Franco Corsaro SC is a highly regarded senior construction and commercial barrister with a diverse knowledge and experience across many practice areas.

Franco has appeared in Courts and Tribunals in various states and Territories and in international arbitrations outside Australia.

Franco is currently listed as a leading senior counsel in the 2020 Doyles Guide. The 2020 listing maintains Franco’s ranking as a leading construction law practitioner in New South Wales and Australia in the Doyles Guide over several years.

Franco is consistently briefed to advise and appear for principals, contractors, public institutions, government, insurers and leading construction companies in disputes involving high-value engineering and infrastructure disputes.

Franco is also consistently briefed to advise and appear in a variety of disputes with a wide range of commercial issues involving property transactions, the sale of shares and property, intellectual property, insurance, administrative law issues and company disputes.

Franco is results driven and is always concerned with implementing the most advantageous approach to resolve each case in the best and most cost-effective way for the client. His emphasis is to extract the significant factual and legal principles on which each case will turn, and to give them the highest priority.

Franco is a diligent and committed advocate, with an excellent reputation for the development of excellent forensic strategy, effective all-round advocacy, and well-honed and incisive cross-examination skills.

Franco particularly enjoys the factual and legal foundation on which every case is built. He builds from these intellectual underpinnings to develop the best forensic strategy which maximises the prospects of a successful outcome. He works closely with his solicitors and clients in a collegiate approach.

Franco ensures all concerned have a well-developed understanding of the legal and factual issues on which the case will turn, which enables the client to make informed commercial decisions. He provides certainty and peace of mind to his solicitors, and an enriching experience as they explore the matter’s inherent legal principles together.

Franco has substantial knowledge and experience in alternate dispute resolution. From 2002-2005, Franco was a part-time lecturer in commercial arbitration at the University of Technology, Sydney, and has appeared for both claimants in respondents in a variety of domestic and international arbitration, as well as expert and neutral evaluations.

Franco was appointed a part-time Senior Member of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal in 2017. He is also an accredited mediator. 

Franco is also-editor of the Jacobs Commercial Arbitration Law and Practice

Focus Areas + Select Cases

Roude v Helwani [2020] NSWSC 123 – Appeal on principles of quantum meruit. International Holdings Ltd v Cheung [2019] NSWSC 1874 –oppression shareholder dispute involving offshore companies.

Angelis as trustee for the Angelis Family Trust v Pemba Capital Partners Fund I Partnership, LP (No 3) [2019] NSWSC 1759 – Company oppression shareholder dispute involving the acquisition and valuation of a substantial insurance broking business.

Howden Australia Pty Ltd v Minetek Pty Ltd (No 3) [2019] FCA 1851 – proceedings which are currently before the Federal Court of Australia relating to alleged breach of confidential information and involving patent for mining infrastructure.

O’Ryan v Golding [2019] NSWSC 1229 – company law dispute involving company title units

Glenquarry Park Investments Pty Ltd v Hegyesi [2019] NSWSC 1120 – strata dispute relating to strata improvements

Strike Australia Pty Ltd v Data Base Corporate Pty Ltd [2019] NSWCA 205 – lease dispute on rent review clause.

DM DRAINAGE & CONSTRUCTIONS PTY LTD as trustee for DM UNIT TRUST TRADING AS DM CIVIL v KARARA MINING LTD [No 5] [2019] WASC 118 –second longest case heard by the WA Supreme Court, multimillion-dollar claims and counter claims involving contract, promissory estoppel, contract and misleading conduct. Judgment currently reserved.

Bellerive Homes Pty Ltd v FW Projects Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 193 – Security of payment. Enforcement of judgment and contempt.

eify Pty Ltd v 3D Safety Services Pty Ltd [2018] FCA 1017 – breach of confidential information/copyright relating to an online induction system

Brighton Australia Pty Ltd v Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 246 – misleading and deceptive conduct

New Galaxy Investments Pty Ltd v Thomson & Ors (No 2) [2017] NSWCA 235 – caveat and trust dispute

Kathleen Jeanne Furlong & Mark Andrew Leishman (a bankrupt) v Wise & Young Pty Ltd [2016] NSWSC 1839 – caveat/mortgage dispute

Qi Wang v Kaymet Corporation Pty Limited [2016] NSWSC 742 – sunset clause dispute which led to the change in the sunset clause provisions in the Conveyancing Act.

Domestic arbitration: $20 m arbitration claim relating to damages for contamination of land.

Domestic arbitration: $3 m global claim for additional remuneration arising out of the construction of a mining levee.

Domestic arbitration: $6m claim for additional works associated with electrical services work.

Claims involving Australian and US parties: $50m claim for the negligent design of the refining process in a Bacox gold refining plant.

Claims involving French and Australian parties: $50m international arbitration dispute in Hong Kong involving collapse of an underground containment facility.

Claims involving US and Australian parties: $20m international arbitration involving a fire claim allegedly caused by a component of an air conditioning module for a mobile home.

Claims involving Chinese and US parties: $500m international arbitration claims and counter claims in Dublin involving the design and construction of a thermal power station in Guatemala.

Domestic arbitration: $20m domestic arbitration claim in Australia involving several separate tranches involving the design and construction of an Australian marine coal loader marine and shore works.

Claims involving Australian and Dutch parties: $10m international arbitration claim involving the design and construction of a stacking system for an Australian warehouse and involving metallurgical claims as to the ability of the components to withstand loads.

Domestic Arbitration: involving multi-million-dollar claims and cross claims arising out of the design and construction of onshore and offshore coal handling facilities and a coal loader in Queensland.

Notable Cases

Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v Owners – Strata Plan No 61288 (2014) 254 CLR 185. Appearing for the owners corporation of a residential strata scheme to High Court level. This is the seminal case in which the Full Bench of the High Court of Australia determined that the builder of a strata scheme did not owe a duty of care to an owners’ corporation in connection with defective building work, and re-assessed the concept of ‘vulnerability’ in that context.

Owners of Strata Plan 43551 v Walter Construction Group (2004) 62 NSWLR 169. Appearing at first instance and on appeal for the owners’ corporation of a residential scheme in circumstances where the trial judge had rejected the owners’ corporation had standing to sue the builder for defective work in the common property. In overturning that decision, the NSW Court of Appeal re-examined the right of the owners’ corporation as registered owner of the common property to sue for defects.

Scott Carver Pty Ltd v SAS Trustee Corporation [2005] NSWCA 462 (special leave refused). Appearing for the owner of a multi-storey office building which successfully recovered damages for defective design and construction. The owner sold without diminution in the value of the building. The central issue is whether the owner could recover where there was no loss in value. The significance of this case is in the consideration of Bellgrove v Eldridge in these circumstances.

Ohn v Walton (1995) 36 NSWLR 77. Appearing in Medical Tribunal and on Appeal. The significance of this case is that the NSW Court of Appeal established as a principal that costs should follow the event in all Courts and Tribunals, where the rules do not otherwise provide.