-to-partner working relationships covering specialist industry areas and litigation played a very key part in a successful outcome. They are easy to work with and work through complex issues – very good communication with the firm that made being a client easy.’
‘Michelle Power is an extremely well organised and level headed senior partner, with terrific judgment and temperament. Would recommended her highly.’
Australian Securities and Investment Commission
Colonial First State Investments Ltd
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Crown Resorts Limited
Estia Health Limited
G8 Education Limited
National Australia Bank Limited
NULIS Nominees (Australia) Limited
OnePath Life Limited
The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society Limited
- Advising Itay Tuchman (a senior executive of Citibank) in relation to criminal cartel proceedings brought by the Commonwealth Department of Public Prosecutions against Mr Tuchman and eight other defendants.
- Defending Crown in a shareholder class action in which the applicants allege that Crown contravened its continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to a 14% share price drop in October 2016.
- Defended Estia Health against a class action brought by shareholders alleging that Estia Health contravened its continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct in relation to share price drops in 2016.
The dispute resolution team at Norton Rose Fulbright is skilled in acting for global corporations and regulators in complex commercial litigation, international arbitration, class actions, contentious regulatory matters and investigations, as well as government litigation. Cross-border mandates are a notable area of strength thanks to the firm’s global presence. The team focuses on the consumer markets, energy, financial services, infrastructure, mining and technology sectors in particular. Cameron Harvey leads the team from the Melbourne office, while Sydney-based Grant Bonner is particularly adept at regulatory litigation.
Other key lawyers:
‘The NRF disputes team are a commercially minded, highly adept team with the right expertise and a focus on outcomes for clients. They understand that litigation is a means to an end for corporate clients and are focussed on achieving the desired commercial outcome. NRF have a stellar reputation in the field of insolvency litigation.’
‘Cameron Harvey is a big picture litigator, focused on litigation as just one tool in the commercial toolkit.’
‘The team stand out for their knowledge of the law, capacity to understand difficult concepts from different disciplines and experience in conducting large complex litigation. They are experienced in document management and have the capacity to conduct litigation utilising technology. They are able to just get the job done and to get it done properly, and do not crack under pressure. Client care is second to none.’
‘Friendly team, always meet deadlines, responsive, no billing issues that aren’t resolved quickly.’
‘Peter Cash has good expertise, a friendly approach and meets deadlines.’
Acciona Infratructure Australia Pty Ltd
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
Australia Food Group
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
BAEV-LaSalle Summerhill Pty Ltd as trust
Blue Diamond Growers
Cliffs Asia Pacific Iron Ore
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Commonwealth Department of Finance
Department of Defence
Department of Communities and Justice NSW
Department of Health NSW
Eiser Infrastructure Limited, Energia Solar Luxembourg S.à.r.l, Infrastructure Services Luxembourg S.à.r.l, and Energia Termosolar B.V.
ExonMobile PNG Antelope Limited
Experian Australia Pty Limited
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries
Former directors of Specialist pharmaceutical company, ASX listed QRxPharma Limited
Holland America Line NV
Hyundai Motor Company
Jones Lang LaSalle (NSW) Pty Limited
KPMG, National Australia Bank Limited and HSBC Bank Australia Limited
Markel International Insurance Company Limited
NSW Police Force
Qantas Airways Limited
Red Pepper Property Group Pty Ltd
Tec Headland Pty Ltd
Transport for NSW including Roads and Maritime and Sydney Trains
Vodafone Hutchison Australia
Volkswagen Group Australia
Westpac Banking Corporation
Young Women’s Christian Association
- Acting for Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority in the inquiry into alleged money laundering and/or partnering with junket operators with links to drug traffickers, money launderers, human traffickers, and organised crime groups, by Crown Resorts.
- Acting for TEC Hedland Pty Ltd, a subsidiary of the international power company TransAlta Corporation, concerning the termination of a 25-year term power purchase agreement in the Pilbara.
- Representing 7-Eleven in the defence of the largest franchising matter ever litigated in the Australian courts.
Commercial litigation, class actions and cross-border regulatory investigations are key areas of practice for the dispute resolution team at Clifford Chance, which benefits from the firm’s global presence when handling multi-jurisdictional disputes. Ben Luscombe and Angela Pearsall head up the team from the Perth and Sydney offices, respectively. Tim Grave in Sydney is a specialist in regulatory investigations and financial crime cases, and Perth-based counsel Kirsten Scott is skilled in the white-collar crime arena.
‘Deep understanding of litigation practice and procedure. Really clever people.’
‘Their attention to detail, combined with strong legal strategy and deep industry expertise, led to a very strong outcome.’
‘Angela Pearsall is sensational – we have worked with her for many years. She has always delivered best of market results. She is not afraid to challenge – but always in a constructive way – and she is always spot on with her legal strategy. She rolls up her sleeves but at the same time appropriately manages her team.’
Clyde & Co LLP
The dispute resolution practice at Clyde & Co LLP practice is adept at handling cases ranging from insurance, projects and construction, and maritime litigation to health and safety and employment claims. Defending class actions against individuals, corporations and insurers is also a notable skill of the team. Beth Cubitt in Perth is strong in the construction disputes arena, in addition to acting on cross-border mandates across Asia. Melbourne-based Maurice Thompson has strengths in domestic and international litigation, whilst Alena Titterton in Sydney handles private and public sector mandates.
