Fri 07 2017

Talking Tax – Issue 86

Case law

AAT rejects Taxpayer’s claim for input tax credits

In GH1 Pty Ltd (in Liquidation) v FCT [2017] AATA 1063, the Administrative Appeals Tribunal affirmed the Commissioner of Taxation’s decision to disallow input tax credits (ITCs) totalling $817,207 for bulk earthwork services provided in relation to a development project.

The Tribunal found that the Taxpayer was unable to discharge its burden of proving, on the balance of probabilities, that the Commissioner’s assessment was excessive. In doing so, the Tribunal affirmed the Commissioner’s position, finding, among other things, that:

  • the purported ‘tax invoices’ did not evidence any actual taxable supplies made – the mere existence of a ‘tax invoice’ is not, by itself, sufficient to establish that a “taxable supply” (under section 9-5 GST Act 1999) and corresponding ‘creditable acquisition’ (under section 11-5 GST Act 1999), has, in fact, occurred and
  • that, on the evidence, the relevant stages of development works were completed prior to the dates of the purported invoices, and that ITCs in respect of the work were likely to have already been claimed in an earlier income year.

Property developers are reminded of the importance of maintaining contemporaneous records sufficient to support ITC claims particularly in circumstances where there has been no physical payment for supplies and amounts are merely credited to supplier loan accounts.

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In this case, the Taxpayer had claimed ITCs in its Business Activity Statements (BASs) for the periods ended 31 December 2009 and 31 March 2010 of $912,316 and $812,142, respectively. The Taxpayer’s claims were allegedly for the acquisition of services solely related to carrying on an enterprise that includes site works, earthworks, road works, sewer reticulation, stormwater drainage, water reticulation and retaining walls.

The Taxpayer was audited by the Commissioner in respect of the 2009 to 2013 years and was subsequently issued amended assessments disallowing $817,207 for ITCs in respect of 2 stages of the development project. The Commissioner relied on the fact that the invoices did not prove that there was, in fact, an acquisition of services by the Taxpayer and that evidence demonstrated that the purported invoices were issued after the relevant stages of the works had been completed.

The evidence established that the ITCs claimed by the Taxpayer, for the periods ended 31 December 2009 and 31 March 2010 (totalling $817,207), for Stages 5 and 6, ought not be allowed because:

  • the deposited plans relating to the land the subject of the development work were created before the date of the purported tax invoices
  • the Taxpayer reported most of the property sales from the development of the land the subject of the development work before the date of the purported tax invoices
  • the cost breakdown schedules for the development work for Stages 5 and 6 showed that the development works were either partially completed or fully completed by the date of the purported tax invoices
  • evidence from the site superintendent and the Water Corporation for Stages 5 and 6 showed that construction of Stages 5 and 6 was completed before the date of the purported tax invoices
  • the value of the work certified by engineers as being completed at Stages 5 and 6 almost exactly corresponds with the ITCs claimed by the Taxpayer in its earlier BAS for the tax periods ended 30 September 2008 and 31 December 2008 and
  • The Taxpayer had already claimed the ITCs in its BAS for the tax periods ended 30 September 2008 and 31 December 2008.

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AAT finds taxpayer entitled to claim deductions for work related expenses but liable to pay administrative penalty

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal in Amin v Commissioner of Taxation (Taxation) [2017] AATA 1042 has recently found that a taxpayer was partially entitled to claim certain work-related motor vehicle expenses, work-related travel expenses, self-education expenses and other work-related expenses for the year ended 30 June 2012. Nonetheless, the Taxpayer was liable to pay an administrative penalty of 25% of the tax shortfall arising from disallowed deductions, for failure to take reasonable care. The Taxpayer was considered a very knowledgeable professional who claimed very significant deductions and who should have been more careful when claiming deductions.

This case serves as a warning to knowledgeable professionals to be mindful when claiming deductions as they will ordinarily be held to a higher standard of care.[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion active_section=”10″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”See more” tab_id=”1500596680844-9c1603fe-932c”][vc_column_text]

Facts

During the relevant year, the Taxpayer was a Vendor Relationship Manager at a company that provides infrastructure management services to government and corporate clients in the utilities, resources and building industries.

The Taxpayer claimed various amounts for work-related motor vehicle expenses, work-related travel expenses, self-education expenses and other work-related expenses. The Commissioner disallowed the claims and imposed an administrative penalty of 25% of the tax shortfall for failure to take reasonable care. After the Taxpayer’s objection was disallowed, he sought a review of the decision by the Tribunal.

The Tribunal’s findings

Work-related motor vehicle expenses

The Tribunal found the Taxpayer failed to discharge the burden of proof in relation to his claims for motor vehicle expense (totalling $36,079), on the basis that it was not satisfied that the Taxpayer was required to travel as part of his employment in the relevant year.

In relation to the Taxpayer’s log book, the Tribunal found, among other things, that:

  • it did not indicate that he visited any clients as alleged
  • to satisfy the requirement in section 28-125(2) Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITTA 1997) of “why the journey was made”, it is necessary to describe the purpose of the visit – the Taxpayer failed to do this and
  • the Taxpayer also failed to satisfy the Tribunal that his travel constituted “travel between workplaces” under the terms of section 25-100(2) ITAA 1997 as he did not identify the workplaces in is log book.
Work related travel expenses

The Tribunal found that:

  • the Taxpayer was entitled to claim a deduction for the total airfare expenses ($3,580), on the basis that the outgoing was incurred in its entirety for him to travel to the US to attend a global conference which was for work purposes
  • in relation to the airfares, apportionment was not appropriate as the US trip was work related travel and the airfares were not able to be readily apportioned for any private purpose and
  • in relation to accommodation expenses, however, the Taxpayer was only entitled to a deduction for the accommodation expenses relating to his stays for the work-related conference and meetings.
Self-education expenses

The Tribunal found that the Taxpayer was entitled to a deduction for course fees incurred in the relevant year for his Juris Doctor degree ($17,290.84) and corresponding costs of textbooks he purchased ($945.92), less the reduction of $250 as per section 82A(1) of the Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITTA 1936). The Tribunal relied on the fact that legal studies would improve his skills and proficiency as a Vendor Relationship Manager, and lead to an increase in his income in future years.

