Dispute resolution in Australia
The dispute resolution and investigations team at Allens receives commendation for ‘standing out because all of its dispute resolution lawyers are consistently excellent across the board’, including at associate level. The group acts for blue-chip public and private clients at national and international levels. Belinda Thompson is recommended for her ‘reliably good judgement and excellent technical knowledge’ and the ‘very commercial and sensible’. Guy Foster's work includes class actions, securities litigation administrative law disputes. Andrea Martignoni and Peter O’Donahoo are both names to note on the arbitration front. Also noted in this regard is Andrew Maher, who heads up the department.
‘The team has excellent technical legal knowledge and adopts a highly strategic approach to major cases‘
‘Substantial depth of resources, excellent commercial judgement, and reliably good work‘
‘International arbitration can be daunting initially but Allens’ experience, expertise and project management skills make it easy for the client to participate in and benefit from the process. The team deals with the client in a confident and respectful manner, thereby making work with the partners and other team members a pleasure‘
‘Allens is exceptional at providing advice and client support in a timely and efficient way and ensuring deadlines are met. The partners take real ownership of the dispute resolution process so that all issues are appropriately resourced, planned and executed‘
‘Allens’ lawyers are consistently excellent across the board. They interact exceptionally well with clients, counsel and the courts, and always observe the highest ethical standards‘
‘Good access to experienced partners who are backed up by very able associates‘
‘Jeremy Quan-Sing and Andrea Martignoni, together and separately, bring excellent legal expertise and arbitration experience to any matter. Jeremy is exceptional at project managing the dispute, his team and external experts and consultants. Andrea has a wealth of knowledge about the international arbitration sphere, which he incorporates into all aspects of his advice and client discussions. Both partners and associates have a solid understanding of the role of in-house counsel and requirements for in-house counsel to manage stakeholder expectations and processes‘
‘Partners Peter O’Donahoo, Andrew Maher and Belinda Thompson are all very good lawyers, but as litigators, they are also creative, very hard working and extremely thorough‘
‘James Campbell has an extraordinary ability to get across detail and to understand the nuances of matters. He also presents well to senior management‘
Westpac Banking Corporation/ Westpac Life Insurance Services
Rest Industry Super
Ford Motor Company of Australia
PTTEP Australasia Pty
Peabody Energy Australia
- Advised a number of financial services clients in relation to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Acting for The Australia and New Zealand Banking Group in relation to an investigation by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and subsequent criminal cartel prosecutions brought against the client.
- Representing ANZ in Supreme Court litigation concerning the priority ownership of funds brought by BNP Paribas.
- Acting for Citic and its subsidiaries on a number of sets of proceedings involving Mineralogy, Clive Palmer, and other Palmer-related entities in relation to the Sino Iron Project.
- Representing Ford Motor Company of Australia in class action proceedings brought on behalf of owners of certain Ford vehicle models regarding alleged breaches of consumer guarantees, misleading or deceptive conduct and unconscionability claims.
Led by Mark Elvy, the work of Ashurst’s dispute resolution department encompasses an impressive breadth of court proceedings, investigations, and enforcement matters. The ‘personable and professional’ team has a bench strength in infrastructure disputes, with clients singling out the expertise of Jeremy Chennoweth, who is ‘bright and hard working, leads by example and provides efficient guidance to his team’. Chennoweth’s cross-border practice also stands out in relation to arbitration — an area where Georgia Quick is also prominent. The ‘highly strategic’ Andrew Carter has built a reputation for representing corporate and financial institutions in the area of corporate litigation, while Wen-Ts’ai Lim stands out for commercial litigation work. Clients also single out the ‘amazing’ John Pavlakis and the ‘thorough and efficient’ Ian Bolster. The team is further boosted by 'the technically brilliant and commercially astute' Rani John who has joined from DLA Piper.
Other key lawyers:
‘A large and experienced team which adopts a proactive approach and draws upon the expertise of the firm’s resources nationally, when necessary‘
‘The practice is unique because it comprises a team of people who are passionate about their cases and really go the extra mile to achieve the very best result for their clients‘
‘The team combines top-quality technical skills with efficiency, cost management and commercial practicality‘
‘Jeremy Chennoweth is particularly good with both clients, colleagues and consultants‘
‘Jeremy Chennoweth is a strong team leader‘
‘Andrew Carter is a consummate professional, who provides great strategic insights to clients‘
‘Ian Bolster is an excellent communicator, who is committed to his clients and a pleasure to deal with‘
‘Jeremy Chenoweth is in tune with client perceptions and needs. Astute at assembling the right team for the right job‘
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
BMW Australia Finance
Crown Sydney Property Pty
- Acted for Australia and New Zealand Banking Group on matters relating to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Acting for BMW Australia in defence of a defective car airbags class action at the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
- Acting for ANZ in defending a class action relating to the charging of certain periodical payment non-payment fees.
- Acting for Crown Sydney Property Pty on construction-related proceedings against the Barangaroo Delivery Authority.
Clayton Utz is entrusted with complex, contentious cases including bet-the-farm litigation, which it handles for both corporate and governmental clients. The group has a national strength whereby it runs matters out of its Sydney, Melbourne and Perth locations. Particularly prominent in the class action space, Nicholas Mavrakis handles work for an enviable roster of clients in the financial services sector, among others. Ross McInnes who has also built a reputation in the field of financial services litigation, also focuses on regulatory investigations, enforcement and consumer remediation. Clients single out ‘outstanding lawyer’ Nick Cooper in Perth for general commercial litigation, Cooper, special counsel Tim Donisi and other team members have a specialism in energy and natural resources litigation. Andrew Morrison heads the national commercial litigation group, which also focuses on areas such as the public sector, construction and infrastructure. Special counsel Edmond Park is also noted.
‘The team that we worked with in Clayton Utz is extremely professional and attentive. What sets the team apart is its ability to give advice not only in a timely but also practical manner‘
‘The firm’s commercial litigation team is intellectually and ethically superior, and has a client focus that is exceptional. Having seen the team’s performance and conduct during high-profile litigation, we have concluded that we would rather have them on our side than any other firms we see‘
‘I have regularly called on Ross McInnes and Scott Grahame to assist me with urgent and critical matters, and have found them highly responsive, commercial and efficient. They are my ‘go to’ people‘
‘Nick Cooper is an outstanding partner and it is clear that he commands a lot of respect and loyalty from the team working with him. Nick makes himself available to his clients and strives to deliver. Of his team members, Tim Donisi deserves a special mention. Tim demonstrates clear thinking and extreme calm during trying times. He is able to quickly pick up industry and business knowledge‘
‘Nick Cooper and Paul Fitzpatrick in Perth, Gareth Jenkins in Brisbane, and Douglas Bishop in Sydney all have great legal skills‘
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Barangaroo Delivery Authority
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
Armada Balnaves Pte
AMP Financial Planning Pty
Sheahan Lock Partners
Johnson & Johnson
- Acted for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on issues relating to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Advising the Commonwealth Bank of Australia on all aspects of an inquiry by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority into the client’s governance, culture and accountability frameworks.
- Representing the Barangaroo Delivery Authority in land-related proceedings brought by Crown Sydney Property Pty and Lend Lease (Millers Point) Pty before the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
- Acting for Armada Balnaves Pte in litigation regarding the wrongful termination of a services agreement.
Corrs Chambers Westgarth’s commercial litigation team acts on instructions from across a variety of sectors, including financial services, energy and resources, and technology. The group advises a long-standing client base consisting of multinationals, corporations, service providers and government entities. A notable strength lies in bet-the-company litigation, which is an area of expertise for department head Mark Wilks, whose practice stands out in the area of financial services and natural resources. The experience of James Whittaker encompasses class actions, regulatory investigations and product liability claims. On the arbitration front, the Brisbane-based Joshua Paffey leads the group, which handles high-stakes mandates in the area of natural resources, infrastructure, and pharmaceuticals and life sciences. Clients also single out senior associate David Anthony.
