Adam Casselden was appointed Senior Counsel in October 2016.

Adam advises and appears in the areas of Commercial Law, Common Law and Transportation Law. He is highly regarded in Inquests and Sports Law. Adam appears in the Supreme Court, the Federal Court, the District Court, the Coroner’s Court and various Tribunals. Adam’s clients have included Australia’s leading Banks and Insurers, State and Commonwealth Departments and Agencies, ASX-listed Companies, Domestic and International Shipping Lines and Airlines, and Small to Medium Enterprises.

In the field of Coronial Law, Adam appears as Counsel Assisting the Coroner in complex and high-profile Inquests. Adam also appears in the Coroner’s Court for interested parties, including for Families and Government Departments.

Adam represents high-profile sporting clubs, associations and athletes. Adam has acted as legal counsel for Australian Rugby Union, Football Federation of Australia, NSW Rugby Union, Western Sydney Wanderers FC, Central Coast Mariners FC, Department of Sport & Recreation and NRL players. Adam is a SANZAAR Judicial Officer for Super Rugby and The Rugby Championship, and in 2015 Adam was appointed by World Rugby as a Judicial Officer to the Rugby World Cup in England and Wales. He has been appointed by The NSW Minister for Sport and Recreation to sit on the Combat Sports Authority and in 2016 Adam was appointed to sit on a number of National Sporting Federation Olympic Appeals Tribunals.

Adam has a clear and concise approach to the resolution of legal issues. With extensive litigation experience at the Bar and as a solicitor, he is keenly aware of how to achieve the best outcomes for his clients with a thorough and rigorous analysis of their case. His focus is on diligent preparation, detail and concise communication. He is a proven litigator with a high level of knowledge across a broad range of legal issues.

Adam is passionate about the arts. As an Arts Law ‘Guardian Angel’, he supports artists and creative organisations to ensure they receive sound advice regarding their rights and responsibilities.

Whenever possible, Adam accepts pro bono briefs referred by Legal Centres.

Focus Areas + Select Cases

DY & 3 Ors v Commonwealth of Australia (Supreme Court of NSW) – a family of four brought proceedings against the Commonwealth of Australia for negligence and false imprisonment resulting in psychiatric injury due to their immigration detention in Papua New Guinea and in the Republic of Nauru by the Commonwealth. These claims were the first of their type brought against the Commonwealth by immigration detainees detained in detention centres located outside of Australia.

Badraie v Commonwealth of Australia (2005) 195 FLR 119 – the plaintiff’s claim in the Supreme Court was the first of its type to be brought against the Commonwealth. The plaintiff sued the Commonwealth in negligence for psychiatric injury sustained by him as a result of his immigration detention in South Australia and New South Wales.

Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW v Dederer (2007) 234 CLR 330 – in this case the High Court of Australia found that a roads authority did not owe a duty to young persons using a bridge to prevent them from jumping and being injured by the shallow water below. The High Court held that a duty of care imposes an obligation to exercise reasonable care, not a duty to prevent potentially harmful conduct. A prospective test is to be applied when determining what the exercise of reasonable care required in response to a foreseeable risk of injury.

Fuller-Lyons v State of New South Wales (2015) 89 ALJR 824 – in this High Court of Australia case the plaintiff suffered severe injuries when he fell from a moving train which was operated by the defendant. The trial judge found that the plaintiff had fallen from the doors of the train as a consequence of the defendant’s negligence. The NSW Court of Appeal reversed this finding based on the possibility of other hypothetical occurrences. The High Court held that the Court of Appeal was not entitled to reject the findings of the trial judge based on these other possibilities.

Shorey v PT Limited (2003) 197 ALR 410 – the High Court held that the plaintiff was not required to prove her fall was the sole cause of her psychiatric disorder, only that the fall was a cause. The High Court reiterated a long-established legal principle that defendants must take their victims as they find them, even if there is an apparent disproportion between cause and effect. In cases where there are multiple causes the evidentiary onus rests with the tortfeasor to disentangle those multiple causes.

Lodge Partners Pty Ltd v Pegum (2009) 255 ALR 516 - this Federal Court case is authority for the proposition that although the Court will not generally determine questions of construction of a contract on an application to set aside a statutory demand, it may do so on such an application in an appropriate case.

