Background

Stephen has over a decade of advocacy experience at the Bar. He has a broad commercial law practice with particular expertise in the areas of banking and finance, building and construction, corporations and insolvency. In the area of Insolvency and Reorganization Law he is recognised in Best Lawyers Australia 2021.

Stephen acts in a wide range of proceedings such as shareholder disputes, real property disputes, complex recoveries for financiers, voidable transaction proceedings for liquidators and applications for voluntary administrators.

He has appeared in court proceedings and domestic arbitrations involving commercial building disputes, infrastructure disputes, strata defect claims, expert determinations and proceedings regarding the enforcement of arbitral awards.

Stephen works closely with his instructing solicitors on all aspects of trial preparation. Stephen has many years of experience of working with experts across a wide range of professional disciplines.

Prior to coming to the Bar in 2006, Stephen practiced for over 12 years as a solicitor at Henry Davis York in Sydney and at Blake Dawson Waldron (now Ashurst) in Melbourne and Perth. Stephen also worked in London as a solicitor on large scale international fraud litigation and insolvency investigations.

In 2017, Stephen completed a Masters’ of Laws in Construction Law at the University of Melbourne, where he was awarded the 2014 Piper Alderman Award for Construction Dispute Resolution.

Stephen has the following additional post graduate qualifications, a Diploma in International Commercial Arbitration (CIArb), a Graduate Diploma in Advanced Insolvency Law & Practice (ARITA), a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance & Investment (SIA) and completed the Advanced Trial Advocacy Course (ABA).



Focus Areas + Select Cases

Appeal involving director penalty notice claims in Snell v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation [2020] NSWCA 29

Applications to adjourn a winding up application in Treset Pty Ltd v South Pelagic Holdings Pty Ltd (Recs and Mgrs Apptd) (Admins Apptd) [2020] FCA 187; Re TMTE Group Pty Ltd [2014] NSWSC 1895

Claims for insolvent trading, unfair preferences, breach of directors' duties and breach of fiduciary duties, for example, In the matter of Heavy Plant Leasing Pty Ltd (in liq) [2018] NSWSC 707

Claims under the Personal Property & Securities Act 2009 (Cth), for example, In the matter of Production Printing (Aust) (in liq) [2017] NSWSC 505

Application to terminate a DOCA in Canadian Solar v ACN 138 535 832 Pty Ltd, In the matter of ACN 138 535 832 Pty Ltd (Subject to a Deed of Company Agreement) [2014] FCA 783

Appeal against the rejection of a proof of debt in proof of debt proceedings in RE Young (in his capacity as liquidator of Great Wall Resources Pty Ltd) (in liq) [2013] NSWSC 879

Application to set aside a statutory demand in Lodge Partners Pty Ltd v Pegum (2009) 255 ALR 516

Acted in a dispute involving liability for customs duties under the Customs Act 1901 in Zaps Transport (Aust) Pty Ltd v Richland Express Pty Ltd [2018] NSWSC 1930

Acted in proceedings involving product liability claims involving complex machinery and equipment. Main proceedings settled at trial and appeared in interim preservation application in Lisec Australia Pty Ltd v Saramech Pty Ltd [2015] NSWSC 365

Acted in proceedings involving a dispute regarding the enforcement of contractual rights in a complex suite of contracts in which the claim for damages exceeded $20,000,000 in 2016. Appeared unled in interlocutory applications. Case settled at trial

Stay of enforcement of a foreign judgement in Dawn Jade Ltd v Himanshu Girdhar Dua [2014] NSWSC 1085

Construction of contract terms in Current Images Pty Ltd v Dupack Pty Ltd [2012] NSWCA 99

Appeared in proceedings involving a shareholder oppression claim in which the claim for damages exceeded $40,000,000. Appeared both led and unled in a number of interlocutory applications, including an injunction application in North Coast Transit Pty Ltd [2013] NSWSC 1119. Case settled before trial

Acted for group members in a class action regarding the failure of Storm Financial Ltd and appeared in a stay application in Oliver v Commonwealth Bank of Australia (No 2) [2010] FCA 755

Proceedings involving defects, variations and set off claims against a major contractor in the Supreme Court of NSW. Case settled before trial

Appeared in arbitration proceedings for an insurer of a gas power plant owner in a $6,000,000 claim regarding plant operation incidents at a power plant, in 2016

Appeared in proceedings to set aside an expert determination, claims for liquidated damages, extensions of time and the release of bank guarantees, in 2015. Case settled before trial

Appeared in proceedings regarding multiple claims arising out of a mine contamination incident, in 2015. Case settled before trial

Application for the substitution of a petitioning creditor in Goyal v Battaglia [2020] FCCA 182

Application for leave to appeal against declarations and orders to transfers of property being void in Jones v Official Receiver [2017] FCA 1294

Application for a sequestration order in David Young v Capocchiano & Anor [2015] FCCA 3346

Application for the review of a trustee's decision in Tomasetti v Scott [2013] FCCA 1693

Applications to set aside a bankruptcy notice in French v Provident Capital Ltd (Receivers and Managers Appointed) (in liq) FCCA, August 2016 (Driver J); Labraga v Exception Holdings Pty Ltd (in liq) [2009] FMCA 397; Stanley Coumanios v Bank of Western Australia Limited [2009] FMCA 486


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