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Expertise

Susan has more than 20 years’ experience in advising and representing individuals, companies, government departments and professional services firms in a wide range of commercial disputes. She specialises in large complex commercial litigation and alternative dispute resolution, including class actions.

Susan has, over many years, acted in litigation for government departments, including Australian Securities and Investments  Commission (ASIC) and the Department of Home Affairs. This work has included regulatory matters and investigations, judicial review and tort matters including claims for misfeasance in public office.

She has acted for both plaintiffs and defendants in large class actions. This has included developing claims, book building, and obtaining funding all the way through to settling claims with Court approval. As a result of this experience Susan assists her clients with unique insights gained f rom acting on both sides of the record.

Susan also has extensive experience acting for professional services firms and for and against insolvency practitioners, including liquidators and receivers, in complex litigation arising out of some of the largest corporate failures in Australia.

The matters which Susan regularly runs include complex trust issues, misleading and deceptive conduct, breaches of the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act, breach of director’s duties, auditor’s negligence, breach of contract and various torts including negligence and misfeasance in public office.

As well as contested litigation, Susan is experienced in seeking judicial advice and court approval for actions by insolvency  practitioners and in relation to settlement of proceedings.

Susan also regularly acts in liquidator’s examinations, both for liquidators and for examinees and has significant experience acting for various parties in proceedings seeking court approval for schemes of arrangement.

Susan has expertise in managing large databases of documents including the use of technology assisted review for the production of documents.

She is also skilled in preparing lay and expert evidence (including briefing and working with experts) covering a very wide range of areas as well as having extensive experience in running interlocutory and final hearings and appeals.

Experience

Susan’s recent experience includes:

  • assisting ASIC in multiple large investigations arising out of the Royal Commission into Financial Services
  • defending a multimillion-dollar claim for misfeasance in public office, brought against officers of ASIC for cancellation by it of an Australian Financial Services Licence in the Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • defending officers of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection in a claim in the Federal Court for misfeasance in public office
  • defending the Sydney Motorway Corporation in a claim relating to the compulsory acquisition of land brought by Desane Properties Pty Ltd. 
  •  acting in ASIC investigations, including one concerning whether a company’s website was misleading and another concerning whether an application for an Australian Financial Services Licence was misleading
  • •acting for the liquidators of Equititrust Limited (a failed managed investments scheme) in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia against the former directors and auditors of Equititrust, including settling the proceedings and obtaining Court approval for the settlement
  • successfully defending a claim brought by the liquidator of Tamaya Resources Limited against a major accounting firm for auditor’s negligence and misleading and deceptive conduct in the Federal Court of Australia
  • acting in and settling a class action brought by shareholders of Tamaya Resources Limited against a major accounting firm, including in the opt out and settlement approval process
  • acting for a major accounting firm in multiple liquidators’ examinations, including brought by the liquidator of the Hastie Group
  • defending a company in a claim for oppression brought by one of its shareholders.

Publications

26 August 2020 - Knowledge

Federal Court confirms high bar for misfeasance in public office

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

We examine a recent decision of the Federal Court addressing the requirements for the mental element of the tort of misfeasance in public office.

12 August 2020 - Knowledge

New NSW defamation laws: A shift in balance between free speech and the protection of individual rights?

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #Technology, Media & Telecommunications

Amendments to defamation law – the first since 2005 – have recently been passed by the NSW Parliament. We discuss the key changes, which are expected to be implemented nationwide.

16 June 2020 - Knowledge

Are 20th Century defamation laws apposite to regulating social media?

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

A decision by the NSW Court of Appeal confirms that parties who maintained public Facebook pages and encouraged and facilitated third-party comments that were made visible to general Facebook users were publishers of the comments.

26 May 2020 - Knowledge

NSW Government Bulletin

#Government, #COVID-19

The number of class actions in Australia has increased significantly over the past decade and there is concern that, in the wake of the current economic crisis arising out of the COVID-19 health crisis, there will be a rush of class actions that will hamper Australia’s economic recovery.

28 April 2020 - Knowledge

Arrangements in the Federal Court during COVID-19

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation, #COVID-19

We look at some of the special measures currently in place for the continued operation of the Federal Court during the pandemic.

17 March 2020 - Knowledge

Application of common law privileges against self-incrimination and penalties in single director companies

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

A recent court case confirms the application of common law privileges against self-incrimination can only be invoked by individuals, not corporations. How can this be applied to single director companies?

10 February 2020 - Knowledge

When is an offer a Calderbank offer? The Federal Court confirms the importance of clear intent

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

We consider a recent Federal Court decision which confirms that for an offer of settlement to be valid as a Calderbank offer it must include an indication by the offeror that the letter may be relied upon to seek a special costs order.

15 January 2020 - Knowledge

High Court confirms legal professional privilege is an immunity – not an actionable legal right

#Dispute Resolution & Litigation

The High Court has confirmed the longstanding judicial principle that legal professional privilege is a shield, not a sword.