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I was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in 1982, initially in general practice but with an increasing emphasis in banking and finance work. Inevitably this lead to security enforcement and disputes which I found lead to greater challenges. I have practised extensively in commercial litigation, insolvency and restructuring work since the mid 1980s firstly as a partner in a Brisbane firm and since 1988 as a member of a leading international corporate law firm.
In that capacity I worked on many of Australia’s larger corporate administrations, for banking syndicates and their appointees, and have been involved in asset tracing and litigation in a number of overseas jurisdictions. Whilst some of the companies involved are now infamous, a more satisfying aspect of my latter work has been in assisting businesses to manage and restructure their debt and capital to improve profitability and ensure viability. In some ways, my greater successes are best unknown!
Insolvency inevitably has its fair share of disputes even though my clients prefer to resolve them commercially without the expense and delay associated with litigation. Sometimes it is unavoidable however. If that is the case, it is my practice to protect and assert my clients’ rights and entitlements proactively ethically and efficiently, working to an agreed project budget and plan. I prefer a “no surprises” approach to allow clients to plan their business so far as possible to accommodate the difficulties inherent in litigation.
My preference for providing succinct, practical and plainly expressed commercial advice was a feature of my 12 month secondment as litigation counsel for an international resources group.
In addition to this, I lead a large team in Brisbane which covered a broad range of dispute work such as medical negligence, contract and commercial disputes, immigration, debt recovery, industrial and employment matters, shareholder and partnership disputes, oppression claims, and actions under the Corporations Act.
My desire to achieve speedy and non litigious outcomes lead me to be one of the first accredited mediators in Queensland and whilst no longer presiding as mediator, outside the QCAT jurisdiction, I have extensively used alternative dispute resolution mechanisms such as arbitration, mediation, structured negotiations and expert determinations in my practice.