Dispute resolution: litigation in Australia

Allens

Acting at the regional, national and international level, Allens acts for a varied mix of blue-chip clients on a full scope of corporate and commercial contentious issues. The group is prominent in the areas of class action proceedings, regulatory investigations, competition litigation, and product liability litigation, among others. Its recent work also stands out in the banking and financial services sectors, particularly in the context of corporate crime allegations. Other industries of focus include mining, oil and gas, infrastructure, power, and government; in handling mandates in these areas, the group draws on the expertise of the respective subject matter specialists at the firm. Notably, the practice also prides itself on the high-level integration of the firm’s tech, legal, and review capabilities. Melbourne-based commercial litigator Andrew Maher leads the group, where Belinda Thompson (Melbourne) and Guy Foster (Sydney) are also key practitioners to note.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Maher

Key clients

ANZ Banking Group

Westpac Banking Corporation

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank

Vodafone Hutchison Australia

Peabody Energy

CITIC

Sunwater

Rest Super Fund

Work highlights

  • Acting for Westpac in the Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre’s investigation, followed by defending the client in proceedings commenced in November 2019.
  • Acting for CITIC and its related companies in a number of proceedings involving Mineralogy, Clive Palmer and other Palmer-related entities concerning the Sino Iron Project in the Pilbara, Western Australia.
  • Acting for Westpac Banking Corporation and Westpac Life Insurance Services in class action proceedings brought on behalf of customers who obtained insurance issued by Westpac Life.

Ashurst

Led out of Brisbane by Jeremy Chenoweth, Ashurst's dispute resolution group is at the forefront of litigation in the financial services, energy and resources, construction, and infrastructure sectors. The group’s contentious consumer law workload is growing, as a reflection of the market’s ever-increasing activity in the class action arena. Andrew Carter (Sydney) has specialist expertise in corporate and securities regulation. Also based in Sydney, Wen-Ts’ai Lim is noted for the breadth of his practice, with more recent work highlights spanning corporate litigation in the automotive and ports sectors, among others. Formerly a practice leader at DLA Piper, 'excellent commercial litigator' Rani John arrived at the Sydney-based office; this appointment bolstered the group’s regulatory and commercial litigation offering.

Practice head(s):

Jeremy Chenoweth

Testimonials

Ashurst provides a Rolls-Royce level of service, in terms of mastering legal issues, working hard to obtain and review all relevant material, and engaging with counsel, the client and other parties’ representatives.

Rani John is somebody you want in your corner in hard-fought litigation. She is determined, hardworking, practical, and has excellent drafting skills.

The team has a great ability to distill technical legal jargon into simple and manageable bites of information.

Ashurst’s lawyers are empathetic, commercially astute, and frame questions in a way that gets to the essence of the problem.

We have used Ashurst on complex media litigation issues, as well as during commercial litigation and pre-litigation stages. They have a great depth of knowledge of our industry and understand litigation dynamics well.

Rani John is an excellent commercial litigator – smart, diligent, super responsive, and willing to stand with her clients through difficult times.

Key clients

AGL Energy

Airservices Australia

Alcoa Corporation

Australian Naval Infrastructure Pty

CBRE Pty

Gold Coast City Council

Hochtief AG

Idemitsu Australia Resources Pty

LafargeHolcim

Leighton Offshore Pte

MMA Offshore

MMI Indonesia Investments Pty

Nexus Infrastructure Pty

Northern Oil & Gas Australia Pty

Northern Star Resources

NorthWest Healthcare Australian Property Proprietary

NSW Government

Orica

Paladin Solutions PNG

Roads and Maritime Services

Shell International

SRG Global

Sydney Metro

Whitehaven Finance Company Pty

Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty

Woodside Energy

WorkPac Pty

WSA Co

Yanzhou Coal Mining Company

Work highlights

  • Acting for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in defending a class action and a civil penalty claim brought by the ASIC in relation to periodical non-payment of fees.
  • Acting for AGL Energy 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.
  • Representing Consolidated Press Holdings Crown Holdings Pty, its officers, and James Packer, in an inquiry initiated by the Independent Liquor and Gaming Authority.

Clayton Utz

The sizeable team at Clayton Utz stands out for its ability to independently handle disputes out of the firm’s offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, and Perth; the group is led out of Melbourne by Andrew Morrison. Notably, the firm prides itself on its forensic and technology services capabilities, taken in addition to its full-service work across all areas of commercial litigation. The practice is a top performer in the areas of class actions, investigations, Royal Commissions and inquiries, and insolvency litigation. In addition, the teams based in Perth and Brisbane also count litigation in the energy and natural resources sectors among their strengths. In the regulatory investigations space, the group’s recent winning arguments, presented on behalf of the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in relation to the Royal Commission, secured a growing number of instructions in the financial services litigation; Ross McInnes (Sydney) is a name to note in this regard. The recent work of Nicholas Mavrakis stands out in relation to claims involving financial reporting breaches; he is based in Sydney, where special counsel Edmond Park is also noted. Gary Berson and Paul Fitzpatrick both retired in the autumn of 2019.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Morrison

Key clients

Volkswagen AG

Subaru (Aust) Pty

Australia Kunqian International Energy Co Pty

U&D Mining Industry (Australia) Pty Ltd Coal

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Rio Tinto

Sheahan Lock Partners

Melco Resorts & Entertainment

AkzoNobel NV and International Paint

Queensland Racing

Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty

Kaboko Mining

AMP Financial Planning

nbn

AMP Life

Commissioner of Taxation

Sydney Local Health District

Armada Balnaves

Work highlights

  • Acting for ASX-listed mining company Rio Tinto in civil penalty proceedings before the Federal Court of Australia concerning accounting irregularities and breaches of financial reporting obligations.
  • Advising Commonwealth Bank of Australia in relation to three regulatory investigations and enforcement actions concerning, consumer credit, financial advice and superannuation.
  • Successfully defended Kaboko Mining in an appeal to the Federal Court of Australia brought by insurance company AIG Australia, seeking to expand the operation of an insolvency exclusion in a directors’ and officers’ liability insurance policy.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth

The commercial litigation department at Corrs Chambers Westgarth is highly acclaimed for its ‘exceptional legal advice’ and for being ‘uniquely able to conduct high-profile plaintiff work and defendant work’. The team is known for acting on significant bet-the-company cases, in which it routinely represents both domestic and international companies as well as government bodies; it also prides itself on the longstanding nature of these client relationships. The group is active across a wide range of issues, but its recent caseload stands out in the areas of the public sector, financial services, and technology. Mark Wilks leads the national commercial litigation group out of Sydney, where James Whittaker is a standout practitioner in the regulatory prosecutions and investigations realm, while special counsel David Anthony brings additional strength to the firm’s financial service litigation offering. The team in Perth is also noted for its public sector litigation work; Kirsty Sutherland is a key contact.

Practice head(s):

Mark Wilks

Testimonials

Clarity of advice. Very responsive. Open to other views. Very strategic. All this applies to James Whittaker, who ensures everyone is on the same page.

Corrs Chambers Westgarth provides exceptional legal advice. There are never delays in contacting our preferred lawyer. The analysis and advice is sharp, relevant, and with functional recommendations that support our organisation to navigate risk without being paralysed. Corrs have greatly supported our organisation to grow in scale and in member and political credibility.

David Anthony is sought after for his sharp (and very prompt) legal analysis and political nous. David is our preferred legal counsel. He is always available, prompt in responding to our instructions, and courteous in explaining responses to our questions.

This team is uniquely able to conduct high-profile plaintiff work and defendant work. Corrs is in my opinion the firm best able to straddle this divide in the marketplace. This leads to significant cross-fertilisation of talent.

Mark Wilks is amongst the foremost “bet-the-company” litigators in Australia. He is skilled at running large teams and assisting in-house lawyers through every stage of the process. He has excellent instincts for cases.

Corrs’ dispute practice is the best in the country. This is reflected by its size and client base. It is involved in most major pieces of litigation across the country. Despite the size of its practice, its partners are hands-on and intimately involved in each matter and proceeding. They know what is going on and exercise their strategic skills to dictate the play rather than react or respond.

Mark Wilks is a trusted adviser to blue-chip companies and the largest privately-owned company in the country. His strategic mind puts him ahead of his opponents and ensures that his clients achieve the best outcome. He is hands-on and does not delegate. This is a rare quality in a top-tier disputes practice.

David Anthony is responsible for managing large and complex litigation. His communication skills are as good as I have seen in a disputes practitioner. Clients are kept involved and up to date, and know and understand what the issues are and where the risks lie.