Other key lawyers:
Murphy Operator Pty Ltd, Tobari Pty Ltd, SPW Pty Ltd
Approximately 500 clients in the Australian fisheries sector
Unified Security Group Pty Ltd
Beazley Syndicates 2623/623 at Lloyd’s
Former directors of Forge Group Limited
Insurance Council of Australia and various insurers
- Acting for the Insurance Council of Australia and various insurers in the Quarantine Act business interruption test case.
- Acted for Murphy Operator Pty Ltd, Tobari Pty Ltd, SPW Pty Ltd in a class action against a Port Authority seeking circa $150m in damages for environmental harm arising from vessel dredging in the port of Gladstone which decimated local fisheries.
- Represented Unified Security Group Pty Ltd, one of the security companies engaged in the Victorian Hotel Quarantine Program, in its appearance as an interested party and respondent to the Board of Inquiry into the program.
The litigation and regulatory team at DLA Piper has a disputes offering in each of the firm’s Australian offices, located in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane and Perth. High-value commercial disputes in the infrastructure, renewable energy, and mining and resources sectors are areas of expertise for the team. The practice is lead by Cameron Maclean from Perth, where Richard Edwards is noted for his strength in construction sector cases. In 2020, the Melbourne office was joined by John Fogarty from Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Matthew Spain from King & Wood Mallesons.
Other key lawyers:
‘Excellent commercial acumen, timely and thorough work, dedicated to delivering cost efficient and targeted legal services.’
‘The team is well led and has strong intellectual capability and background in litigation. They are well resourced to meet tight timeframes and work around the clock if necessary.’
‘Liam Prescott has unrivalled commercial acumen and excellent legal skills.
‘Richard Edwards is at the top of his game.’
‘Matthew Spain is a stand-out performer, constantly striving to meet the needs and demands of his clients. He provides high quality legal advice that also takes into account his client’s strategic and commercial objectives.’
‘Jonathon Ellis is a standout – he goes above and beyond for client service, and is also an expert in his field.’
Hall & Wilcox is active in cases across Australia, with offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Newcastle, Perth and Brisbane. The practice is experienced in corporate and commercial litigation, with a client roster that includes local and international corporates and individuals across the banking and financial services, telecoms, health, energy and resources, construction, logistics and retail sectors, as well as government bodies and statutory authorities. The group is now led by Mark Petrucco from the Sydney office, while former practice head Graydon Dowd, based in Melbourne, remains a key contact, especially in the product liability space. Scott Butler and senior associate Ann Watson joined the Brisbane team from McCullough Robertson in 2020.
Other key lawyers:
‘The HW litigation team provides friendly, cost-effective and practical solutions to commercial disputes.’
‘Stephen Klotz provides excellent strategic advice and is very accessible.’
‘They take a genuine partnership approach and there is clarity around role expectations. The team are experienced.’
‘The lawyers are professional and compassionate – they are firm but fair in their approach. They are very upfront about issues and work through the strategy to achieve the desired outcomes.’
Potts and Abboud
CSF Pty Ltd
Liberty Greenpower Pty Ltd
Dennis Family Homes
Focus Financial Partners LLC
Savcor Communications Pty Ltd
The Non-Executive Directors of Banksia Securities Limited
Cleevecorp Pty Ltd
Oliver Hume Corporation and related entities
Head, Transport for Victoria
- Acted for PwC, as liquidators of The Hastie Group of Companies, regarding dozens of claims emanating from the high-profile collapse of a $1bn publicly listed group of companies.
- Acting for Nick Abboud and Michael Potts, respectively the former CEO and CFO of Dick Smith, in a complex proceeding brought against them in the Commercial List of the Supreme Court of NSW by the National Australia Bank and HSBC Bank Australia.
- Represented the non-executive directors of Banksia Securities Limited in relation to a class action filed on behalf of debenture holders, as well as an ASIC investigation and public examination hearings commenced by the receivers and managers.
The team at HFW is strong in the insurance, commodities, energy, shipping and construction sectors where it handles both domestic and cross-border mandates. Nick Longley leads the team which has been boosted with the hire of Jo Delaney who also has strong credentials in relation to international arbitration.
The ‘commercially savvy’ and ‘technically proficient’ team at K&L Gates is active in multi-party commercial litigation, the defence of class actions, Royal Commission mandates and government inquiries across a wide range of sectors. The team also benefits from its in-house e-discovery analysis and technology team. Tim Webster leads the team from Sydney. Perth-based Nicholas Brown has expertise in white-collar crime cases, whilst in the Melbourne office John Kelly is skilled in handling regulatory investigations.
‘Acting for a range of clients from individuals to multinational corporations, the litigation group are commercially savvy.’
‘Down to earth and technically proficient, the K&L Gates litigation team are accessible and responsive to client needs.’
‘I have found them to be commercial, thorough and responsive. They have been very good at keeping me informed throughout the matter in relation to substantive matters and costs.’
‘John Kelly is commercial and strategic in his advice, which has been greatly appreciated by me and the business.’
‘A highly regarded and respected firm. K&L Gates has specialised expertise across the various areas of law that my organisation required advice and action on. It is a reliable, accessible and committed team (available all hours!), with an excellent documentary standard. Instructions are always activated promptly.’
‘They make us feel like we are the only clients they act for. We truly mean that. They are caring and attentive. They engage various levels of legal resources as necessary so that we are provided value for money and efficiency. They have acted pro bono on an array of matters as well – and always promptly and led by senior specialists as required. The stand-out partner is Christien Corns. He embodies all of the above and clearly instils it into the wider teams.’
