John Lobban

John is a Special Counsel on Disputes and Restructuring Law in our Litigation and Insolvency Team


My name is John Lobban and I am Special Counsel in the Commercial Litigation team at Murdoch Lawyers.

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.

Insolvency - Recommended - 2021

Special Counsel John Lobban has been recognised by Doyles Guide as a leading Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyer in Queensland from 2012 to 2021.

I have been recognised for some years as a leading lawyer in litigation, insolvency and regulatory practice by external ranking publications including Doyles Guide, Best Lawyers Australia, PLC Which Lawyer and PLC Cross Border Handbook. I have also contributed to World Bank’s business publications.

Another feature of my work has been in business administration, holding various management positions up to national board level in my law firm and in several not for profit organisations such as QUT School of Business, The Queensland Art Gallery and Gallery of Modern Art, ACU Foundation and other charitable associations. I have held audit and risk positions and advised boards and executives on risk and regulatory matters.

Despite having been based for work in Brisbane for most of my professional life, I have owned property on the Darling Downs for some years and have wanted to relocate for some time, especially in light of the economic development of the region (and the local wine and produce!). I am pleased to join a quality team of like minded individuals at Murdoch Lawyers.

Practice Areas

  • Insolvency
    • All aspects of Formal Administrations
    • Deeds of Arrangement
    • Informal Workouts
    • Safe Harbour Advice
    • Debt and Equity Capital Management and Restructuring
    • Security Enforcement
  • Dispute Resolution
    • Commercial Litigation
    • Mediation and other ADR
    • Negotiation
  • Corporate
    • Directors Duties
    • Risk Management

Qualifications & Reputation

  • Professional Qualifications
    • B. (Hons) – University of Queensland
    • Notary Public
    • Admitted as a barrister and/or solicitor in Qld, NSW, Vic, WA, ACT, Federal and High Courts
    • Recognised by Doyles Guide as a leading Lawyer in Queensland from 2011 to 2019.
  • Associations
    • Member, Queensland Law Society
    • Member, Downs & South Western Queensland Law Association
    • Member of Foundation Committee, QAGOMA
  • Awards
    • Recommended by Doyles Guide as a Recommended Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyer in Queensland, 2012, 2015-2016, 2018-2021


Blue Cards – What are they and what Happens if You are Refused One?

In Queensland, a Blue Card is required to be issued to people wanting to work or volunteer with children or…

Read More

Five Common Legal Terms in Litigation

Legal advisors often use complex terminology and it can take time for a lawyer and a client to speak the…

Read More

Best Lawyers in Australia, 2021 Edition

Murdoch Lawyers is proud to announce that Special Counsel, John Lobban, has been listed in three areas of practice. Best…

Read More

Covid-19 – Changes to Insolvency Laws Come into Effect

Our recent article outlined proposed changes to insolvency laws as part of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Those changes…

Read More

Insolvency – Recent Changes & What You Need To Know

There have been a number of recent changes to laws in the corporate insolvency area which will affect company directors…

Read More

    Contact Information

    Direct Line: 07 4616 9840