Nicholas has over 24 years experience in managing large and complex litigation in commercial disputes, class actions, securities law, cartel disputes, fraud and tax disputes.

Nicholas advises domestic and international corporate and banking clients with their local and global disputes, regulatory and internal investigations and follow on regulatory enforcement action and court proceedings. Nicholas is regularly called upon by financial services clients to assist in complicated regulatory investigations and disputes, covering a broad spectrum of areas across wealth/financial planning, responsible and consumer lending, markets, culture and governance.

Nicholas has acted on major complex commercial litigation in a range of areas.  He has extensive experience in complex investigations undertaken by Australian regulatory bodies, including ASIC investigations, ATO investigations, ACCC cartel investigations and bribery and corruption investigations.  He is regularly called upon by clients to assist with those investigations and with related civil penalty and related class actions disputes.

Nicholas has considerable experience working with overseas counsel on global disputes, and on investigations across a range of regulators in the US, Europe and Asia.

Chambers recently cited client feedback for Nicholas as "…a very smart, very strategic thinker I would recommend to anybody".

Nicholas was the National Practice Group Leader of Commercial Litigation from 1 July 2014 to 30 September 2017. He is a Director on the Board of Directors of Clayton Utz.

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Expertise

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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Financial services disputes and investigations

Nicholas has acted for numerous clients in complex litigation, disputes and regulatory investigations, across a whole range of issues. This includes acting for companies such as Perpetual, AMP, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, JP Morgan Limited, Macquarie Group Limited, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Westpac Banking Group, National Australia Bank, Trust Company Limited, BMW Finance and Standard & Poor's. 

Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Colonial First State: acted for Colonial First State in successfully resolving a class action arising out of its financial advisory business and a related ASIC investigation and a related ASIC investigation.

ANZ Bank v ASIC: acted for ANZ Bank in the ASIC investigation and civil penalty proceedings commenced in the Federal Court of Australia defending alleged market manipulation in the Bank Bill Swap Rate market.   

Australian Securities and Investment Commission v Citigroup: acted for the Australian Financial Markets Association in its involvement with the ASIC v Citigroup proceedings. 

Commonwealth Bank of Australia: Storm Financial: acted for Commonwealth Bank in the investigation conducted by ASIC arising out of the collapse of Storm Financial. 

Other complex litigation

Standard & Poor's: acted for S&P in relation to Full Federal Court appeals arising out of its ratings process for CPDOs and CDOs.

Lenfest Communications Inc: acted in the successful defence of a complex litigation claim seeking damages in excess of $700 million against Lenfest Communications Inc.

Korean Air Lines: acts for the airline in penalty proceedings commenced by the ACCC for price fixing conduct arising out of its air cargo business, and in a related class action.   

Takeovers Panel: advised the Takeovers Panel in proceedings commenced by the Panel in the Federal Court of Australia arising from the Colonial Mirvac bid. 


See Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Class Actions

Perpetual / Trust Co: defending Trust Co in major class action proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria arising out of the collapse of Banksia. 

Commonwealth Bank of Australia/Colonial First State: acted for Colonial First State in successfully resolving a class action arising out of its financial advisory business and a related ASIC investigation and a related ASIC investigation.

 

Standard & Poor's: acted for S&P in relation to Full Federal Court appeals arising out of its ratings process for CPDOs and CDOs.

See Class Actions

Investigations and Crisis Management

Financial services disputes and investigations: Nicholas has acted for numerous clients in disputes and regulatory investigations, across a whole range of issues. This includes acting for companies such as Perpetual, AMP, Commonwealth Bank of Australia, JP Morgan Limited, Macquarie Group Limited, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Westpac Banking Group, National Australia Bank, Trust Company Limited, BMW Finance and Bell Potter. 


BMW Finance:  acted for BMW finance in relation to its Enforceable Undertakings with ASIC involving its consumer lending and car finance business.

Korean Air Lines: acted for the airline in penalty proceedings commenced by the ACCC for price fixing conduct arising out of its air cargo business, and in a related class action. 

Commonwealth Bank of Australia: Storm Financial: acted for Commonwealth Bank in the investigation conducted by ASIC arising out of the collapse of Storm Financial.

See Investigations and Crisis Management

Governance and Compliance

Financial services disputes and investigations: Nicholas has acted for numerous clients in disputes and regulatory investigations, across a whole range of issues. This includes acting for companies such as Commonwealth Bank of Australia, JP Morgan Limited, Macquarie Group Limited, Australia & New Zealand Banking Group Limited, Perpetual, Westpac Banking Group, National Australia Bank and Bell Potter. 

See Governance and Compliance

Competition

ANZ Bank v ACCC: acted for ANZ Bank in the ACCC investigation and follow on ACCC civil penalty proceedings in relation to allegations of price fixing conduct in Singapore.  

Nexans: successfully defended  Nexans in proceedings commenced by the ACCC into an alleged submarine cable cartel.

Korean Air Lines: acted for the airline in penalty proceedings commenced by the ACCC for price fixing conduct arising out of its air cargo business, and in a related class action. 

See Competition

Enforcement and Cartels

Korean Air Lines: acted for the airline in penalty proceedings commenced by the ACCC for price fixing conduct arising out of its air cargo business, and in a related class action. 

See Enforcement and Cartels

Taxation Disputes

Macquarie Bank: acted for Macquarie Bank in various successful tax appeals against the Commissioner of Taxation concerning allegations of Part IVA and separately disallowance of certain tax deductions claimed by the bank arising out of its investment in R&D syndicates. 


The Virgin Group: successfully acted in a tax appeal in the Federal Court of Australia for the Virgin Group against the Commissioner of Taxation involving the interpretation of complex international tax treaties. Also acted for the Aviva group, successfully defending it in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia involving similar issues. 

See Taxation Disputes

Knowledge

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