‘The team combines legal expertise with practical and commercial perspectives, which makes an in-house counsel’s work much easier‘
‘Corrs’ dispute resolution team is a significant player in the Australian market. The team is nearly unmatched in terms of the number of senior and experienced partners available to clients‘
‘The team assigned to the series of litigation in which I was involved was able, intelligent, knowledgeable, efficient and supportive. Having been involved in litigation for some 60 years, I truly appreciated this‘
‘A very commercial team with a lot of experience in complex International arbitration disputes in infrastructure and energy’
‘For me, Corrs has the standout dispute resolution team in the Australian market. The litigation team drops the arrogance and bravado and genuinely seeks the best outcome for its clients. I cannot speak highly enough of this team‘
‘The dispute resolution team is a shining example of team work –its members work together seamlessly and always demonstrate not only their technical expertise at every level but also excellent communication, outstanding project management and commercial awareness. Nothing is ever too much trouble and they are a lovely team to work with‘
‘Mark Wilks is known as one of the country’s most prominent dispute resolution lawyers, who is able to efficiently split his time between high-profile clients and smaller, boutique instructions. Also, Mark’s ability to bring in the suitable partners and expertise at the right time to handle a particular matter is unparallelled‘
‘Mark Wilks is an exceptional lawyer and strategist. He has built a strong team of dedicated lawyers‘
‘Joshua Paffey is charming, highly intelligent and effective‘
‘David Anthony is an outstanding young litigator. His attention to detail is sound and he makes an effort to understand the commercial drivers behind the issues under consideration. This perspective enables him to provide practical and correct solutions to multi-dimensional issues‘
National Australia Bank
The Commonwealth Bank of Australia
Commonwealth of Australia
Ernst & Young
Queensland Investment Corporation
The ING Group
Australia and New Zealand Banking Group
Vodafone Hutchinson Australia
- Acting for Hancock Prospecting in multiple disputes concerning ownership of valuable mining assets.
- Acting for the Commonwealth of Australia against pharmaceutical originator Otsuka.
- Acted for a subsidiary of Challenger Limited in bringing claims against Helmsman Capital and directors of Forcecorp Limited, following the collapse of Forcecorp in 2015.
The disputes and investigation department at Gilbert + Tobin demonstrates significant depth of expertise across a full spectrum of contentious areas including investigation, and regulatory compliance and enforcement as well as litigation. The team has proven market-leading strength acting on high-profile mandates relating to inquiries by Royal Commissions as well as class actions. Also of a note is the team members’ project management skills together with the firm’s use of advanced technology in approaching dispute resolution. The national practice is headed by Sydney-based Richard Harris, who receives commendation from clients for his ‘remarkable leadership’ and his wide-ranging experience in the financial services sector. Also based in Sydney, Colleen Platford handles insolvency and restructuring-related litigation, while Crispian Lynch is adept at both litigation and alternative dispute resolution matters. Janet Whiting leads the team in Melbourne and is ‘extremely strategic, pragmatic and tenacious’.
‘The team is practical, focused, and fights hard‘
‘Good strategic approach to disputes, thorough review of all aspects of disputes, and thinking outside the box in seeking solution‘
‘I have mainly dealt with Colleen Platford and Crispian Lynch at the partner level over the last few years. These partners and their teams are dedicated and efficient in everything they do. Colleen is the person I would wish to have working for me if I was facing a disaster. She is uncompromising in her pursuit of an effective outcome for her clients and possesses a remarkable insight into the ways to achieve optimal results without running unnecessary risks. Crispian has a first-rate legal mind combined with admirable sangfroid in litigation‘
‘Richard Harris demonstrates strong, game-changing leadership skills at Gilbert + Tobin. I have no doubt that the team will flourish and I am pleased to see some new partner appointments at the firm – a great additions to the partnership at Gilbert + Tobin‘
‘Janet Whiting has a very good understanding of clients’ objectives‘
‘Richard Harris is an exceptional litigation partner. I consider him to be one of our key trusted advisors, whom I rely on for providing sound, commercial and pragmatic advice‘
‘Richard Harris has a deep understanding of financial services and this makes him a unique adviser‘
Westpac Banking Corporation
New Hope Corporation
The Commonwealth of Australia
- Assisting a number of high-profile clients with their responses to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Representing Cargill Australia, Cargill and Cargill Malt Asia Pacific Pty in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings in a claim for damages concerning allegations of false and misleading statements.
- Acting for Vocation on two consolidated class actions claiming over A$290m in damages.
- Advising the Commonwealth of Australia and its departments and agencies in its response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
Due its strong global foothold, Herbert Smith Freehills is able to provide a seamless service to clients seeking cross-border assistance with complex litigation and arbitration matters. it is entrusted with high-stakes litigation, with Juliana Warner being a recommended standout in the field. The team has carved out a reputation for acting on contentious issues across a variety of sectors, including financial services, construction, energy, mining, consumer products, TMT, and pharmaceuticals, among others. Luke Hastings has been succeeded by Anna Sutherland as the head of the wider dispute resolution department from Sydney. She significantly contributes to the strength of the firm’s offering in the corporate litigation space and is recommended for being ‘able to acknowledge the bigger picture of the dispute’. Clients also single out class action specialist Jason Betts and Andrew Eastwood, who specialises in financial services and contentious regulatory work. Brenda Horrigan leads the national arbitration team, while Melbourne-based Damian Grave heads up the firm’s global class actions practice. Ken Adams departed to embark on an in-house role.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is able to mobilize quickly and to provide detailed information and support to clients‘
‘Market leaders in the class action and regulatory space, with a depth of talent and understanding of the law and the market which cannot be found elsewhere‘
‘The arbitration team is absolutely committed to the client. The team perfectly understands our needs and requirements, and superbly defines the strategy for each case‘
‘The arbitration team’s advice is highly pragmatic in its approach‘
‘The team is clearly top-tier and provides excellent quality service and work in a professional and extremely efficient manner. It is clear that considerable strategic thought goes into the work that team members produce‘
‘The patent litigation team is able to balance the unique needs of Australian litigation with the needs of litigating around the rest of the world‘
‘Excellent lawyers, who are also extremely efficient, hardworking and committed‘
‘The team is highly attuned to the needs of the client and works in a proactive and insightful way‘
‘Excellent knowledge of all dispute resolution techniques – equally strong in litigation, arbitration, mediation and expert determination. Excellent technical legal knowledge across a wide range of areas‘
National Australia Bank
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
- Assisted the National Australia Bank with matters before the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Acting for AMP on four sets of class action proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court.
- Defending BHP in three competing shareholder class actions, which have been consolidated into one action that two plaintiff firms joined, in relation to the failure of the Fundão dam in Brazil in 2015.
- Advising Citigroup Global Markets Australia Pty on a criminal cartel prosecution brought by the regulators.
King & Wood Mallesons’ dispute resolution team has built a solid reputation in commercial litigation, particularly in the class actions space, where its lawyers are experts in areas such as securities and financial services, competition, and public liability. Peter Pether and Melbourne-based Domenic Gatto jointly head up the wider dispute resolution practice, which has bolstered its offering in regulatory investigations with the arrival of Damian Lovell in Sydney. Alexander Morris is also a prominent figure when it comes to high-profile investigations and inquiries. Led by Peter Pether and Daisy Mallett, the Sydney-based team is also a standout in the arbitration arena, where it has experience across sectors such as energy and resources, infrastructure and construction, as well as investment treaty arbitration. Trish Henry departed to accept a judge appointment, while Stephen Ridgeway is currently at the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Peter Pether; Domenic Gatto
‘Great depth of experience and resourcing capability‘
‘Scott Budd, Amy Munro, Edwina Kwan, as well as the wonderful team of associates they lead, create a formidable bench strength on a very substantial and complex arbitration that we are instructing the firm on. They have demonstrated true professionalism and an absolute commitment to the cause. I certainly recommend the whole team‘
‘Emily Heffernan is an impressive and highly dedicated lawyer, whose commitment to her clients is incredible. She has become a trusted adviser to us, having built close relationships with key staff members and having developed a detailed understanding of our business‘
Commonwealth Department of Finance
Standard Chartered Bank
Commonwealth Department of Human Services
The Queensland Investment Corporation
Australia Pacific Airport Corporation
- Acting for Deutsche Bank in criminal cartel proceedings, among other matters.
