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Expertise

Chris is a Dispute Resolution & Litigation partner and the head of our Property & Real Estate practice. Chris’ clients include some of the most prolific and distinguished property organisations both in Australia and internationally. Chris’ experience, leadership and understanding of the unique positioning of his clients enables the consistent provision of tailored, commercial legal advice to his clients.

Chris regularly acts for companies and individuals in ASIC investigations and prosecutions, including advising in respect of compliance with notices issued under s33 of the ASIC Act and evidence at s19 examinations.

Chris is listed in The Best Lawyers in Australia 2022 edition for Retail Law. 

Experience

Chris’ practice focuses on advice, dispute resolution and litigation in the principal areas of:

  • retail and commercial leasing – advising a number of Australia’s largest retail and commercial landlords and tenants in matters of strategy, risk assessment and management, alternative dispute resolution, and litigation
  • property disputes – advising clients in terms of trustee relationships, adverse possession, compulsory acquisition, land valuation, and caveats
  • commercial/corporate conflicts – advising clients in terms of corporate advisory and financial services, shareholders, partnerships, joint ventures, trade rivals, trade practices and contracts
  • corporate insolvency – advising clients in a range of industries, including financial services, retail, airline, accounting, property development, construction, mining and services sectors. This includes advising practitioners, directors (including on ASIC investigations and directors duties cases), shareholders, employee groups and creditors, and conducting litigation, alternative dispute resolution, investigations and examinations on behalf of those groups
  • deceased estates – advising clients on testator family maintenance, testamentary capacity, and competing wills.

Publications

26 August 2021 - Knowledge

Victoria’s 2021 Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme – a summary

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

Our ongoing commentary on the Victorian Government's Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme.

04 August 2021 - Knowledge

Update: Victorian Government reintroduces COVID commercial tenancy relief scheme

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

We outline the key points covered in the Victorian Government’s Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme Bill 2021 and explore which tenants will likely be eligible for the scheme.

05 May 2021 - Knowledge

Insolvency reforms cause permanent increase to the statutory demand threshold

The Federal Government has foreshadowed further changes to Australia’s insolvency laws. These changes build on the raft of measures introduced over the previous year.

17 February 2021 - Knowledge

Application of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme in Victoria

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

We examine three recent decisions of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal regarding the application of the Commercial Tenancy Relief Scheme to retail leases in Victoria.

01 October 2020 - Knowledge

COVID-19 rent relief in Victoria: Amended regulations

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

We summarise the key amendments to the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) (Commercial Leases and Licences) Regulations that apply to landlords and tenants in Victoria.

23 September 2020 - Knowledge

Update: Victorian leasing amendments now in force

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

Key amendments to the Retail Leases Act 2003 and the Building Act 1993 will be effective from 1 October 2020, except for those regarding essential safety measures which commenced on 23 September 2020.

16 September 2020 - Knowledge

Amendments passed to retail leasing legislation in Victoria

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

On 15 September 2020, the Victorian Parliament passed the Retail Leases Amendment Bill 2019, which amends the Retail Leases Act 2003 and the Building Act 1993.

16 September 2020 - Knowledge

Update: Retail or commercial leases in Victoria and COVID-19 – legislative amendments

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

Amendments have been passed to Victoria’s COVID-19 Omnibus Act which, amongst other things, permit the making of regulations to temporarily modify laws relating to leases and licences until 26 April 2021, amend the definition of ‘eligible lease’ and permit regulations to be made dealing with binding orders requiring landlords to give specified rent relief.

20 August 2020 - Knowledge

Update: COVID-19 relief in Victoria for landlords and tenants

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

The Premier of Victoria has today issued further guidance to landlords and tenants regarding their lease obligations, having regard to the COVID-19 restrictions which continue to remain in place across Victoria.

22 July 2020 - Knowledge

Landlords win the right to claim rent as an expense of administration

#Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #Property, Planning & Development

The Federal Court has provided important guidance for landlords on the operation of the priority regime in s556(1)(a) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

03 June 2020 - Knowledge

Navigating voluntary administration: Eight key considerations for landlords of insolvent tenants

#Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #Property, Planning & Development

We pinpoint eight key considerations landlords of insolvent tenants should be mindful of when dealing with the administration process, and outline key action items from day one.

13 May 2020 - Knowledge

Update: Retail and commercial leases in the ACT and COVID-19 – regulations

#Property, Planning & Development, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

On 12 May 2020, the ACT Government published a Declaration with respect to retail and commercial leases which gives effect to the National Cabinet's Mandatory Code of Conduct. In this article, we explain the key points of the Declaration and the matters which ACT landlords and tenants should be mindful of.

04 May 2020 - Knowledge

Update: Retail or commercial leases in Victoria and COVID-19 – regulations

#Property, Planning & Development, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

On 1 May 2020, following the recent enactment of the COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act in April, the Victorian Government has published regulations with respect to commercial leases and licences which give effect to the National Cabinet’s Mandatory Code of Conduct.

28 April 2020 - Knowledge

Retail or commercial leases in Victoria and COVID-19 – what the new legislation means

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

On 23 April 2020, the Victorian Parliament passed the eagerly anticipated COVID-19 Omnibus (Emergency Measures) Act 2020, the purpose of which is to modify certain laws in Victoria for the purposes of responding to the COVID-19 pandemic.

21 April 2020 - Knowledge

SA and WA lead the way with legislation to start giving effect to the Leasing Code

#Property, Planning & Development, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

On 3 April 2020, the National Cabinet announced a Mandatory Code of Conduct for dealings between landlords and tenants during the COVID-19 pandemic, which we discussed in a previous article.

08 April 2020 - Knowledge

SME leasing principles during COVID-19: National Code of Conduct

#Property, Planning & Development, #COVID-19

With pressure mounting on landlords, tenants and the Federal and State Governments, the Prime Minister has announced a compulsory code of conduct for landlords and tenants dealings with rentals during the COVID-19 crisis.

01 April 2020 - Knowledge

Land tax deferral – a relief for land owners during COVID-19

#Property, Planning & Development, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

In a bid to support businesses in the current climate, the Victorian Government is now giving eligible land owners the option to defer their 2020 land tax payment until 1 January 2021.

01 April 2020 - Knowledge

Trading through the corona crisis: Practical steps to help protect businesses

#Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

The COVID-19 outbreak is wreaking havoc on businesses and exposing a number of internal issues. We address critical business housekeeping matters that may protect your business under current circumstances.

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