Interestingly, the education expenses were not regarded as being capital in nature. In this respect, the case turned very much on its facts as determined by the Tribunal.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_column_text]

ATO updates

ATO guidance for unpaid present entitlements under sub-trust arrangements maturing in 2017 or 2018

The ATO has issued Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2017/13 Division 7A – unpaid present entitlements under sub-trust arrangements maturing in the 2017 or 2018 income years. The Guideline applies to a private company (or trustee) beneficiary of a trust and sub-trust where the trustee:

  • has, in accordance with Option 1 under Law Administration Practice Statement PS LA 2010/4 Division 7A: trust entitlements, on, or prior to, 30 June 2011 placed funds representing an unpaid present entitlement (UPE) in a sub-trust arrangement on a 7-year interest only loan with the main trust and
  • does not repay the principal of the loan when it matures in the 2017 or 2018 income year.

Trustees who adopted Option 1 on, or prior to, 30 June 2011 are, under the terms of the investment agreement, obliged to repay the loan principal in the 2017 or 2018 income year. However, PCG 2017/13 states that if all, or part, of the principal of the loan is not repaid on or before the date of maturity, the Commissioner will allow the sub-trust and the private company (or trustee) beneficiary to put a complying Division 7A loan in place prior to the private company’s lodgment day. Broadly, this requires the principal and interest to be repaid in annual instalments over 7 years.

If a complying Division 7A loan is not put in place between the sub-trust and the private company (or trustee) beneficiary prior to the private company’s lodgment day, a deemed dividend will arise at the end of the income year in which the loan matures.

Prior to the release of PCG 2017/13, a trustee’s failure to repay the loan principal by maturity date (in 2017 or 2018) as required by the investment agreement, was expected to result in any unpaid principal of the loan being treated by the Commissioner as a loan for purposes of Division 7A ITAA 1936 and give rise to a deemed dividend at the end of the income year in which the loan matures.

Where Option 1 was adopted on, or prior to, 30 June 2011 taxpayers now have certainty of the advantage of being able to repay the loan principal over an additional 7 years. However, the deferral advantage must be weighed against the requirements of periodic payments of both principal and interest and the additional cost of interest for 7 years.

It remains uncertain whether, and the extent to which, the Commissioner will extend the guidance in PCG 2017/13 to sub-trust arrangements entered into after 30 June 2011 (in accordance with Option 1 of PS LA 2010/4) which would mature in the 2019 and later income years.

ATO’s ‘Justified Trust’ initiative

The ATO intends to audit the tax governance and risk frameworks of the top 1000 Australian companies over the next four years as part of its ‘Justified Trust’ initiative, to regain the public’s trust that the right amount of corporate tax is being collected.

Broadly, companies will be required to evidence that tax risks are being identified and managed effectively, through a tax governance and risk framework. Companies that have not voluntarily signed up to the Tax Transparency Code or that are not subject to mandatory public reporting of taxable income and tax paid, may expose themselves to more detailed testing and review by the ATO.

For further background on the concept of ‘Justified Trust’, please refer to Talking Tax – 36.

For further information on the voluntary Tax Transparency Code, please refer to Talking Tax – 43.

Draft Determination sets out method for calculating the market value of valuable metal

The ATO has issued a draft of the Goods and Services Tax: Valuable Metals Market Value Determination 2017 VM 2017/D1 (Draft Determination). The Draft Determination sets out the method to calculate the market value of valuable metal for the purposes of working out whether the market value of a taxable supply exceeds the valuable metal threshold under Division 86 (Valuable metals) GST Act 1999. Broadly, Division 86 makes a recipient (rather than a supplier) liable for the GST payable on certain taxable supplies.

By way of background, Division 86 was recently inserted into the GST Act 1999 by the Treasury Laws Amendment (GST Integrity) Bill 2017 (Cth), in response to ‘missing trader’ schemes that involved suppliers failing to remit GST collected on supplies of altered metal (by virtue of supplier liquidation or otherwise going missing) and recipients still claiming ITCs. The amendments were discussed in detail in Talking Tax – 82.

Public consultation for the Draft Determination is open until 26 July 2017. If you are an entity affected by this determination and would like further information about how it may impact you, please contact a member of our tax team.[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion active_section=”10″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”See more” tab_id=”1500596713572-61800438-3666″][vc_column_text]The Commissioner has determined that entities that receive a supply of valuable metal are to calculate the market value of the valuable metal contained in a good using the following formula on the date of the supply:

(Weight of valuable metal) * (spot price of the valuable metal on that date)

Where:

Weight of valuable metal is the weight in troy ounces of the valuable metal in the good and

Spot price of the valuable metal on the date of the supply is whichever of the following the entity chooses:

  • one of the published rates for that date provided by an Australian entity recognised as a member of the London Bullion Market
  • one of the published Australian rates for that date reported by the London Bullion Market Authority (LBMA), or
  • one of the published Australian rates for that date provided by a commercially recognised authoritative provider of spot price data.