Simon Johnson is a very capable solicitor, trusted by clients. That trust reflects both his skills and that he is accessible and delightful to work with.

The team stands out from its competitors by demonstrating a deep understanding of our business, our commercial drivers, and values. The individuals are approachable, highly skilled, and organised. I have been particularly impressed by Felicity Healy, Mark WIlks, Matthew Critchley, and Annabelle Brown.

Key clients

NAB

CBA

Commonwealth of Australia

Hancock Prospecting

EY

Santos

Serco

Wesfarmers

Challenger

ING

ANZ

AGL

QIC

Vodafone Hutchinson Australia

KPMG

Deloitte

NSW Health

Hays

EnviroGold (Las Luganas)

GoCatch

Work highlights

  • Acting for Hancock Prospecting 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 in relation to referral of various claims for dividends worth billions of dollars, and allegations of corporate oppression.
  • Advised Professor Jenny Hocking on her successful High Court case to obtain access to the ‘Palace Letters’, the correspondence between the then-governor general Sir John Kerr and Queen Elizabeth concerning the dismissal of the Whitlam Government in 1975.
  • Acting for the President of the Legislative Council in high-profile Supreme Court litigation against the Attorney General of Western Australia, the Corruption and Crime Commission, and the Director General of the Department of Premier and Cabinet, in relation to significant issues of parliamentary privilege.

Gilbert + Tobin

Clients prize Gilbert + Tobin’s ‘unrivalled experience in large-scale matters in the financial services industry’. The team is renowned for representing notable clients in matters concerning the Royal Commissions, with the team consistently being instructed in relation to all key developments in this space, including mandates from the Commonwealth Government of Australia. The group is a suitable proposition for clients seeking class-action representation and is noted for its ability to act for both claimants and defendants; Crispian Lynch is a name to note in the class action space in Sydney. Further, the practice is also adept at handling insolvency litigation, which is an area of specialism for Colleen Platford. Richard Harris leads the national group out of Sydney; he is noted for his reputation in contentious regulatory matters. Janet Whiting leads the litigation team in Melbourne, which is acting for Cargill in challenging Supreme Court proceedings raising allegations of false information during the sale of a malt business.

Practice head(s):

Richard Harris

Testimonials

The people I work with at G+T are very client-focused.

Matt Mackenzie is very easy to deal with.

Strategic, responsive, delivers excellent client service.

The team has an ability to synthesise enormous volumes of materials and to produce a cogent and strategic view. Dedicated, forward-planning, unfailingly reliable.

G+T has unrivalled experience in large-scale matters in the financial services industry.

Richard Harris has a sound judgment and adviser to many across our organisation; a real go-to person in the industry, who is more than comfortable to give an on-the-spot view.

Philippa Hofbrucker is an up-and-coming star in the financial services regulatory space. Philippa leads significant matters and large teams in responding to regulators.

Key clients

Westpac Banking Corporation

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

The Commonwealth Government of Australia

J.P. Morgan

Deloitte

QBE

TAL

PayPal Australia

BlueScope

Telstra

Coca-Cola Amatil

Harold Mitchell

Cargill

Work highlights

  • Advising Westpac in relation to three market disclosure class actions, following the allegations by AUSTRAC of more than 23 million breaches of anti-money laundering laws.
  • Acting for Cargill in Supreme Court proceedings in relation to a large claim for damages concerning allegations of false and misleading statements during the sale of a malt business.
  • Advising the Commonwealth Government on their response to and engagement with the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.

Herbert Smith Freehills

Rendering a full range of legal services, Herbert Smith Freehills is considered by clients and peers alike to be ‘a go-to firm for the most complex, sophisticated large-scale disputes and litigation’. The team is recommended for its expertise in securities class action proceedings, but its standout recent workload also spans shareholder and product liability litigation; Jason Betts and Melbourne-based Damian Grave are the names to note in this area. The group is also adept at handling commercial disputes in the financial services, transport, construction, consumer products, mining, and pharmaceutical sectors, among multiple others. For cross-border mandates, the practice also benefits from being a part of the firm’s global network spread across 27 offices. Anna Sutherland leads the group and is based in Sydney, where contentious regulatory specialist Luke Hastings and Juliana Warner are also key practitioners. Also residing at the Sydney office, Andrew Eastwood is an expert in regulatory prosecutions. Elizabeth Poulos leads the disputes team in Brisbane, which has niche expertise in mining and infrastructure sector litigation.

Practice head(s):

Anna Sutherland

Testimonials

The go-to firm for the most complex, sophisticated large-scale disputes and litigation, where the best and most experienced technical and strategic minds are required around the table; they have seen and been through very difficult situations for clients.

Sharp minds, technically outstanding, and very commercially and strategically focused to achieve the best client outcome. Resourcing is full and broad, without being overbearing. Always available and approachable.

Herbert Smith Freehills has particular expertise in class actions. The firm has a number of partners who would be regarded as leaders in the profession in this field. Their experience in working for defendants and respondents in securities class actions would be unrivalled in Australia.

Standout partners are Damian Grave and Jason Betts. They have a wealth of experience, and their legal knowledge and strategic acumen are outstanding. They are supported by a diligent team of lawyers.

HSF’s team has an excellent intellectual property practice, with a great understanding of the chemical arts and how it applies to the law.

Emma Iles is a great attorney who values her client relationships and works hard to make sure that her client is informed every step of the way. She is knowledgeable about every aspect of her case and has foresight in making sure that all potential arguments are covered.

Key clients

BHP

AMP

Lendlease

Murray Goulburn

Citigroup

Woodside

BUPA

Adani

Motorola

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

NAB

Work highlights

  • Defending BHP Group in a shareholder class action relating to the failure of the Fundao dam in Brazil in 2015.
  • Representing Citigroup Global Markets Australia in a criminal cartel prosecution brought by the ACCC and the CDPP regarding its role in a $2.5bn institutional placement by Australian and New Zealand Banking Group in 2015.
  • Acted for Bupa in ACCC proceedings, judicial review proceedings, and Royal Commission in relation to alleged breaches of multiple provisions of the Australian Consumer Law.

King & Wood Mallesons

King & Wood Mallesons is noted for its ‘timely, proactive and commercial advice’ and astute handling of claims in and out of court. The team has notable commercial litigation, class action, and contentious regulatory expertise, but particularly excels in the government and financial services sectors. The group has consistently been instructed in relation to high-profile Royal Commission matters – a valuable experience that culminated in its appointment to assist the Bushfires Royal Commission; Emma Costello (Brisbane) and Ben Kiely (Melbourne) are leading on the matter. Melbourne-based managing partner Matthew Swinn sits at the helm of the department. In Sydney, Moira Saville and Alexander Morris are especially active in the class actions realm.

Practice head(s):

Matthew Swinn

Testimonials

Attention to detail. Thorough analysis of relevant issues. Timely, proactive, and commercial advice.

Key clients

Woolworths

Westpac Banking Corporation

Engie

AMP

PPB Advisory

National Australia Bank

Telstra Corporation

IOOF

Commonwealth of Australia / State governments /Government departments

PricewaterhouseCoopers

Lochard Energy

Deutsche Bank

BHP

Suncorp

NatWest Markets

Work highlights

  • Acting for Westpac Banking Corporation in defending civil penalty proceedings commenced by the ASIC in the Federal Court of Australia.
  • Successfully represented two IOOF corporate respondents and two of its senior executives in action taken by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority.
  • Assisting the Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements, established on 20 February 2020, with issues relating to the bushfire reason in 2019-2020.

Minter Ellison

Minter Ellison’s team of ‘subject matter experts’ focuses on representing ASX-listed and private companies in commercial litigation and regulatory investigations. The group is noted for the breadth of its sector-specific expertise, which spans banking, financial services, energy, insurance, technology, infrastructure, government, and multiple others. Notably, the dispute resolution practice has experienced a 28% growth in the past two years under the leadership of Sydney-based department head James Beaton. Melbourne-based Glen Ward is recommended for contentious regulatory matters. Ross Freeman (Melbourne) is well-versed in representing clients in investigations conducted by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, and so is Beverley Newbold (Sydney). Michelle Power is another prominent figure in Melbourne’s litigation space, with regular appearances before the High Court, Federal Court, and Supreme Court of Victoria.

Practice head(s):

James Beaton

Testimonials

Being subject matter experts in the law, while providing balanced advice and helpful strategies, taking into account legal, practical, and reputational risks.

