Background

Carmel Lee has a broad practice that encompasses commercial law, equity, conflict of laws, private international law and public interest litigation. As a barrister, Carmel has a strong reputation for her ability to problem-solve, frame solid arguments, think on her feet, and translate complexity into clear, compelling arguments. Carmel is known for her expediency when resolving disputes, whether through litigation or alternate forms of resolution. Carmel strives to achieve consistently advantageous outcomes for her clients, and build successful working relationship with solicitors. She works in equal partnership with her legal team, and encourages an ongoing dialogue between herself, her solicitors and her clients.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Carmel worked in the NSW Crown Solicitor’s Office. In this role. she worked as one of the team that prepared evidence and the defence on behalf of NSW Government and NSW Rural Fire Services. From 2009 until 2010, Carmel was Deputy Registrar of the NSW Supreme Court and Court of Criminal Appeal.

Carmel was also a Tipstaff and Acting Judge’s Associate from 2010 to 2012, for the following judges in the NSW Supreme Court and Court of Appeal - the Hon M J Slattery in the Equity Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales, the Hon D L Davies, L McCallum and G J Bellew in the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the Hon R D Giles in the Court of Appeal New South Wales. In this role, she wrote preliminary drafts of judgments and assisted the Court with legal research on contentious matters, often at short notice. This role provided Carmel with a unique perspective on litigation in a variety of jurisdictions.

Carmel has lectured in Conflict of Laws at the University of Sydney, and Legal Ethics at the University of Technology, Sydney.

She is willing to consider pro bono briefs in areas of significant public interest, and has advised on matters pertaining to the rights of asylum seekers, human rights and civil liberties.



Focus Areas + Select Cases

Cam & Bear Pty Ltd ACN 139 844 741 v John McGoldrick NSW Supreme Court (2015) (awaiting judgment) – Led by Greg Drew. Action brought under s5B Civil Liability Act 2002 (NSW) for breach of duty of care by private superannuation fund auditor over a five-year period to recognized that funds held in “cash” were in fact unsecured loans.

Acted for defendant in oppression matter incorrectly brought by the plaintiff with reference to s232 Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Rather than have matter dismissed, clients were advised to use the proceedings to wind up the company by cross-claim. Matter settled prior to hearing.

Operation Calyx (Police Integrity Commission Public Inquiry into the death of Adam Salter) (2012) Counsel Assisting the Commissioner investigating whether there was any police misconduct in the investigation by NSW Police Force into the death of Adam Salter a civilian shot by police on 18 November 2009. Led by Geoffrey Watson SC.

Julie Anne Heath v Craig Couch, The Estate of Jean Mary Couch (2016/88847) - appeared for the estate in a notional estate claim by the plaintiff. Action defended on basis that the deceased wished to provide security of accommodation to her grandchild. Matter continuing.

Ajax Armand Poulet v Ariane Song (2014/323626) - led by Michael Willmott SC. Matter successfully resolved in mediation with short minutes of order resolved outstanding issues between the parties - matter regarding capacity of the deceased at time final will was made with suggestion of undue influence by propounder.

Aaron Phillip Hughes & Ors v Laurel Suzanne Miller (estate of the late Brian Keith Hughes) 2015/162169 - successfully represented parties in dispute over estate consisting of life insurance and superannuation, where the super was payable to deceased.

Priscilla Judith Dunstan v Gwynne Audrey Holdgate & Ors (Estate Late Maxwell Rolfe Dunstan) (2013/277891) - Led by Michael Willmott SC, successfully represented estate. Plaintiff located overseas, matter resolved at mediation, deeds of settlement and release resolved matters between the parties.

Carmel is regularly briefed in Family Provision and Probate matters and has experience in representing both plaintiffs and estates. She has successfully resolved matters at mediation achieving a successful outcome for her clients and minimising the legal costs and uncertainty associated with litigation for the parties.

Raithatha (liquidator) v Ariel Industries PLO (in creditors voluntary liquidation), in the matter of Ariel industries PLO (in creditors voluntary liquidation) [2012] FCA 1526 - Led by Julie Soars. Cross boarder insolvency action brought under s6 of the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 (Cth) court considered whether the creditors’ voluntary winding up of each defendant in the United Kingdom was a “foreign proceedings” and a “foreign main proceeding” and whether the plaintiff was a “foreign representative” within the meaning of the Act. First matter in Australia to test the cross boarder insolvency scheme.

Wai Cheng v Alenka Coe (2016) Enforcement of judgment from New Zealand High Court in Australia, including compelling appearance of Defendant to attend examination in NSW Supreme Court.

Carmel is also briefed in property law, construction law and specialist criminal law matters. A selection of these matters is listed below.

Carnemolla v Adelaide Bank [2013] NSWCA 122 appeared as Amicus Curie led by James Sheller. whether signatures were forged on mortgage, whether mortgage entered into by the appellants.

Lee v The Australian Construction and Building Group Pty Limited[2015] NSWCATCD interlocutory application concerning the enforcement of consent orders entered by the Tribunal and limited jurisdiction of the Tribunal to amend orders entered by consent in renewal proceedings.


Notable Cases

Operation Calyx (Police Integrity Commission Public Inquiry into the death of Adam Salter) (2012) Counsel Assisting the Commissioner investigating whether there was any police misconduct in the investigation by NSW Police Force into the death of Adam Salter a civilian shot by police on 18 November 2009. Led by Geoffrey Watson SC.

Raithatha (liquidator) v Ariel Industries PLO (in creditors voluntary liquidation), in the matter of Ariel industries PLO (in creditors voluntary liquidation) [2012] FCA 1526 - Led by Julie Soars. Cross boarder insolvency action brought under s6 of the Cross-Border Insolvency Act 2008 (Cth).

Twynam Agricultural Group Pty Limited v Williams [2012] NSWCA 326 Appeal - led by Geoffrey Watson SC concerning error primary judge made of a factual finding, primary judge in error in preferring the evidence of some witnesses over others.

Zamudin v R [2013] NSWCCA 120 Appeal - led by Grant Brady SC, Indonesian crewman on fishing vessel carrying asylum seekers to Christmas Island convicted of people smuggling offence under s 2330(1) Migration Act 1958 (Cth).



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