Services

Commercial Disputes

Who we are

We are one of the largest dispute resolution practices of our kind in the Australian market. Our lawyers are recommended by leading independent industry commentators such as the Legal 500 Asia-Pacific.

Our 35-partner team is known for its work on behalf of a broad range of corporate clients, as well as specialist litigation expertise across a wide variety of industry sectors. The diverse range of industry sectors where we have cultivated a deep expertise is a particularly notable aspect of our practice.

We pride ourselves on providing frank and fearless advice to clients and offer genuine bench strength for large-scale litigation matters.

What we do

Our expertise includes:

  • Competition disputes
  • Debt & asset recovery
  • Financial services recovery
  • Insolvency, restructuring and director advisory
  • Regulatory investigations.

Our other expertise includes class actions, consumer law disputes, dispute resolution and litigation, international and domestic commercial arbitration, IP disputes, secured recovery and enforcement and shareholder disputes.

Our industry-specific expertise includes the banking & financial services, primary industry & agriculture, property, technology, construction and infrastructure, energy & resources, insurance and manufacturing sectors. We also conduct litigation on behalf of government departments and agencies.

Recent projects

  • Prosecuting close to 1,400 proceedings across Australian courts on behalf of the liquidators of Timbercorp Finance, seeking recovery of a $500m loan book.
  • Acted in significant litigation arising out of the $2.5bn collapse of Octaviar Limited and various companies in the Octaviar Group.
  • Advising a developer on a $100m dispute over an attempt to rescind a contract for sale of land.
  • Advising in dispute re development approval for a $100m residential project.

Competition Disputes

Our Competition & Regulatory team is experienced in all aspects of competition and consumer law investigations and litigation.

Recent matters include:

  • Representing clients in defence of cartel conduct proceedings brought by the ACCC  – including acting in Australia’s first criminal prosecution of an individual
  • Securing immunity from prosecution by the ACCC in respect of a participant in a global cartel in the airline industry
  • Representing LG in its defence of proceedings brought by the ACCC for alleged misleading conduct in respect of consumer guarantees
  • Acting in the leading High Court case on misleading and deceptive advertising.

Please refer to our Competition page for a full description of our capabilities in relation to both contentious and non-contentious aspects of Competition and Consumer Law.

Debt & Asset Recovery

Our expertise in debt and asset recovery matters includes all steps from issuing and prosecuting proceedings in any Australian jurisdiction to enforcement.

Our team has significant experience in prosecuting enforcement proceedings for clients in all Australian jurisdictions, having actioned numerous:

  • Examination hearings
  • Warrants to seize property and sell real estate
  • Attachment of earnings hearings
  • Bankruptcy proceedings
  • Preservation of property and freezing orders
  • Winding up proceedings.

Our methodology in relation to every debt recovery matter is to first interrogate the particular circumstances of each case, and to assess it from both commerciality and recoverability perspectives.  We then recommend a bespoke strategy, which is implemented by experienced law clerks and legal staff, with partner level supervision at all times.

Financial Services Recovery

Increased regulation has made mortgage recovery and security enforcement increasingly complex, with a range of laws in place that can potentially affect a lender’s rights.

Enforcement of mortgages and securities requires expert legal knowledge and a capacity to deal with issues such as bankruptcy, deceased estates, tenancies and abandoned chattels.

The Mills Oakley Mortgage Recovery team has expertise extending back to the 1980s, so we are well equipped to detect at an early stage, and properly deal with, media sensitive matters affecting reputation and brand. We appreciate that clients need to resolve defaults quickly and in the most cost effective manner by embracing the most appropriate dispute resolution mechanisms without the need to proceed to Court wherever possible.

Our mortgage recovery lawyers have an in-depth understanding of the mortgage industry and have developed strong relationships with key industry players, including mortgage insurers, consumer representative bodies, industry regulators, the Courts and enforcement officers.

Regulatory Investigations

We provide strategic advice and representation to companies and individuals in relation to regulatory investigations, enforcement proceedings, related litigation and risk and compliance.

Our partners and staff have in-house regulatory experience, including at ASIC, and have expertise in bringing and defending legal proceedings, preserving reputation and minimising the costs of business interruption.

We are able to draw on our whole firm service throughout Australia, including in our corporate, taxation and government and administrative law fields, to ensure that we are able to respond to the most complex, time sensitive and interrelated regulatory investigations.

Our expertise includes:

  • ASIC and ACCC enforcement proceedings
  • Royal Commissions and government inquests
  • Fraud and money laundering prosecutions
  • Compulsory examinations of senior executives and employees
  • Compliance with Australian Consumer Laws, Corporations Act, AML/CTF Act and related legislation
  • Risk assessment and crisis management, with specialist services in defamation and media law.

Thinking

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