‘Very capable team with a very personable approach. You feel like you are in a safe pair of hands. Very practical commercial advice provided in a very efficient way which is tailored to the audience. Capacity/bench strength to assist with high priority, urgent matters at short notice and deliver in full on time to spec.’
‘Alongside the competence and quality sought by in-house counsel, the team are very good at establishing and building strong relationships to become trusted and relied upon advisers. They are very much a safe port in a storm.’
Fortius Funds Management
Energy Resources of Australia Limited
James Hardie Industries Limited
Caledonian Sky Shipping Inc
Morris Property Group
Doma Property Group
Amalgamated Property Group
- Representing Honda Australia Pty Limited in the Takata airbag consumer class action where significant losses are claimed alleging that vehicles supplied with Takata airbags were defective and unsafe to drive.
- Representing the directors of Dyldam Developments in relation to a range of allegations of breach of board of directors’ duties and diversion of funds.
- Acting for a high net-worth individual, Zhenya Tsvetnenko, who is resisting a request by the United States of America to extradite him to the United States to face wire-fraud and other charges.
Anne Freeman and Ian Nathaniel co-lead the dispute resolution team at Piper Alderman from Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. The team has a strong focus on working with third party litigation funders, and is experienced in class actions and insolvency, construction and IP claims. In Sydney, Gordon Grieve and Simon Morris are adept at handling white-collar crime cases and commercial litigation. Greg Whyte, who focuses on corporate litigation, class actions, professional negligence cases and infrastructure disputes, leads the Brisbane team.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team members are all intelligent, commercial, strategic, accountable and practical. Having lawyers that are prepared to stand by their advice is important (particularly to corporate clients). The team has also been working together for well over 5 years and this longevity differentiates them positively in comparison to firms with high turn overs. As a client, knowing that the team you started litigation with is the same team that you will be finishing with is reassuring.’
‘The dispute resolution/litigation team at Piper Alderman, and in particular in their Sydney and Brisbane offices, has an enviable track record in commercial litigation in all major jurisdictions in Australia (as well as significant experience in the UK courts). The senior team members are all highly experienced and tactically astute practitioners, who are deeply committed to successfully developing and mentoring their impressive team of younger lawyers; this commitment to development ensures the all-important quality and thoroughness of the preparation for legal disputes.’
‘Anne Freeman is second to none in client service. Goes above and beyond to maintain the highest quality of legal services and strives for the best outcome. Excellent communication skills, strong leadership and good to work with.’
‘Ian Nathaniel is an approachable and thoughtful lawyer. He is strategic in outlook and practical in approach.’
‘Simon Morris has decades of experience and a cool head.’
‘Martin del Gallego brings energy, enthusiasm and overseas experience to the team.’
‘In Simon Morris I have been most struck by his pragmatic, unruffled way of approaching challenging situations. The quality of the work is very high from a legal analytical perspective, but what makes him a bit different from many practitioners is a strong and immediate practical sense of what the realistic range of outcomes will be in litigation. He has a very good feel for a case.’
‘Greg Whyte is highly skilled and has very good judgement, as well as extensive experience in handling large commercial disputes.’
‘Gordon Grieve is a very savvy and experienced litigator. Keeps an eye on the main game, and is unflappable in court. High level of competence on legal issues.’
Birbilis Bros Pty Ltd
Bogasi Pty Ltd
Cassa Bedding Pty Ltd
Cigno Pty Ltd
Clarke Energy (Australia) Pty Ltd
D H Flinders Pty Ltd
Giabal Pty Ltd
Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited
LCM Litigation Fund Pty Ltd
Linfox Armaguard Pty Ltd
Maxi EFX Global
One Investment Group
Red River Resources Limited
SB Holdings Australia Pty Ltd
Stamford Plaza Melbourne
Woodsford Litigation Funding
- Acting in a Queensland energy class action against Queensland’s two largest electricity generators, Stanwell Corporation and CS Energy, on behalf of over 46,000 electricity consumers, including over 1,700 businesses.
- Acting for Zoetis Australia in defending a $53m class action brought by the owners of horses which were administered with the Hendra Virus vaccine developed by Zoetis, who allege the horses suffered side effects from the vaccine.
- Represented D H Flinders in successfully challenging the Australian Financial Complaints Authority’s contractual authority, power and jurisdiction to determine complaints brought against it by retail investors in a home loan product issued by EFSOL Pty Ltd (In Liquidation).
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP
Specialist litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP is skilled in acting on both the defendant and plaintiff side of litigation, and is active in handling class actions. Acting for corporations and directors in complex contractual disputes, insolvency and restructuring cases, and product liability claims are also focuses of the team. Michael Mills and Michelle Fox jointly lead the practice from Sydney.
‘The team is very responsive and technically excellent.’
‘Exceptional depth of knowledge and experience in the energy sector and an excellent grasp of the commercial and technical questions. Intelligent and academic in their approach to complex legal questions.’
‘Elan Sasson is a standout partner. He is very technically skilled but commercial and understands our business well, which makes his advice clear and on point. Highly responsive and deals with fast turnaround when required.’
‘Elan Sasson is an extraordinarily capable lawyer; I simply cannot speak highly enough of him. His grasp of the law is excellent, his strategic focus second to none and his ability to calmly and competently deal with clients has to be seen to be believed.’
‘The firm is a part of a global practice with offices all over the world. Therefore they can give advice not only on Australian law but on cross-jurisdictional matters. They are famous for their strategic approach to the task – they do not only give you advice on the questions asked but offer a whole strategy of dealing with the problem. They concentrate only on the actions which will give a result.’