The Commissioner notes that entities must use their chosen spot price consistently when determining the market value of the valuable metal for the purposes of the valuable metal threshold.

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ATO announces capital allowance effective life reviews

The ATO has recently announced capital allowance effective life reviews on assets used in the banking industry as well as in the gas and oil mining support services industry.

The reviews are expected to be completed within 12 months, with new effective life determinations applying from 1 July 2018.

While participation in the review process is entirely voluntary, strong participation from members of the banking industry and the gas and oil mining support services industry will help to ensure that the ATO’s determinations will be appropriate and useful to industry members.[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion active_section=”10″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”See more” tab_id=”1500596775441-5677febb-01f6″][vc_column_text]The scope of review in relation to the banking industry would include all major segments of the industry such as banking, building society operation, and credit union operation.

The anticipated scope of review in relation to the gas and oil mining support services industry would include directional drilling and redrilling, cementing oil and gas well castings, gas and oil mine site preparation and gas and oil field support service.

As part of each review, the ATO will:

  • identify the assets currently used in the industry
  • consult with major interest groups, such as industry representative bodies, users and suppliers (including using interviews and site asset inspections)
  • complete a report with recommendations for new effective lives based on an analysis of the factors listed in the effective life taxation ruling
  • remove redundant items currently in the effective life schedule.

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OECD updates

OECD releases updated transfer pricing guidelines

The OECD has recently released an updated version (2017 edition) of the OECD Transfer Pricing Guidelines for Multinational Enterprises and Tax Administrations (Guidelines).

The Guidelines are intended to help tax administrations (of both OECD member countries and non-member countries) and multinational enterprises (MNEs) by indicating ways to find mutually satisfactory solutions to transfer pricing cases to avoid costly litigation.

The Guidelines provide guidance on, among other things:

  • the application of the “arm’s length principle”, which represents the international consensus on the valuation, for income tax purposes, of cross-border transactions between associated enterprises and
  • the methods for evaluating whether the conditions of commercial and financial relations within an MNE satisfy the arm’s length principle and discuss the practical application of those methods.

The 2017 edition of the Guidelines mainly reflects a consolidation of the changes resulting from the OECD/G20 Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS) Project. This latest edition incorporates a number of revisions of the 2010 edition into a single (consolidated) publication, including:

  • substantial revisions made in 2016 to reflect the clarifications and revisions agreed in the 2015 BEPS Reports on Actions 8-10 Aligning Transfer Pricing Outcomes with Value Creation and on Action 13 Transfer Pricing Documentation and Country-by-Country Reporting and
  • revised guidance on safe harbours approved in 2013 which recognise that properly designed safe harbours can help to relieve some compliance burdens and provide taxpayers with greater certainty.

We are presently assisting taxpayers with transfer pricing compliance documentation. Please contact a member of our tax team if you have any questions on transfer pricing or if you would like to learn more about how the Guidelines may affect your business and compliance obligations.

MLI Matching Database (beta)

The OECD has recently released the Multilateral Convention to Implement Tax Treaty Related Measures to Prevent BEPS (MLI) Matching Database. The database makes projections on how the MLI modifies a specific tax treaty covered by the MLI, by matching information from Signatories’ MLI Positions.

The tool is a preliminary (beta) version that the OECD says will improve over time. The OECD is currently welcoming comments and suggestions from the public on the development of improved versions of the MLI Matching Database.

Public comments received on the BEPS discussion draft on implementation guidance on hard-to-value-intangibles

On 23 May 2017, interested parties were invited to provide comments on a discussion draft that provides guidance on the implementation of the approach to pricing transfers of hard-to-value intangibles described in Chapter VI of the Transfer Pricing Guidelines.

The OECD has recently published the comments it received.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Tony has been the Hall & Wilcox Managing Partner since 2007. He is well recognised in the legal sector and has led the firm through a period of substantial growth and success.

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'"Stand out" Rachael Arnold is recommended for public and product liability claims.' – The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2017

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Jane has been a practising solicitor for over 20 years specialising in Real Estate law with a focus on leasing in the commercial, retail, industrial, education and government sectors in all Australian jurisdictions...

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Alison has close to 18 years’ experience in a wide-ranging employment practice, advising private sector and public sector clients on all aspects of employment, industrial relations and human resources law, and work health and safety law...

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Natalie has close to 20 years’ experience in property, planning and environment law and has been recognised as a leading Australian lawyer in this area in Doyle's Guide to the Australian Legal Profession...

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In the corporate space, Jacqui regularly advises and assists client with mergers and acquisitions, corporate structuring, corporate compliance and governance, capital raisings and managed investment schemes.

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Paul has over 20 years' experience in insurance and commercial litigation. In particular his practice focuses on personal injury and property liability claims under common law and statutory schemes as well as marine and transport industry litigation.

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Anthony is a highly regarded tax practitioner with over 20 years’ experience. He has particular expertise in taxation planning and structuring for corporate clients, including advising on capital raisings, business structuring, mergers and acquisitions, and disputes with Federal and state taxation authorities.

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Angela has significant experience in workers’ compensation, product liability and public liability matters...

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Chris Brown is a commercial lawyer with 20 plus years’ experience in corporate transactions and advice.

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Fay has acted for employers for over 17 years across a range of industries including professional services, recruitment, finance, entertainment, FMCG & general manufacturing, sport, health, aged care, community services and local councils focused always on the purpose and imperatives of the organisations she is servicing.

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Liam is an accomplished and determined litigator with an excellent eye for detail and an exceptional track record in obtaining successful outcomes for his insurer clients.

