Gilbert + Tobin: Disputes + Investigations
The disputes and investigations team at Gilbert + Tobin specialises in assisting clients to navigate complex and significant contentious issues. We work closely with our clients to develop an approach best suited to achieving their objectives and the protection of their interests. We understand that litigation should always be a last resort but, where necessary, needs to be handled strategically and commercially, and with jealous regard to your reputation.
Our lawyers have been and continue to be involved in Australia’s most high-profile commercial disputes, litigation, investigations and inquiries. Clients come to us for our sophisticated and strategic litigation and dispute resolution services across a broad range of legal areas. We work closely with clients to deliver focused, timely and cost-effective solutions.
Over recent years we have: obtained the largest commercial payout for misleading and deceptive conduct in Australian corporate history (AUS$280m); obtained two further nine-figure outcomes for our clients (BrisConnections and Lowe’s); and secured high-profile and important wins for Reliance Rail, Anglo American and New Hope Corporation. Much more frequently, our successes have involved assisting clients to avoid court altogether.
We specialise in sensitive investigations and inquiries, from internal issues to regulatory investigations to commissions of inquiry. We understand the need for clarity of thought, discretion and insight. With major corporates and financial services participants facing unprecedented regulatory scrutiny, we know that the manner in which investigations are handled can be the best protection against bigger issues. Our team represented Westpac on the complex, contentious and high-profile Financial Services Royal Commission, and continues to advise major financial services participants with regard to their engagement with significant regulatory compliance and enforcement activities.
We continue to achieve outstanding results for our clients in significant disputes, investigations and inquiries. Our top priority is to ensure our clients are protected legally, commercially and reputationally.
Our key areas of expertise are:
- ‘bet the company’ litigation and investigations;
- class actions;
- major commercial disputes, often involving substantial reputational risk;
- regulatory investigations by industry watchdogs, such as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), AUSTRAC, Australian Prudential Regulation Authority and Australian Competition and Consumer Commission;
- high-profile litigation on cutting-edge technological and legal issues;
- resources litigation issues, including Warden’s Court matters, objections to tenement applications and other disputes;
- intellectual property and IT claims;
- board and corporate affairs;
- anti-bribery and corruption;
- commissions and inquiries; and
- employment disputes.
Highlights of our experience
Our recent experience includes advising or acting for:
- Westpac in relation to class actions concerning its disclosure of the AUSTRAC litigation.
- Westpac, the Australian Banking Association and the Insurance Council of Australia (separately) on their responses to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
- BT Financial Management and Westpac Life Insurance Services in relation to a class action concerning their superannuation cash product.
- Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu on its response to the senate inquiry into audit quality.
- Lowe’s in its high-profile dispute with Woolworths over their failed US$3.6 billion joint venture in Masters Home Improvement.
- Former Tennis Australia director Harold Mitchell in relation to allegations he improperly helped Seven West Media win the broadcast rights to the Australian Open in 2012.
- A major global financial services and payments platform in relation to a significant AUSTRAC anti-money laundering compliance investigation.
- Product liability class action against Toyota Motor Corporation.
- The State of Victoria in its response to the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.
- Westpac in its defence of the high-profile and complex ASIC prosecution concerning alleged manipulation of the Bank Bill Swap Rate, which is one of the largest ASIC investigations and prosecutions ever.
- The Commonwealth and its departments and agencies in their response to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
- A significant number of high-profile, reputationally-important investigations and enforcement proceedings against major corporates, directors and officers.
Practice head and partner
T: +61 2 9263 4413
T: +61 2 9263 4041
T: +61 2 9263 4436
T: +61 2 9263 4335
T: +61 2 9263 4420
T: +61 3 8656 3391
T: +61 8 9413 8410
T: +61 8 9413 8408
T: +61 2 9263 4026
T: +61 3 8656 3387
T: +61 8 9413 8421
T: +61 2 9263 4509
T: +61 2 9263 4295
Introducing our new partners
T: +61 2 9263 4248
Philippa Hofbrucker is a skilled litigator with extensive regulatory investigations and complex financial services litigation experience in both Australia and the UK. Her clients have included leading domestic and international retail and investment banks, as well as accounting, law, resources and agribusiness firms, and a UK investigating and prosecuting authority. Hofbrucker also completed a secondment to the disputes team of a multinational retail bank in London.
T: +61 2 9263 4430
Matt Mackenzie has acted in a wide range of significant commercial disputes and proceedings in the Supreme, Federal and High Courts, including in the areas of contract, competition and trade practices law, copyright and trade mark.
Mackenzie advises clients on a range of commercial disputes, contractual claims and regulatory responses.
Level 35, Tower Two International Towers
200 Barangaroo Avenue
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: +61 2 9263 4000
101 Collins Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
Tel: +61 3 8656 3300
Brookfield Place Tower 2
123 St Georges Terrace
Perth WA 6000
Tel: +61 8 9413 8400