‘Michelle Fox is very experienced, a strategic thinker, confident, always available and quick to give her opinion. With her you feel safe and do not need to worry about the result.’
‘Clever, strategic, commercial, focused and always available.’
5 Boroughs NY Pty Ltd
Ardent Leisure Group
CJMCG Pty Ltd
Aurizon Holdings Limited
Aurizon Network Pty Ltd
C3.ai International Inc.
Federal Treasury Enterprise
Sojuzplodoimport and Federal Public Unitary External Economic Union Sojuzplodoimport
GetSwift Limited and Mr Joel Macdonald
GetSwift Limited, Mr Joel Macdonald & Mr Bane Hunter
Insurance Commission of Western Australia
Marcello Cardaci, John O’Connor and Gregory Kempton
Moira Shire Council and Hobsons Bay City Council
Richmond Valley Council
Winning Appliances Pty Ltd
- Acted for 5 Boroughs NY Pty Ltd in class action proceedings against the State of Victoria in relation to alleged failures of the Victorian hotel quarantine program, which it is argued substantially caused the second wave ‘stage 3’ and ‘stage 4’ lockdowns in Victoria.
- Acted for Ardent Leisure Group regarding the first mass fatality to have occurred at an Australian theme park.
- Acted for ICWA as strategic adviser in the settlement of the Bell litigation, achieving a final distribution of the $1.9bn pool of funds from the liquidation of the Bell group, including approximately $670 million to ICWA.
Bird & Bird has particular strength in disputes in the technology sector, as well as in the media, telecoms and intellectual property arenas. Sophie Dawson leads the Sydney-based team and is experienced in technology and media-related disputes. Jane Owen and Lynne Lewis have IP expertise.
‘Very experienced media litigation team which is innovative on pricing structures as a way of attracting more work. Focussed on avoiding/resolving litigation.’
‘Bird & Bird has a unique practice specialising in technology disputes, and therefore has particular expertise in complex technical matters.’
‘A thorough service across all aspects of a case; intelligent and constructive engagement; sensible advice.’
‘Sophie Dawson is highly efficient, knowledgeable, and easy to work with.’
‘Sophie Dawson and Joel Parsons are both very engaged and engaging, highly responsive, very knowledgeable and provide good value advice.’
‘Sophie Dawson has great strategic instincts, and is very client orientated.’
DXC Technology Group
Take Two Interactive Software Group
Warrego Energy Ltd
Regius Resources Group Ltd
Sumo Australia Ltd
Epic Games Inc
Howden Group Limited
Brien Holden Vision Institute Limited
- Acting for Take-Two in proceedings concerning unauthorised mods written for the Grand Theft Auto V game.
- Acting for three companies within the BlueInc Group of insurance companies (Select AFSL Pty Ltd, BlueInc Services Pty Ltd and Insurance Marketing Services) and the group managing director, Russell Howden.
- Representing DXC Technology and Hewlett-Packard Australia Pty Limited in relation to complex and technical litigation against Optus in the New South Wales Supreme Court, regarding a project concerning Optus’ wholesale telephony systems.
Dentons is active across a broad range of commercial litigation, including but not limited to property, supplier, misleading and deceptive conduct, fraud, contractual, customer, and employee related disputes. It is also capable of handling class actions and alternative dispute resolution techniques. Former London barrister John Dalzell leads the practice from Sydney. Louise Massey, the global co-head of the firm’s global dispute resolution practice, is also a key team member based in Sydney.
‘Smart and dynamic teams who clearly enjoy working together, with excellent legal and strategic skills and an ability to adapt quickly to developments in complex litigation (always with an eye to commercial and pragmatic solutions). The quality of work is exceptional, and with tight control over costs.’
‘Louise Massey stands out for her exceptional ability to cut to the core of complex litigation, map out solutions (remaining sensitive to strategic goals, legal and practical risks, and cost efficiency), and then build and run focused teams. She has a remarkable ability to distil and communicate difficult legal and procedural issues, to ensure that clients are aware of, and are able to understand, report on, and make informed decisions about, the significant issues and developments driving litigation. Louise’s teams are always happy, highly-motivated and hard-working (and engender qualities impressed by Louise – such as inclusion and mutual respect).
‘John Dalzell has remarkable strategic insight, and is able immediately to identify key legal, jurisdictional and procedural issues likely to drive complex litigation (including multi-party litigation, across multiple jurisdictions, with complex factual matrices and claims). He is unflappable, no matter the developments in the litigation. His technical legal skills are exceptional, as is his emotional intelligence (reading the dynamic of disputant parties, the strengths and weaknesses of witnesses, and likely concerns of the Bench). John is also very enjoyable to work with – an interesting, humorous and dynamic person, who has the devotion and respect of his team.’
‘I consider the practice cares about its clients, and is organised – I have very much enjoyed working with them.’
‘Louise Massey is an organised and efficient partner.’
‘A friendly, calm, efficient, intelligent and sensible team.’
‘Dentons is a firm that has extensive geographical coverage, expertise in multiple areas of law and can service clients’ diverse needs – effectively, it has the capability to act as a one-stop shop, which sets is apart from many others.’
‘Louise Massey is a very experienced commercial litigator. She exercises very sound judgement in commercial matters and has very good client management skills. She is well considered and measured in her approach.’
Mortgageport Management Pty Ltd
Aeris Environmental Limited
- Acting for QBE Insurance in its own ‘test case’ in the Federal Court relating to business interruption due to the COVID-19 pandemic and in particular the impact of the Victorian Real Property Act on exclusion of liability under the Quarantine Act.
