Dispute Resolution Department

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What the team is known for Large practice with a broad national and international footprint, a substantial cross-jurisdictional offering for the Asia-Pacific region and a depth of resources to cover all major business sectors. Signature strengths include the handling of shareholder and product liability class actions, regulatory investigations and prosecutions, and disputes relating to infrastructure for an impressive range of corporate and government clients. Increasingly seen on high-profile financial services-related disputes and on matters subject to domestic or international arbitration. Applauded for maintaining a very high level of service and enjoys a significant level of client confidence in its ability to manage large or complex matters.

Strengths What one client calls the team's "pragmatic approach" commands widespread approval. The same source goes on to call the lawyers "very commercial" because "they don't over-engineer things," while another similarly observes: "They're commercial and strategic, so produce more effective outcomes rather than just adhering to the process of litigation."

More than one client uses the phrase "very user-friendly" to describe this practice, one going on to say: "The service is fantastic and they're always willing to work around bespoke requests."

Work highlights Acted for Crown Resorts in shareholder class action litigation arising out of allegations that the client breached its continuous disclosure obligations and engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct with regard to a 14% drop in its share price in October 2016.

Notable practitioners

Beverley Newbold
handles high-profile matters in the class action and regulatory spheres, often acting on behalf of some of Australia's household-name companies – or their individual executives – on both domestic and cross-border mandates. "Dispute processes run by Beverley run smoothly and are managed cost-effectively," reports one client, while another, who calls her "one of the brightest litigators in the country," cites her ability to find "challenging, innovative and very intelligent solutions to seemingly insoluble problems."

Veteran litigator
Richard Murphy
offers particularly extensive experience of matters in which businesses or individual business executives face allegations of various forms of market misconduct. Characterised as "good and clever" by one interviewee, he is described by another as a "trusted adviser" who makes a particularly good "sounding board for tricky situations that require not only good legal understanding but also strategic play."

Ross Freeman
heads the practice and brings more than a quarter of a century's experience to a variety of dispute mandate types, in which class actions, regulatory investigations and alleged instances of market misconduct feature particularly prominently. Clients value him as a sympathetic and deeply knowledgeable adviser whose reputation alone can alter the balance of a dispute in their favour.