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Howard Rapke | Managing Partner | Melbourne

Dispute Resolution & Litigation, Anti-Corruption, Anti-Money Laundering, Regulatory Disputes

T: +61 3 9321 9752

E: howard.rapke@holdingredlich.com

Howard has over 25 years’ commercial dispute experience and is the head of the firm’s Dispute Resolution and Litigation practice. He is based in Melbourne.

He has an active practice in complex litigation and regulatory disputes, with substantial experience in acting for directors and officers in corporate disputes and prosecutions, fraud, bribery, white collar crime, regulatory investigations and large scale inquiries.

Howard has been recognised by Best Lawyers as a leading practitioner in Litigation since 2017 and is listed in the 2017 edition of Doyle’s Guide as a Leading Victorian Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyer.

Howard has substantial experience in advising on and acting in anti-bribery, anti-money laundering and anti-corruption matters. Over the last six years he has been closely involved in the only prosecution brought in Australia under its foreign bribery laws.

At present Howard is involved in advising companies, directors and officers in foreign bribery investigations being conducted in or relating to India, Malaysia, Nepal, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea and Cambodia.

Examples of Howard’s recent cases include:

  • acting on behalf of numerous directors and managers in respect of actions brought by Australian Securities and Investments Commission (the Australian equivalent of the UK Serious Fraud Office or the US Securities Exchange Commission) in respect of prosecutions for insider trading, breach of director’s duties and misuse of corporate assets.
  • acting for a number of Australia’s leading industry superannuation (pension) funds in respect of claims made for breach of trust, breach of equitable duties and then pursuing various remedies including injunctive relief, tracing of monies and assets and seeking orders for equitable damages.

Howard can assist clients facing complicated commercial disputes, defending companies, senior executives and employees in prosecutions, inquiries and investigations. He has current experience in dealing with investigations and prosecutions brought by various Federal and State regulators, including:

  • the Australian Federal Police
  • the Victoria Police (among other state-based police forces)
  • the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • the Australian Criminal Intelligence Commission
  • the Independent Broad-based Anti-corruption Commission (IBAC).

Howard has been involved in eight Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry.

In 2016/2017, Howard has been acting 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 public offer Industry Superannuation funds, in the Royal Commission into Trade Union Governance and Corruption.

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.

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