Glen Ward is very effective and efficient. He delivers the advice succinctly while demonstrating that he has covered all angles, and rounds out the advice with valuable input on commercial considerations and strategy.

Very sensible, practical service. Each member of the team is very relatable, easy to understand and deal with, and has delivered a top-quality service.

Key clients

Qantas Airways

Rio Tinto

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

National Australia Bank

Brookfield Multiplex

EnergyAustralia

Bellamy’s Organic

Crown Resorts

Australian Securities and Investment Commission

Estia Health

Mercer

Work highlights

  • Representing respondents Colonial First State Investments and The Colonial Mutual Life Assurance Society in class action proceedings seeks damages for members of four separate superannuation funds for the alleged overpayment of premiums paid for group insurance policies issued by CommInsure.
  • Representing Crown Resorts in relation to the inquiry being conducted by the Honourable Patricia Bergin into media allegations made by the Fairfax press.
  • Defending Qantas Airways against aeronautical charges claims brought by Perth Airport before the Western Australian Supreme Court.

Allen & Overy LLP

Clients prize Allen & Overy LLP’s access to the firm’s global network and ‘high level of expertise and experience in commercial litigation matters’. The team underwent significant changes when former practice head John Samaha retired from the partnership; he currently acts as a consultant. Mark van Brakel took over the leadership of the practice and is based in Perth, where David Jenaway also comes in for praise by clients. The recent work of the duo van Brakel and Jenaway reveals the depth of the team’s expertise in energy sector litigation, particularly in relation to enforcing contractual obligations contained in drilling contracts and other concluded agreements. Another area of demonstrable strength is the enforcement of arbitral awards. The team in Sydney has standout credentials in the areas of contentious regulatory issues and white-collar crime proceedings; Michael Shepherd and Jason Gray are the key practitioners.

Practice head(s):

Mark van Brakel

Testimonials

Leading dispute firm with a high level of expertise and experience in commercial litigation matters, particularly in the oil and gas and energy space. High level of expertise and experience on both domestic and international dispute resolution, with the ability to work across geographical boundaries utilising close firm and team capabilities in other offices.

Mark van Brakel is a highly regarded and experienced commercial practitioner. Excellent communicator, highly commercial and practical, outcomes-based approach to matters.

David Jenaway is a highly skilled up-and-coming practitioner who is able to absorb difficult and complex matters very quickly. High energy and impressive work ethic. Highly responsive and available.

Allen & Overy are our preferred local litigation lawyers. This is due to their detailed expertise in this field, particularly at the partner level in West Australia. They have a comprehensive knowledge of the local courts and procedures, together with significant working-level experience on larger disputes. This makes the Allen & Overy team the ideal candidates to manage complex local litigation.

The Perth-based arm of the firm is led by two individuals who are recognised in the local legal community as being experts in dispute resolution and litigation. They have afforded my company a well-rounded service offering that provides exceptional value. All requests are accommodated – being for both legal matters (such as urgent advice, ongoing representation, and secondments, etc) and non-legal matters (such as the use of boardrooms, VC / TC facilities, etc).

David Jenaway is an intelligent and very hardworking partner. He can get across the detail on complex matters in a short period of time to provide targeted and precise advice. He is a rare breed of partner, who has an appetite for hard work and is willing to do that work himself. His thoroughness is very welcome on large and complex disputes.

Mark van Brakel is an experienced practitioner, and this comes across in his measured and consistent approach. He can set a clear strategy for large-scale litigation and then implement and deliver on that strategy.

Blake Primrose is a diligent and hardworking senior associate. A clear rising star in the litigation field.

Mark van Brakel and David Jenaway are some of the leading commercial litigators and arbitration solicitors in Australia. Impeccable legal analysis, strategy, and commercial acumen – market-leading in every respect.

Key clients

ENI

Watkins Holdings S.a.r.l. / Watkins (Ned) B.V.

Fortescue Metals Group

Heat Applications Global Pty / Heat Applications India Pvt

Brown-Forman Australia Pty

Nokia Solutions and Networks Australia Pty

Global Advanced Metals

Guy Elliott (former CFO and executive director of the Rio Tinto Group)

Genesee & Wyoming Australia / Genesee One Rail Australia Pty

Standard Chartered Bank

Work highlights

  • Advising Guy Elliott, the former global CFO of the Rio Tinto Group, in relation to concurrent civil enforcement action by Australian Securities and Investment Commission in Australia and the Securities and Exchange Commission in the US.
  • Acting for Italian multinational oil and gas company ENI in a dispute with Sedco Forex, an arm of Transocean,  arising out of the failure of a drilling rig campaign off the Australian coast.
  • Acting for Watkins Holdings S.a.r.l. and Watkins (Ned) B.V. in arbitral award enforcement matters before the Federal Court of Australia.

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Arnold Bloch Leibler provides ‘excellent strategic advice’ in acting across a wide spectrum of corporate and commercial litigation. In the words of a client, it is 'the go-to firm for contentious regulatory matters'. In addition, the team has gained countrywide recognition for its ability to represent both large corporations as well as influential individuals in highly publicised disputes; the experience of Leon Zwier (Melbourne) and Susanna Ford (Sydney) would be difficult to match in this sphere. Zwier heads up the department out of Melbourne, where recently promoted partner Elyse Hilton and Teresa Ward are also key team members, among others.

Practice head(s):

Leon Zwier

Testimonials

ABL is the go-to firm for contentious regulatory matters, especially in relation to investigations or defending civil or criminal actions.

Prompt and always courteous service. The lawyers always follow up on everything agreed with the client and work very well together. Highly professional, well-developed advice, excellent reputation.  Seamless from the client’s perspective.

Elyse Hilton is a standout. Always thorough, highly organised, with excellent attention to detail and follow-up. Well considered, engaged, and inter-personally great. Associate Jessica Elliott has also been a great support and readily stands in if Elyse is away.

Excellent strategic advice.

Key clients

Australian Federal Treasurer, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP

Major Transport Infrastructure Authority / The State of Victoria

Arrium

QCoal

Hostplus

Cbus Superannuation Fund

Rest Superannuation Fund

LUCRF Superannuation Fund

Care Super

Industry Funds Management

United Super Pty

Aveo Group

Japara Healthcare

Opal Aged Care

Hireup Pty

Work highlights

  • Acting for Josh Frydenberg in the High Court and Full Federal Court constitutional challenge to his eligibility on nationality grounds.
  • Advised the Major Transport Infrastructure Authority and the State of Victoria on its negotiations with the Cross Yarra Partnership on the Metro Tunnel project.
  • Acting for five industry superannuation funds and IFM in connection with the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Economics Inquiry into the Four Major Banks and Other Financial Institutions.

Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie acts across a broad spectrum of commercial litigation, including regulatory disputes, investigations, and defence in white-collar criminal proceedings. Georgie Farrant (Sydney) heads up the practice and has wide-ranging expertise, including sensitive investigations and contentious regulatory issues. In August 2019, the Sydney-based group expanded its competition litigation offering with the appointment of Lynsey Edgar from Dentons. The Melbourne-based team is also noted; former practice head and current managing partner Alex Wolff is singled out for being ‘a first-class litigator’.

Practice head(s):

Georgie Farrant

Testimonials

Baker McKenzie seeks to understand and meet the commercial objectives of the client. They have a high level of expertise and a commitment to excellence, both in terms of knowledge of the law and in respect of dispute resolution.

I have worked with Alexander Wolff is a first-class litigator who understands the legal and commercial problem from all parties’ point of view. He designs and executes a strategy in line with the client’s interests.

Key clients

Mars

Australian Competition & Consumer Commission

ALS

Lendlease Corporation

IBM

Unilever

NSW Government

Appco Group

American Medical Systems LLC

Universities Australia

Work highlights

  • Acting for ten clients formerly managing ASX listed Arrium in respect of one of Australia’s largest-ever insolvencies.
  • Representing American Medical Systems, LLC in its defence of a product liability class action in the Federal Court of Australia.
  • Representing Home Consortium in proceedings concerning a dispute sublease brought before the Court of Appeal.

Clifford Chance

Clifford Chance has significant capabilities in class actions, regulatory investigations, and alternative dispute resolution. Due to its access to the firm’s global network, the team is also well-versed in multi-jurisdictional proceedings. The group’s recent high-profile mandates testify to the depth of the team members’ expertise in acting on the defence side in insolvency-related litigation and in relation to claims alleging misleading or deceptive conduct; standout clients in this space include Herbert Smith Freehills’ corporate partners and EY. Ben Luscombe (Perth) and financial reporting specialist Angela Pearsall (Sydney) share leadership of the department.