- Acting for Williamtown in Australia’s largest contamination class action in the Federal Court of Australia, seeking to recover losses for property value diminution arising from “stigma” damages as well as other claims relating to stress and vexation and related aggravated damages.
- Acting for Westpac Banking Corporation in obtaining urgent freezing orders in the Supreme Court of NSW for a large bank against an ex-employee’s property for the alleged misappropriation of funds from customers’ accounts.
Boutique dispute resolution firm Deutsch Miller is based in Sydney and frequently receives referrals from other litigation practitioners. Mark Deutsch, Shane Anderton and Chris Stevens jointly lead the team. The practice’s client roster includes individuals, trustees, directors, charities and financial institutions.
‘Deutsch Miller are a truly wonderful litigation firm. Their attention to detail is amazing and they always have the best interests of their client at heart. Over the years, I’ve dealt with various litigation legal firms, both on my own account and on behalf of my clients. These firms included national and international firms and while they provided good service, they were unable to compete with the level of service provided by a boutique litigation firm like DM.’
‘The partners at DM are all specialists in their own field, and pride themselves on imparting that specialist knowledge for the benefit of their clients.’
‘The people are the strong element here – both in Mark Deutsch and how he engages with clients (they immediately feel his empathy, which is important in the stress of litigation) and his staff. There is tight integration in the firm and you get the feeling that all staff you deal with know your matter well. Layered over that are Mark’s very impressive skills as a negotiator and litigator and the results he achieves.’
‘They achieve what they set out to be – a boutique firm with big firm quality and delivery.’
‘The team at Deutsch Miller actually work as a team. They have guided us through our case, kept us informed of progress as we proceed, given us good advice and executed what was needed in achieving successful outcomes. The inclusive approach of consulting us and working through the possible outcomes is important and has given us far more comfort than is provided by other legal firms. Progressing on an informed basis is probably the most important step because this assists us in understanding the risks in advance and provides us with manageable achievable expectations. The professionals at DM are as good as I have seen over many years. We are not another case or a number; when we take up discussions after weeks or months apart on lengthy matters, there is very good recall of the detail and where the matter is up to. We get on with things fluently and efficiently in progressing the matters at hand.’
‘The practice was very professional, the team were amazing, intelligent and were able to assist me in all my legal matters very effectively and efficiently and charged very reasonable rates.’
‘We worked with Chris Stevens who was very professional and the response times were quick.’
‘Shane Anderton has safe hands and builds trust and rapport well with senior executives in regulatory investigations.’
‘Shane Anderton provides excellent down to earth and practical advice. He is excellent at case strategy, backed up by masterful grasp of the principles applicable in his areas of specialty.’
Hope Rinehart Welker
SFI Investments Pty Ltd
Wealth Resources Pty Ltd
Directors of GFG Alliance Australian companies
- Acting for Hope Rinehart Welker, daughter of Gina Rinehart, in the highest profile litigation and dispute in Australia, representing her interests in a dispute amongst the Rinehart family members, Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and others in relation to multibillion-dollar mining assets and as beneficiary of a trust.
- Acting for SFI Investment Pty Ltd, a defendant trustee, in relation to Supreme Court of New South Wales proceedings in which two of the unit holders are seeking the appointment of a new trustee over a multimillion-dollar trust.
- Advising directors of Australian entities in the GFG Alliance, which operates businesses including Infrabuild and Wyalla Steelworks.
Gadens Lawyers is active in mandates relating to Royal Commissions, regulatory investigations, class actions and contractual disputes. The practice has also benefitted from the addition of Kelly Griffiths, a former enforcement lawyer at ASIC, Kate Mills, the former Chair and Convenor of the ASIC Enforcement Review Taskforce (who joined the Sydney office), and finally George Haros and his team from DWF. Patrick Walsh leads the group. All named lawyers are based in Melbourne unless stated otherwise.
‘Kathy Merrick is an extremely capable and intelligent partner who provides commercial and common sense strategies and advice in complex litigation. Kathy has a dedicated team working with her who work in a very similar way to her.’
‘The key strength of the litigation team is Kathy Merrick. Kathy is highly experienced across all aspects of commercial litigation including regulatory work, insolvency and large scale commercial cases.’
‘The team has excellent depth of litigation skills and experience, is strategic in its approach to disputes, responsive in client management and focused on client objectives.’
‘Patrick Walsh is a skilled adviser, as well as litigator. Bringing his extensive experience to bear, he doesn’t just provide clear advice on the legal issues but also thoughtful and considered counsel on claim strategy and approach, with a view to achieving the client’s true objectives in the dispute.’
‘It has a diverse range of practitioners covering all critical areas of commercial litigation. They are collaborative and innovative in their approach.’
‘Simon Theodore is a first rate partner of the firm. He has excellent client management and strategic skills.’
‘Gadens’ dispute resolution team has excellent depth and they are very skilled lawyers. What makes them stand out is that they are personable and easy to work with and their people are always very focused on the commercial interests of the client. They can deploy great tech solutions so that they can deliver efficient and cost effective service whether dealing with a large-scale document task or small-scale debt recovery.’
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC)
Carlton & United Breweries
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Singtel Optus Pty Ltd
Volkswagen Financial Services Australia
- Advised a flight centre on a business interruption claim against HDI Global SE in relation to its special Industrial Risks Policy for the interruption COVID-19 has caused to its global business.