- Advising 14 organisations in relation to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Advising National Australia Bank on a consumer class action alleging unconscionable conduct brought against the client.
Minter Ellison’s sizeable department acts for clients on both national and cross-border matters, including disputes arising in relation to investment transactions. In Melbourne Michelle Power ‘stands out as a strategist in litigation and a problem-solver in handling difficult disputes’, while Ross Freeman has a strength in bank-related litigation. In Sydney, Beverley Newbold’s recent work in the class actions space is also notable. James Beaton heads up the national dispute resolution group and significantly contributes to the team’s ability to handle regulatory investigations and commissions of inquiry. The group is also adept at handling arbitration matters particularly in the infrastructure sector. Other areas of focus include healthcare, energy and resources, manufacturing, and the public sector.
‘The team always gets it right and is particular good at managing complex disputes‘
Commonwealth Bank of Australia
National Australia Bank
Australian Taxation Office
- Represented a number of clients in relation to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Represented a number of small, medium and large approved providers in relation to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
- Assisting Bellamy’s Australia with its defence against two class actions brought by shareholders.
- Defending the Qantas Group and its subsidiaries in relation to an aeronautical charges claim by Perth Airport Pty.
Allen & Overy LLP is able to draw on the expertise of the firm’s offices worldwide, which makes it a suitable destination for national and international clients. The dispute resolution group’s client roster includes high-profile corporations and financial institutions and it can handle class actions, complex investigations, and contentious regulatory work. The group is also prominent in the arbitration space, which is an area of expertise for Perth-based Mark van Brakel and newly promoted partner David Jenaway. John Samaha heads up the practice, where Michael Shepherd, Jason Gray and competition law specialist Peter McDonald are also noted.
Fortescue Metals Group
Global Advanced Metals
- Represented Reckitt Benckiser in class action proceedings brought by consumers alleging that the client has provided misleading information regarding Nurofen pain relief products.
- Assisted Global Advanced Metals with bringing an action concerning its mining rights at the Greenbushes mining operation in Western Australia.
- Represented Eni in an offshore energy dispute with Sedco Forex, arising out of the failure of a drilling rig campaign off the Australian coast.
Its clients single out Arnold Bloch Leibler’s dispute resolution and litigation department as ‘the go-to team for complex contentious work, bet-the-bank litigation and dealing with regulators’. Melbourne-based Leon Zwier heads the national practice and is praised for being ‘one of the country’s best litigation strategists’. Recently promoted partner Elyse Hilton handles an impressively wide range of contentious matters acting for both public and private sector entities. In Sydney, Jonathan Milner and Susanna Ford focus their efforts on corporate litigation and contentious insolvency work. Caroline Goulden is also recommended.
‘Arnold Bloch Leibler is a solutions-focused team of outstanding litigators‘
‘The team is very agile, efficient, listens carefully to its clients, and works well in partnership‘
‘A deep bench strength across the entire litigation team, especially at the partner and senior associate level in both Sydney and Melbourne. In what has been a complex matter, I have been impressed with each team member I have come across and with the way they have worked with us to plan, prepare and execute our strategy‘
‘Arnold Bloch Leibler’s litigation department consists of hardworking and highly focused lawyers, who are also unfailingly polite and responsive‘
‘Very professional and thorough litigation team with excellent attention to detail‘
‘One always has the feeling that the lawyers and partners at Arnold Bloch Leibler are consistently focused on each client. There is never a sense that they are acting for a less important or less valued client‘
‘Leon Zwier has exceptional skills in leading a team‘
‘Leon Zwyer is a creative thinker‘
‘Jonathan Milner is very attentive with clients, provides great insights with regard to strategy and, is a specialist in dealing with regulators‘
‘Susanna Ford is hugely knowledgable as a lawyer while remaining pragmatic and commercial‘
‘Elyse Hilton is standout insolvency partner‘
‘Caroline Goulden remains cool, calm and collected throughout high-profile examinations and claim preparations. Caroline is also been very good at presenting to stakeholders, making complex issues digestible for non-lawyers‘
Industry Super Australia
Corporate Travel Management
United Super Pty
Israel Discount Bank/ Mercantile Discount Bank
Fonterra Australia Pty
Ozifin Tech Pty
- Acted for Arrium on insolvency investigations, among other matters.
- Acted for Industry Super Australia and other industry superannuation funds on matters relating to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Representing Aveo Group in class action proceedings commenced in the Federal Court of Australia on behalf of current and former residents of Aveo’s retirement villages.
- Acting for Corporate Travel Management in relation to the conduct and threatened legal action against VGI Partners, arising in relation to allegations of VGI offering payment for information.
Baker McKenzie has established a strong presence in the contentious insolvency space, where it acts on debt proceedings across the many levels of the judicial system. Melbourne-based department head Alex Wolff is a particular standout figure in this regard and also leads the firm’s insolvency and reconstruction group. Helen Joyce works alongside Wolff and has expertise in handling competition and consumer law claims, among other matters. The group also has the ability to handle technology disputes, representing both customers and suppliers of technological goods and services. Other sources of work come through clients seeking assistance with regulatory investigation, as well as international arbitration, particularly in the construction and natural resources sectors. Jo Delaney leads the arbitration group. Andrew Salgo, Mark Chapple and Maria O’Brien are also key names to note.
Toll Holdings/ Toll Transport Pty
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
American Medical Systems, LLC
- Acting for VicForests on multiple sets of proceedings.
- Acted for Toll Holdings and Toll Transport Pty on proceedings regarding the development of bespoke software and alleged wrongful termination of the underlying contracts.
- Representing Appco Group Australia in a class action alleging sham contracting and non-compliance with a range of employment obligations.
- Acting for 39 Australian Universities in relation to an application brought by the Copyright Agency Ltd.
Assisting both national and international clients, Clifford Chance’s litigation and dispute resolution department handles commercial litigation including class actions, regulatory investigations, and alternative dispute resolution. Particularly noteworthy is the group’s strength in arbitration, where the team is well versed in acting in respect of both international commercial arbitration as well as on investor-state dispute settlement. Cameron Hassall splits his time between China and Australia and specialises in disputes arising across sectors such as energy and infrastructure, corporate, private equity, aviation, and banking. Perth-based Sam Luttrell is a prominent practitioner in the natural resources sector and is recommended for ISDS work. Also based in Perth, ‘amazing’ practice co-head Ben Luscombe is equally adept at assisting clients with international commercial arbitration and large-scale litigation. Sydney-based department co-head Angela Pearsall has expertise in financial reporting litigation and contentious regulatory matters. Jenni Hill departed to accept a judge appointment at the Supreme Court of Western Australia.
Ben Luscombe; Angela Pearsall
‘All team members are always very professional, have valuable skillsets, and provide excellent legal services‘
‘The team stands out for its strategic thinking, understanding of the client’s commercial drivers, and its comprehensive and high-quality legal representation‘
‘Ben Luscombe and counsel Angelina Gomez are always very professional – I have been particularly happy with them due to their commitment, courtesy, patience, and the high quality of their reports‘
Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu
New Century Resources
Cortec Mining Kenya
Churchill Mining Plc
- Acting for HSBC Custody Nominees (Australia) on a claim by Aurora Funds Management.
- Acting for Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu and Deloitte Corporate Finance Pty on defending claims arising from the collapse of construction conglomerate Hastie Group.
- Assisting Kingsgate Consolidated with its claims brought pursuant to the Thailand-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
- Representing an international resources company in respect of a cross-border regulatory investigation related to an impairment charge in respect of an African coal business.
