Stuart is a highly regarded advisor to numerous businesses and their owners. He has extensive experience acting in significant disputes for businesses across the manufacturing, agri-business, IT and professional services industries.
Stuart has developed a particularly deep understanding of the needs and important issues that regularly arise for SME owners and develops dispute resolution strategies that achieve real commercial outcomes. Stuart sees beyond the dispute and works with owners to ensure the “bigger picture” is never lost. This is reflected in Stuart maintaining his client relationships well after a dispute has been resolved.
Stuart has run numerous cases in the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court and County Courts of Victoria and in many other jurisdictions. Stuart has also been involved in the resolving disputes via the Victorian Small Business Commission (VSBC) as well as acting in a large number of private mediations held before court proceedings are commenced.
Stuart’s expertise includes:
- Corporations and consumer law
- Disclosure obligations
- Consumer guarantees/product liability
- Shareholder/partner and trust disputes
- Unconscionable conduct/ unfair contract terms
- Fiduciary/equitable duties
- Confidential information/IP
- Class actions
- Complex contractual disputes
- Numerous shareholder, trust and joint venture disputes between private business owners, including claims of oppression, breach of director duties, fraud, misleading and deceptive conduct and other claims.
- Acting for senior “big 6” audit partner in disciplinary proceedings brought by ASIC for alleged breaches of duties in the Companies Auditors Disciplinary Board (CADB).
- Acting for senior accountant with respect to proceedings brough by the Tax Practitioners Board, including conducting appeal proceedings in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, advising with respect to subsequent proceedings before the Institute of Public Accountants (IPA) and addressing ASIC inquiries.
- Successfully objecting and thereby obtaining land tax relief under primary purpose exemptions for large property development client.
- Acting for farming business with respect to loss of profit claim arising from breach for share farm agreement.
- Successfully setting aside statutory demands and defending winding up proceedings arising from dispute between joint venture partners to property development.
- Acting for cosmetics business with respect to claims of breach of trademark, misleading and deceptive conduct and other claims arising from former officer commencing competing business selling same branded products, including obtaining injunctions in Federal Court of Australia to have infringing websites pulled down.
- Advising multiple businesses with respects to disputes with software and cloud providers with respect to quality and fitness for purpose claims, ownership, privacy and other claims.
- Acting for minority shareholder/beneficiary of trust in respect of sibling dispute over large property investment business.
- Acting for logistics business in obtaining urgent injunction in the Federal Court for orders that franchisor and related entity specifically perform contract by accepting, processing, and delivering product (when they had refused to do so).
Professional Memberships / Accreditation & Activities
- Recommended Lawyer, Dispute Resolution, Litigation, The Legal 500 Asia Pacific.