Dispute Resolution

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When facing potential dispute situations, cost, reputation and other significant implications need to be carefully managed. We also understand that clients generally seek the most commercially viable outcome, rather than a 'big win' in Court.

The HWL Ebsworth Lawyers Dispute Resolution group conducts matters in all major Australian courts and tribunals, while also being experts in alternative dispute resolution techniques, particularly mediation and arbitration. The group uses cutting edge e-discovery technology to maximise operational and cost efficiencies when conducting large scale and complex litigation.

Acting for large listed entities and government departments and agencies, through to privately owned businesses and individuals, the group is experienced in adapting its approach to reflect the size and complexity of the dispute whilst constantly remaining sensitive to commercial considerations.

The team is also alive to regulatory and dispute pitfalls which, if addressed in a risk management context, can often mean avoiding a dispute in the future. Seeking advice from our specialists at the commencement of transactions or contract negotiations means that commercial business objectives are balanced against risk measures, providing positive long-term solutions.

Experience

Our relevant experience includes:

  • Bank of Queensland OMB Litigation - Bank of Queensland faced 14 separate proceedings commenced by 10 groups of franchisees over a period of 4 years in 4 Courts all being cross-vested to the NSW Supreme Court.  The matters were heard together in one of the longest trials in NSW in the last decade. The NSW Supreme Court ruled that our client, Bank of Queensland had not engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct or acted negligently when it offered up new franchises in NSW;
  • Monster Energy AU Pty Ltd - We represented Monster Energy in the NSW Supreme Court to ensure 2012 Bathurst 1000 winner and three-time V8 Supercar champion, Jamie Whincup, continued to perform his sponsorship agreement with the energy drink brand through a threatened breach of a sponsorship agreement, the tort of interfering with contractual relations;
  • Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd - We have defended over $10 million dollars in claims for Bob Jane Corporation in seven proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria involving conversion of chattels, eviction from land, complex legal issues in relation to gifts, loans, limitation periods and the taking of accounts, mareva injunctions (freezing orders), fraudulent transfer of assets under section 172 of the Property Law Act 1958. We also represented the client in a Federal Court proceeding for breach of trade mark, misleading and deceptive conduct and contempt;
  • Alliance Craton Explorer Pty Ltd - We acted for Alliance in a Federal Court proceeding for a joint venture dispute relating to one of the largest and highest grade uranium mine deposits in Australia - the '4-mile Uranium Deposit' located in the Frome Basin, South Australia;
  • FTI Consulting - Appointed receivers and managers right to claim compensation negotiation - Negotiating agreement on behalf of appointed receivers and managers for the payment of compensation pursuant to an existing claim that arose as a consequence of a compulsory acquisition of private land by the Department of Transport and Roads for the Toowoomba Bypass.  The negotiated outcome meets our client's needs by achieving a commercially beneficial resolution of claim whilst avoiding the need to proceed to litigation in the Land Court for a determination;
  • Former Director of MFS Limited - We acted for this client in respect of a Federal Court $2 billion class action. Serious breaches of the Corporations Act were alleged over a period of 5 years and in respect to the acquisition of a number of tourism and recreational assets including the Melbourne Aquarium and Mt Hotham ski lodges. We obtained a Court approved settlement for our client to finalise all proceedings;
  • Cooper Basin Producers - Representing the client in an arbitration involving the South Australian Government and the construction, operation, maintenance, upgrade and tariff and fee payable for use of the Port Bonython jetty over a 50 year timeframe. The calculation process involved undertaking an analysis of all cost inputs, the appropriate regulatory model and a comparison of wharfage and transport costs at ports throughout Australia;
  • Redbank Energy - A major commercial arbitration involving Redbank's ability to pass to Ausgrid Redbank's carbon tax liability under a financial hedge agreement.  The matter involved a details analysis of the Carbon Tax related legislation and the operation of the hedge contract.  The dispute was resolved by way of arbitration. Redbank Project was successful on all its claims in the arbitration;
  • Oppression of Minority Shareholder - We acted for a 25% shareholder in a major restaurant chain which included misleading and deceptive conduct alleged against the majority shareholders and (other parties) for sale of the 25% shareholding at under-value. The Court referred the parties to mediation following which, an accredited Mediator was engaged. The dispute involving multiple parties resolved at mediation to the satisfaction of our client;
  • German-based global car component manufacturer and supplier - Sub-components were supplied to our client by the French and Chinese arms of other global automotive manufacturers for assembly in our client's components and sale to Australia's major automotive companies. The sub-components contained faults which resulted in a national replacement program. Our client commenced proceedings for the loss and damage caused by the faulty sub-components. The claims were successfully mediated in Adelaide between the various international parties; and
  • John Eugene Gay - Acting for John Eugene Gay in several proceedings including more recently a proceeding brought by The Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for a pecuniary penalty order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth), in relation to the alleged dealing of shares with price sensitive information.

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

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