The global coverage of DLA Piper allows its Australian team to act on complex cross-border disputes for a spread of large companies, banks, government and statutory body clients, and insurers. The team offers full services, but particularly stands out for its recent work in relation to technology disputes, product liability and mass torts, and regulatory investigations. Gitanjali Bajaj contributes significantly to the team’s arbitration offering and focuses on the construction, infrastructure, energy and transport sectors. Perth-based Richard Edwards and Brisbane-based Liam Prescott are also noted, while special counsel Jonathon Ellis stands out for his work in the financial services sector. In May 2019, David Leggatt left the partnership in Melbourne to set up his own firm and practice head Rani John has moved to Ashurst.
‘The team was always very prompt in answering our queries and did so with due sensitivity in light of the various concerns which we had to navigate. Team members took on feedback in ensuring that the work product was delivered within the short time frame required by the client and in line with our expectations‘
‘Jonathon Ellis is a standout – he is commercial and pragmatic, and always puts the client first‘
‘Gitanjali Bajaj has incredible experience in managing and dealing with international commercial arbitration‘
Nine Entertainment Group
Domino’s Pizza Enterprises
The Securities and Exchange Board of India
WA Glendinning & Associates Pty
Anastasios Galanos, Gardner Group Pty
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
The Government of the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
- Acted for Nine Network Australia Pty on litigation concerning the valuation and treatment of Network Ten’s shares in TX Australia.
- Acted for Domino’s Pizza Enterprises on a dispute concerning the Wireless GPS Driver Tracker technology launched in partnership with Navman Wireless.
- Acted for Delta Electricity on a dispute with a contractor concerning management of a large ash dam at the site of a coal-fired power station.
Johnson Winter & Slattery’s dispute resolution lawyers are recommended for ‘instilling confidence in the client’. The group handles commercial and corporate disputes, competition litigation and investigations, insolvency-related contentious work, and acts for both claimants and defendants in high-profile class actions. Due to the firm’s prominence in employment, taxation, and energy and natural resources, the department is also well versed in assisting clients with issues arising in these areas. The group also acts on cross-border mandates; it is advising the Independent State of Papua New Guinea. Paul Reidy focuses on large-scale commercial and corporate litigation, with a particular emphasis on class actions. Reidy jointly heads up the group with Melbourne-based Paul Buitendag, who has extensive experience in insolvency matters. Joseph Scarcella heads the national finance and restructuring practice and is highly recommended for litigation in the field. Michele Laidlaw accepted an in-house position, while Richard Lilly departed to Allens in May 2019.
Paul Buitendag; Paul Reidy
Other key lawyers:
‘The team is well set up to advise their clients with great skill and efficiency‘
‘What makes Johnson Winter & Slattery unique is the way in which it allocates work between partners and other staff, taking into account what is required and what the client needs. It is very effective‘
‘In addition to his strong legal intellect, Joseph Scarcella excels in case strategy, efficiency and management. It is always reassuring for in-house counsel when Joseph has been engaged, especially in difficult and complex matters‘
‘Sam Johnson is technically sound and hardworking. He does the heavy lifting and does it extremely well. A more than competent safe pair of hands that will see the dispute through to a conclusion‘
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Lighthouse Corporation Pty/ Lighthouse Corporation
LifeSmart Trading Pty
Ramsay Health Care Australia Pty
Australia Pacific LNG Pty
VISA Global Logistics
WSP Australia Pty
The Independent State of Papua New Guinea
Los Angeles County Employees Retirement Association
- Advising the Australian Securities and Investments Commission on matters related to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Assisting the Australian Securities and Investments Commission with proceedings brought against GetSwift.
- Representing Lighthouse Corporation Pty and Lighthouse Corporation, IBC in a claim against Timor-Leste arising in relation to a fuel supply agreement.
- Defending a former director of RCR Tomlinson in proceedings concerning the collapse of RCR Tomlinson and a failure to disclose necessary information to the market.
At Jones Day, class actions lawyer John Emmerig leads the national practice, which acts on a wide range of matters including bet-the-company litigation, construction litigation and arbitration, class action defence, corruption cases and investigations and test cases. Tim L’Estrange in Melbourne specialises in commercial litigation. Also worthy of note is the firm's expansion in the Asia-Pacific region, which involves increased cross-border cooperation between the teams in Australia and Singapore, particularly in the arbitration arena. Working closely with Emmerig, associate Holly Sara is another name to note in the team in Sydney.
‘The JD team is passionate and professional. I was impressed by their empathy and discipline.’
‘A very experienced team that has a wide sphere of influence.’
The Insurance Commission of Western Australia
Queensland Investment Corporation
Bank of Queensland
St Andrew’s Insurance
- Acted for the Bank of Queensland in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Representing the Insurance Commission of Western Australia in litigation relating to the collapse of the Bell Group.
- Acting for IBM on litigation concerning issues relating to IBM’s delivery of the 2016 Australian census.
Norton Rose Fulbright handles disputes across a wide range of sectors such as energy and mining, financial services, health and aged care, and infrastructure and construction. The team often adopts a multi-disciplinary approach; recent examples include close cooperation with the firm’s environmental, construction and energy teams. The practice is jointly headed by Rebecca Whittle and Melbourne-based Cameron Harvey. Clients single out the expertise of Grant Bonner, whose practice focuses on corporate litigation and regulatory investigations. ‘Excellent achiever’ Michael Sullivan has carved out a reputation as a preferred litigator for clients in the public sector. On the arbitration side, Andrew Battisson and Perth-based Dylan McKimmie lead the arbitration group, which has the ability to handle cross-border work under all main sets of international arbitration rules. In March 2019, Stephen Gorry departed to accept an in-house counsel position.
Rebecca Whittle; Cameron Harvey
‘A large firm working in small, economical teams, which provide excellent commercial advice at great value‘
‘Experts at developing innovative and successful approaches to dispute resolution, with experienced and well-regarded partners‘
‘Norton Rose Fulbright’s dispute resolution team has a combination of skill and commercial judgement‘
‘The team is very experienced and capable in difficult, large-scale commercial litigation and works hard in perfect coordination for the benefit of the client‘
‘Grant Bonner is an expert in managing large teams on complex and time-critical litigation and in delivering results against well-resourced and difficult opponents. Grant has strong legal and analytical skills, and an excellent sense of how a case will play out before particular courts and judges, assists him to devise and execute strategies that avoid the pitfalls that others fall into. He is always well-prepared and trusted by his clients‘
‘Michael Sullivan is an outstanding young practitioner, one to watch. He has a diverse client base and people just want to work with him‘
Acciona Infratructure Australia Pty Ltd
Tec Hedland Pty
Australian Securities and Investments Commission
Chubb Insurance Australia
Sharp Corporation of Australia Pty
Australia Securities and Investment Commission
- Acting for Acciona Infrastructure Australia Pty on a claim against Transport for New South Wales for alleged misleading or deceptive conduct during the tender process of the Sydney Light Rail project.
- Representing the Government of New South Wales in a significant and complex Special Commission of inquiry into the drug ‘ice’.
- Acting for Tec Hedland Pty on a contractual dispute commenced in the Supreme Court of Western Australia concerning the commissioning of a combined cycle power plant.
The substantial team at Clyde & Co LLP is well equipped to handle disputes across a range of sectors, including trade and commodities, construction, oil and gas, and technology. The firm offers a range of client-focused software, including secure document sharing platforms and an app which checks regulatory compliance. Of late, the team assisted Kathmandu with its response to a cyber attack which skimmed customer data, and represented insurance giant AXA in complex cross-border litigation against a Scottish claimant. The Melbourne office is headed up by Marcus O’Brien and Maurice Thompson, while Michael Tooma and David McElveney lead the practice in Sydney.
Marcus O’Brien (Melbourne); Maurice Thompson (Melbourne); Michael Tooma (Sydney); David McElveney (Sydney)
AXA Corporate Solutions
Pinsent Masons (Australia) / Travelers UK
Murphy Operator Pty Ltd
D&O Insurers for Forge Group Ltd
Bendigo & Adelaide Bank
- Acting for Murphy Operator Pty Ltd, a group of commercial fisherman, in A$150m class action proceeedings against the Gladstone Port Authority.
