Services

Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Successful dispute resolution and litigation services across a range of industries and jurisdictions.

Services Experience People Publications

We understand that resolving disputes can be stressful, time consuming and expensive. Our experience shows that success in dispute resolution usually depends on early intervention and clear dispute resolution planning. With a strong strategy in place, we work with you to resolve the dispute efficiently, with the aim of achieving the best possible outcome.

Our team successfully resolves disputes - if possible, before they become litigious - by implementing the dispute management strategy that best achieves your objectives while recognising commercial and economic realities.

With more than 35 lawyers, where litigation is unavoidable, our team has the resources to successfully resolve potentially expensive and protracted disputes. We have experience advising some of Queensland and Australia's largest organisations on a range of complex commercial litigation matters, including joint-venture, company, trust, estate, leasing and commercial contract disputes.

We act on disputes between local and international parties, across multiple jurisdictions, and on public and private investigations and disputes, including where the ATO, ASIC, ASX and ACCC are involved.

Our Litigation and Dispute Resolution team includes both general commercial litigation practitioners as well as industry expert practitioners in the areas of banking and finance, resources and energy, construction, hospitality, environment and planning, taxation, employment law and property.  

HopgoodGanim Lawyers' Litigation & Dispute Resolution team was named a Third Tier Law Firm in Doyle's Guide to Leading Litigation & Dispute Resolution Law Firms - Queensland 2015 and 2017, with one of our Partners recently being named in the Australian Financial Review for Best Lawyers in Australia, 2018.   

Areas of Expertise

Commercial litigation

  • Acting for Clive Palmer in his dispute with the Hyatt Group regarding its management agreement for the Hyatt (now Palmer) Coolum Resort. 
  • Acting for the Palmer Coolum Resort and its associated companies in their disputes with The President’s Club and its directors. 
  • Acting for Queensland Rugby League in relation to the establishment of the Australian Rugby League Commission, and in disputes over State of Origin sponsorship, signage and advertising campaigns in 2011 and 2012. 
  • Acting for Columbia Steel Casting Co, a US dragline chain and parts manufacturer, in a multi-million dollar dispute with its former Australian distributor. 
  • Acting in a multi-million dollar dispute involving the sale of more than 400 fullblood wagyu cattle by a breeder to his former accountant. 
  • Acting in an intra-family dispute over significant property investments and developments, in which the Queensland Court of Appeal found in our client’s favour 105 counts of forgery of our client’s signature to defraud him of his property interests.

Financial services

  • Acting for Samuel Holdings against the administrators and receivers of Opes Prime in relation to the return of $2.4 million of bearer securities, successfully obtaining the only injunction in Australia at the time of Opes Prime’s collapse to prevent the sale of those securities. We subsequently acted for Samuel Holdings in a landmark successful claim for compensation against the Securities Exchange Guarantee Fund.
  • Acting for Stefan Hair Fashions in a multi-million dollar dispute against investment bank UBS and one of its stockbrokers over trading losses.
  • Acting for Sir Leo Hielscher, well-known as the former Chairman of the Queensland Treasury Corporation, in proceedings against investment bank UBS and Rubicon Asset Management.
  • Acting for MontroseAccess (formerly the Queensland Society for Crippled Children) in its claim against Lehman Brothers for losses arising from investments in CDOs (collateralised debt obligations).
  • Advising ASX-listed Norton Gold Fields on its $107 million gold hedge buy out and associated litigation settlement with Lehman Brothers Commercial Corp., Inc.

Resources and energy

  • Acting for a subsidiary of Bandanna Energy in judicial review proceedings concerning a mining lease application for a proposed coal mine.
  • Advising Macarthur Minerals in a shareholder dispute.
  • Acting for Petroleum Nominees in a dispute with Central Petroleum and its board of directors.
  • Acting in arbitration proceedings on behalf of a resource producer and user of port facilities at a major Queensland shipping port.
  • Acting for IMC Aviation Solutions (formerly IMC Mining Solutions) in its successful landmark appeal to the Victorian Court of Appeal against the enforcement in Australia of a $6.2 million Mongolian arbitration award.
  • Acting for a major CSG producer in the successful defence of claims brought by a landowner attempting to prevent the company from constructing a treated water pipeline on the owner’s land.
  • Advising on disputes involving the operation of legislation applicable to the coal seam gas, coal and other mining industries, regulation of the financial services industry, equity, fraud, contracts, administrative law and the Corporations Act.
  • Providing extensive advice on the operation of the Petroleum and Gas (Production and Safety) Act 2004.

Construction

  • Advising Clyde Babcock-Hitachi on back-end dispute resolution for Condong power station at Broadwater sugar mills.
  • Acting for claimants and respondents in numerous adjudication disputes under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 in all aspects of the adjudication process, including payment claims, payment schedules, adjudication applications and adjudication responses.
  • Acting for subcontractors in claims pursuant to the Subcontractors Charges Act 1974 in construction disputes (as the continuing alternative to BCIPA claims) and successfully obtaining payments out of Court where the employer or superior contractor has elected to pay money into Court.