- Acting for Volkswagen Financial Services Australia in proceedings brought by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for alleged breaches of responsible lending laws in respect of car finance products.
- Acting for ProLearn Corporation in relation to proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria against a telecoms company and its reseller for breach of contract.
The Perth-based team at Jackson McDonald is particularly adept at running large-scale, complex litigation cases with the benefit of its in-house legal technology solutions team. Specialisms of the team include, amongst others, disputes within the energy, infrastructure, property, construction and financial services arenas. Karene Primrose leads the team and acts for public and private clients in their commercial claims.
Westgem Investments Pty Ltd
Foundation Housing Limited
Karara Mining Limited
Family Holdings Pty Ltd
AJH Projects Pty Ltd
City of Cockburn
Law Mutual WA
Maddocks is strong in government-related mandates and sits on numerous panels, advising governmental departments, agencies and statutory bodies. Norman Lucas and Gina Wilson lead the team from Sydney and Melbourne, respectively. Former firm CEO Michelle Dixon has now returned to full-time practice with expertise in class action litigation and Rosalie Byrne‘s arrival from Ashurst has strengthened the Canberra offering with her skills in government and commercial litigation.
‘The team took a measured approach to our litigation – they knew when to press and when to wait. This nuanced approach assisted us in achieving our desired outcomes in the litigation. Lawyers with relevant expertise were used for different aspects of the dispute.’
‘I was fond of their collaboration skills, the way they work as a team and the way they work with their client in order to get a win.’
‘Norman Lucas balanced costs incurred with direct action in our litigation, to great success.’
‘Shaun Temby was filled with confidence when dealing with the case and the other party. We could rely on him. He is good at making his client feel at ease.’
‘You are treated as an individual where consideration of your circumstances and issues are taken into account.’
‘Personable, considerate, genuinely interested in assisting you.’
Department of Communities and Justice
NSW Police Force
City of Sydney
National Disability Insurance Agency
McGrath Sales (Qld) Pty Ltd
McGrath Property Management (Qld) Pty Ltd
Goulburn Murray Rural Water Corporation
Nongshim Co Ltd
Nongshim Australia Pty Ltd
Macquarie Telecom Pty Ltd
Kentucky Fried Chicken
Office of the Australian Information Commissioner
City of Casey
- Acting for the former executive manager of Joe White Maltings, a large Australian maltster, in third party proceedings commenced against him in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Cargill Australia Ltd v Viterra Malt Pty Ltd & Ors.
- Acting for McGrath Sales (Qld) Pty Ltd and McGrath Property Management (Qld) Pty Ltd, two subsidiarises of the McGrath Real Estate business, in complex proceedings in Supreme Court of Queensland.
- Representing AA in its response to a claim brought by Brisbane Airport Corporation (BAC) on account of Per and Polyfluoroalkyl (PFAS) contamination at Brisbane Airport.
Brisbane-based Guy Humble sits at the helm of McCullough Robertson‘s litigation and dispute resolution practice, whilst Jason Munstermann in Sydney leads the firm’s commercial litigation and regulatory investigations team. The team is active in handling contentious regulatory matters for its clients, which include corporates and government entities; of particular note is its work in the investigations, clearing and enforcement space. The group is also an advocate of alternative dispute resolution techniques.
‘Outstanding management of the dispute and advice that achieved the desired outcome without the need for resolving the matter in court.’
‘The strong ability to adapt legal strategy to meet the commercial needs of the business.’
Commonwealth Government: Department of Defence and Comcover
New Century Resources
John Bridgeman Limited
Elution Metals Pty Ltd
Queensland Department of Education
Middlemount Coal Pty Ltd
NewCold Melbourne Holding Pty Ltd
Thalanga Copper Mines Pty Ltd
Andrew Brown leads the practice at Mills Oakley Lawyers from Melbourne, with the team spread across five offices around the country. The group has benefitted from appointments to various institutional panels, and the group is active across a range of mandates, including commercial disputes, class actions, investigations, inquiries and Royal Commission work. The team also has recognised strengths in the insolvency arena, handling matters involving companies in liquidation.
Other key lawyers:
‘Darren James takes a sophisticated approach to complex litigation, focusing on an overall strategy. He also gives attention to detail and is an excellent technical lawyer.
‘The practitioners are excellent and dedicate the time necessary to produce outstanding quality work. Darren James is an exceptional litigator who has his client’s best interests at the forefront of the work the firm does. The best innovations are around obtaining the best from his most important asset – his people.’
‘Darren James is an outstanding lawyer. He delves deeply into a problem and gets to the heart of an issue quickly. He is prepared to do the hard work, and then to work collaboratively with counsel and his team. He is always respectful of his clients’ needs and wishes.’
Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture
Hyde Property Group
Adam Smith and Doc Adam
- Acting for MSS Security in a class action regarding the defence of the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Program Outbreak.
- Advising Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture Pty Ltd (GCMA) on a $50m White Spot Disease Class Action.
- Acting for Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd (in liquidation) in the recovery of a $AU500m loan book, involving over 1,500 proceedings.
Banton Group is a boutique litigation firm established in February 2020 by the reputable Amanda Banton, who was previously practice head at Squire Patton Boggs. The group is predominantly a plaintiff-focused practice with good relationships with global litigation funders and experience conducting corporate, commercial and insolvency litigation. Banton, Elliott Smith and Ross Garland all sit jointly at the helm of the group in Sydney.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team at Banton Legal has significant court experience coupled with the subtlety of the fine art of negotiation, which provides firm but fair outcomes built on integrity and strength not machismo. The team has been with Amanda for a long time and are shaped by her thinking and approach, ensuring partner involvement is seamless and highly productive. They are very client focussed and go in depth in order to see things from their perspective and ensure they think about everything to enable their client to succeed. The team has the right mix of commercial and legal skills to match the client’s needs.’