- Represented Sandhurst (owned by Bendigo & Adelaide Bank) in three concurrent high-profile multimillion dollar class action proceedings and provided advice to Sandhurst Trustees and its insurers on Sandhurst’s liability and the quantum of each claim.
- Acting as global breach counsel for Kathmandu after an unidentified third party gained unauthorised access to its website and skimmed customers’ personal and financial information
Graydon Dowd leads the 'highly strategic and responsive' team at Hall & Wilcox, which specialises in corporate and commercial disputes across a range of industries including financial services, manufacturing and construction. The practice acts for businesses and private individuals, with PwC, Santam and Ericsson Australia among its client list. Kathryn Howard, whose 'attention to detail is second to none', represented Santam in a A$100m claim for damages resulting from negligent and defective design in a construction project.
Other key lawyers:
‘I have found the team at Hall and Wilcox to be highly strategic and responsive, with a great grasp of the art of delivering advice and work that is on point and exactly what is needed.’
‘The insurance litigation team at Hall and Wilcox was absolutely spectacular in the way that they dealt with us. Not only was the level of expertise and professionalism incredibly impressive, but the way that they dealt with us as people and not just a corporate entity who are paying fees made us feel valued and at ease throughout the process. They achieved an incredible settlement for us. No effort was spared with the team often required to work late into the night to deliver in line with court-imposed case management deadlines – especially with the time zone difference. I actually find myself missing working with this incredible team who gave us the warmest hospitality while at the same time delivering excellent legal services.’
‘The H&W dispute resolution team stands out as it makes an effort to get to know and understand the client’s business. It is very practical and commercial in terms of seeking the best outcomes for a client from the dispute process.’
The Non-Executive Directors of Banksia Securities Limited
Dennis Family Homes
- Representing the non-executive directors of Banksia Securities Limited in relation to a class action filed on behalf of debenture holders, as well as an Australian Securities & Investments Commission investigation and public examination hearings commenced by the receivers and managers.
- Acting for the former CEO and CFO of Dick Smith, in proceedings brought against them by NAB and HSBC alleging misleading and deceptive conduct in connection with finance facilities entered into by NAB and HSBC with Dick Smith entities.
- Acting for CSF Pty Ltd (Catholic Super) in respect of its appearance before the Financial Services Royal Commission during the Superannuation round of hearings.
- Acting for Dennis Family Homes in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings against a landowner who was seeking to repudiate an A$1.1bn development agreement.
- Acting for Singapore-based defendants Constance and Alan Peck in Federal Court proceedings brought by CellOS Software Ltd.
HFW’s ‘pragmatic and tenacious’ disputes resolution team advise on a range of complex and high value matters, including acting for the insurer of a defendant facing class action proceedings worth A$1bn. The firm has experience in multi-jurisdictional matters related to mining and shipping, having acted for a major international mining company in claims exceeding A$1.4bn relating to a dam failure in Latin America. The practice is headed up Nick Longley, with the ‘excellent’ Richard Jowett and ‘sharp and tenacious’ Sophy Woodward leading on key matters.
‘HFW has the right combination of agression and diplomacy in resolving disputes. The team will examine the issues in significant detail while always being mindful of the overall strategic issues. A high performing team that you want to have on your side.’
Alstom Transport Australia Pty Limited
Ever Rock Navigation SA
Korea Shipping Corporation
KAEFER Integrated Services
Degroma Trading Inc / City Marine SA / Transal Denizcilik Ticaret AS / Assuranceforeninen Skuld
- Represents Alstom in high-value, large-scale arbitration proceedings related to the A$3bn Sydney Light Rail PPP project.
- Representing Synergy in a regulatory investigation by the Economic Regulation Authority related to the price of electricity.
The practice at K&L Gates concentrates on 'complex, technical' multi-party commercial litigation and includes professional negligence, contractual liability and trade practices disputes. The team also has experience in alternative dispute resolution, with practice head Tim Webster, who is a qualified mediator, able to bring 'a commercial and litigation mindset' to all matters. The group's clients include AIMS Fund Management, Cobham Aviation and Great Southern and Webster is advising Honda Australia on an ongoing disputes relating to defective airbags, with a potentially significant claims value.
‘K&L Gates was able to draw on expertise from multiple offices to support a litigation claim in a remote location. The practice drew on additional appropriately qualified lawyers to support the core team at more demanding stages of the dispute. It was clear they enjoyed a close working relationship with counsel and were able to manage a collaborative team of their own lawyers, counsel and technical experts effectively and efficiently.’
‘The team has a thorough understanding of our business, its operating environment and stakeholder landscape which informs its advice.’
Australian Council for Private Education and Training
Energy Resources of Australia Limited
Great Southern Limited
James Hardie Industries Limited
Southern Cross Exploration
Sydney Fish Market
VISA Global Logistics
- Advising AIMS Fund Management on Australian regulatory issues in connection with a proposal made by an APW investor to wind up APW.
- Acted for Australian Council for Private Education and Training in relation to tuition assurance liabilities as well as its financial obligations to the Commonwealth Department of Education.
The team at Piper Alderman acts for clients from a range of industries, including life sciences, construction, and mining. The 'approachable and accessible' Anne Freeman and Ian Nathaniel jointly lead the practice, delivering advice across a wide range of commercial disputes as well as representing clients in litigation. It works particularly closely with third-party litigation funds such as LCM Finance, offering 'excellent strategic/tactical insights'. 'Exceptionally talented litigator' Gordon Grieve is acting for Giabal Pty in an A$90m claim against Gunns to recover investments made in a woodlot in Tasmania. Florian Ammer is an 'excellent' and 'standout lawyer'.
Anne Freeman; Ian Nathaniel
‘The dispute resolution team provides timely, practical advice tailored to the needs of the business.’
‘Unique – focused on client outcomes, strategic thinking combined with commercial experience. Augmented to the extent the managing partner and chairman are involved and across the details – impressive.’
‘Very experienced litigation practitioners in all classes of litigation. Excellent strategic/tactical insights across all east coast jurisdictions. Better collegiate approach than other firms I have used.’
‘I have worked with many different large firms and have found Piper Alderman the best by far. The firm is professional and clearly holds a high standard for the calibre of solicitor they bring on. All interactions I have had with Piper Alderman staff have been of high quality.’
Advangen International Pty Ltd
AFS Systems Pty Ltd
Ark Energy Ltd
Arneg Oceania Pty Ltd
Birbilis Bros Pty Ltd
Blueberry Markets Pty Ltd
Centralian Controls Pty Ltd
Clarke Energy (Australia) Pty Ltd
Country Fire Authority
CSR Building Products Limited
Distinctive Floor Coverings
Estate of Leonie Judith Kramer
First Stirling Finance Pty Ltd
Flamestop Australia Pty Limited
Galilee Energy Limited
Giabal Pty Ltd
Hastings Deering (Australia) Limited
Havilah Resources Ltd
Hudson Resources Limited
Impeach Pty Ltd T/A Foodland Supermarket
Kellam Buslines Pty Ltd
Lakes Oil N.L.
LCM Litigation Fund Pty Ltd
My DBA Pty Ltd
Penfold Property Group
PGH Bricks & Pavers Pty Limited
PLT Trading Pty Ltd
Queensland Chamber of Commerce and Industry
Red River Resources Limited
Rodgers Reidy Chartered Accountants
SB Holdings Australia Pty Ltd
Scott, Janice Maree and Scott, Steven Pe
Solar Edge Technologies
Southern Cross Care (SA & NT) Inc.
USG Boral Building Products Pty Ltd
Viridian Glass Limited
Voiteck Pty Ltd
Wendouree Property Investment Pty Ltd
Ziziphus Pty Ltd
- Acted for DIF III Global Co-Investment Fund on the $25m claim against several Babcock & Brown entities to recover a failed investment in the acquisition of a listed company in the United States called Coinmach Service Corporation.