Practice head(s):

Ben Luscombe; Angela Pearsall

Key clients

HSBC

Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu

Kingsgate Consolidated

Rio Tinto

David Lemon

New Century Resources

Herbert Smith Freehills

Chairman of Forge

Tantalum International

Cortec Mining Kenya

Churchill Mining

Xstate Resources

Saipem SA / Saipem Portugal Comercio Maritimo LDA

Glencore

EY

Work highlights

  • Acting for certain former and current Australian partners of Herbert Smith Freehills in relation to their defence of multiple proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales arising out of the collapse of the Arrium Group.
  • Acting for EY in defence of proceedings brought in the Supreme Court of Queensland by LM Investment Management.
  • Acting for the former Chairman of Forge Group Limited in the defence of proceedings brought in the Supreme Court of New South Wales arising from the collapse of the Forge Group, and related examination proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Johnson Winter & Slattery fields 'an extraordinary team of highly capable partners and junior associates'. It is widely known for its strength in handling corporate and commercial disputes, as well as for acting on both sides of high-profile class actions; Sydney-based practice head Paul Reidy stands out in this space. Department co-head Paul Buitendag (Melbourne) is also noted for his strong relationships with litigation funders. The group’s client roster includes large corporations and government bodies, for which it handles work in sectors such as technology, renewable energy and resources, infrastructure, construction, and financial services, among others. Avendra Singh joined from Squire Patton Boggs, thereby expanding the team's ability to act on property-related disputes.

Practice head(s):

Paul Buitendag; Paul Reidy

Testimonials

JWS has an extraordinary team of highly capable partners and junior associates. It is unique insofar as every practitioner in the litigation department is incredibly able. They have strengths in the class action field and in general litigation. They are extremely client-orientated.

Paul Reidy, Andreas Piesiewicz and Frances Dreyer are recommended. Each of these lawyers has incredible attention to detail and a keen sense of effective litigation strategy. Frances Dreyer in particular displays an astounding mastery of complex subject matters, such as expert evidence.

Very hardworking, committed to the client’s interests, intelligent and experienced.

Paul Reidy is a good leader, a highly experienced and good strategic thinker, and is easy to work with. Andreas Piesiewicz is excellent in legal analysis and strategy; he is very calm and focused.

Robert Johnston is the epitome of a professional. He is confident, intelligent, articulate, and provides the client with absolute confidence in his strategy and abilities. He has a unique ability to simplify the complex and map out the litigation strategy with clarity.

The team brings an admirable combination of experience, enthusiasm, deep knowledge of both the law and the technicalities of high-level litigation, excellent communication skills, and sound judgement.

Avendra Singh is one of the most competent litigation lawyers I have come across. He has vast experience and, while possessing great technical competence and legal knowledge, he provides superb strategic advice, including that which the client might not wish to hear. If he thinks that the prospects of success in any matter are low, he says so and works to find a satisfactory compromise solution.

Mark Easton is a smart and seasoned litigator; he develops a deep understanding of highly technical matters in issue. Mark sees the big picture, whilst being across the minutiae. We have confidence in case strategy and matter management when Mark is at the helm.

Key clients

Rio Tinto

Kingdom of Spain

Unilever

Jetstar Airways

Jardine Lloyd Thompson Pty

Australian Labor Party / Country Labor Party

Australian Securities & Investments Commission

Administrators of Quintis / Lloyds of London insurers

Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty

Australian Competition and Consumer Commission

VISA Global Logistics Pty

Australian Pacific LNG Pty

WSP Australia Pty

Civil and Allied Technical Construction

Work highlights

  • Acting for the NSW branch of the Australian Labor Party and the Country Labor Party in relation to the high-profile “Operation Aero” public inquiry being conducted by the NSW Independent Commission Against Corruption.
  • Representing the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in Federal Court proceedings against GetSwift, current directors Bane Hunter and Joel Macdonald, and former director Brett Eagle.
  • Representing the Kingdom of Spain in its high-profile and complex defence of four arbitral enforcement proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia.

Jones Day

Jones Day acts for corporations, private individuals, and financial institutions on commercial disputes, class action proceedings, regulatory disputes, and other disputes arising in relation to construction projects and EPC contracts, insolvencies, taxation, and IP issues. Department leader John Emmerig is in charge of the Sydney office, where recently promoted partner Holly Sara is noted for her work in courts across the entire country. The group has a notable presence in Melbourne (Tim L’Estrange) and Brisbane (John Cooper) as well.

Practice head(s):

John Emmerig

Other key lawyers:

Tim L’Estrange; Holly Sara

Key clients

Insurance Commission of Western Australia

Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb

Fluor Corporation

Queensland Investment Corporation

George Venardos

Bank of Queensland

Ardent Leisure

Hancock Prospecting Pty

Brian Hartzer

Work highlights

  • Leading the representation of the Insurance Commission of Western Australia in its litigation linked to the collapse of the Bell Group – one of Australia’s largest insolvencies.
  • Acting for Sanofi and Bristol-Myers Squibb on defending a test case by the Australian government with legal implications for the global pharmaceutical industry.
  • Acting on behalf of Fluor in Supreme Court proceedings in Queensland regarding a dispute involving claims brought by Santos regarding its payments made under an EPC contract.

Norton Rose Fulbright

Norton Rose Fulbright’s main focus is placed on regulatory disputes, with the team having a traditional strength in energy, infrastructure, and telecoms sector regulation; Grant Bonner is a stalwart of Sydney's regulatory litigation landscape. In addition, the group is consistently instructed on inquiries and Royal Commission issues, as well as class action proceedings involving insolvency, shareholder, securities, and product liability claims. Where needed in cross-border matters, the department draws on the expertise of the firm’s global capabilities across the Asia-Pacific, the US, Canada, and the UK; it also adopts a multi-disciplinary approach and acts hand in glove with its colleagues from the insolvency, environmental and construction teams. Rebecca Whittle (Sydney) sits at the helm of the litigation group and is a key contact for government prosecution work. Cameron Harvey (Melbourne) leads the disputes group.

Practice head(s):

Rebecca Whittle; Cameron Harvey

Testimonials

Norton Rose Fulbright’s litigation team represents parties in some of the largest and most difficult commercial cases in Sydney and around Australia.

Grant Bonner is one of the leading litigation solicitors in Sydney. He is technically highly skilled and I regard his judgment and forensic skills highly. Grant’s strategic and forensic input into cases is of the highest quality.

Pragmatic and commercial. Ability to engage with non-legal business stakeholders appropriately and without jargon.

Peter Cash brings a technical and commercial approach that I appreciate.

Key clients

Acciona Infratructure Australia Pty

ACCC

AMP Services

Arnold Bloch Leibler

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Carnival Australia

Coal Customers 4

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Commonwealth Department of Finance

Department of Defence

Department of Communities and Justice NSW

Department of Health NSW

Essential Energy

ExonMobil PNG Antelope

Former directors of QRxPharma

GM Holden

NSW Police Force

Qantas Airways

Tec Headland Pty

Thales Australia

Thorn Australia

Transport for NSW

United Petroleum

Work highlights

  • Acting for KPMG, the receivers and managers of Dick Smith Holdings and its appointing banks, in two separate Supreme Court of NSW proceedings brought against the directors of Dick Smith.
  • Successfully acted for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission in proceedings brought by the client against three “over the counter” derivatives companies, AGM Markets, OT Markets and Ozifin.
  • Acting for GM and GM Holden in a dispute with its dealer network of approximately 185 dealers.

Clyde & Co LLP

Clyde & Co LLP prides itself on its litigation strength spread across Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, and Brisbane. The group is widely known for its strong performance in the insurance litigation area; in this space, it recently bolstered its Melbourne-based capabilities with the appointments of Nicole Wearne and Mark Attard from Norton Rose Fulbright. The construction, energy, oil and gas, technology, and agricultural sectors are the department’s mainstays. Sydney-based duo Janette McLennan and John Moran jointly lead the practice.

Practice head(s):

Janette McLennan; John Moran

Other key lawyers:

Nicole Wearne; Mark Attard; Gareth Horne

Key clients

Former directors of Forge Group

Focus Underwriting for Vero Insurance

Kathmandu Pty

LandMarkWhite / CFC Underwriting

Peritas Consulting Pty / Dual Australia

Work highlights

  • Acting as defence counsel on behalf of insurers of the former directors of Forge Group in proceedings commenced by its liquidators and administrators.
  • Acting as global breach counsel to Kathmandu Pty after a data breach incident affected Kathmandu customers across over 90 jurisdictions.
  • Representing Focus Underwriting for Vero Insurance in civil proceedings resulting from the Lacrosse fire caused by combustible cladding.

