image of Fred PrickettFred Prickett

Clayton Utz Partner , Melbourne T +61 3 9286 6971 https://www.claytonutz.com

An experienced commercial and corporate litigator, Fred Prickett acts for publicly listed corporations, major private corporations and high wealth individuals in a broad range of matters.

His expertise includes complex contractual disputes, class actions, corporations law matters including shareholder disputes, directors' duties and insider trading, financial services regulation, competition and consumer law and property and lease disputes.

Fred has extensive experience dealing with regulators, especially ASIC and the ACCC.

Fred was the partner-in-charge of the Melbourne office of Clayton Utz from 2013 to 2016.

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Expertise

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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Tatts Group: Fred acted for Tatts in a nine figure dispute with the State of Victoria relating to the expiry in 2012 of the licence held by Tatts to operate gaming machines in Victoria. In proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria, Tatts successfully claimed compensation together with interest of $540 million under an agreement entered into with the State in 1995. The judgment was upheld in the Court of Appeal but overturned in the High Court.

Centro: Fred acted for Centro Retail Trust on its restructure, including the court approval of a $5.4 billion aggregation transaction. This restructure is acknowledged as being one of the most, if not the most, complex restructures ever undertaken in Australia.

Suez SA: Fred acted for Suez SA and the directors of its Australian subsidiaries in successfully opposing an application for an urgent injunction in the Federal Court by Veolia Environnement SA. Veolia sought to prevent the $2.52 billion sale of Suez's Australian waste management businesses to an Australian listed public company, Cleanaway Waste Management. The injunction was sought on the basis that the sale would involve breaches of French takeover law in the context of a hostile €12.8 billion takeover playing out between the two French multinationals.

Toll Holdings: Fred acted in the litigation relating to the successful $6.1 billion takeover of Patrick Corporation by Toll, including proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Federal Court. The matter involved multiple, large-scale and complex proceedings which played a crucial role in the outcome of the highest profile successful hostile takeover in recent decades.

RACV: Fred acted for RACV in an eight figure dispute in the Supreme Court of Victoria concerning the lease of its former head office at 123 Queen Street, Melbourne.

Fletcher Building Group: 
Fred acted for Fletcher Insulation, the manufacturer of Pink Batts, in relation to the collapse of the Federal government's Home Insulation Program.

Financial Dispute Resolution


ASIC: 
Fred acts for ASIC in financial services regulation enforcement matters.

Investec Australia: 
Fred acted for Investec Australia Limited in successfully defending proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales in a major dispute involving complex issues of contractual interpretation on the operation of pre-emptive rights under a shareholders agreement for an employee benefits and superannuation joint venture.

Bendigo Bank: 
Fred acted in litigation in the Supreme Court of Victoria against a financial adviser in respect of misuse of confidential information.

See Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Class Actions

Myer: Acted for Myer in defending the first shareholder class action to proceed to judgment in Australia. The case, in the Federal Court, involved alleged contraventions of continuous disclosure obligations under the Corporations Act and misleading or deceptive conduct regarding the financial performance of Myer in FY15. It was held that notwithstanding certain contraventions, no loss had been established. The case was widely reported on and described to be "as landmark as it gets".

Edingbay: Fred acted for over 180 plaintiffs (all high wealth individuals) in multiple proceedings commenced in the Commercial List of the Supreme Court of Victoria against a law firm (Aroni Colman), a major accounting firm (Horwaths), a major Australian bank and the Legal Practice Board concerning a massive and highly publicised corporate fraud. The proceedings also involved as parties several other legal and accounting firms and numerous professional indemnity insurers.

See Class Actions

White Collar Crime and Investigations

ASIC investigations and enforcement proceedings: Fred has acted for numerous listed companies and directors in relation to ASIC investigations and enforcement proceedings as well as related internal investigations, including into alleged breaches of directors' duties, continuous disclosure contraventions and insider trading. Fred also acts for ASIC in financial services regulation enforcement matters.

Amcor: Fred was seconded as special general counsel of Amcor in 2005 to handle a major high profile price-fixing investigation conducted by the ACCC and related litigation.

See White Collar Crime and Investigations

Energy & Resources

TechnipFMC: Fred acted for global engineering firm Technip in complex litigation relating to civil works forming part of the Woodside Otway Gas Plant Project at Port Campbell in Victoria.

Gas price review arbitration: Fred acted for major producers and retailers of gas in relation to gas price review arbitrations.

Rocla: Fred acted in the defence of multi-million dollar price-fixing cases brought by the Queensland Government and six State government authorities in the Federal Court in Queensland against seven suppliers of pre-mixed concrete.

See Energy & Resources

Knowledge

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