- Acting for Lakes Oil N.L in its challenge against the Victoria government’s moratorium on petroleum exploration.
- Representing LCM Litigation Fund Pty Ltd (LCM) in litigation commenced by Australian Insolvency Group Pty Ltd. Also representing LCM in cross-claims brought against Vannin Capital Limited, Patrick Coope and Vannin Capital PCC and in defending a second-cross claim brought by Vannin Capital Limited.
Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan, LLP has built a solid reputation for defending corporations and directors and officers in disputes arising out of contractual and product liability matters. In the class action space, the team is known for acting on the defence side. Led jointly by practice heads Michael Mills and Michelle Fox, the group is also receiving an increasing number of instructions in the resources sector. Beau Deleuil is a key contact for corporate litigation. Clients also praise Perth-based Michael Lundberg for his ‘very strong technical knowledge’.
Michael Mills; Michelle Fox
‘Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has a very strong understanding of matters concerning our company and provides commercial advice that fits the risk appetite of the client’s business.‘
‘Michael Lundberg has a strong relationship with key stakeholders and provides pragmatic advice.‘
Allen Dodd as trustee for the Allen Dodd Superannuation Fund
Aurizon Network Pty Ltd
Connective Group Pty Ltd
Craig Davidson, CEO of Ardent Leisure Themeparks
Federal Treasury Enterprise (FKP) Sojuzplodoimport and Federal Public Unitary External Economic Union Sojuzplodoimport
GetSwift Limited, Mr Joel Macdonald & Mr Bane Hunter
GetSwift Limited and Mr Joel Macdonald
Insurance Commission of Western Australia
Richmond Valley Council
Santos WA Asset Holdings Pty Ltd and Santos WA Energy Limited and Brett Darley (CEO)
- Represented Allen Dodd, trustee for the Allen Dodd Superannuation Fund, in securities class action proceedings brought on behalf of affected shareholders against Shine Corporate Ltd.
- Representing Aurizon Network Pty in a dispute with a number of coal miners concerning the payment of a fee in relation to Aurizon’s expansion of its Central Queensland Coal Network.
- Representing Craig Davidson, CEO of Ardent Leisure Theme Parks, in regulatory investigations and related proceedings arising from multiple fatalities suffered at the Dreamworld theme park in October 2016.
The 'exceptional' practice at Squire Patton Boggs is headed by Amanda Banton, the 'very professional' Greg Stenepreis and Cris Cureton. The firm specialises in litigation and arbitration in the fields of construction, financial products and planning alongside a broad commercial litigation practice, with clients including Laing O’Rourke, ALH Group and Woolworths. The team is representing Ferrier Hodgson, as liquidators for Forge Group Limited, in a claim related to outstanding construction contracts worth around A$150m. Brendan Reilly has departed to establish boutique dispute resolution practice Reilly IDR.
Amanda Banton; Greg Steinepreis; Cris Cureton
‘Squire Patton Boggs’ dispute resolution work will not fall short of anything but exceptional due to its large body of lawyers supplying high-quality service.’
Laing O’Rourke Australia Construction Pty Ltd
Kellogg Brown & Root Pty Ltd (KBR)
Cockburn Cement Limited (CCL)
ALH Group Property Holdings Pty Ltd
Woolworths Group Ltd
- Acted for KBR in relation to Supreme Court of New South Wales proceedings commenced by subsidiaries of Downer EDI Ltd and a related arbitration commenced by John Holland Pty Ltd.
- Defending a Sydney-based external administrator in relation to an investigation commenced by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission into alleged improper conduct (including acting in circumstances of a conflict of duties) concerning liquidations dating back to 2009.
Bird & Bird’s ‘very experienced’ dispute resolution team has a strong focus on intellectual property disputes serving a range of clients from the technology, telecommunications and media sectors. Practice head Sophie Dawson, noted for her ‘deep understanding of the law’, leads the team in ongoing litigation for DXC Technology, and counts Vodafone among her clients. The practice has grown in recent years, reflecting market growth in intellectual property and data protection practice areas. Notably, Bird & Bird has acted for Take-Two Interactive and Rockstar Games in their action to protect Grand Theft Auto V, a case which drew worldwide attention.
‘The Bird & Bird dispute resolution team (for media related disputes) has a strong mix of lawyers with depth and breadth in this area. They have the size and skill to handle large, complex matters. They also have the necessary experience to run smaller matters pragmatically and cost effectively to achieve clients’ outcomes.‘
‘The team includes very experienced media lawyers.’
Nine Entertainment Co
DXC Technology Group
Vodafone Networks Pty Limited
Take Two Interactive Software Inc
IPC Global Pty Ltd
Gram Engineering Pty Ltd
Generic Health Pty Ltd
Sportsbet Pty Ltd
The Players’ Tribune
- Representing DXC Technology in relation litigation against Optus in the New South Wales Supreme Court.
- Acting for Take-Two in proceedings concerning unauthorised mods written for the Grand Theft Auto V game.
- Successfully acted for GlaxoSmithKline Consumer Healthcare Australia Pty Ltd (GSK) against proceedings commenced by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission.
Described as having ‘impeccable integrity’, client-focused Deutsch Miller is a small but well-regarded firm in dispute resolution. It successfully defended BNP Paribas in its high-profile dispute with Santos Ltd and the motorsports administrator V8 Supercars against one of its racing teams. It also specialises in representing high-profile individuals in matters relating to wills, trusts and defamation – most notably for Ms Hope Rinehart Walker in trust proceedings relating to the multi-billion dollar Rinehart fortune. The practice is led by Shane Anderton and Mark Deutsch, who also advise Abigail Boyd M.P. in a complex political matter.
Mark Deutsch; Shane Anderton
‘The adaptability of the team to work across complex matters in a cohesive manner and to keep clients informed of the status of things and recommendations as they evolve is a strength.’
‘While one would prefer not to be involved in legal disputes, DM and Mark Deutsch make the process more relaxed and are excellent at dispersing anxiety and worry through well informed guidance and outcomes.’
Ms Hope Reinhart Welker
Lindfield Developments Pty Ltd
Addenbrooke Pty Ltd
Ms Abigail Boyd
- Acting for Ms Hope Rinehart Welker in numerous matters and disputes associated with multi-billion dollar interests in Hancock Prospecting Pty Ltd.
- Successfully acted for BNP Paribas in a dispute with Santos Ltd, regarding the payment of a performance security.
- Acted successfully on behalf of twelve off-plan apartment owners contesting rescission of their contracts.
The dispute resolution practice at Gadens Lawyers has extensive experience in class action litigation, having acted for former shareholders of Quintis against its previous managing director, for shareholders of Surfstitch against the company, and for the former CEO of Newsat against current shareholders. The team, led by Patrick Walsh, also has regulatory experience, having advised the government in a number Royal Commissions in recent years. ‘Tactically shrewd’ and ‘very capable’ Kathy Merrick is another key player in the practice.
Other key lawyers:
‘The team listens to clients’ needs, and tries to form and execute a strategy that meets those needs precisely. That is the team’s key strength, an acute ability to listen to its client and implement an agreed strategy, while adding value at all steps of the litigation process.‘
‘Kathy Merrick is very experienced, capable, thorough and practical. She gets right to the point, runs cases effectively and efficiently, and is tactically shrewd and careful.‘
‘Kathy Merrick is an outstanding lawyer and practitioner.‘
‘Patrick Walsh is a brilliant tactician.‘
Down Under Enterprises International Pty Ltd
Bush Pharmacy Pty Ltd
New Directions Australia Pty Ltd
Australian Prudential Regulation Authority (APRA)
Quintis Class Action
Aurora Funds Management
Shareholders of SurfStitch Limited
Adrian Ballintine, former CEO and founding director
BlueSky Alternative Investments Limited (BLA)
- Acted for APRA representing its interests in the high-profile Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Representing aggrieved shareholders in a class action proceeding against Quintis and its former managing director, for approximately $100million in losses.
