Areas of Practice
- Administrative Law
- Banking and Finance
- Bankruptcy and Insolvency
- Building Law
- Crime (White Collar)
- Equity/Equitable Relief/Trusts
- Land Valuation
- Landlord and Tenant
- Mining Law
- Professional Negligence
- Property Law
- Residential/Retail Tenancies
- Trade Practices
Rob is recognised by Chambers & Partners, Doyles’ Guide and Australia’s Best Lawyers as one of Australia’s leading junior counsel in commercial litigation. An experienced advocate with a broad practice incorporating general corporate and commercial law, insolvency, class actions, building and construction and white-collar crime, Rob appears in trial and appellate courts in all jurisdictions in Australia and in domestic and international arbitrations.
Current and recent matters of significance include:
- General commercial law
- acting on behalf of National Australia Bank Limited in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry;
- acting on behalf of Optus in relation to contractual and consumer law claims;
- appearing on behalf of the Victorian Government in relation to claims by gaming operators that they were entitled to a “terminal payment” upon the cessation of their gaming licences – State of Victoria ats Tabcorp Limited and State of Victoria v Tatts Group Limited;
- acting on behalf of ASIC in relation to allegations that ANZ acted unconscionably and breached the Corporations Act and ASIC Act in manipulating the Bank Bill Swap Rate;
- acting for Telstra in relation to the termination of a wholesale supply contract and subsequent proceedings for injunctive relief - Telstra Corporation Ltd ats ispONE Pty Ltd;
- representing the directors of a listed company in relation to allegations that they placed shares in the company for an improper purpose - Bell IXL Investments Ltd v Life Therapeutics Ltd;
- franchise disputes – e.g., Ozan Venture Pty Ltd v Nando’s Australia Pty Ltd; New Price Retail Services Pty Ltd & Anor v Canamat Pty Ltd & Ors, Anora Pty Ltd & Ors v Quest Serviced Apartments Pty Ltd;
- Class actions
- Securities class actions such as: Clime Capital Limited v UGL Pty Limited; Zantran Pty Limited v Crown Resorts Limited; Earglow Pty Ltd v Newcrest Mining Limited; Mitic v Oz Minerals Limited; Crowley v WorleyParsons Limited; Pathway Investments Limited & Anor v National Australia Bank Limited; Wills & Anor v Woolworths Group Limited;
- acting on behalf of ANZ in the Exception Fees class action;
- acting on behalf of various franchisors in class actions commenced by franchisees;
- acting on behalf of Willmott Forests Limited in relation to a claim by investors seeking damages arising from alleged deficiencies in the product disclosure statements issued by the company;
- Professional Negligence/Directors’ Duties
- appearing on behalf of company directors and employees in civil prosecutions by ASIC and the ACCC – e.g. ASIC v Australian Property Custodian Holdings Ltd; ASIC v Mariner Corporation Limited & Ors; ACCC v Murray Goulburn Co-operative Co Ltd & Ors;
- acting on behalf of the auditors of an ASX listed company in the Supreme Court of Victoria in connection with professional liability claims;
- Building and Construction
- acting for the owners of the Yallourn Power Station in relation to the collapse of the Morwell River Diversion Project – EnergyAustralia Yallourn Pty Ltd & Ors v SMEC Australia Pty Ltd & Ors;
- acting for Grocon in relation to various disputes, including the proper interpretation of the relevant building contracts, applications for judicial review under the Building and Construction Security of Payment Act 2002 (Vic) and appeals concerning whether a liquidated damages provision constituted a penalty – APN DF2 Project 2 Pty Ltd v Grocon Constructors (Victoria) Pty Ltd (No 1); APN DF2 Project 2 Pty Ltd v Grocon Constructors (Victoria) Pty Ltd (No 2); Grocon Constructions (Qld) Pty Ltd v Juniper Developer (No 2) Pty Ltd;
- defending the designer of industrial composters in relation to allegations of defective design and associated insurance claims – Biovision 2020 Pty Ltd & Anor v CGU Insurance Ltd & Ors (with D Levin QC);
- acting on behalf of AJ Lucas in relation to variation and delay claims arising from the construction of the Mortlake Pipeline;
- Insolvency related litigation
- acting for the receivers of Gunns Limited and its subsidiaries in various proceedings in relation to the realisation of the assets of the Gunns Group – e.g. Korda & Ors v Australian Executor Trustees (SA) Limited;
- proceedings in relation to the liquidation of companies operating distressed managed investment schemes– e.g. BOSI Security Services Ltd v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd; Willmott Growers Group Inc v Willmott Forests Limited; Re Willmott Forests Ltd;
Before coming to the Bar, Rob practised in the Litigation and Dispute Resolution Group at Blake Dawson (now Ashurst). Whilst at Blakes he completed a Masters degree specialising in commercial and public law for which he was awarded the Dean’s prize for outstanding achievement.
Rob also spent a year as the Associate to Justice Hollingworth of the Supreme Court of Victoria. During that time he gained experience in the Commercial and Equity, Common Law and Criminal Divisions of the Court.
Rob has written and presented papers on a variety of subjects including: the Australian Takeovers Panel; class actions; common law liability of statutory authorities; good faith in Australian contract law; document destruction legislation; and, the termination of contracts.
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McPhee Mediation Centre
Excellent facilities in a bright and roomy environment. The McPhee Mediation Centre has been designed to create an environment conducive to obtaining successful
mediation results. Its configuration allows you to bring parties together for mediation and then separate them from private consultation as required.
Phone: 9670 4003