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Howard has more than 28 years’ commercial dispute experience and is the national head of the firm’s Dispute Resolution and Litigation practice.

He has an active practice in complex commercial litigation and in significant white collar criminal investigations and prosecutions involving a wide range of commercial criminal matters, regulatory investigations and large scale inquiries, including Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry.

Howard is recognised by Who’s Who Legal internationally as a leading provider of legal services for investigations, and was listed in Business Crime, Investigations & Asset Recovery in the Australia guide since 2019. He is also recognised by The Best Lawyers in Australia 2017 to 2024 edition as a leading practitioner in Litigation and Criminal Defence, and is listed in Doyle’s Guide as a Leading Victorian Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyer, and Leading Australian White Collar Crime, Corporate Crime & Regulatory Investigations Lawyer. Doyle's Guide has listed Howard as a leading Victorian Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Lawyer in 2020 and 2022.


Howard's experience includes:

Commercial Disputes

Howard advises on litigation in the Supreme and Federal Courts (both in Melbourne and interstate) involving all forms of commercial disputes, including contract, directors’ duties, joint ventures, trust disputes and class actions.

Commercial Crime

Howard acts in defence of companies and individuals being investigated or prosecuted for alleged breaches of the Corporations Act, the Australian Consumer Law and Federal and State criminal law. Over the last twelve years he has been closely involved in major prosecutions brought in Australia under its foreign bribery laws. At present Howard is involved in advising companies, directors and officers in foreign bribery investigations relating to India, Malaysia, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry

Howard has acted in numerous Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry, including the following:

  • in 2020, Howard is acting for one of the major parties involved in the Board of Inquiry into the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Program
  • in 2020, Howard is leading the firm's team acting for four parties involved in the Special Commission of Inquiry into the Ruby Princess 
  • in 2019/2020, Howard is leading the firm's team acting as Solicitors Assisting the Royal Commission into Management of Police Informants
  • in 2019, Howard acted for one of the parties involved in the Aged Care Royal Commission
  • in 2016/2017, Howard acted for one of the institutions being investigated by the Royal Commission into Child Sexual Abuse
  • in 2014/2015, he acted for the Construction and Building Unions Superannuation fund (Cbus), one of Australia’s largest Industry Superannuation funds, in the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption
  • in 2013/2014, Howard acted for one of the parties being investigated by the Royal Commission into the Home Insulation Program
  • in 2006/2007, Howard represented various officers of AWB Ltd before the Cole Commission of Inquiry
  • in 2001/2002 he led the firm’s efforts in representing the State of Victoria before the Royal Commission into the Building & Construction Industry.

Regulatory Investigations

Howard has substantial experience acting for companies and individuals in responding to, defending and resolving investigations and prosecutions brought by Federal and State regulators. He has significant experience in developing strategy and tactics for clients from dealing with many regulators, including but not limited to:

  • ASIC
  • ACCC
  • the Australian Federal Police (AFP)
  • the Victoria Police 
  • the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission (ACIC)
  • the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC) and its interstate equivalent anti-corruption agencies
  • Office of the Chief Examiner.

White Collar Criminal Defence

Howard has many years’ experience in advising both companies and individuals in dealing with all forms of commercial crime, including fraud claims, foreign bribery and anti-corruption matters, cartel charges as well as prosecutions under Federal and Victorian criminal law.

Insurance Coverage Disputes

In dealing with commercial and criminal disputes, Howard has developed a substantial knowledge of Directors and Officers (D&O) insurance issues and claims. In addition, he also has in-depth experience in advising companies and individuals in acting against insurers in pursuing claims in a commercial context, for example business interruption claims, fidelity claims and business insurance issues generally.


  • Australian Institute of Administrative Law
  • Australian Corporate Lawyers Association


31 May 2023 - Knowledge

Supreme Court expands interpretation of 'address' under the Corporations Act

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

A recent Supreme Court decision has confirmed that the right to inspect and obtain copies of the company register under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) includes access to members’ email addresses where nominated as a means of communication.

10 January 2023 - Knowledge

Definition of ‘adverse material’ under the microscope – Case Summary of John Charles Woodman v IBAC [2022] VSC 684

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Ginnane J in John Charles Woodman v IBAC concerned Operation Sandon, the longest-running investigation of the IBAC, held ‘adverse material’ includes the footnotes underpinning the ‘adverse opinion or comment’ outlined in a draft report.

14 December 2022 - Knowledge

Whistleblower regime for public officials: Overview of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

The Public Interest Disclosure Act 2013 (Cth) protects public officials who make public interest disclosures. This article provides a summary of the Act's legislative framework.

04 October 2022 - Knowledge

Introducing Australia’s National Anti-Corruption Commission

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #White Collar Crime & Regulatory Investigations

We explain what the federal government’s proposed National Anti-Corruption Commission is, how it will be set up, and what its powers are.

09 February 2022 - Knowledge

What’s in store for Australia’s cryptocurrency market in 2022?

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #Superannuation, Funds Management & Financial Services

Recent survey data shows that 17 per cent of Australians currently own cryptocurrency, making Australia one of the world’s most significant adopters of cryptocurrency on a per capita basis. But the lack of regulation, rise in crypto-related scams and the potential use of the currency in money laundering and cyber attacks sound a warning bell for regulators and investors.

13 October 2021 - Knowledge

All doped up: The continuing challenge of dealing with doping in sports

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Keeping elite international sporting events free of banned substances is an endless game of cat and mouse. We discuss the legal efforts set up to do, in theory, exactly that.

05 October 2021 - Knowledge

Lessons learned from Royal Commissions

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #Royal Commissions & Commissions of Inquiry

From responding to notices to ‘fireside’ chats, we discuss some of the key challenges solicitors may face when acting in Royal Commissions or Commissions of Inquiry.

28 June 2021 - Knowledge

The decision is in – High Court confirms business interruption insurance exclusion unenforceable

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

The High Court’s decision on Friday has denied insurers’ appeal in Australia’s first business interruption test case. How will this affect businesses claiming COVID-related losses through their business interruption cover?

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