DLA Piper

DLA Piper handles high-value commercial disputes across a wide range of sectors, with clients singling out the team’s expertise in the construction, energy, and oil and gas sectors in particular. Clients laud Perth-based Richard Edwards as an expert in construction litigation, who is also 'calm, focused, intelligent'. The department is spearheaded by Perth-based Cameron Maclean and Brisbane-based Liam Prescott. Equally well-versed in litigation and alternative dispute resolution, Gitanjali Bajaj is a key practitioner in Sydney. The team in Melbourne bolstered its competition and consumer litigation offering when commercial litigator John Fogarty arrived from Corrs Chambers Westgarth in the spring of 2020. Former practice head in Sydney Rani John departed to Ashurst in October 2019.

Practice head(s):

Cameron Maclean; Liam Prescott

Testimonials

The team has unique experience working as international counsel in major oil and gas projects. Gitanjali Bajaj offers in-depth knowledge.

DLA Piper’s litigation team is first-rate. Particularly in my industry (construction, energy, oil and gas), they have a good track record and a depth of experience. One of the strongest practices in Western Australia and closely connected to the mining and resources industry. Well versed in all types of litigation, a solid and reliable team, and trusted adviser.

Richard Edwards is calm, focused, intelligent. A steady hand, a practitioner who has seen it all and never loses his cool.

Liam Prescott is experienced, clever, and will always identify a solution that nobody else has managed to think of. Truly adds value and is an effective leader.

Key clients

Suez Water Pty

Domino’s Pizza Enterprises

Perth Airport

Medtronic Inc.

Securities and Exchange Board of India

Work highlights

  • Acting for Suez Water Pty in a construction dispute in the Supreme Court of Victoria arising from alleged design defects in an electrical system designed and constructed by TDJV.
  • Defending ASX Top 100-listed Domino’s Pizza Enterprises in a high-profile industrial relations class action filed in the Federal Court of Australia.
  • Acting for Perth Airport in proceedings issued against Qantas Airlines in the Western Australian Supreme Court.

Hall & Wilcox

Singled out for their ‘legal excellence’ and ‘excellent turnaround time’, Hall & Wilcox’s dispute resolution lawyers ‘care about obtaining a fair outcome’ for their client base, which includes domestic and international companies, high-net-worth individuals, government bodies, and statutory authorities. The group’s main focus is placed on corporate and commercial litigation, taken alongside its strength in alternative dispute resolution. Based in Melbourne, Graydon Dowd leads the department, which expanded its presence in Perth with the arrival of Hector West from Dentons in the summer of 2019. Kathryn Howard (Melbourne) is a go-to adviser to a number of public sector clients.

Practice head(s):

Graydon Dowd

Testimonials

Legal excellence, excellent turnaround time, strategic, pragmatic.

The team’s area of specialism (acquisitions and compensations) is unmatched. They are professional in their negotiations and I have seen nothing but good and satisfactory results from them in the four years I have worked with them.

Key clients

PwC

Westpac

Cargill

CSF Pty

Senvion GmbH

Roads Corporation

Focus Financial Partners LLC

Dennis Family Homes

SMSF Club Pty

Work highlights

  • Conducted an investigation for PwC into the high-profile collapse of a $1bn public group of companies through public examinations and the interrogation of over 3m records held by the company.
  • Represented the non-executive directors of Banksia Securities in relation to a class action filed on behalf of debenture holders, as well as in an ASIC investigation and public examination hearings commenced by the receivers and managers.
  • Acting for Michael Potts and Nick Abboud in proceedings brought against them in the Commercial List of the Supreme Court of NSW by the National Australia Bank and HSBC Bank Australia.

HFW

Acting on both domestically-originated and cross-border mandates, HFW is noted for its partner-led approach and established litigation reputation in the insurance, commodities, energy, shipping, and construction sectors. Melbourne-based department leader Nick Longley has niche expertise in heavy engineering disputes. Richard Jowett is well-known in the insurance litigation market in Melbourne. The group expanded its product liability offering when Michael Maxwell joined the Perth office from Clayton Utz in April 2020.

Practice head(s):

Nick Longley

Key clients

BAM International

AECOM Services Pty

Mammoet

Alstom Transport Australia

Hyundai Engineering and Construction

ADB Safegate BVBA

Salini Impregilo

Work highlights

  • Representing BAMClough in the defence of claims made by its subcontractor, McConnell Dowell, in relation to works to assemble the product loading facility for the A$44bn Wheatstone LNG project.
  • Acting for a large international mining company on US$1.4bn claims arising out of a highly publicised dam failure in Latin America.
  • Representing a large engineering and construction company in relation to a A$1bn claim for damages arising from the failure of a coating system applied to the onshore components of an LNG plant.

K&L Gates

K&L Gates focuses on multi-party commercial litigation, class action proceedings, regulatory inquiries, and representation relating to the work of the Royal Commissions. Particular areas of specialism include contractual disputes, corporate issues, tort law, incidents, defamation, and multiple others. Another key differentiator for the practice is also its access to the firm’s in-house group specialising in e-discovery analysis and technology. Clients prize the ‘clear and insightful advice’ provided by department head Tim Webster.

Practice head(s):

Tim Webster

Other key lawyers:

Nicholas Brown; John Kelly

Testimonials

In our particular matter, the team demonstrated their experience with the subject matter and personalities involved in litigation. They were also acutely aware of commercial outcomes rather than strict legal positions.

Tim Webster was outstanding as our lead partner and clearly articulated the various pathways in the litigation we were involved in. The clear and insightful advice allowed us to make sound decisions.

Great service. K&L Gates has experienced practitioners in all areas of law, and whichever practitioner I am been referred to in relation to a particular matter will always seek other lawyers’ expertise within the firm when required and they work well together. This provides a smooth and cohesive approach to any matter. The other excellent feature is the clear and precise feedback and updates that K&L Gates provide, which ensures that I (and my clients) are always aware of what our position is at any point in time.

The team is professional and a pleasure to deal with. The work produced is always of a high technical standard with a quick turnaround. The team is always responsive – fantastic communicators.

Tim Webster is highly experienced, strategic, and knowledgeable.

Key clients

Sydney Fish Market

VISA Global Logistics

Energy Resources of Australia

Honda Australia

James Hardie Industries

Caledonian Sky Shipping Inc

Morris Property Group

Doma Property Group

Amalgamated Property Group

Illawarra Retirement Trust

United Petroleum

Ericsson Australia

Work highlights

  • Acting for Honda Australia Pty in the Takata airbag consumer class action.
  • Acting as counsel for a high net-worth individual, Zhenya Tsvetnenko, resisting an extradition request by the United States of America to face wire-fraud and other charges.
  • Defending a suite of GST class actions in relation to the sale of large-scale residential properties in the Australian Capital Territory.

Piper Alderman

A top performer in the corporate and commercial litigation space, Piper Alderman prides itself on its work in the class action space, where it benefits from being at the forefront of third-party litigation funding. The group is adept at handling white-collar crime proceedings and corporate litigation; former managing partner and practice head Gordon Grieve and Simon Morris (both based in Sydney) are names to note in this regard. The department is jointly led by Anne Freeman and Ian Nathaniel, based respectively in Sydney and Melbourne. Greg Whyte leads the team in Brisbane and specialises in managing complex litigation and disputes, with an emphasis on corporate disputes, class actions, professional negligence and insurance. The Melbourne-based group strengthened its trust and estate litigation expertise with the appointment of Louise Gehrig from Thomson Geer in March 2020. Jane Kupsch departed to Kennedys in November 2019.

Practice head(s):

Anne Freeman; Ian Nathaniel

Testimonials

Piper Alderman has a team with a wide range of experience across commercial litigation. The firm has a skilled group of litigation solicitors, who are a pleasure to deal with. They also have good insight and judgment across commercial litigation generally, as well as particular experience in class actions.

Simon Morris is an outstanding intellect and an extremely capable manager of complicated litigation. He stands out for his strategic insight and intellectual clarity.

The team is gaining a real presence in class action litigation. Unlike most of its competitors, it acts for both plaintiffs and defendants which provides the firm with a unique insight.

Martin del Gallego is developing a real specialism in representative proceedings.

