Stephen is a well-respected commercial litigation lawyer with almost 30 years’ experience. His area of specialisation is in corporate and commercial dispute resolution, with a particular focus on complex debt, consumer law, contract, corporations law, equity, real property and regulatory investigations.
Stephen has represented both public and private companies across a range of industries and issues, in the Supreme Court, the Federal Court and High Court, and has led large-scale matters involving complex issues.
His industry knowledge covers financial services, government, health, infrastructure, IT, mining, pharmaceutical, property, retail and transport.
Clients appreciate Stephen's commercial advice, clear strategic direction and sound judgement.
Stephen has been recognised in The Best Lawyers in Australia in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation every year since 2014 and is recommended in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018 in dispute resolution.
- Acting for Hanes Group entities in Federal Court proceedings brought against them by Wesfarmers for alleged breaches of warranties arising out of the sale of Hanes’ workwear business to Wesfarmers in late 2014.
- Acting for the former CEO and CFO of Dick Smith in proceedings brought against them in the Commercial List of the Supreme Court of NSW by the National Australia Bank and HSBC Bank Australia alleging misleading and deceptive conduct in connection with the entry into and extension of finance facilities with Dick Smith.
- Acting for Kuwaiti investment firm, Amwal International Investment Company, in an action in the Supreme Court of Victoria against Pepperstone Pty Ltd, an online Forex and CFD broker, to recover funds withdrawn from a trading account without authorisation and in breach of their trading terms.
- Acting for Retail Employees Superannuation Trust (REST) in proceedings brought against it in the Supreme Court of South Australia by Romeos Retail Group to recover superannuation contributions alleged to have been paid by mistake.
- Acting for Rio Tinto Minerals Inc in an ICC arbitration arising out of the sale of a subsidiary.
- Acting for Local Government Financial Services Pty Ltd (LGFS) in Federal Court proceedings brought by Bathurst and a number of other local councils involving claims arising out of failed investments of $16.5m in a synthetic structured credit investment product sold to them by LGFS.
- Acting for Australian fashion designer, Kym Ellery, and her design company, Ellery Land Pty Ltd in proceedings brought against them by Myer Pty Ltd in the Supreme Court of Victoria seeking to restrain them from taking their Ellery fashion label to David Jones, contrary to an exclusivity agreement with Myer. The matter settled on terms which, amongst other things, entitled Ellery branded merchandise to be supplied in Myer and David Jones – an industry first.
- Acting for Rio Tinto in proceedings brought by Walker Corporation in the Supreme Court of NSW over Rio Tinto’s withdrawal from negotiations over an agreement for lease of a building in Brisbane’s CBD.
- Acting for Calvary Health Care in Commercial List proceedings arising out of lease finance agreements it had rescinded on grounds including the financier’s agent’s misleading conduct.
- Acting for a creditor of Swan Services Group (In Liquidation) in Supreme Court proceedings to recover her loan. The liquidator has cross claimed that payments made to her are void as preferential payments or, alternatively, were uncommercial or unreasonable director related transactions and, in addition, has made an insolvent trading claim against her, asserting that she was a shadow director.
- Acting for Bellbird Ridge Pty Ltd (Johnson Property Group) in Supreme Court proceedings challenging the Office of State Revenue’s refusal to apply the primary production exemption of the State’s land tax legislation in relation to a parcel of land proposed for development.
- Acting for Pittwater Radiology Partnership (now PRP Diagnostic Imaging Pty Ltd) in Commercial List proceedings against a healthcare corporation concerning the operation of restraint clauses on the termination of their relationship.
- Acting on an appeal in the High Court for the owners of the Glasshouse building in a dispute with Westfield over the interpretation of an easement integral to Westfield’s then proposed development of the Westfield Shopping Centre.
Awards and recognition
Best Lawyers in Australia 2014-2021Partner – Alternative Dispute Resolution, Litigation
The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2018Dispute Resolution
Litigation & Dispute Resolution | 11 Nov 2020
Tenant evicted for failure to pay rent: pre-pandemic breach not covered by COVID-19 rent relief leasing changes, NSW Supreme Court finds
In the wake of Justice Robb’s decision to grant relief against forfeiture in the Sneakerboy decision, Justice Stevenson recently refused a similar application by a commercial tenant for the reinstatement of its lease.