Paul Buitendag > Johnson Winter & Slattery > Melbourne, Australia > Lawyer Profile

Johnson Winter & Slattery

Work Department

Dispute Resolution


Practice Group Head


Paul specialises in large scale and complex legal and commercial disputes, including in the insolvency, engineering and construction industries.

He successfully led disputes in Australia and New Zealand and multiple commercial disputes in South Africa, where he was managing partner of a law firm in Pretoria for over 14 years.

Paul is a pre-eminent insolvency lawyer, whose expertise includes advising liquidators, administrators, banks and creditors on receiverships, deeds of company arrangements, insolvent trading, voidable transactions, unfair preferences, proof of debt claims, as well as enforcing securities. He advises on all aspects of workouts, recovery and reconstructions including representing insolvency appointees and borrowers and restructuring of managed investment schemes.

He is renowned for identifying and offering cost-effective and commercially sound alternatives to litigation. Clients value Paul’s unique and unparalleled ‘big picture’ perspective, his strategic advice and his teams’ ability to manage the complexities of their disputes and deliver commercial outcomes.

Paul is recommended for Dispute Resolution in Asia Pacific Legal 500 2018.




Law Society of Gauteng
Law Institute of Victoria


B Proc, Law, University of Pretoria

Lawyer Rankings

Australia > Dispute resolution: class actions

Johnson Winter & Slattery receives praise from clients for its ‘high-quality seamless services’ in acting on both the defence and prosecution side of class action claims. The class actions practice forms part of the firm’s highly regarded dispute resolution department, and is headed up by Melbourne-based Paul Buitendag and Sydney-based Paul Reidy. Robert Johnston is singled out for ‘his exceptional reputation’ for handling litigation in the insurance and reinsurance space. Christine Small joined from Norton Rose Fulbright in July 2019. Richard Lilly departed to Allens‘ office in Perth.

Australia > Dispute resolution

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.

Australia > Restructuring and insolvency

Joseph Scarcella leads the standalone practice at Johnson Winter & Slattery, which is a key name in the market for debtor clients; it also acts for key insolvency practitioners including Ferrier Hodgson, McGrathNicol and Grant Thornton, and counts several ASX listed companies on its roster. The team is also singled out for its sector-specific approach, which focuses on the energy and natural resources industries; and its expertise in debt finance and dispute resolution work. Former practice head David Proudman is highly regarded for his insolvency work, and Melbourne-based Paul Buitendag focuses on contentious mandates.