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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 and 2023 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

17 November 2021 - Knowledge

Plausible or patently feeble? Default clause a penalty, statutory demand set-aside

#Corporate Restructuring and Insolvency

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Victoria provides guidance on the drafting of settlement terms and a reminder of the low bar to establishing a genuine dispute under section 459H of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).

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).

Upcoming Seminars