Compared to other firms, in my experience, the Piper Alderman litigation practice is very experienced in both preparing and running cases. They have strong relationships with and work well with barristers that they brief and they are also very good at managing clients both in terms of the legal issues and the process of the case. They apply the correct amount of resourcing to the case.

Simon Morris is a very good and experienced litigation partner. He is across the detail of his cases, and brings significant intellectual input to both the legal analysis and strategic direction of the case. He also heads a talented team of senior and junior associates.

Key clients

Advangen International Pty

Ansell

Birbilis Bros Pty

Cassa Bedding Pty

Cellmid

Cigno Pty

Clarke Energy (Australia) Pty

D H Flinders Pty

Giabal Pty

Hastings Deering (Australia)

Omni Bridgeway

Lakes Oil N.L.

LCM Litigation Fund Pty

Linfox Armaguard Pty

Red River Resources

SB Holdings Australia Pty

YMCA Australia

Zentree Investments

Zoetis Australia

Work highlights

  • Secured an $80m judgment in Supreme Court of New South Wales proceedings for investors in the Seas Sapfor Forestry Scheme in a case concerning breach of trust and negligence by Australian Executor Trustees.
  • Acting for Zoetis Australia on defending a $53m class action brought by the owners of horses which were administered with the Hendra Virus vaccine developed by the client.
  • Representing the lead applicants in a securities class action (funded by LCM Finance) against the former world’s largest sandalwood grower and ASX-listed entity, Quintis, its former managing director and CEO, and Ernst & Young, for claims arising out of misleading and deceptive conduct and auditor negligence.

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP prides itself on its well-known strength in critical litigation, and its recent workload backs its reputation up, spanning multiple high-profile class action proceedings. Product liability and contractual disputes are also at the core of the team’s focus. Sydney-based litigators Michael Mills and Michelle Fox share leadership of the department, which is a firm fixture on both the side of both plaintiffs and defendants.

Practice head(s):

Michael Mills; Michelle Fox

Other key lawyers:

Beau Deleuil; Damian Scattini

Key clients

Ashita Tomi / CJMCG Pty

Aurizon Holdings

CJMCG Pty

Craig Davidson

Federal Treasury Enterprise (FKP) Sojuzplodoimport / Federal Public Unitary External Economic Union Sojuzplodoimport

GetSwift / Joel Macdonald

Insurance Commission of Western Australia

Marion Wigmans

Moira Shire Council / Hobsons Bay City Council

Richmond Valley Council

Seiko Epson Corporation and Epson Australia Pty

STA Australia Pty

Work highlights

  • Acted for GetSwift and Mr Joel Macdonald in class actions and civil penalty proceedings.
  • Acted for Insurance Commission of Western Australia in the resolution of “the Bell litigation”.
  • Acting for Ms Wigmans, a lead plaintiff in the first-filed shareholder class action against AMP.

Bird & Bird

Bird & Bird stands out for its strong suit on the technology and media contentious front; this is an area of specialism for Sydney-based practice head Sophie Dawson. The department is also a suitable proposition for clients seeking representation in telecoms and IP sector disputes; Jane Owen, Lynne Lewis, and Troy Gurnett are all names to note in the contentious IP space.

Practice head(s):

Sophie Dawson

Testimonials

Approachable, efficient, and sensible. They have a good instinct to make the right call and are willing to take the responsibility of doing so. This particularly applies to Troy Gurnett.

Partners and a number of associates who are very experienced in the litigation we need (media/defamation and IP); strong client focus; work efficiently to help us resolve disputes.

Sophie Dawson, Joel Parsons and Jarrad Parker are all a delight to work with – experienced, responsive, great at communicating with us about matters and strategy. Really proactive about offering training sessions for our in-house team to share knowledge.

Bird & Bird has very strong capabilities in technology-related disputes. In particular, it has a unique ability to master the technical aspects of software and other technology projects, and to use that understanding and knowledge to advance their client’s interests in disputes.

Sophie Dawson combines an ability to get across the minutiae of a technology-related dispute, with strategic and commercial thinking.

Jarrad Parker is showing great potential and is one to watch in the future.

The team was very measured and analytical whilst giving very commercially focused advice. They were also very accessible, which was tough given the time differences between us and them. They had an excellent experience which they brought to bear. They were very efficient and managed timescales for litigation well.

Key clients

DXC Technology Group

Take Two Interactive Software Group

Nine Entertainment Co

Warrego Energy

Regius Resources Group

Bacchus Resources Pty

Verseon Corporation

TripAdvisor Australia Pty

BlueInc Group

Sumo Australia

Fitness Systems United Pty

GlaxoSmithKline

Dongkuk Steel

Howden Group

Brien Holden Vision Institute

Work highlights

  • Defending Nine Entertainment Co in defamation proceedings concerning a source in a 60 minutes program.
  • Acting for Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar, leading computer games companies, in relation to unauthorised mods for one of the world’s bestselling computer games, Grand Theft Auto V.
  • Acting for a multinational software supplier in relation to a large complex dispute concerning a software implementation project.

Dentons

Dentons relies upon the expertise of the firm’s global network across 78 countries. The group also significantly strengthened its insolvency and employment litigation capabilities at the partner level with the arrivals of six partners from Fisher Jeffries. Other industry-specific contentious expertise includes the financial services, real estate, and life sciences sectors. Formerly a barrister in London, John Dalzell now leads the national department in Sydney. Louise Massey (Sydney) serves as co-leader of the firm’s global dispute resolution group.

Practice head(s):

John Dalzell

Other key lawyers:

Louise Massey; Lisa Wright

Key clients

Australian Taxation Office

NAB

CBA

Zetta Jet Pty

Bell Group (UK) Holdings Pty

Generic Partners

Australia’s Power Brands Pty / Bobby Bebe Pty

John Patton

Work highlights

  • Acted for the Australian Taxation Regulator in Federal Court proceedings commenced by Senvion GMBH under the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law Model Law on Cross-Border Insolvency seeking recognition of a foreign insolvency regime in Australia.
  • Acting for residents and business owners of Williamtown and surrounding communities in a high-profile class action commenced in the Federal Court of Australia in relation to land contamination.
  • Successfully defending the Commonwealth Bank of Australia against a damages claim for A$200m arising out of an alleged failure by the bank to provide funding as represented to a large manufacturing business.

Deutsch Miller

Sydney-based dispute resolution boutique Deutsch Miller acts for a varied client base consisting of listed and small-and-medium enterprises, financial institutions, charities, and private individuals. The group benefits from significant volumes of referral work from other legal practitioners; it is particularly well-versed in contentious regulatory, wills and trusts work. Mark Deutsch, Shane Anderton, and Chris Stevens jointly sit at the helm of the department.

Other key lawyers:

Annabel Osborn

Testimonials

Very professional and genuine.

Deutsch Miller combines expertise with a friendly, open approach. Work is allocated appropriately to staff with different levels of experience, but Mark Deutsch is still clearly overseeing matters and stepping in whenever required. I trust the team to contact me when they need my instructions but otherwise to just get on with the job without me needing to push.

Mark Deutsch is an exceptional lawyer – razor-sharp brain while maintaining a personal and warm approach to his work. I trust him to get me the best result.

I have used DM for a personal dispute and they have been the most amazing and professional lawyers.

Personal contact, availability, legal ability, thoroughness.

Mark Deutsch is exceptional in his legal knowledge and approach to litigation.

Shane Anderton is supremely competent in the areas of corporate, commercial, and regulatory litigation. Shane is a first-class tactician who always keeps the objectives of the client front and centre.

Mark Deutsch and Chris Stevens are also excellent commercial litigation partners. Both extremely able and client-focused.

Annabel Osborn is an exceptional associate in the areas of corporate and commercial litigation.

Key clients

Hope Rinehart Welker

BNP Paribas Australia

Addenbrooke Pty Ltd

Balance Legal Capital Wealth Resources Pty

Abigail Boyd

Eric Borecki

Colleen Meyer

Fanuli Lucy

Wealth Resources Pty Ltd

Work highlights

  • Acted for defendant BNP Paribas in a dispute at the Supreme Court of Queensland concerning payment under a performance security issued by BNP Paribas to Santos.
  • Acting for Hope Rinehart Welker in a high-profile dispute amongst the Rinehart family members, Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd and others in relation to multi-billion-dollar mining assets.
  • Acting for private investment company Addenbrooke Pty Ltd in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia in complex claims for damages for misleading and deceptive conduct and other claims arising from its lost investment in Cascade Coal.

