Gilbert + Tobin



Dispute resolution

Gilbert + Tobin is known for handling complex, tactically significant and bet-the-company disputes across the commercial, financial services regulatory and class action arenas. The firm also has deep experience partaking in Australia’s highest forms of public inquiry. The team is particularly active in advising Royal Commissions, both government bodies and the organisations being scrutinised.

Richard Harris leads a team of 11 partners and specialises in commercial disputes including class action and regulatory compliance. Key figures to note include Andrew Floro, Colleen Platford, Crispian Lynch and Janet Whiting.

The firm has been particularly busy in the class action and regulatory areas. In one of the most significant, high-profile matters in the Australian corporate landscape, the firm advised Westpac in relation to two separate investigations being conducted by ASIC and APRA (Australia’s prudential regulator) into matters raised in proceedings commenced by AUSTRAC (Australia’s financial intelligence government agency) against Westpac in the Federal Court of Australia.

In a multipronged insolvency litigation, the firm is acting for a group of plaintiffs, namely Anchorage Capital Master Offshore, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, Deutsche Bank, AG, ACMO Finance (Ireland) Designated Activity Company and Midtown Acquisitions, in the first of three lawsuits commenced in the Supreme Court of NSW, concerning the collapse of former steel giant, Arrium Group. The proceedings, against the former directors and officers of the Arrium Group, concern allegations of negligence and misleading conduct in breach of the Australian Consumer Law regarding certain drawdowns made under various facility agreements held by Arrium Group. This lawsuit has been described as one of the largest and most complex litigations in the country’s history.

Key clients include Balance Legal Capital, BT Funds Management, EG Group, New Hope Corporation, QBE Insurance and Westpac Life Insurance Services.

Client feedback

“The firm is very organised, has excellent lawyers who are very accessible, efficient and effective.” – Commercial and transactions

“Gilbert + Tobin's advice is always precise and focused, without the usual 'need' of other firms to include lengthy recitation of facts or qualifications, and very commercial in nature.” – Commercial and transactions

Richard Harris

“Richard Harris is one of my go-to partners for difficult issues and for situations where I am looking for direct, robust and commercial legal advice.”

Matthew Mackenzie

“Excellent lawyer. Works very hard. Very insightful and strategic.”

Tim O’Leary

“Combining a superb knowledge of current law and court practice, with first-class pragmatism which itself is borne from an understanding of our company's commercial objectives in the matter and our business generally. The additional two personal qualities that I value with Tim are his ability to not only actively listen but also challenge my views where necessary. I think both are underestimated virtues of law firms and partners, but it's something Tim does very well.”