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Drew has over 20 years’ experience as an insurance and commercial litigation lawyer. His area of focus has been the defence of professional negligence claims, directors' and officers' claims and medical malpractice.

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    Fluent in Chinese

Eugene specialises in capital raising, funds management, financial services licensing and anti-money laundering law.

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Deborah has extensive experience across a broad range of commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets and other corporate transactions, equity investments, shareholders and joint venture arrangements, management equity arrangements, ASX listed company advice, and a wide variety of commercial arrangements.

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With over 25 years of corporate, commercial and regulatory experience, Alison has specialised in advising clients in the health, aged care, disability, life sciences and community sectors...

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Anastasia’s practice focuses on personal injury litigation management and administrative law. Anastasia focuses on achieving quality outcomes for her clients in worker’s compensation matters, including statutory benefits and common law claims under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Matthew Curll is one of the top ‘go-to’ people for Australian insurance law matters – both coverage and defence...

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James has experience in a broad range of commercial and intellectual property matters, including intellectual property commercialisation, agreements and licensing, trade mark registrability and infringement issues.

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Aaron has extensive employment and industrial relations law experience working with clients across a range of industries.

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Mark specialises in the construction, energy and infrastructure sectors...

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Maurice has more than 25 years’ experience delivering legal services for clients in both the private and public sector...

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Graydon acts on behalf of a number of national and overseas clients on large and complex commercial litigation matters and advises on all aspects of dispute resolution...

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Stephanie has over 15 years' experience in representing employers, insurers and self-insured corporations in the management and defence of a range of claims including intentional torts, property damage, pure economic loss and statutory classes of insurance...

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Mark’s practice encompasses both litigious and non-litigious applications of employment and industrial relations law...

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Maree acts for and advises insurers, employers and self-insurers and regularly appears in the District Court and at WorkCover WA...

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Ana’s practice focuses on the litigation of common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to Victorian workers’ compensation legislation...

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Grant has more than 25 years' experience advising on catastrophic and major claims in the areas of CTP and general liability, which often involve complex liability, medical, causation and quantum issues...

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Heather advises on all regulatory, compliance, investment, tax and contractual issues, as well as acting in connection with disputes, regulator actions, product development, fund mergers and restructurings, and other transactions...

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Kylie is a senior practitioner with extensive experience in advising both government and non-government clients across all areas of employment, workplace relations, discrimination and health and safety law...

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Ben has a range of experience in intellectual property, technology, and commercial matters...

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Frank advises his clients on direct taxes, international structuring and taxation, business transactions, corporate restructuring, taxation disputes and the not-for-profit sector...

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Kathryn specialises in resolving disputes, and works collaboratively with her clients to provide the legal and strategic advice that best achieves their preferred outcome...

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John has strong technical expertise in the property funds sector, having advised on real estate portfolio and corporate acquisitions, transactional activity for wholesale and retail unlisted funds and related regulatory, governance and compliance matters.

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Mark has almost 20 years' experience acting for Australian and overseas financial institutions and borrowers in a broad range of finance transactions...

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Oliver is a corporate partner, whose practice focuses on mergers & acquisitions, corporate advisory, divestments, foreign investments and start-up capital raising.

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Zoe is a specialist insurance lawyer who manages complex and varied matters for a number of leading corporate insurers and Lloyd's of London syndicates.

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Wayne is a leading litigation and insolvency expert, with over 20 years' experience, specialising in large and complex commercial disputes in all jurisdictions, including commercial arbitrations.

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Nathan is an experienced insurance litigator with over 18 years' experience advising insurers on workers compensation, CTP and liability claims.

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Terry has over 25 years' insurance litigation experience, with his past 20 years focused predominantly on advising underwriters and self-insurers in the defence of damages claims for personal injuries, property damage and financial loss.

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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.

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Stan has been providing legal services to Local Government in NSW since 1996 and practices primarily in the areas of Environment, Local Government and Planning Law, and is a leading trusted adviser to Local Government.

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Adrian has been involved in litigation across a wide range of matters, including corporate and personal insolvency, banking and finance litigation, property and contractual disputes.

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Anne is a leading superannuation and financial services lawyer with deep knowledge and understanding of the superannuation and financial services industry...

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Gavin’s practice focuses on the specialist area of statutory recovery for worker’s compensation claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic)...

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Joe has more than 23 years' experience advising insurers on large and complex claims under CTP and statutory classes of insurance...

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Matt has vast experience and expertise in public and product liability, professional indemnity, property, including recoveries, class actions and coverage disputes, and fraud...

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Tom has extensive experience in acting for high net wealth families, private and public corporations and corporate trustees...

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Jason’s practice focuses on personal injury litigation management and administrative law.

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Liz’s practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims and issues under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic)...

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With over ten years' of experience, William helps clients to work through their succession planning goals and issues...

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Simon is a highly experienced litigator, having practiced for over 25 years in the CTP, workers compensation, recovery and liability jurisdictions.

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James has a broad range of both corporate and general commercial experience, particularly in the areas of equity capital markets, corporate advice, and public and private M&A...

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Andrew’s practice includes workers compensation, work injury damages/common law, s151Z recoveries, builders warranty claims, workplace law and alternative dispute resolution.

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Peter is the section leader of the firm's Tax team. Peter has joined Hall & Wilcox in 2016 after nearly 30 years with KPMG where he was a Senior Tax Partner.

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Matthew has over 18 years experience in insurance litigation and specialises in defending state statutory class and common law claims arising in the challenging Australian Capital Territory jurisdiction...

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Harry has represented a number of listed public companies, large private companies and government organisations...

