Civil Litigation & Trusts Disputes

Our team have proven experience across a wide range of general civil disputes.  We focus on pragmatic advice and early resolution (where possible).  As experienced commercial litigators we have great success resolving disputes for clients without the expense and delay of a trial. We are accustomed to acting:

  • In partnership dissolutions, acting for partners in claims against each-other, and disputes in relation to what assets fall within the partnership and the use of partnership property and diversion of opportunities
  • For parties in contractual disputes and ‘quasi-contractual’ claims such as quantum meruit,  claims about the interpretation or rectification of contracts, and mistaken payments
  • In equitable claims relating to services or goods provided (restitution)
  • For claimants and defendants in breach of fiduciary duty claims against lawyers, accountants, and financial advisors
  • For creditors in debt recovery and general creditor enforcement actions
  • To defend debtors and guarantors in loan claims and credit arrangements
  • For trust beneficiaries in applications to remove trustees, for access to trust records, and in disputes regarding unit sales in unit trusts
  • In court actions against trustees for breach of trust, and to trace trust property that has been transferred to others
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Our relevant experience includes:

  • Acted for an independent trustee appointed to various family trusts pursuant to section 77 Trustees Act. This included opposed Supreme Court applications by the trustee for directions relating to the sale of assets and distribution of proceeds, ongoing disputes with a beneficiary as to the trustee's actions, and disputes concerning the appropriate distributions to beneficiaries
  • Acted for a plaintiff company in Supreme Court proceedings for declaratory relief concerning the interpretation of a significant mining royalty agreement and rectification of its terms
  • Acted for plaintiffs in various Supreme and District Court proceedings alleging professional negligence and breach of fiduciary duty by solicitor
  • Acted for liquidators in Supreme Court proceedings against accountants for negligence, misrepresentation, and breach of contract in respect of their auditing of the financial services group over a four year period
  • Acted for defendant financial advisors in separate Supreme and District Court actions alleging breach of fiduciary duty and professional negligence relating to margin lending facilities and ongoing financial advice 
  • Acted for an accountant defending a multi-million dollar Supreme Court action claiming professional negligence, breach of fiduciary duties, and misleading and deceptive conduct relating to failed investments
  • Acted for retiring partners of an accounting practice in the partnership breakup, including claims by the retiring partners of breach of fiduciary duty, contract construction issues such as the effect of repudiation on exclusion and limitation clauses, and the construction of terms delimiting parties’ rights to terminate
  • Acted for the plaintiff in Supreme Court proceedings relating to the dissolution of an accountancy practice, with alleged breaches of the Partnership Act and fiduciary duties, and seeking injunctive relief to prevent the transfer of partnership assets and diversion of business opportunities 
  • Acted for an Australian producer of industrial products in Federal Court proceedings against a United States oil retail brand in relation to breaches under a distribution agreement
  • Acted for the claimants in Federal Court proceedings for damages in excess of $20 million, against valuers in respect of the valuation of a retirement village
  • Federal Court action relating to collapse of an $8million debenture funding scheme for film production; including actions to replace the trustee of the scheme, then acting for the new trustee in proceedings against the former trustee and its directors for breach of fiduciary duties, negligence and breach of contract
  • Acted for the plaintiff in a Supreme Court action relating to the breakdown of a joint venture development of a bio-diesel plant in Thailand.  An application was made to wind up the relevant company on the “just and equitable” ground because of shareholder deadlock and the asserted dissolution of a quasi-partnership
  • Acted for the plaintiff in a Supreme Court action to remove a corporate trustee and obtain an interlocutory injunction to restrain the sale of a business and compel the payment of a multi-million dollar shareholder dividend
  • Acted for the defendant in a $20million  Supreme Court contractual claim relating to restraints of trade concerning resource drilling operations in Ghana
  • Acted for high-net-worth individuals in a Supreme Court claim against a financial advisor for inappropriate financial advice causing significant loss
  • Acted for the plaintiff in multi-million dollar Supreme Court proceedings to recover promised compensation (shares) for services relating to the identification and acquisition of gold and gold/copper mining tenements in the Phillipines, wtih claims including breach of contract, negligence, and breach of joint venture fiduciary duties
  • Acted for the plaintiffs in a proposed Supreme Court shareholder class action concerning misrepresentations made to shareholders of an ASX listed mining company relating to bauxite mining.  The dispute settled for $5.25 million prior to proceedings commencing
  • Acted for a private litigation funder in relation to setting up and enforcing a funding arangement for a multi-jurisdictional class action covering Australia, Hong Kong, and the Cayman Islands
  • Advised clients in relation to potential class action claims regarding collateralised debt obligations
  • Advised liquidators in relation to a potential shareholder class action against the auditors of a large ASX listed mining company
  • Advised clients in relation to potential class actions, and the effects of settlement of such actions, regarding Timbercorp, Great Southern and Quintis
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