‘Amanda is vigorous yet considered, cautious yet incisive, involving counsel early to ensure the matter progresses efficiently. She knows your case, she knows where not to go. Amanda not only possesses a very high standard but also has a strong work ethic. She loves a challenge. She always listens, and takes the time to understand the client’s requirements and objective to achieve the best results. She comes out with clear advice and is honest about what is possible. She is calm, has an eye for detail and is extremely thorough with due diligence. Overall very professional, a great strategist and an excellent litigator.’
‘A leading insolvency class action firm. Innovative and tenacious. They have changed the class action landscape.’
‘Banton Group is a good commercial litigation firm with very good access to litigation funders who are prepared to fund a variety of claims. Those claims include novel and difficult claims. So, Banton Group is prepared to take on diverse, difficult and novel claims and supports clients (including with costs arrangements) in pursuing the same.’
‘Amanda Banton is a very experienced and shrewd commercial litigation operator. She is very well connected with litigation funders which facilitates the litigating of a variety of claims in her clients’ interests.’
‘Commercially astute and very well connected globally and locally.’
‘Amanda Banton is a stand out strategist and litigator.’
‘Amanda Banton puts together a unique team to tackle the biggest and most innovative plaintiff cases.’
Forge Group Limited
Anthony Bogan and Michael Walton, on behalf of shareholders of Arrium Limited
Jerzy Dyczynski and Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski
Kupang Resources Ltd
Simon Cathro as liquidator for City Pacific Limited
and Martha Cove Marina Pty Ltd
Equite Capital Pte Limited
- Acting for the liquidators of an engineering and construction company, Forge Group Limited, alleging breaches of directors’ duties following its acquisition of CTEC and the management of the related newly acquired projects.
- Acting for shareholders of Arrium and ASIC authorised eligible applicants under the Corporations Act 2001 in conducting public examinations and issuing orders of production against Arrium, its directors and auditors and to investigate potential claims to be commenced against Arrium arising out of the FY2014 financial accounts and 2014 capital raising.
- Representing successfully two group members in an urgent appeal relating to the MH17 class action against Malaysia Airlines for compensatory damages arising from the deaths of MH17 passengers.
Cooper Grace Ward
Cooper Grace Ward‘s Brisbane-based team is skilled in regulatory and inquiry mandates in addition to commercial litigation. Rocco Russo leads the team and acts for a variety of clients, including businesses and individuals, across a range of sectors. Graham Roberts acts for commercial clients, suppliers and secured creditors.
‘Chris Ward and Rocco Russo are hands on and active together with other highly capable practitioners, each of whom is able to take the lead on conducting serious litigation effectively and efficiently.’
‘The stand outs are Chris Ward, for his years of experience, client liaison skills and ability to manage a big team, and Rocco Russo, also for his years of experience, hands-on skill in analysing and mastering complex issues and his ability to manage a team to conduct litigation of any type.’
‘Very experienced commercial litigation partners and a team of talented junior lawyers working under them.’
‘The parties are more directly involved in running matters than other firms of like size, and certainly more than larger firms.’
‘The firm has a wide range of legal expertise which made CGW a one stop shop for me.’
‘Rocco Russo’s strengths are his good communication, his knowledge and experience in litigation and his approachability. I was totally reliant on Rocco to lead the litigation process for me as I had no previous experience with this. He was able to clearly and concisely explain the strengths and weaknesses of my position and suggest strategies and tactics that gave me confidence to proceed. This was especially important due to the stressful nature of commercial litigations and the mounting costs as we proceeded. I had to have trust in Rocco and he engendered this in me.’
Robert Hutson as administrator of the estate of Nancy Ullman Loeskow
Lancini Property Group
Southern Oil Pty Ltd
Amcor Plc (ASX:AMC)
Aventine Real Estate Limited
Vela Software International Inc.
Credit One Group
Golden Vision Retail Group
House Property Group
Shewbox Pty Ltd
Bidvest Australia Limited
- Acted for the administrator (a partner of leading Australian professional services firm Korda Mentha) of a significant property estate in high-profile Supreme Court litigation instigated by a prominent Australian developer.
- Acting for a prominent Australian property group (holder of the one of the largest privately owned shopping centre portfolios in Australia) in high-profile Supreme Court proceedings commenced in 2020 against one of Australia’s largest discount chain stores.
- Represented Southern Oil Pty Ltd successfully in Supreme Court proceedings in New South Wales (Sydney), including a trial that took place in late 2020.
Patrick George leads the team at Kennedys, which spans across Sydney, Melbourne and Perth and has a focus on insurance litigation, acting for insurers and the insured. The practice also handles commercial disputes, employment-related disputes, and reputation risk matters, representing public and private companies, senior professionals, family offices and high-profile individuals.
Other key lawyers:
‘In my view, the litigation team’s key strengths are its depth (with lawyers with a range of experience levels); its continuity and stability; and the manner in which team members have a genuine investment in the outcome of the litigation.’
‘Jane Kupsch has an excellent technical understanding of the law and court procedure, and has meticulous attention to detail. A particular attribute that sets Jane apart is that she has excellent instincts about where to devote resources most efficiently to force an outcome which is either legally advantageous or which will encourage a favourable settlement.’
