28 July 2017

Talking Tax – Issue 87

Case law

Is it ‘dominant use’? A lesson for taxpayer seeking to claim primary production land tax exemption

In Redmadi Pty Ltd v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue [2017] NSWCATAD 231, the Civil and Administrative Tribunal (Tribunal) dismissed the application and affirmed the Chief Commissioner for State Revenue’s (Commissioner) decision to deny a primary production land tax exemption to a taxpayer on the basis that it was not satisfied that land was used for the dominant purpose of primary production within the meaning of section 10 AA of the Land Tax Management Act 1956 (Act).

This case serves as a warning for taxpayers using rural land for multiple purposes. If the dominant use of the land is for primary production activities, they will be entitled to a full land tax exemption. However, if there is another dominant use of the land, the taxpayer will not be entitled to a partial exemption for primary production activities.

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Facts and submissions

The Taxpayer (the Applicant in the matter) owned land on which it ran a farm stay accommodation business and also maintained and bred alpacas, goats and some chickens.

The access to the land tax exemption under subsection 10AA(1) of the Act requires that the dominant use of the land is for primary production. However, the primary production activities do not need to have a significant and substantial commercial purpose.

The Taxpayer contended that the land was used during the 2011 – 2015 land tax years (Relevant Years) for the ‘dominant purpose of the maintenance and breeding of animals for the purpose of selling them or their natural increase or bodily produce’ (being the alpaca fleece). The Taxpayer argued that the use of the land as a home stay accommodation business was a non-dominant purpose.

In refusing to grant the exemption, the Commissioner contended that there was no primary production activity whatsoever and that the animals were an incidental feature of the home stay use of the premise in that they provided an attraction for the home stay business. Among other reasoning to support this view, the Commissioner referred to a grossly disproportionate difference between the income and expenditure as disclosed in the applicant’s income tax returns and other financial records regarding the livestock and the accommodation activities during the Relevant Years.

Findings

Was the land used during the Relevant Years for primary production?

The Tribunal determined that the land was used for primary production during the Relevant Years. In forming its view, the Tribunal noted that, although the records indicated that the livestock operations had never generated any significant profit and did not, on its own, comprise a viable commercial operation, there was still sufficient evidence of a use of the land for the purpose of selling the animals and their fleece.

Was the land used for the dominant purpose of primary production?

The Tribunal determined that the land was not for the dominant use of primary production.

In reaching its decision, the Tribunal noted that determining what dominant use means requires a comparison between the nature and intensity of the different uses of the land, the area over which those uses took place, the time and labour spent in conducting them and the goal to be achieved by each activity. Whilst regard can be had to the relative expenditures on and the revenue derived from the various uses of the land, the Tribunal noted that this is not of itself a determinative consideration.

The Tribunal referred to the following factors which supported the view that the land was not for the dominant use of primary production:

  • when the land was purchased it was used for the purposes of, and widely advertised as, a farm stay accommodation business and that has continued throughout the Relevant Years
  • in the employment contracts of the managers of the accommodation and livestock business, there was no ‘substantial reference’ in relation to duties to maintain or care for the animals, suggesting that it wasn’t an important part of the managers’ duties
  • the goats were sold for relatively insignificant amounts and no reliance is placed on the sale of chickens or eggs to support the exemption claim and
  • the tax returns of the Taxpayer for the Relevant Years show a far greater revenue of activities on the accommodation operations as opposed to livestock operations ($1.15 million of revenue compared to $46,000 from sales of alpacas and fleece).

Having regard to these factors, the Tribunal concluded that this land was not exempt from land tax. Further, as the exemption requires that the dominant use of the land is for primary production, the Taxpayer was not entitled to a partial exemption for the portion of the land that was used for primary production activities.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_column_text]

Federal Court refuses interlocutory relief for Taxpayers

In Nelson v Commissioner of Taxation [2017] FCA 819, the Federal Court of Australia refused to; grant the Taxpayers seeking to stay the effect of notices issued under section 353-10 of the Taxation Administration Act 1975, set aside the Commissioner’s decision to issue the notices, compel the Commissioner to finalise his decision, and quash the assessments. Of particular relevance are the notices requiring that the Taxpayers attend closed-door interviews in relation to an unresolved objection.

The Taxpayers submitted that the Commissioner issued the notices for an improper purpose. This submission which centred around the timing of when the Commissioner had issued the notice. As part of this submission, the Taxpayer suggested that it would have been difficult to discern jurisdictional error if the notices were issued at an earlier stage and further, it would have been difficult to question the validity of such notices at the assessment stage.