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Andrew provides advice on the application of a wide range of taxation.

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Paul is an experienced energy and resources lawyer, who specialises in the development of energy projects and acquisitions, energy trading and regulation, with a particular focus on renewable energy.

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John advises principals in relation to the appropriate joint venture and development arrangements and regarding the appropriate delivery mechanism for construction projects.

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Rory has over 10 years’ experience in planning and environmental law and was recognised in 2016 as a “Rising Star” in Planning and Environment, and again in 2018 as a Recommended Town Planning & Development Lawyer in the Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession.

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Leigh has significant experience and expertise in general insurance litigation acting for most major Australian insurers as well as a number of English insurers and underwriters.

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Michael’s practice focuses on tax disputes, capital gains tax, business sales and acquisitions and restructuring...

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Ed’s practice covers private mergers and acquisitions, family business and private equity.

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Mark specialises in corporate insolvency matters, commercial litigation and corporations law disputes, intellectual property and copyright litigation, and financial services disputes including securities enforcement...

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Katrina practises principally in the areas of commercial law and property law and development.

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Martin practices commercial law with extensive experience in contracts and commercial litigation. Martin focuses on corporate, commercial, regulatory and private clients, with particular expertise in the sports and media sectors.

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Karl advises his clients in adverse action claims at the Fair Work Commission, implementing and negotiating enterprise agreements, unfair dismissal claims, discrimination claims and contractual disputes.

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Joel is an experienced and well-rounded insurance lawyer, who is always accessible to his clients and delivers prompt, pragmatic and comprehensive analysis and advice...

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Nick has 19 years’ experience acting for Australian and international financiers and borrowers in corporate finance, acquisition finance, real estate finance and general finance across a range of sectors including financial services, property and  technology.

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Rhett is the National Insurance Practice Head and is responsible for the driving and coordinating the strategy for the firm’s national insurance practice.

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Matthew joined Hall & Wilcox on 1 July 2017, after almost 30 years at Harris Wheeler, most recently as managing partner of the firm and supervising partner of the firm’s Commercial practice.

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Kelli has extensive experience in insurance, product liability, public liability and workers’ compensation having acted for more than 30 years on behalf of insurers (both domestic and international), corporations, government bodies and instrumentalities.

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Andrew practices in personal injury litigation on behalf of self insurers, employers, and WorkSafe Victoria and its agents, managing claims brought under the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Daniel is an experienced insurance lawyer with close to 20 years advising clients on insurance litigation...

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Ilona has more than 15 years’ experience with her practice focusing on both statutory and common law claims across both Victorian and Tasmanian workcover legislation

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Nicholas is a highly experienced lawyer who has concentrated on insurance law, particularly claims under the NSW statutory classes of insurance, for more than 20 years...

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Joanna has extensive experience advising and representing employers, self-insurers, NSW workers' compensation managed fund scheme agents, treasury managed fund agents and the Workers' Compensation Nominal Insurer (icare).

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Jacob is a member of Hall & Wilcox’s commercial dispute resolution team, practising predominantly in general commercial litigation.

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Adrian’s financial services law practice covers superannuation, managed funds, insurance, and financial advice...

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Ahranee advises insurers and corporates in the defence of public and product liability claims, both personal injury and property damage, as well as policy advice...

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Anton practices in all areas of insurance with a focus on workers’ compensation, medical treatment and public/property liability.

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Hector is a Partner in the Hall & Wilcox Litigation and dispute resolution team based in Perth. Hector has been practicing in the area of insolvency and dispute resolution since 1997...

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James specialises in estate and succession planning for ultra-high and high net worth clients. He also has experience in estate and trust disputes including cross-border succession issues and conflicts, tax planning and related advice to trust structures for Australian and UK non-residents and probate and estate administration.

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Emma has extensive experience in advising clients in estate planning and estate administration, trust establishment, and ongoing administration, trust estate disputes and structuring for succession of ownership and control of private and family businesses...

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Noel advises his clients on commercial disputes and related matters including banking and finance, insolvency, the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), ASIC and other regulatory issues.

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John’s practice focuses on personal injury litigation management. He acts primarily for WorkSafe Victoria and is responsible for managing the delivery of quality common law and statutory benefits service and outcomes.

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Andrew has more than 35 years’ experience in superannuation, trusts, estate and succession planning...

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Keith is a key figure in tax advisory, having been in significant roles within the profession for over 20 years...

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Andrew has extensive experience in the provision of advice and conduct of litigation for insurers.

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Eileen's practice includes personal and business succession planning, probate and estate administration, trusts and self-managed superannuation funds and tax and related strategies related to estate and succession planning.

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In over 33 years in the profession, Steve has accumulated a wide range of skills and extensive experience in commercial law and in particular, in all aspects of real estate and property development.

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Nikki is an experienced litigator who advises CTP insurers, with her practice focused on helping clients defend CTP and major claims.

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Melinda is an experienced insurance litigator who helps insurers resolve CTP claims involving complex liability and quantum issues.

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Emma is a specialist insurance lawyer. She has over 10 years’ experience in insurance litigation with a specific focus on professional indemnity and medical liability claims.

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John has broad experience in financial services, funds management, blockchain, corporate and commercial law, with a particular emphasis on funds management related matters.

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Vince Battaglia is an experienced funds management and financial services practitioner.  He has worked in global and national law firms, as well as at ASIC.

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Melinda provides strategic and practical advice on a range of employment and industrial relations law issues...

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Bree has worked almost exclusively in Insurance and Risk since being admitted to the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2004...