Property

  • Successfully advised the Receivers and Managers of Queensland’s Port of Airlie Boathouse development in defending an attempt by a purchaser of a proposed lot to avoid their contract pursuant to Section 27(2) of the Land Sales Act 1984 (Act). Section 27(2) gives a purchaser the right to avoid a contract for the sale of a proposed lot if the vendor has not given a registrable instrument of transfer within 3½ years after the date of the contract. The landmark Queensland Court of Appeal decision of Meridien AB Pty Ltd & Anor v Jackson & Ors unanimously upheld Meridien’s appeal with costs. The Court of Appeal held that the proper construction of Section 27(2) did not permit a purchaser to avoid their contract in circumstances where they refused to settle and the 3½ year sunset period subsequently expired. This case is the first of its kind and clarifies the meaning of Section 27, giving some assurance and comfort to developers. 
  • Acting for PPB, the receiver of the Big Pineapple Group, in realising real properties to apply towards default facilities owed to CFAL, the investment arm of AF Holdings.
  • Advising FKP Property Group on the negotiation and settlement of a significant construction claim against its insurers and engineers of a multi-storey commercial building, arising out of a defect in the design of structural supports.
  • Acting for FKP Property Group in a claim for $6 million in respect of alleged misrepresentations leading up to the sale of a large block of land at Peregian Springs to another developer. 
  • Acting for a property developer of land situated in Coronation Drive, which was acquired by the Brisbane City Council for the widening of Coronation Drive.

Intellectual property

  • Acting for the former owners of the brand “Mambo”( Gazal Corporation) in relation to a trade mark and copyright infringement application in the Federal Magistrates Court by Hells Angels Motorcycle Corporation (Australia).
  • Acting for Warner Village Theme Parks and Village Roadshow in relation to the operation of the “seaworldaccomodation.com.au” website, including successfully negotiating the take down and removal of the website and other infringing articles without having to resort to litigation.
  • Acting for Microsoft Corporation in several dealership test purchase programs in Queensland, South Australia and Western Australia. The matters involved copyright and trade mark enforcement against small to medium computer dealerships for providing infringing copies of Microsoft programs to end users. Microsoft recognised the enforcement program with an internal award on the basis of the quantum of damages HopgoodGanim recovered for Microsoft.
  • Acting for Mayne Industries in Federal Court proceedings involving an alleged trade mark infringement in the shape of a wire fence “dropper”. This case is of considerable importance in the area of non-conventional trade marks (colours, scents, shapes, etc).
  • Successfully representing Digga Australia in the Federal Court appeal against the decision of Greenwood J in Norm Engineering Pty Ltd v Digga Australia Pty Ltd (2007), which involved copyright/design overlap issues for a bobcat earth moving accessory. A significant decision in this area of law, the appeal is considered a leading precedent and is taught in many law schools throughout Australia.

Competition and trade practices

  • Advising the Board of Architects of Queensland on the successful prosecution of a Brisbane building company, which falsely claimed that it offered architectural services.
  • Advising and assisting Indigo Telecom in disputes with a competitor in regards to trade marking infringements, misleading activities and passing off.
  • Advising BP on the defence of proceedings against it under the Trade Practices Act.
  • Advising Fox Symes & Associates on responding to ACCC allegations of unlawful behaviour under the Trade Practices Act and threats of legal proceedings. As a result of our response, the ACCC chose to take no further action.
  • Successfully defending Advanced Commercial Developments in a landmark test case on "two tier marketing" commenced by the ACCC in the Federal Court. 
  • Representing international cheque processing companies in their dealings with a major Australia bank and the ACCC.

Insolvency and restructuring

  • Prosecuting and defending applications to set aside statutory demands and bankruptcy notices.
  • Prosecuting and defending litigation to recover unfair preferences, uncommercial transactions and insolvent trading claims.
  • Acting for and against insolvency appointees in relation to applications to Court for various matters including approvals of remuneration, annulments of bankruptcy, extensions of the convening period for meetings of creditors in voluntary administrations, disputes in relation to proofs of debt, approvals of agreements (including those relating to litigation funding), the holding of public examinations, the validity of appointments and the compromise of claims.
  • Representing mortgagees in relation to the exercise of a power of sale, including bringing applications to recover possession and opposing claims for breach of duty.
  • Advising mortgagees as to the validity and scope of their securities.
  • Acting in litigation to determine priorities between competing secured creditors.
  • Acting in guarantee disputes involving complex issues of contribution and subrogation.
  • Acting for administrators on applications to adjourn winding up applications to allow the voluntary administration to proceed.

Planning and environment

  • Acting for ALDI Stores in their planning and development work in Queensland, including successfully representing ALDI in its first merit appeal (and subsequent Court of Appeal proceedings) in Queensland regarding the proposed development of a store at Alexandra Hills.
  • Advising the Department of Transport and Main Roads (Queensland) on a range of Planning and Environment Court matters, including appeals and originating applications.
  • Advising WA Stockwell on the planning strategy for the development of the Noosa Civic Shopping Centre, and acting in Planning and Environment Court proceedings.
  • Acting in relation to charges of wilful serious environmental harm arising from aluminium processing activities.
  • Advising Multiplex and ISPT on the Wintergarden/Regent projects, which required negotiation in relation to the imposition of conditions on the project, a community group concerned with the conservation of the Regent Theatre, and affected neighbours. An appeal to the Planning and Environment Court by these parties was litigated and eventually resolved, resulting in the grant of a development permit by the Court.

Workplace accidents and coronial inquests

  • Acting for a coal mine operator and senior site executive at the coronial inquest into the death of a contractor's employee at a mine site in Central Queensland. Both the mine operator and the executive avoided prosecution. 
  • Acting for an engineering company in an investigation and subsequent prosecution by the Department of Industrial Relations following the fatal injury of an apprentice at its workshop in Mackay.
  • Acting for Brisbane Markets to defend a claim for compensation after a worker for a tenant was hit by a forklift.
  • Advising a national energy provider on workplace health and safety in regards to an incident at a major power station.