Gadens Lawyers

Gadens Lawyers’ Melbourne-led disputes department is noted for its high-stakes work on contentious matters arising as a result of the establishment of royal commissions, regulatory investigations, and significant class actions. Another stable stream of instructions relates to contract-based disputes; Simon Theodore (Melbourne) is a standout practitioner in this regard. Patrick Walsh heads up the practice, which underwent changes in August 2019, when Dermott Lynch departed, while Edward Martin joined from Gilbert + Tobin. The team’s strength in Sydney is also noted, where Kathy Merrick is a key contact for bet-the-company litigation.

Practice head(s):

Patrick Walsh

Key clients

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Carlton & United Breweries

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Dr Martens

ISPT

Singtel Optus Pty

Tabcorp Holdings

Volkswagen Financial Services Australia

Work highlights

  • Acted for the owners of the Melbourne GPO building on reducing land tax from a claim of $29m to $1.
  • Acted for Australian Prudential Regulation Authority in Federal Court of Australia proceedings against certain APRA-regulated superannuation entities and individuals in the IOOF Group.
  • Acting for shareholders of Quintis in Federal Court proceedings against Quintis and its managing director, Frank Wilson, in relation to allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct, and contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and ASX Listing Rules.

Jackson McDonald

The Perth-based dispute resolution group at Jackson McDonald has a solid track record assisting clients with general commercial disputes, insurance litigation, and infrastructure and construction disputes. For more challenging disputes, the practice is ably assisted by the firm’s legal technology team; it is also noted for its use of online apps in the context of construction sector litigation. Practice head Karene Primrose is a go-to adviser for disputes relating to competition law, negligence, and contract law issues, among others. Neil Gentilli’s recent work stands out at the Supreme Court of Western Australia level.

Practice head(s):

Karene Primrose

Testimonials

Jackson McDonald is, in my view, the preeminent independent law firm in Western Australia. They undertake some of the largest litigations and dispute resolutions in the jurisdiction particularly in the construction and resources sectors.

Karene Primrose is a blue-chip dispute resolution lawyer who combines the trusted advisor role with meticulous attention to detail and strategic wisdom. She is unflappable in times of crisis and is someone you definitely want on your team in any dispute resolution context.

Neil Gentilli is one of the doyens of litigation in Western Australia, with a broad knowledge of the law and litigation craft.

Key clients

Foundation Housing

Hospitality and Trading Company

Karara Mining

Westgem Investments Pty

Lowe Pty

Family Holdings Pty / AJH Projects Pty

Work highlights

  • Acting for Foundation Housing in respect of proceedings commenced in the Supreme Court of Western Australia against GHD claiming breach of contract and negligence.
  • Acting for Karara Mining in connection with a claim brought against Karara by a large contractor claiming alleged losses of an opportunity and various breaches of contract.
  • Representing Lowe Pty in a complex commercial and property litigation case in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Maddocks

Maddocks’ litigation group is spearheaded by Sydney-based Norman Lucas and Melbourne-based Gina Wilson. Recent work highlights testify to the department’s strength in acting for key government departments and agencies; notably, it also benefits from a number of panel appointments. Its other recognised strength lies in handling government inquiries. The team is also active in contentious competition and consumer law issues. Ian Temby departed to Clayton Utz in March 2020.

Practice head(s):

Norman Lucas; Gina Wilson

Testimonials

Commercial and responsive.

Gina Wilson is a standout. As a litigator, she is calm, practical, smart, commercial, and very easy to deal with. Not only does she have a great understanding of the issues, but also understands the businesses she is advising and their needs and outcomes. Gina listens and delivers.

Excellent, well-run team that focuses on client needs.

Shaun Temby is an excellent dispute resolution partner who is efficient and effective. He is commercial and adopts a client-centric approach. Always there when you need him.

Maddocks has proven to be an ideal legal partner; their subject matter experts are certainly top of their field. Their skill and expertise are on par with the larger international firms.

There are two clear considerations for us that have strengthened our partnership with Maddocks. Firstly, their advice and contract structuring are designed to avoid the risk of entering litigation. Secondly, in the instances we have had to engage in litigation or arbitration, their approach and support have always been commercial, aimed at speedy resolutions and driven by a policy of outcomes over procedure.

Key clients

NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment

Macquarie Bank

GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Australia Pty

Macquarie Telecom Pty

Kentucky Fried Chicken

Nongshim Co / Nongshim Australia Pty

Lotus Oaks Pty

City of Casey

National Disability Insurance Agency

New South Wales Department of Education

Work highlights

  • Assisting the NSW Department of Planning, Industry and Environment with its response to the NSW Independent Bushfire Inquiry and the Commonwealth Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements.
  • Assisting Macquarie Bank with a negligence claim brought by a group of 65 investors in relation to a fraudulent investment scheme known as the Lifestyles Group.
  • Acting for the former executive manager of Joe White Maltings in third-party proceedings commenced against him in the Supreme Court of Victoria.

McCullough Robertson

Praised for its ‘expertise and availability’, McCullough Robertson considers its work on regulatory contentious issues to be a core strength of the practice; it is particularly prominent in the investigations and enforcement space. Brisbane-based  Peter Stokes is a key contact for regulatory work in the education, mining, and energy sectors. Guy Humble (Brisbane) leads the wider department, while Jason Munstermann leads the dispute resolution team in Sydney. In addition, the group bolstered its insolvency litigation offering in Brisbane with the appointment of David O’Farrell from HWL Ebsworth in June 2020.

Practice head(s):

Guy Humble; Jason Munstermann

Key clients

Department of Transport and Main Roads

Commonwealth Government: Department of Defence and Comcover

Decmil Australia Pty

Telstra Corporation

Westpac Banking Corporation

Bengal Coal

MACH Energy

New Century Resources

Work highlights

  • Acting for the Commonwealth, as represented by the Department of Defence, in defending a class action brought by approximately 280 members and former members of the Navy.
  • Acting for Telstra Corporation in proceedings brought by WebCentral Pty before the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
  • Acted for the Department of Transport and Main Roads in relation to Operation Impala, a Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission corruption investigation.

Mills Oakley

Split across five offices around the country, Mills Oakley’s practice is led out of Melbourne by Andrew Brown. The group finds itself at the forefront of insolvency litigation, where it represents administrators and liquidators in the aftermath of significant corporate bankruptcies. The team is also consistently engaged in general commercial disputes and contentious financial services sector work. Again in the financial sector, the department benefits from multiple panel appointments.

Practice head(s):

Andrew Brown

Key clients

Liquidators of Timbercorp Finance Pty

FTI Consulting

Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture Pty

Mazda Australia Pty

Perron Group

Bendigo and Adelaide Bank / Grant Thornton / Bank of Queensland

Australian Corrugated Box Co Pty / ACB Australia Pty

Cameron Harrison

Work highlights

  • Acting for Timbercorp Finance Pty in respect of all aspects of its liquidation since 2009, including the prosecution of over 1,500 proceedings for the recovery Timbercorp Finance’s $A500m loan book, among other matters.
  • Assisting Cor Cordis with matters regarding the voluntary administration of CuDeco.
  • Acting for Mazda Australia in the defence of a class action alleging, among other matters, breaches of the Competition and Consumer Act in relation to the supply of motor vehicles with Takata airbags.

Squire Patton Boggs

Squire Patton Boggs has extensive experience handling commercial disputes, on which the team acts for a mix of corporate and high-net-worth private clients. Particularly noteworthy is the team’s expertise in corporate and shareholder litigation, investigations, regulatory prosecutions, and issues relating to Royal Commissions. The team is increasingly being instructed in relation to disputes in the energy and construction industries. Further, the group has been undergoing recent structural changes. It expanded its offering in Perth with the arrivals of Alexis Martinez from the London office and the appointment of Caroline Brown from HFW. Formerly at the Sydney-based office, 2020 has seen the departures of Avendra Singh to Johnson Winter & Slattery, as well as those of corporate litigator Amanda Banton and Shaan Palmer who are now at Banton Group.

Key clients

Adelaide Brighton

Bentley Capital

Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry International Company

Far East Consortium

Kingdom of Spain

Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty

MSP Engineering Pty

Salini Impregilo

Woolworths Group

Work highlights

  • Successfully represented Dalian Huarui Heavy Industry International Company in disputes relating to the manufacturing and supply of all significant components on the A$11bn Roy Hill project.
  • Representing Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty in a A$1bn+ dispute relating to the Ichthys LNG project.
  • Representing Bentley Capital in respect of proceedings in the courts and the Takeovers Panel in relation to various shareholder disputes and governance matters.