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Matthew is a general commercial lawyer with more than 18 years’ experience covering a range of areas of practice including private M&A, general commercial and corporate transactions, projects and advisory work, family succession arrangements, non-contentious employment matters, property, contracts and governanc

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Sauming is a specialist insurance lawyer with over 11 years’ civil litigation experience in personal injury and property damage.

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Rosena practices in insurance litigation: state compensation and liability claims (personal injury and property damage)...

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Michael is an experienced insurance litigator who helps insurers resolve CTP claims involving complex issues including liability issues, multi-defendant issues and detailed quantum assessments as well as relatives' claims.

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David is a commercial litigator with extensive insolvency and reconstruction experience, and expertise in property disputes.

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Nik advises on a broad range of property related transactions and disputes.  With over 17 years legal experience, he has acted for a variety of financial institutions, finance and investment companies, joint venture partners, property developers, private and public companies, government agencies and local councils.

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Iona has experience in assisting clients with both litigious and non-litigious employment and workplace relations matters.

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Lauren has extensive experience representing employers, insurers and self-insured entities in the management and defence of workers’ compensation claims.

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Jillian provides practical and commercially-minded advice to private and public sector employers on a wide range of labour and employment and privacy matters.

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With over 20 years’ experience in property law, Peter is one of the senior members of the firm's Property & Projects team...

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Kirrilee has more than 15 years' legal experience and acts on behalf of insurers in relation to catastrophic and complex personal injury claims...

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With more than 20 years of legal experience, Vicky specialises in representing clients in a wide range of commercial disputes across Australia...

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Jim has over 10 years’ experience providing taxation advice on a broad range of corporate and trust tax matters, with a particular focus on the banking and finance, government and property and construction sectors.

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Kristopher advises on all aspects of migration to Australia, with particular emphasis on employment-related migration...

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Emily specialises in property and leasing law, acting for a variety of clients in property, real estate and leasing transactions...

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Amber is an experienced insurance litigator who helps insurers resolve CTP claims involving complex liability issues, catastrophic injuries, multi-defendant issues and detailed quantum assessments as well as compensation to relative claims.

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Scott advises on a wide variety of corporate and commercial disputes and insolvency matters. His clients include those in a range of industry sectors, including insolvency practitioners, energy and resources, commercial property, financial services and intellectual property and technology.

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Carl is an experienced insurance litigator who helps insurers resolve CTP and major claims involving complex liability issues, dual insurance, detailed quantum assessments and fraud...

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Rachel has over 15 years of experience advising on tax law and specialises in stamp duties, land tax and other tax issues in all Australian states and territories.

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Katherine is a commercial litigation specialist with a focus on insolvency, contract litigation, construction disputes and the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (PPSA).

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Elisabeth advises her clients on commercial litigation, international arbitration, corporate insolvency, claims arising from contraventions of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), financial product disputes, tax litigation, business crime and fraud.

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Since arriving in Australia Albert has worked on various types of commercial disputes, for a range of clients including the Greater Building Society, Newcastle Airport, Port Stephens Council and various engineering companies based in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley.

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Vanessa has worked in the area of insurance law, with a specific focus on workers compensation and personal injury insurance litigation since beginning her career as a paralegal in 1996...

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Mark has more than 16 years’ experience in advising on construction and infrastructure projects. He has acted for public and private organisations on social infrastructure projects including housing, schools, hospitals, primary care facilities and specialist disability care homes.

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Louise has provided advice in personal injuries law for over 20 years, to both plaintiffs and defendants...

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Graeme has a broad practice in commercial dispute resolution, conducting small to complex litigation in the Supreme and Federal Courts, and mediation.

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Megan specialises in corporate litigation, bankruptcy and insolvency, shareholder disputes, partnership disputes, contractual disputes, breach of confidence and restraint of trade, banking matters, and Australian Consumer Law.

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Rebecca has been working in the legal profession since 1998. Her practice has focussed on insurance litigation, predominantly workers’ compensation claims.

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Tanya is an insurance specialist and an Accredited Specialist in personal injury.  For close to 20 years, she has worked with insurers and self-insured corporations to resolve CTP and public liability claims, including major claims.

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Conrad has a broad range of commercial experience, particularly in the areas of mergers and acquisitions, restructures and business succession, insolvency, and Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) compliance.

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Bettina is a highly experienced insurance lawyer who defends claims on behalf of domestic and international insurers and corporations...

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Sean has practised in insurance litigation since 1992, acting on behalf of defendant insurers and self insured across the CTP, workers compensation and public liability regimes...

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Chris has 20 years of experience in health and medical law, delivering solutions to clients in the insurance and health sectors...

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Jonathon is a Special Counsel in the Sydney Corporate and Commercial team. He has over 15 years’ transactional and advisory experience specialising in mergers and acquisitions, private equity, joint ventures, shareholder arrangements and corporate governance...

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Lauren has over 12 years’ experience, specialising in insurance litigation and practicing in the areas of workers compensation, compulsory third party and public liability claims...

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Anna has 10 years’ experience practising in property and projects. She has particular expertise in managing large volumes of conveyancing work for developers.

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Thomas is an experienced litigation lawyer with knowledge across a diverse range of litigation practice areas...

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Sam’s practice focuses on estate and succession planning...

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Krisha has 19 years’ workers compensation and common law experience with a particular focus on section 151Z indemnity claims.

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Taleen has significant experience in insurance litigation and advice in workers’ compensation and public liability matters in Western Australia and the Northern Territory...

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Amy practices in insurance litigation and personal injury law.

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Marisa’s practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Catherine is an experienced insurance lawyer who focuses on public liability and property damage claims.

