Commercial Litigation

We understand that commercial disputes are an unwelcome distraction from the management of your business and a drain on your resources.

When commercial disputes arise, we aim to resolve the matter in the most cost efficient and effective manner.  We explore pre-litigation intervention strategies but where necessary, we are well-placed to take decisive court action.

We promote a commercially minded approach to dispute resolution.  Case strategy begins with identifying our client’s commercial objectives which are then used as a performance indicator during our engagement.

We gear our strategies to our clients’ business and long-term objectives with a focus on delivering timely, cost effective commercial outcomes.  We regularly assess the direction of the dispute resolution process against those objectives.

The litigation team at MPH regularly acts in large-scale, multi-party and complex litigation in the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme and District courts of Western Australia as well as the superior interstate courts.   The cases that we act in frequently involve novel legal and factual issues and require creative strategies to achieve client objectives.

We act in mediations, arbitrations and other alternative dispute resolution proceedings. 

We encourage our clients to discuss with us any anticipated commercial disputes or debt recovery concerns regardless of the amount involved, so that we can give early guidance or suggestions that may assist with achieving our clients’ objectives and avoiding protracted litigation.

Our areas of expertise include:

  • Construction, engineering and mining disputes
  • Contractual disputes
  • Corporations Act matters, including breach of director duties and shareholders’ rights
  • Debt Recovery
  • Enforcement of Securities
  • Inheritance and deceased estate disputes
  • Insolvency and bankruptcy
  • Insurance
  • Shareholder, joint venture and partnership disputes
  • Professional negligence
  • Trusts and equity
  • Trade practices, competition and consumer law
  • White collar crime
  • Workplace relations, termination of employment and anti-discrimination
  • Adjudication, arbitration, mediation and alternative dispute resolution.

Our recent experience includes:

Shareholder, Partnership and Joint Venture Disputes

  • Acting for parties facing claims by liquidators exceeding $30m under indemnity covenants and arising from the multi-million dollar sale of a large private business to a high profile listed company, with successful resolution of claims arising out of the sale transaction.
  • Acting for a shareholder of a private company with gold mining assets, including successful prosecution of contested winding-up proceedings in the Supreme Court, and securing recovery of debts and asset sales through the liquidation process.
  • Acting for shareholders in a financial services business in relation to claims of breach of a shareholders agreement, with successful resolution by way of negotiated sale of interest in the company, and release from restraint covenants.
  • Acting on behalf of the director of an unlisted public company in his defence of breach of director duty claims involving alleged misappropriation of company funds and in cross claims against the company valued at almost $500 million.
  • Acting for a former company director in relation to claims made by the deed administrators of the company to recover damages or statutory compensation on the basis of an alleged failure to make best use of company funds and a failure to pursue corporate opportunities.
  • Acting on behalf of the owners and directors of a large private business in relation to multi-million dollar claims by a former shareholder arising out of the sale of their shares to an ASX listed company.
  • Acting for one of several directors of a listed company in relation to multi-million dollar claims made by the deed administrators of the company to recover compensation or damages for breach of director duties.

Property, finance and investment

  • Acting for shareholders of a company vehicle for a 50 lot property subdivision project, in dispute with other directors and investors, with successful resolution of the dispute via negotiated redistribution of subdivision property.
  • Acting for the promoters and responsible entity of a managed investment scheme/property development in a dispute with finance providers, requiring Supreme Court proceedings for injunctions and declarations opposing the appointment of receivers and managers.
  • Acting for various landlords in actions against tenants and guarantors for recovery of rent and vacant possession of leased premises.
  • Acting for various lenders and mortgagees for enforcement of mortgages and for possession of mortgaged property.
  • Acting for the owner and manager of a residential property development in a dispute with the head contractor in relation to incomplete works, delays and complex damages calculations.

Corporations

  • Acting for the managing director and shareholder of a construction company in a shareholder dispute which included taking action in the Supreme Court of Western Australia to restrain oppressive conduct.
  • Acting for the directors and minority shareholders of a large-scale entertainment company in claims for injunctions and relief for oppressive conduct.
  • Acting for a director of a private company in relation to claims of breach of director duties and defending a shareholder statutory derivative action in the Supreme Court of WA.

Contracts and Debt Recovery

  • Acting for a health services provider in connection with a multi-million dollar claim arising from a global product recall.
  • Acting for private and listed companies in relation to employee fraud including claims against former employees to recover stolen money and property.
  • Acting in District Court proceedings in relation to alleged misrepresentations made by a supplier of brewing equipment to a local brewery.