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Kristin Watkins

Special Counsel - Melbourne

Areas of Expertise

Dispute Resolution & Litigation

Expertise

Kristin is a special counsel in the Melbourne Dispute Resolution & Litigation Group.

Kristin acts on behalf of corporations, directors, small businesses, partnerships and individuals. Her areas of expertise include:

  • valuation disputes in relation to council rates and land tax objections
  • acting for trustees of superannuation funds in relation to claims by members, including total and permanent disablement claims and claims arising from the payment of death benefits
  • contractual disputes
  • disputes arising under the Corporations Act
  • disputes as to ownership of real estate
  • multi-party disputes and class actions.

Kristin’s clients include Scentre Management Ltd (formerly Westfield), Boral Bricks and Legalsuper.

Experience

Kristin has a broad range of litigation experience in both small and large scale litigation in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Federal Court and VCAT.  She was recently engaged in the matter of Demi Nominees Pty Ltd v Maroondah CC [2016] VCAT 1680, acting on behalf of the owner of a large shopping centre in successfully objecting to the valuation of her client’s property for land tax and rating purposes. The tribunal were in favour of her client, agreeing entirely with the proposed valuation in relation to capital improved value (CIV), and substantially decreasing the Site Value (SV) on the site. Her client also achieved an order for costs in its favour.

In relation to land valuation disputes, Kristin’s experience includes:

  • Scentre Group – acted in valuation disputes for Westfield shopping centres in Victoria including:
    • Westfield Doncaster – in relation to most recently the 2016 dispute as to the SV of the property. 
    • Westfield Fountain Gate - a SV and CIV dispute a involving a multi-titled property and different retail precincts outside of the shopping centre property. 
    • Westfield Geelong – a SV and CIV dispute which focused on the relevant capitalisation rate to be applied and required careful consideration in relation to the exchange of highly confidential client materials. 
  • Boral/CSR – acted in a case concerning the valuation of a clay pit and brick manufacturing facility in Thomastown. The SV, CIV and Net Annual Value were all disputed.

Kristin also has extensive experience dealing with large scale multi-party disputes. This included assisting the Supreme Court of Victoria in the matter of Kamasaee v The Commonwealth of Australia and Others, otherwise referred to as the Manus Island Class Action, in which Holding Redlich was appointed as the amicus curiae, or friend of the Court. 

Kristin plays an active role in Holding Redlich’s risk management practices and is responsible for risk management policies, practices and training throughout the firm. 

Publications

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.

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.