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Jacinta’s current practice includes direct and indirect taxes, business transactions, corporate restructuring, taxation disputes (including pre-audit, audit and litigation), the not-for-profit sector and trusts.

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James has more than 8 years of experience working across a broad range of general commercial transactions and arrangements, including acting in mergers, acquisitions and restructures and drafting general commercial agreements.

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David is an experienced employment and industrial relations lawyer. He acts for a range of local and global clients across a wide range of industries.

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Glenn is an experienced litigator practicing predominately in commercial litigation with a focus on corporate and personal insolvency...

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Barbara works with insurers on CTP and public liability insurance claims involving sensitive and complex matters, often involving multi-defendant and medical causation issues.

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Jessica’s practice concentrates on personal injury litigation management. Jessica focuses on achieving quality outcomes for her clients in worker’s compensation matters, including statutory benefits and common law claims under the Accident Compensation Act and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act...

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Ben has a broad knowledge across all disciplines of property, planning and construction and currently acts for clients in a wide range of matters in the firm’s Property & Projects practice.

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Elise's practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic) and common law claims brought pursuant to the Transport Accident Act 1986 (Vic).

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Anthony assists insurers to resolve CTP claims involving complex liability and quantum issues, fraud, catastrophic injuries, nervous shock, multi-defendant matters and administrative law challenges.

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Jane-Elise is an experienced insurance lawyer whose practise focuses on general liability. Her clients include international insurers and large self-insured corporations.

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Adam is an experienced tax lawyer, and advises clients on a range of matters including tax planning and structuring, Division 7A, the small business CGT concessions, corporate restructuring, professional firm structures, trust taxation, the taxation of settlements and cryptocurrency taxation.

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Elizabeth is a commercial litigation lawyer who specialises in corporate and commercial dispute resolution, with a particular focus on contractual disputes, consumer law, corporations and equity, real property disputes and insolvency.

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Jennifer has over 10 years’ experience in the insurance industry and has worked in both private practice and in house defending claims under the Personal Injuries Proceedings Act 2002 and the Workers Compensation and Rehabilitation Act 2003.

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Natasha acts for a variety of professionals in the defence of professional negligence and other claims arising out of purely economic loss, property damage, defamation, and alleged breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.

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Felicity is an experienced energy and resources and corporate lawyer, who specialises in general corporate and commercial matters, rail, infrastructure and energy and resources...

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Catherine's expertise include compulsory third party (CTP) and public liability claims, including major claims, section 151z recovery matters and defendant insurance litigation.

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Belinda’s practice focuses on the litigation of common law claims brought pursuant to the Transport Accident Act 1986 (Vic) and common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Alexandra has experience acting on behalf of and advising both public and private sector clients in a broad range of industries including in the tertiary education, apprenticeship training and retail sectors.

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Sarah is an experienced employment and industrial relations lawyer.  Sarah acts for a range of local and global clients across a wide range of industries in both litigious and non-litigious employment and industrial relations matters.

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Diana specialises in personal injury law and insurance litigation.

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Kate has close to 10 years' experience specialising in succession law including wills, testamentary and discretionary trusts, protective trusts, powers of attorney, appointments of guardian advanced health directives and probate and letters of administration.

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Julian is an experienced senior litigator who has acted in high profile, complex and fiercely contested commercial litigation, public inquiries and investigations on behalf of companies, individuals (including members of parliament) and Government entities...

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Sarah has over 10 years’ experience in workers’ compensation and personal injuries claims. She has worked predominately on workers’ compensation matters in Queensland and more recently in the Western Australian jurisdiction

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Terri is an experienced insurance and litigation lawyer who has defended claims on behalf of domestic and international insurers for a decade...

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Katherine’s practice is predominantly in the area of general commercial dispute resolution and litigation and includes tax litigation and tax audit, contractual disputes, leasing disputes, restraint of trade injunctions, debt recovery, and insolvency and corporations matters.

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George has particular expertise in representing and advising insurers in relation to large scale litigation including class actions, indemnity disputes and insurance fraud claims, as well as public and product liability and professional indemnity claims.

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William specialises in private M&A and general commercial transactions and provides strategic advice on acquisitions, restructures and exits...

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Sheridan specialises in insurance litigation, with particular experience in complex claims and fraud...

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Ben’s practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Clare is passionate, practical and results-oriented employment lawyer who takes pride in providing commercially-minded advice, exceptional communication and effective problem-solving skills to all types of employment, industrial and safety issues.

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Jennifer has significant experience in general insurance litigation. Her experience includes public and product liability, property damage and compulsory third party insurance...

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Jamie is an experienced lawyer with her practice focusing primarily on CTP claims, in particular non-meritorious claims.

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Daniella’s practice focuses on common law and statutory benefit claims in all jurisdictions, where she continuously delivers quality results.

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Rachel is a tax lawyer specialising in direct taxes and tax disputes. Rachel’s areas of experience include advising on a variety of domestic and international tax laws...

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Kate has a broad practice, having experience in public and product liability, professional indemnity, fraud and policy interpretation...

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Holly provides advice and acts on behalf of insurers in a variety of CTP claims including advising on complex quantum and liability issues and representing insurers in the Local and District Courts and the Claims Assessment and Resolution Service.

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Mark has a broad range of experience in corporate and commercial practice areas, with a particular focus on the sports and media industries.

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  • Fluent in Chinese

Joey’s practice focuses on property acquisitions and sales, property due diligence, contract negotiations, commercial leasing, and foreign investments.

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Jeanette has over 10 years’ experience working in the Asia-Pacific region. She specialises in advising borrowers and financial institutions on bilateral and syndicated financing, as well as cross-border project financing.