- Gadens is currently acting on behalf of a number of shareholders of SurfStitch Limited, in an A$50m-A$100m class action against the company and its directors.
A substantial number of the partners at Jackson McDonald work in its disputes resolution practice. The team, headed by Karene Primrose, is currently advising Westgem Investments in Supreme Court proceedings with potential damages value of A$1bn. The practice advises clients across all sectors, with a speciality in tax matters and construction and infrastructure disputes. It counts a number of major mine operators among its clients, with several partners having expertise in this field.
‘Always available and prompt with providing advice‘
‘Full-service litigation firm with specialist expertise in the Perth market.‘
‘The team has developed a very good reputation in Western Australia, and has a focus on efficiently resolving a dispute. It gave me the confidence from the beginning that my dispute was in very good and trustworthy hands.‘
Westgem and Luke Saraceni
Karara Mining Ltd
Mr Donald Montgomery (CFO)
M3 Properties, Chaucer Syndicates Limited and Ace Syndicate
Schneider Electric Buildings Australia Pty Ltd
Foundation Housing Limited
Trustees of the Legal Contribution Trust
- Acting for Westgem Investments in a A$1bn claim against the former financiers of a Perth office development.
- Representing Karara Mining in a Supreme Court dispute brought by a contracter claiming A$33m of additional costs for work completed.
- Acted successfully for CGU, a grain bunker manufacturer, in a claim for damages from a customer, who suffered damage to grain in rainstorms eighteen months after the initial installation.
Maddocks devotes around a third of its lawyers across the firm to its disputes resolution practice. They have a strong presence in government work, advising 70 government departments and agencies at local, state and federal levels, with a commensurate regulatory and legislative presence in Royal commissions and commissions of inquiry. Outside of government work, it advises clients from a wide range of industries, including professional services, healthcare, sporting organisations, and retail. Gina Wilson leads the team at the Melbourne office, whilst her counterpart Norman Lucas heads up the practice in Sydney. The firm has successfully defended Fitch, the credit rating agency, in class-action proceedings brought by investors harmed in the financial crisis of 2008, and deftly resolved a dispute between an auditor and an investment firm before the matter proceeded to litigation.
Gina Wilson; Norman Lucas
‘Maddocks’ strength lies in the quality of the people in partnership positions within the firm. They have excellent legal expertise, but so do many firms. What sets Maddocks apart in my view is the personal care and consideration that its leaders provide. They are real people who strive to understand the needs of their client and to communicate with them in a way that reassures them that their concerns are being addressed and that they are receiving the best possible legal services. The partners assemble strong teams which are united and disciplined and have a clear understanding of their roles within the team. Motivation and confidence seem high.‘
‘Gina Wilson provides outstanding leadership.‘
Fitch Ratings Inc, and Fitch Rating Limited
Emerald Foods (Australia) Pty Ltd
Nongshim Co Ltd and Nongshim Australia Pty Ltd
Racing Victoria Limited
NSW Department of Education
Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department
Netcomm Wireless Limited
Kidman Resources Limited
- Acted for Grant Thornton Audit Pty Ltd in defending a A$2m claim brought by Alleron Investment Management Ltd in the Supreme Court of New South Wales.
- Acted for Fitch, the credit ratings agency, in class action proceedings related to the sale of synthetic CDO’s prior to the 2008 financial crisis.
- Assisting the Department of Education to prepare its response to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability.
McCullough Robertson’s growing dispute resolution team has attracted new clients across a range of sectors. The firm acted successfully for Mitsubishi in a tax dispute worth A$300m, with co-head of the Brisbane practice Guy Humble leading on the matter. Russell Thirgood, a ‘brilliant lawyer with a practical focus’ is the head of arbitration. His extensive experience includes having taken the lead on proceedings between Adani Pty Ltd and John Holland Pty Ltd resulting in a judgment in Adani’s favour. Jason Munstermann heads the practice in Sydney, and counts Telstra and Vedanta Resources among his clients.
Guy Humble; Russell Thirgood; Jason Munstermann
‘The team has a track record of being involved in complicated project disputes, delivering strategic advice about planning, and navigating through the dispute resolution process.‘
‘Excellent team, which is very professional and pays close attention to detail. It also has the ability to gather and process information quickly and sensibly. Very good practical application of the law.‘
‘Jason Munstermann and the whole litigation team were excellent in terms of timelines, professionalism and a can-do attitude.‘
‘Russell Thirgood is a recognised expert in this area – a brilliant lawyer with a practical focus, who makes the time to get on site to understand the projects and the people on the ground. He is excellent with document work – very clear and concise in his drafting.‘
Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd
Michael Omeros and Brent Paddon, founding shareholders of Over The Wire Holdings Limited
Thalanga Copper Mines Pty Ltd
Telstra Corporation Limited
Adani Abbot Point Terminal Pty Ltd
Former owners and key employees of Sunnybrand Chickens
- Acted for the founder shareholders of Over The Wire Holdings Limited, in defending Supreme Court proceedings brought by a former shareholder of the company when it was privately held.
- Advised Mitsubishi Development Pty Ltd in judicial review proceedings brought in the Supreme Court of Queensland against the Queensland Treasurer, assisting Mitsubishi Development to obtain a confidential resolution to the dispute immediately prior to the trial.
- Acting for Thalanga Copper Mines Pty Ltd in a dispute against two mining companies seeking to recover A$44m in royalties allegedly owed to Thalanga.
Mills Oakley’s disputes resolution lawyers are highly experienced in matters concerning bankruptcy and liquidation. They have been appointed by FTI consulting to advise on the liquidation of a firm suspected of tax evasion and fraud, and since 2009 they have continued to act for Timbercorp Finance in their complex and ongoing liquidation proceedings, with creditors seeking to recover over A$500m from the company. The team has also advised on class-action matters, defending Mazda Australia in a large class-action proceeding relating to its airbags. Andrew Brown is practice head in Melbourne, whilst Stephen Dickens leads the Sydney team.
Other key lawyers:
Liquidators of Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd (In Liq)
New Black Coking Coal Pty Ltd
Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture Pty Ltd
Mazda Australia Pty Ltd
Liquidators of Octaviar Administration Pty Ltd; Octaviar Ltd (Client: Bentleys Corporate Recovery Pty Ltd)
ABB Australia Pty Ltd
AGM Markets Pty Ltd
George Moraitis and Jim Angelopolous
Eynesbury Property Development Pty Ltd
- Acted for Timbercorp Finance to recover an A$500m loanbook.
- Representing New Black Coking Coal Pty Ltd in an A$150m claim related to the collapse of a coal mine sale.
- Acting for Gold Coast Marine Aquaculture Pty Ltd in an A$30m to A$50m claim against certain importers and the Commonwealth Department of Agriculture and Water Resources, following an outbreak of white spot disease which damaged GCMA’s prawn-farming operation.
Thomson Geer’s merger in October 2018 with Kemp Strang has increased the heft of its dispute resolution practice, bringing several specialist partners and their teams into the group. Experienced litigators have a record of activity in class action lawsuits and multi-party litigation together with arbitration and mediation where they seek to settle matters before they proceed to court. Harold Werksman leads the practice, and Andrew Kelly is heading civil mining and construction claims against Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal.
Other key lawyers:
‘Thomson Geer’s team was tireless and diligent in its application to the task of understanding and dealing with our case. The case involved court appearances and ultimately intense and successful financial bargaining. The advice, as well as the consistent and speedy reporting by Thompson Geer, was exceptional, and so was the overall service provided by Michael Barrett, whose standout qualities are intelligence coupled with experience, high integrity, and a very high service culture.‘
- Successfully acted for AustralianSuper in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- Represented Civil Mining & Construction Pty Ltd in claims against Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal and subsequently in counterclaims made by WICET in relation to the development of Queensland’s Wiggins Island coal export terminal.