Medco Group Pty Ltd v Cripps (2009) 27 ACLC 1,404 – this Supreme Court case determined the meaning of the word “copy” in s. 459G(3) of the Corporations Act 2001.

Property Law: 

Philip v JPM Developments Pty Ltd (2015) 17 BPR 33,887 – this Supreme Court case concerned the proper construction of a right of carriageway and whether a development consent obtained by the servient tenement substantially interfered with the right of carriageway. 

Owners Corporation Strata Plan 72535 v Brookfield (2012) NSW Title Cases 80,152 – the key issues in this Supreme Court case were whether the developer and/or designer and constructor of a resort style residential apartment complex owed statutory warranties implied by the Home Building Act or owed a duty of care to the owners corporation in relation to alleged defects in the common property. The Court was required to determine the meaning of “residential building work” under the Home Building Act.

Circuit Finance Australia Ltd v Bessounian [2006] NSWSC 1190 – this Supreme Court case sets out the relevant principles necessary to dispense with service on the registered proprietor by a caveator for an order extending the operation of a caveat under s. 74K(3) of the Real Property Act.

Securities Law:  

Permanent Custodians Ltd v Ali (2008) 14 BPR 27,007 – this Supreme Court case is authority for the proposition that it is possible to challenge a mortgagee’s right to a money judgment without challenging the writ of possession or the mortgagee power of sale. Allowing the mortgagee to defend only the money claim does not conflict with the doctrine of issue estoppel or res judicata.

Perpetual Limited v Kelso [2008] NSWSC 906 – this Supreme Court case sets out the relevant legal principles necessary to obtain a writ of restitution when a mortgagor re-enters the mortgaged property after a mortgagee has taken possession of the mortgaged property pursuant to a valid writ for possession.

Noor Al Houda Islamic College Pty Ltd v Bankstown Airport Ltd [2005] 215 ALR 625 – this was a case concerning misleading and deceptive conduct by silence under the Trade Practices Act. The plaintiff entered into a long term lease with the defendant to use certain land for a secondary college. The defendant failed to disclose to the plaintiff that the land was contaminated.

Gilgandra Marketing Co-Operative Ltd v Australian Commodities & Merchandise Pty Ltd [No. 1] 2010 NSWSC 1209 – this Supreme Court case was the first case to consider the stay provisions in the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW). The 2010 Commercial Arbitration Act markedly reduced the scope of the judicial discretion available to stay civil proceedings commenced in court in contravention of an arbitration agreement.

Investment Managers Pty Ltd v Cullen [2006] NSWSC 452 – in this case the Supreme Court had to consider on an interlocutory basis whether a restraint of trade preventing an ex-employee from working was reasonable or whether damages were a sufficient remedy.

Intellectual Property: Geneva Laboratories Ltd v Nguyen (2014) 110 IPR 295 – this Federal Court case considered the material disclosure requirements for an applicant when seeking to obtain ex parte search and seizure orders (Anton Pillar orders) in respect of trade mark infringement arising out of the sale of counterfeit goods.

Insolvency: Gorczynski v Aitken & Ors (No.2) [2011] FMCA 86 (22 February 2011) - application to set aside a bankruptcy notice. Issues for determination included whether there was valid service of the bankruptcy notice, whether circumstances existed to go behind the judgment on which the bankruptcy notice was based and whether a counter-claim asserted by a related corporation of the debtor constituted a counter-claim of the debtor within s.40(1)(g) of the Bankruptcy Act 1966 (Cth).

Thomas v APL Co Pte Ltd trading as APL Lines (Australia) [2013] FCA 911 (30 August 2013) – in this case the Federal Court held that a sole director and shareholder of a company in receivership was personally liable under a bill of lading and in detinue for his company failing to return shipping containers and pay detention charges in circumstances where he endorsed the bill of lading on behalf of the company in receivership.

Gilgandra Marketing Co-Operative Ltd v Australian Commodities & Merchandise Pty Ltd [No. 2] 2011 NSWSC 16 – this was the first case in Australia where an unpaid seller of goods, who has parted with possession and title of its goods, has obtained relief under the Sale of Goods Act for possession of the goods by exercising a right of stoppage in transitu.

McKinnon v Huxley [2003] NSWSC 1221 – this case authoritatively sets out the relevant principles which need to be considered when a party is seeking to extend the limitation period for commencement of proceedings for a general maritime claim under s. 22 of the Limitation Act 1969 (NSW).