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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.

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

01 April 2020 - Knowledge

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

#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.

01 April 2020 - Knowledge

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

#Property & Real Estate, #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.

24 March 2020 - Knowledge

Immediate injunctive relief during the shutdown period

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

Historically, times of wide-spread financial stress can increase the chance that decision-making by your commercial counterparties may be more inwardly focused, lacking consideration for your commercial interests and legal rights. This may lead to a requirement to bring or defend legal action urgently to protect your own interests by seeking orders for immediate injunctive relief.

23 March 2020 - Knowledge

COVID-19 response: Changes to insolvency laws

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

The increasing spread of COVID-19, and now the unprecedented measures being taken by governments to slow that spread, is having and will continue to have a significant impact on economies around the globe, including Australia. As the situation has not been seen before, it is difficult for businesses and individuals to plan ways to limit the impact on their ability to continue trading – and pay their debts. In recognition of the unique challenges facing businesses today, the Australian Government has responded by acting to relax laws relating to insolvency.

03 March 2020 - Knowledge

Land tax – are you overpaying?

#Property & Real Estate, #Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Between now and May 2020, the State Revenue Office will send close to 510,000 land tax assessment notices to customers. If you consider that the valuation placed on your property is too high, you must lodge an objection within 60 days of receiving your land tax assessment notice.

10 December 2019 - Knowledge

Tribunal rules retail landlords cannot claw back fit-out costs from defaulting tenants

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

We examine a recent Tribunal decision in Victoria regarding a landlord’s ability to claw back a fit-out contribution paid to a tenant upon early termination of a lease.

26 November 2019 - Knowledge

Reconfirming retail: Court overturns tribunal decision on leases falling out of the Retail Leases Act

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

The Supreme Court of Victoria recently overturned a Tribunal decision on leases ‘jumping out’ of the Retail Leases Act during the lease term. We examine the case in detail.

06 November 2019 - Knowledge

Insolvent pharmacy: New powers for external administrators

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Recent amendments brought about by the National Health Amendment (Pharmaceutical Benefits) Bill 2019 (Cth) allow for the supply of pharmaceutical benefits by approved pharmacies under the Pharmaceutical Benefits Scheme (PBS) to continue following external administration or bankruptcy.

08 August 2019 - Knowledge

Leases falling out of Retail Leases Act

#Property & Real Estate

VCAT has held that a retail premises lease can ‘jump out’ of the operation of the RLA during its term if occupancy costs exceed $1 million.

18 July 2019 - Knowledge

Barrier to recovery of outgoings

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

The decision handed down by VCAT last week in Phillips v Abel [2019] VCAT 1031 has significant implications for landlords and tenants of retail premises in Victoria with respect to the recovery of and liability for outgoings.

29 October 2018 - Knowledge

Decision confirms that shares can be transferred to third party without owner’s consent

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

The NSW Supreme Court has handed down a decision approving an application by a deed administrator to transfer shares to a third party despite the absence of consent from the owners of the shares.