Banton Group

Established in February 2020, litigation boutique Banton Group is a new player in Sydney’s legal market. However, its leaders enjoy a stable reputation among their peers: Squire Patton Boggs’ former dispute resolution department head and name partner Amanda Banton shares leadership with Shaan Palmer and Elliott Smith. The team adopts a multidisciplinary approach by bringing talent in law, economics, forensic accounting, and quantitative analysis under one roof. The group is a firm fixture on the side of the plaintiff and represents financial institutions and external administrators in insolvency-related litigation and investigations.

Key clients

Forge Group

Anthony Bogan / Michael Walton

Jerzy Dyczynski /Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski

Kupang Resources

Work highlights

  • Acting for the liquidators of an engineering and construction company, Forge Group, alleging breaches of directors’ duties following the client’s acquisition of CTEC and the management of the related newly acquired projects.
  • Representing Jerzy Dyczynski and Angela Rudhart-Dyczynski in in an urgent appeal relating to the MH17 class action against Malaysia Airlines for compensatory damages arising from the deaths of MH17 passengers.
  • Acting for shareholders of Arrium and ASIC as authorised eligible applicants under the Corporations Act 2001 in conducting public examinations and issuing orders of production against Arrium, its directors and auditors.

Colin Biggers & Paisley

Colin Biggers & Paisley places an emphasis on contentious work in the construction and property sectors.  Antony Riordan leads the wider dispute resolution group, while commercial litigator Leanne Walker heads up the property disputes team.

Practice head(s):

Antony Riordan

Other key lawyers:

Leanne Walker

Cooper Grace Ward

The Brisbane-based litigation department at Cooper Grace Ward has carved out a reputation based on its work on disputes involving regulatory issues and commissions of inquiry. The group’s client base included large companies and prominent private clients. Rocco Russo leads the dispute resolution group, where Graham Roberts specialises in securities and insolvency litigation.

Practice head(s):

Rocco Russo

Testimonials

Very commercial thinking; good technical skills; ability to handle relatively large matters.

Rocco Russo has very solid judgement on strategy and tactics. Ben Williams is very detail-orientated and reliable.

Miranda Klibbe is an excellent lawyer who focuses on driving matters to a successful resolution.

The team has a real depth of talent – solicitors who get fully across their matters and take responsibility for outcomes.

Rocco Russo is a highly experienced litigator who is extremely responsive, exceptionally knowledgeable, and has a knack for providing succinct, strategic advice no matter how complex the problem or how pressured the timescale. He deals with the most challenging of cases with good humour and real skill.

Rocco Russo always ensures that he has very talented team members and yet he still manages to be actively involved in their matters.

Graham Roberts has significant experience and brings a certain determination to his matters.

Key clients

Robert Hutson

RACQ Group

Credit One Group

Korda Mentha

FTI Consulting

Bidvest Australia

Aventine Real Estate

Lovells Automotive Systems Pty

Lancini Property Group

Vela Software International Inc.

Golden Vision Retail Group

House Property Group

Work highlights

  • Representing the administrator of a significant estate in Supreme Court litigation instigated by a prominent Australian developer, seeking to resolve contract interpretation issues.
  • Representing a group of investors in defending Supreme Court litigation concerning a high-profile and long-running dispute involving Michael Conley, husband to the late Brisbane socialite Cindy Flemming, and John James, a successful property developer, in relation to significant property interests in the well-known James Street (Fortitude Valley) inner city precinct.
  • Represented Lovells Automotive Systems Pty in a dispute with a Commonwealth department raising statutory interpretation questions affecting the national motor vehicle modification sector.

Kennedys

Kennedys is known for its leading expertise in insurance litigation, particularly in the aged care and healthcare sectors; insurance disputes are an area of specialism for both Raylee Hartwell and Chris Finn. The team also has significant capabilities in employment disputes. Sydney-based practice head Patrick George is adept at representing high-profile private clients and individuals with celebrity status in sensitive media law and defamation actions. Rebekah Giles departed in February 2020. Commercial litigator Jane Kupsch joined the Melbourne office from Piper Alderman at the end of 2019.

Practice head(s):

Patrick George

Key clients

CBRE Asia Pacific

Toll Group

Cushman & Wakefield

Healthscope

Oxford Scientific Pty

Elanor Investors

G H Varley Pty

Australian Olympic Committee

The Honourable Paul Keating

The Honourable Kevin Rudd

The Honourable Michael McCormack

NSW Bar Association

Greencapital Australia

Work highlights

  • Acting for a multinational manufacturer in relation to claims concerning cancer and other illnesses allegedly acquired through breast implants.
  • Successfully acted for Oxford Scientific Pty and Medilink Pty and obtained urgent relief against Michael (Mike) Erwin Terreiro and ANZ Medical Pty.
  • Acted on behalf of Groupe SEB, Tefal as a creditor of Harris Scarfe in relation to contentious debt issues, leading to a successful recovery of approximately 70% of debts owed.

Lander & Rogers

Led out of Melbourne by Greg McKenzie, Lander & Rogers is a destination of choice for clients seeking assistance with complex insolvency issues (a specialism for Melbourne-based Lily Nguyen), property disputes, and corporate and consumer law contentious matters. Another area of focus for the team is litigation in the financial services sector, where its main strength lies in regulatory investigations and proceedings brought as a result thereof. Further, the practice is noted for its recent initiatives in the area of e-discovery and document analysis. January 2020 saw the departures of Andrew Forbes and Louise Nixon to TurksLegal.

Practice head(s):

Greg McKenzie

Other key lawyers:

Lily Nguyen; Elon Zlotnick

Key clients

QMS Media

Work highlights

  • Acted for QMS Media on seeking and obtaining approval from the Federal Court of Australia for a scheme of arrangement for the acquisition of QMS Media by an entity associated with Quadrant Private Equity.
  • Acted for a national property developer in a $100m joint venture dispute in both the Supreme Court of Victoria and private arbitration proceedings.
  • Acted for one of the directors of a collapsed property consortium and property development company in insolvency-related litigation.

McCabe Curwood

The team at McCabe Curwood is well-equipped to handle disputes arising in relation to corporate law, consumer law issues, and antitrust matters. The department is led out of Sydney by the trio Andrew Lacey, Chiara Rawlins, and Foez Dewan.

Thomson Geer

According to a client, Thomson Geer’s dispute resolution group is ‘very experienced and provides clear risk-based advice’. The practice acts on the defence side in a wide range of disputes across sectors such as financial services, insurance, and IP, among others. In addition, the team is stalwart in the country’s construction litigation landscape. It is also increasingly receiving instructions posing reputational risk to clients in relation to multiple royal commission-related issues. The team is supported by the firm’s national litigation support team in relation to processing evidence, document reviews, and investigations.

Testimonials

Thomson Geer’s team is all very experienced and provides clear risk-based advice.

Stephen Voss was exceptional, he had a great understanding of the various issues and matters being handled. Working closely with Thomson Geer, they understood our approach to settling disputes.

Stephen Voss is a great litigator – saw the bigger picture, provided timely advice, a good person to bounce thoughts off.

Key clients

Civil Mining & Construction Pty

Linc Energy

Sealed Air

Work highlights

  • Acting for Civil Mining & Construction Pty in relation to a dispute with Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty regarding civil and construction works associated with the development of the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal at Gladstone in Queensland.
  • Acting for Mr Peter Bond in relation to a criminal prosecution commenced against Mr Bond and other former executive officers of Linc Energy under the Environmental Protection Act 1994.
  • Successfully acted for Sealed Air in an action against Aus-Lid for breach of an exclusive licence agreement relating to the manufacture of a combo-lid supplied to Chobani.

White & Case

Following his 2018 arrival to the White & Case’s office in Sydney, department leader Brad Strahorn has been expanding the team’s presence in the contentious construction realm. The group routinely taps into the firm’s global resources; of particular note, it acts in conjunction with its Australian and foreign colleagues in the context of infrastructure and energy projects.

Practice head(s):

Brad Strahorn

Testimonials

The disputes practice at White and Case is only two years old and as such is not weighed down with conflicts. Brad Strahorn provides pragmatic, strategic guidance in the dispute resolution space and is a breath of fresh air. Having top-tier experience, Brad and his team are able to respond and pivot quickly to deal with issues as they arise.

Key clients

Melbourne Metro Rail Authority

Neoen Australia Pty

Transurban

ALTRAC Light Rail

Genessee & Wyoming

Brookfield Infrastructure