The Court ultimately rejected this contention and dismissed the Taxpayers’ injunction application on the basis that they could not establish a prima facie case. Further, the Federal Court noted that, the relief would have nevertheless been refused on the ground that the Taxpayer had acted in a manner that caused an ‘inexcusable and unreasonable delay’ (which comprised of a 7 day delay between the time that notices were issued and the Taxpayer contacted the relevant officer at the ATO in respect of the same).

ATO release draft Law Companion Guideline on the business continuity test

On 21 July 2017, the ATO released the Law Companion Guideline LCG 2017 D6 (Guideline), which describes how the Commissioner will apply the new ‘similar business’ test to determine whether a business can utilise losses incurred in a business which had been incurred prior to a change of ownership or control of that business.

The test was introduced by the Treasury Laws Amendment (2017 Enterprise Incentives No. 1) Bill 2017 (Bill), which proposes to amend the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (ITAA 97) and Income Tax Assessment Act 1936 (ITAA 36). This Bill was discussed in Talking Tax – Issue 72 and applies to income years starting on or after 1 July 2015. The Bill is currently before the Senate and the second reading appears to have been moved by the Senate on 22 June 2017.

The new, more flexible test will supplement the existing ‘same business’ test and together they have been referred to as the ‘business continuity test’.

The Guideline represents the first guidance provided by the ATO on what it means to ‘carry on a similar business’ for the purposes of this new test, which has been highly sought after given that the test’s application is largely unknown. Whilst the Guideline provides helpful examples of how the test will be applied, the test is ultimately fact-based and there will invariably be some degree of uncertainty for entities that choose to rely on it.[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” active_section=”10″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”See more” tab_id=”1501208110017-34be18d8-1646″][vc_column_text]

ATO on how to apply the test

The ATO considers that, for the purposes of the test, the focus should be on the identity of the business, as well as continuity of business activities and use of assets to generate assessable income. The ATO noted that ‘similar business’ does not mean a similar ‘kind’ or ‘type’ of business.

The Guideline notes that it will be difficult to satisfy the similar business test if substantial new business activities and transactions do not evolve from, and complement, the business carried on before the test time. In contrast, where a company develops a new product or function from the business activities already carried on and this development opens up a new business opportunity or allows the company to fill an existing gap in the market, the business is likely to satisfy the similar business test.

The Bill provides that the following factors must be taken into account in considering if the current business is similar to the former business:

The extent to which the assets (including goodwill) used in the current business to generate assessable income were also used in the company’s former business to generate assessable income

The Guideline notes that where the assets of the business are being used to the same extent as at the test time to generate assessable income, even though they may be producing a different result or effect due to innovative changes, this factor would indicate that the business remains similar to that previously carried on. Moreover, the Guideline suggests that assets closely linked to the identity of a particular business, such as goodwill, will be more relevant than standard items such as office premises, equipment, and stationery.

The extent to which the activities and operations from which the current business generates assessable income were also the activities and operations from which the former business generated assessable income

The Guideline provides that where the business operator maintains the income generating activities and operations that were previously being undertaken, despite doing them in a different or more efficient way due to innovative improvements, this factor would indicate that the business remains similar to that previously carried on.

The identity of the current business and the identity of the former business

The Guideline provides that where new activities have not resulted in the identity of the business changing, this factor would indicate that the business remains relevantly similar to that previously carried on.

The extent to which any changes to the former business resulted from the development or commercialisation of assets, products, processes, services, or marketing or organisational methods, of the former business.

The Guideline notes that these changes will not always cause a business to be considered dissimilar. Where those changes are due to an innovative evolution or development of the business, the business is more likely to be similar to that previously carried on.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_column_text]

PCG 2017/D11 – Tax treatment of payments for use and exploitation of a professional sportsperson’s ‘public fame’ or ‘image’

The ATO has recently released Draft Practical Compliance Guideline PCG 2017/D11 (Guideline) The Guideline sets out a ‘Safe Harbour’ of 10% (attributed to exploitation of ‘public fame’ or ‘image’) when apportioning lump sum payments for the provision of a professional sportsperson’s services and the use and exploitation of their ‘public fame’ or ‘image’ under licence.

This draft Guideline is proposed to apply from 1 July 2017.[/vc_column_text][vc_tta_accordion style=”modern” active_section=”10″ collapsible_all=”true”][vc_tta_section title=”See more” tab_id=”1501208145925-f3f8b5be-a4db”][vc_column_text]Typically, the exploitation of an individual’s ‘public fame’ or ‘image’ will be connected to activities that primarily involve the exploitation of the professional skills of the individual. Consequently, payments received from these activities will generally involve the provision of their personal services and be considered to be within the definition of ‘Personal services income’ under subsection 84-5(1) of Part 2-42 of the ITAA 1997 because it is income that is mainly a reward for the individual’s personal efforts or skills.

