Partner

Meriel Steadman

Meriel has over 20 years’ experience advising clients around the world in many different sectors on complex commercial disputes. She is well-versed in the court systems in Australia, the UK and the Caribbean, as well as in assisting clients to navigate domestic and international arbitrations, mediations and expert determinations.

Meriel is renowned for providing clear, concise and commercial advice which meets clients’ strategic objectives in the broader business context. Her experience working for a global resources company as well as for one of the top Australian Universities enables her to work with clients to avoid or resolve disputes in a commercially effective way.

Meriel has particular expertise in the energy, mining and resources, tertiary education and life sciences and healthcare sectors. Her clients include global, ASX-listed and proprietary limited companies.

As well as holding a First Class Honours Degree in English Law with European Law, Meriel is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors’ Company Directors Course.

Expertise

Meriel’s expertise includes:

  • Advising clients at the contract negotiation and drafting stage so that clients understand the risk profile of a transaction and are best placed to avoid disputes
  • Representing clients in domestic gas and LNG pricing disputes
  • Conducting independent investigations and preparing reports for clients, as well as challenging investigation processes and tender processes and overturning decisions
  • Advising clients on schemes of arrangement under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
  • Advising clients on directors’, trustees’ and senior executives’ duties and conduct, including preparing reports, Codes of Conduct and other relevant documents
  • Advising clients in property and real estate disputes
  • Representing clients in proceedings before all courts and tribunals, including the Federal, Supreme, District, Magistrates and Warden’s Courts, the State Administrative Tribunal and the Building Commission
  • Representing clients in domestic and international arbitrations, mediations and expert determinations
  • Representing clients in Takeovers Panel proceedings
  • Representing clients defending ASIC prosecutions

Recent projects

  • Successfully defending the appeal of an unsuccessful summary judgment and strike out application in the Court of Appeal, which concerned the interpretation of an exclusion clause in a Mining Services Contract and the appropriate time to rule on its construction: NRW Contracting Pty Ltd v Cliffs Asia Pacific Iron Ore Pty Ltd [2020] WASCA 107
  • Representing an ASX-listed copper-cobalt mining company (previously a gold mining company) defending a number of different claims for breach of contract brought in the Supreme Court of WA, District Court and Magistrates Court. This included the successful strike-out of the Plaintiffs’ expert evidence in the Supreme Court of WA and part of their Reply; the award to our client of costs thrown away by reason of amendments to the Plaintiffs’ pleadings to remove two claims; a full taxation hearing; and settlements favourable to our client
  • Successfully challenging an investigation in the education sector, which led to the decision in question being overturned
  • Advising Angang Group Hong Kong (Holdings) Limited (Ansteel) on two inter-dependent schemes of arrangement
  • Advising an ASX-listed copper mining company in relation to various contractual disputes, including advising its subsidiary, the operator of the copper project overseas, and applying to the Federal Court on behalf of the ASX-listed company to discharge a garnishee order, which led to the parties in whose favour the garnishee order had been granted, agreeing to withdraw the garnishee order
  • Advising a global resources company on various LNG pricing disputes, including representing the client in SIAC and HKIAC arbitrations

Professional Memberships/Accreditation & Activities

  • Recognised Lawyer, Litigation, The Best Lawyers Australia
  • Committee member of the Western Australian branch of the Australian British Chamber of Commerce since 2018
  • Director of Telethon Community Cinemas since 2021
  • Member of/attendee at events run by Women in Mining WA, Women in Gold, Gold Industry Group, Australian Institute of Energy, Women in Energy, Women in Oil & Gas, the Australian African Minerals and Energy Group, the Department of International Trade, the Cook Society and the Australian Institute of Company Directors

CONTACT

T: +61 8 6167 9883 [email protected]
Perth

Partner

Stuart Walter