‘Very tactical in litigation. Strong negotiators. Very strong in use of technology.’
‘Excellent litigation skills. Willing and able to understand complex technical concepts and work internationally with witnesses and specialists from different cultures and backgrounds. I was particularly impressed with their ability to manage masses of documents and various witnesses, and choose excellent barristers.’
‘Special mention to Jane Kupsch. What stands out is her ability to manage complex litigation, manage client stakeholders and to listen to and understand the client’s needs and concerns. ’
Cushman & Wakefield Pty Ltd
Alchemy Agencies Ltd
Elanor Investors Limited
Oxford Scientific Pty. Limited
G H Varley Pty Ltd
Varley Electric Pty Ltd
Koolan Iron Ore Pty Ltd
- Acting for Siemens in a set of complex disputes that will be heard together in the Supreme Court of Victoria concerning a flashover event within gas insulated switchgear (GIS) at the Victorian Desalination Plant (VDP).
- Acting for a multinational manufacturer in relation to claims concerning cancers and other illnesses allegedly acquired as a consequence of breast implants manufactured by the client.
- Defending proceedings brought by Acciona, a subsidiary of a multinational construction company, which was appointed D&C contractor on the well-publicised Sydney Light Rail government infrastructure project.
Lander & Rogers
Lander & Rogers has a particular focus on litigation regarding insolvency, property, corporate and consumer law and regulatory matters. Greg McKenzie is national head of the firm’s commercial dispute team; he acts for a range of clients, including public companies, insurers, financial institutions, insolvency practitioners and a range of medium-sized businesses. Lily Nguyen, Johnathan Quilty and Sarah Fregon, who recently joined from Deloitte Lawyers, are also notable team members.
Cobalt Holdings Limited
Broken Hill Prospecting Limited
Bacchus Grammar Marsh
- Advised QMS Media on its rights and obligations arising under a cooperation agreement concerning the pursuit and development of multiple outdoor advertising opportunities in New South Wales.
- Advised and successfully positioned Bacchus Marsh Grammar’s interests to prevent the dumping of toxic soil near an educational facility with rigorous representation.
- Acted for an Australian signage manufacturer in relation to the discovery of significant misappropriations by its CFO and CEO.
The litigation and dispute resolution team at McCabes is led out of Sydney by Andrew Lacey, Chiara Rawlins and Foez Dewan. The group acts for high-net-worth individuals as well as SMEs and large companies, and is involved in contract, competition and consumer disputes.
Donau Pty Ltd
Scott Newton as trustee of the Bankrupt Estates of Claude Cassegrain and Felicity Cassegrain
Christopher Chamberlain as capacity as liquidator of Gerard Cassegrain & Co Pty Ltd
George Lianos, Luke Kyprios and Kon Gouros on behalf of the members of Chapters Herakles No. 12, Prometheus No. 6 and Apollon No. 16.
Sydney Tools Pty Ltd
Reserve Hotels Pty Ltd/Nicolas Balagiannis
Smartways Logistics Holdings Pty Ltd
Aqua Botanical Beverages Australia
Poly Seal Water Proofing Victoria Pty Ltd
- Acted for Christopher Chamberlain in his capacity as liquidator of Gerard Cassegrain & Co Pty Ltd in ongoing proceedings relating to a finding of oppression in proceedings against the former directors by the shareholders of the company, which was also a derivative claim for breach of directors’ duties – the matter was completed in July 2020, valued at AU$9.9m.
- Represented a trustee of two bankrupt estates in a complex dispute involving the trustee’s interest as majority shareholder in Cassegrain Tea Tree Oil Pty Ltd at a matter value of AU$6m.
- Acting for high net-worth individual Nicolas Balagiannis in a family dispute in relation to the entitlement to a debt worth approximately AU$20m, and matters relating to the control and management of the family trust worth approximately AU$120m.
Squire Patton Boggs is adept at handling complex projects and construction disputes, and the team often undertakes mandates for businesses and high-net-worth individuals. Caroline Brown has strengths in the energy disputes arena. Shareholder and board-level disputes, and contentious regulatory matters and investigations are also a focus of the team. Alexis Martinez has moved back to the firm’s London office.
Other key lawyers:
‘SPB lawyers are strong across the board in the critical areas for providing excellent legal advice and representation in general litigation. Their lawyers are all clever, highly motivated, hard working and easy to get along with.They work very well as a team, successfully calling upon the skills and experience of all involved. They remain client and outcome focused at all times.’
‘Cris Cureton has the ideal combination of intelligence, experience, judgement, toughness and common sense to conduct modern litigation successfully. He never loses sight of the client’s interests, being always alert for a better, quicker and cheaper way of achieving the desired outcome. Equally, if litigation is required, he brings those same skills and abilities to the conduct of the matter, building and maintaining successful relationships with the client’s representatives, counsel and his own team to drive the matter forward in the most effective way. It would be unwise to go to court without him.’
Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd
Kingdom of Spain
MSP Engineering Pty Ltd
Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry Group Co., Ltd.
Melbourne Olympiad Development
Proprietors of Unit Title Schemes BC2014/023 and BC2015/079
Woolworths Group Limited
Pindan Capital East Perth Pty Ltd
Thomson Geer is adept at handling commercial disputes, class actions and multi-party litigation across a wide range of sectors, including insurance, IP and financial services. The practice also benefits from its national litigation support team, which manages evidence and data administration. Scott Guthrie and Emma Hodgman joined the Brisbane and Sydney offices, respectively, from Dentons in 2021.