Colin Biggers & Paisley has particular expertise in construction, property, insurance and intellectual property sectors. The firm acted for Lindsay Consulting, a structural engineer company, in a large, complex workplace safety prosecution case stemming from the negligent design of storage tanks. The blue-chip client base includes John Holland and AV Jennings. Leanne Walker jointly heads the practice with Antony Riordan and leads much of the firm’s work. Tim Seton is also recommended.
Antony Riordan; Leanne Walker
Other key lawyers:
NBN Co Ltd
Downer EDI Ltd
St Hilliers Group
Australian Institute of Conveyancers
- Acting for a structural engineer in a workplace safety prosecution of a structural engineer in relation to the negligent design of two 2.7 million litre thermal energy storage tanks. One of the tanks collapsed causing personal injury and property damage.
- This matter involves a dispute between a sub lessor client and its tenant as to whether the sublease option was validly exercised by the tenant, whether the tenant has seriously breached the terms of the sublease, and whether the sublease was validly terminated or quit by our client.
- The dispute involved issues relating to breach of contract, estoppel and s88K of the Conveyancing Act. The dispute also involved urgent applications relating to the removal of caveats over land.
Cooper Grace Ward's team is well known for advising on high-profile and sensitive litigation for businesses and prominent individuals in Queensland, where it has 'a particular insight into Queensland's legislative and commercial jurisdictions'. Led by Rocco Russo, who coordinates 'a thoughtful and well qualified team', its clients include the RACQ Group, Bidfood and the Vela Software Group. The firm represented regional construction group JM Kelly in a two week trial against the state of Queensland’s building and construction regulator (QBCC). The firm also acted for member of the Queensland Parliament, Mr Tim Nicholls, in relation to a highly publicised Commission of Inquiry. Experienced litigator Graham Roberts and Chris Ward as also names to note.
‘Cooper Grace Ward is one of very few “home grown” Queensland firms. Its origins are in Queensland, its practice is in Queensland but its expertise is Australia wide. It does in my view have a particular insight in to Queensland’s legislative and commercial jurisdictions. When comparing with other firms of similar size in Queensland it is able to resource complex matters without seeming to be a huge machine that loses sight of the clients needs.’
‘I have found managing partner Chris Ward to be responsive and acutely aware of the legal and commercial climate in Brisbane as well as up front and realistic about all aspects of my matters.’
‘Rocco Russo had an immediate grasp of the matters in issue and coordinated a thoughtful and well qualified team that listened carefully and responded fully. Rocco was prompt in responding and almost always immediately available. Calm and reassuring, he provided quality advice and recommendations.’
‘Excellent technical skills; approachable team members; quick response times. They are one of the leading litigation teams in Brisbane.‘
Tim Nicholls MP
Alastair Loeskow as executor of the estate of Nancy Loeskow
Credit One Group
Bidvest Australia Limited
Aventine Real Estate Limited
ACTE Pty Ltd trading as Evocca College, Nuvocca, The Change Academy, Academy for Tourism and Hospitality, Art Intelligence, Australian Institute of ICT and Australian College of Training and Employment
JM Kelly Group
Vela Software International Inc.
- Acting for a member of the Queensland Parliament, Mr Tim Nicholls, the former deputy Premier and Treasurer, in relation to the highly publicised New Generation Rollingstock Train Commission of Inquiry.
- Following mediation before mediator James Bell QC, successfully resolved Supreme Court proceedings against the executor of a significant estate (concerning property valued over $250m) and continue to act for the independent administrator appointed by the Court.
- Successful represented regional construction group (JM Kelly) after a hard-fought two week trial against the state of Queensland’s building and construction regulator (QBCC).
Dentons’ team has wide-ranging litigation capabilities, working across areas such as banking, contractual matters, insolvency, property and construction, and planning and environment. Practice head Louise Massey and Lisa Wright are highly regarded.
Other key lawyers:
Kennedys specialises in insurance sector disputes, where it acts for major insurers and underwriters in the Australian market. It advised HDI Global and Siemens in a dispute over significant property damage and SwissRe and RCR Tomlinson on a complex shareholder class action. Patrick George has over 30 years of experience in complex dispute resolution and reputational risk. He has acted for some high-profile clients and represented Greencapital Australia in its A$50m contract dispute with Paminco, which has been heard in both the Supreme Court of NSW and the Court of Appeal. The team has grown since commercial litigation partner Jane Kupsch and senior associate Lucy Reade joined the Melbourne office, both formerly at Piper Alderman.
Australian Olympic Committee
The Honourable Paul Keating, Former prime Minister
The Honourable Kevin Rudd, Former Prime Minister of Australia
Anthony Shepherd AO
Mirus Australia Pty Ltd
Robert Perez de la Sala
CBRE Pty Ltd
G H Varley Pty Ltd and Varley Electric Pty Ltd
Cushman & Wakefield
- Acting for Greencapital Australia in a $50m + contract dispute with Pasminco
- Acting on behalf of The honourable Paul Keating in defamation proceedings against The Sydney Morning Herald.
- Advising former Prime Minister Kevin Rudd on proceedings in the Supreme Court, where he was subpoenaed in proceedings in Victoria between various owners of home insulation businesses and the Commonwealth Government.
The team at Lander & Rogers focuses its attention on real estate, financial services, insolvency and regulatory disputes. The team acts for a number of public bodies. Greg McKenzie, who has spent over 30 years at the firm, heads the practice. Litigation expert Johnathan Quilty is also singled out.
Other key lawyers:
‘The practice is unique in that it knows our business and all associated legislation. This means that the team is efficient in providing timely advice and recommending courses of action that are appropriate, given the complexity of our legislative processes and obligations.‘
McCabe Curwood offers boutique litigation services to high-net-worth individuals, small and medium-sized enterprises, and corporations. Primary areas of focus include corporate law, competition and consumer law disputes, and estate claims. Andrew Lacey, Chiara Rawlins and Foez Dewan jointly lead the team, which is praised by clients for its easier access to senior team members.
Andrew Lacey; Chiara Rawlins; Foez Dewan
‘The team works well together and makes sure to provide easier access to senior people‘
‘A one-stop shop for a SME business covering a wide range of disciplines‘
‘I consider Andrew Lacey to be a rare legal talent in that he has an excellent grasp and knowledge of the law and legal process combined with exceptional commercial judgement. He possesses an outstanding strategic mind and is very well-connected, briefing the right counsel or barristers for the right areas of the law‘
‘Andrew Lacey is an exceptional lawyer‘
Pitcher Partners NSW Pty
The Victor Chang Cardiac Research Institute
Epoch Capital Pty
Groupe SEB Australia Pty
Sungrow Australia Group Pty
- Acting for Donau Pty on its construction dispute with Asc Awd Shipbuilder Pty.
- Represented a private client (beneficiary) in a complex dispute involving her interest in two large estates.
- Advising Sungrow Australia Group Pty on a commercial contractual dispute with its customer, Sanctus One Pty.
Sparke Helmore Lawyers handle a number of corporate disputes, representing clients in litigation involving trade practices, contracts, and property. Tim Castle heads the team, while professional disciplinary expert Shane Williamson joined the team from ClarkeKann Lawyers Brisbane as part of a merger.
White & Case LLP provides 'commercially relevant advice' in a 'timely and collaborative manner', most notably on construction-related cases. Hamish Macpherson departed to King & Wood Mallesons in 2018 but the firm has since hired construction litigation expert Brad Strahorn to head the practice. He is leading on many of the firm’s matters with advice that is 'cognisant of the current market'. He led on the representations of Moorebank Intermodal Company in relation disputes surrounding the delivery of the Moorebank Intermodal Project. Andrew Clark is also a highly regarded team member.
Other key lawyers:
Melbourne Metro Rail Authority
Moorebank Intermodal Company
Neoen Australia Pty Ltd
Laing Investments Management Services (Australia) Limited
ALTRAC Light Rail
- Represented ALTRAC Light Rail on a class action.
- Advising Transurban Queensland in relation to a dispute concerning a construction claim.
- Advising Moorebank Intermodal Company Limited in relation to significant disputes on the delivery of the Moorebank Intermodal Project.