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Tina is experienced in defending public and product liability claims in New South Wales and Queensland on behalf of domestic and international insurers.

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William is an experienced litigator with over 11 years’ experience in both Australia and overseas and currently practices in multiple Australian jurisdictions...

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Stacey has over 6 years’ experience in workers’ compensation law. In addition to her workers’ compensation practice, Stacey has specialised expertise in common law, public liability and asbestos claims.

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David’s practice is predominantly in commercial litigation and insolvency...

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Donna has approximately 20 years’ experience in alternative dispute resolution through her previous roles in the insurance and legal industry...

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Bianca’s commercial dispute resolution and litigation practice extends to include acting for entities and individuals in contractual disputes, high quantum intellectual property disputes, breach of confidence and restraint of trade matters, shareholder oppression claims, partnership disputes, estate disputes and large equitable disputes.

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Nina has 11 years’ broad experience as a commercial lawyer with a specialty in intellectual property and information technology law, and related areas of practice including privacy, data security and competition law.

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Amber has more than 12 years of experience in the legal insurance sphere, and has covered the field, working in State and Federal Government legal practices, private practice and in-house at WorkCover in 2011.

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Hamish is a commercial dispute resolution lawyer. His experience extends to applications for urgent relief, appellate matters and defence of class actions.

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Victoria’s practice focuses on the common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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With over fourteen years’ experience working in the NSW workers compensation area, Jenny is a highly skilled and proficient lawyer who defends statutory and common law workers compensation claims.

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Toniel’s practice focuses on general insurance advice and litigation. She manages complex and varied matters for a number of high profile insurers and private clients.

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Elisa's practice focuses on common law and statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and the Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2014 (Vic).

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Hannah practices in general insurance litigation with a particular focus on claims and risk...

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Rebecca's areas of expertise include the preparation of design and construction documents, and construction dispute advice and litigation...

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Jessica practices in employment and workplace relations law and provides strategic advice to clients across a range of industries.

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Pia is a Senior Associate in the Commercial Dispute Resolution team with experience across general commercial litigation, banking enforcement and insolvency...

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Markus’ practice focuses on statutory benefits claims brought pursuant to the Accident Compensation Act 1985 (Vic) and Workplace Injury Rehabilitation and Compensation Act 2013 (Vic).

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Martin specialises in insurance litigation, working with insurers on defending compulsory third party claims...

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Liz's practice focuses on state compensation and liability claims. She has developed particular expertise in identifying and managing complex and technical liability and state compensation claims, considering, analysing and providing commercial advice to both insurers and self-insured employers...

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Lauren specialises in resolving disputes, and works collaboratively with her team and with clients to provide strategic advice and success for the client...

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Kathryn advises and represents clients in a wide range of matters, including general commercial litigation, banking and finance litigation involving mortgages, guarantees and loan agreements, debt recovery and enforcement and corporate insolvency advice.

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Brandon is an experienced insurance litigator specialising in workers’ compensation, medical treatment liability and public liability claims.

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Mitch is an experienced insurance and litigation lawyer who has defended claims on behalf of insurer and private clients as well as state government departments.

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Zoe acts predominately for corporate clients and company directors in cases involving contractual disputes, fraud, corporations and equity matters, competition and consumer law...

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Bridget is an experienced insurance and litigation lawyer who has acted for leading Australian and international insurers and underwriters...

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Shane has a broad commercial and regulatory litigation practice, encompassing investment fund and trustee disputes, banking and company law, financial services, civil and commercial fraud, aviation, construction and infrastructure disputes.

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Belinda is an insurance lawyer with decades of experience over a range of jurisdictions. Belinda is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law...

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Daisy has extensive experience within the Common Law Workers’ Compensation area. She has also acted in public liability, product liability, medical negligence and CTP cases...

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Ebonie has worked in the area of insurance law since 2011. She has a specific interest in representing employers in workers compensation claims, with her practice encompassing both physical injury and psychological injury claims in both litigated and non-litigated advice matters.

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Melissa is an experienced insurance lawyer who focuses on advising major national insurers on CTP and public liability claims ranging from homeowners to small businesses.

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Dr Wolfgang Babeck has more than 20 years’ experience as a corporate and commercial lawyer and is admitted in New South Wales, England & Wales and as Rechtsanwalt in Germany...

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Sumith Perera

Chief Operating Officer

Sumith is the Chief Operating Officer and the national Head of Corporate Services at Hall & Wilcox. He has over 20 years' experience in leading and managing teams at professional services firms.

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Peter is the Client Solutions Director at Hall & Wilcox where he drives their Smarter Law program and fosters innovation at the firm...

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Dean is the Head of Hall & Wilcox’s Finance team. He has over 15 years’ experience in finance within professional services firms.

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Katie is the Director of People & Culture for Hall & Wilcox. She has over 20 years’ experience in the legal industry.

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Melanie is the national head of Hall & Wilcox’s Business Development, Marketing & Communications team...

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Mike manages the Legal Excellence & Risk team at Hall & Wilcox and is responsible for the firm’s precedents, risk management and general counsel/company secretarial functions.

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Janneke is the operations manager and head of operations nationally at Hall & Wilcox. She has over 15 years’ experience in human resources and project management across a variety of industries, including professional services, IT, banking and utilities...

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Pious is the IT manager and head of IT nationally at Hall & Wilcox. He has over 18 years’ experience as a senior IT executive with a proven track record in legal and government technology management sectors.

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Melinda is the national marketing and communications manager at Hall & Wilcox. She has more than 20 years’ experience as a journalist, content creator and marketing communications specialist at professional services firms.

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