Where a professional sportsperson undertakes the commercial exploitation of their ‘public fame’ or ‘image’ through an associated entity, to which they have also granted a licence to use and exploit their ‘public fame’ or ‘image’, they or their associated entity may receive a single payment representing:

  • payment for use of the entity’s assets, being their contractual licence to use and exploit the professional sportsperson’s ‘public fame’ or ‘image’ – this portion of the payment will be assessable to the entity as income and
  • a reward for the efforts or skills of the professional sportsperson – this portion of the payment will be assessable to the sportsperson as income.

In providing a 10% safe harbour, the Guideline provides that exact proportion of any payment attributable to the sportsperson’s ‘public fame’ or ‘image’ is to be determined by the marketability of the sportsperson’s ‘public fame’ or ‘image’ measured, in part, by:

  • the demand for use of the sportsperson’s ‘public fame’ or ‘image’ by sponsors and
  • community awareness of the sportsperson and the level of community association of that sportsperson with their sport.

The ATO states that the draft Guideline can be relied upon where:

  • a professional sportsperson grants an associated resident third-party a non-exclusive licence to use and exploit the sportsperson’s ‘public fame’ or ‘image’
  • it is the resident third-party who is contractually entitled to receive the income from the use and exploitation of the professional sportsperson’s ‘public fame’ or ‘image’ and
  • the payment is not referable to the use or exploitation of rights which are recognised and specifically protected under Australian law, such as copyright, trademarks or registered design rights.

For further analysis and discussion on this topic and relevant commercial considerations, please refer to ‘Image Rights: High profile individuals can benefit from ATO tick of approval’ published by the sports and entertainment tax specialist team at Hall & Wilcox.[/vc_column_text][/vc_tta_section][/vc_tta_accordion][vc_column_text]

OECD Guidance on the Implementation of Country-by-Country Reporting: BEPS Action 13

The Inclusive Framework on BEPS (which brings together over 100 countries and jurisdictions to collaborate on the implementation of the OECD/G20 Base Erosion Profit Shifting (BEPS) Package) has recently released additional guidance on the implementation of Country-by-Country (CbC) Reporting (BEPS Action 13) to assist, and give greater certainty to, tax administrators and Multinational Enterprises (MNEs).

The additional guidance deals with two specific issues:

  • whether aggregated data or consolidated data for each jurisdiction is to be reported in Table 1 of the CbC report and
  • how to treat an entity owned and/or operated by two or more unrelated MNE Groups.

For more information on CbC reporting – and BEPS generally – see Talking Tax – Issue 86 and Talking Tax – Issue 64.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

Contact

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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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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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Deborah has extensive experience across a broad range of commercial transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, equity capital markets and other corporate transactions...

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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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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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  • Fluent in Spanish

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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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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    Fluent in Italian - Conversational

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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    Fluent in Bahasa Indonesia - Conversational

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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    Fluent in French - Conversational | German - Conversational

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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  • Fluent in Bahasa Indonesia - Conversational

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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  • Fluent in French - Conversational

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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    Fluent in Macedonian

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 Cantonese - Conversational | Mandarin - conversational

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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    Fluent in Mandarin - conversational

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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  • Fluent in Bahasa Malaysia - Conversational | Hokkien | Mandarin - conversational

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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    Fluent in French - Conversational | Italian - Conversational | Mandarin - conversational

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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    Fluent in Japanese - Conversational

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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  • Fluent in Italian - Conversational

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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    Fluent in Vietnamese - Conversational

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    Fluent in French - Conversational

More about Will
    Fluent in Bahasa Indonesia - Conversational | French - Conversational | German - Conversational | Spanish - Conversational

More about Alicia
    Fluent in Mandarin - conversational

More about Lucy
    Fluent in Italian - Conversational

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    Fluent in Bosnian - Conversational | Croatian - Conversational | Serbian

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    Fluent in German

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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    Fluent in Dutch - Conversational

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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    Fluent in Hindi

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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Corporate and Financial Services Reform Update March 2007

The first tranche of draft regulations was released for public consultation on 26 March 2007 as part of the Corporations and Financial Services Regulation Review process. Some key issues dealt with in the first round of draft regulations are set out below: Keeping Financial Services Guides and Product Disclosure Statements up to date Where there […]

Thinking | Mon 05 2007

Compensation Arrangements for Financial Services Providers

Yesterday the Parliamentary Secretary to the Treasurer (Chris Pearce), announced that regulations to complement section 912B of the Corporations Act 2001 (the Act) are expected to be made by 1 July 2007. The Act requires financial services licensees that provide financial services to retail clients to have in place appropriate compensation arrangements. The arrangements must either be approved […]