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Litigation and Dispute Resolution
APLNG: Acted in the Audit Dispute for CY2011 with the Operator. Provided strategic advice on the interpretation of the Joint Operating Agreements and ultimately a settlement of the dispute.
Upstream Operator/APLNG: Providing ongoing advice to Upstream Operator in respect on the dispute with QGC relating to the audit of gas sale prices undertaken under the GSAs for each of ATP 620P and the ATP 648P. Scott is advising on the dispute resolution process and the approach to the interpretation of the GSAs ahead of an expert determination and possible arbitration.
APLNG: Part of team advising APLNG in respect of 4 multi-million dollar insurance claims concerning the construction of its Coal Seam Gas to Liquefied Natural Gas project (>$300M). Assisted APLNG to urgently prepare and file prior to the expiry of a limitation period, preserving APLNG's legal position with respect to the 4 claims.
Idemitsu Australia Resources: Scott acted on behalf of IAR in its dispute with a partner regarding its long term coal sales contract. This major dispute proceeded for over 2 years and culminated in a trial in the Supreme Court of Queensland (which proceeded for seven weeks) involving issues of breach of contract, equitable remedies and Trade Practices Act obligations.
Acting for major banks: In respect of numerous secured and unsecured recovery matters, general banking litigation matters as well as providing advice in relation to insolvency and external administration issues.
Acting for several major Australian companies: In defending actions for unfair preference payments brought by the liquidator of a contractor of those companies.
Public Trustee of Queensland: Scott acted for the Public Trustee in his role as Trustee of a Notes Trust in the Octaviar (formerly MFS) group. Noteholders alleged a loss of almost $400 million. The case involved a previously untested question of the breadth of the statutory duty of a trustee under the Corporations Act. The proceedings ultimately culminated in 6 week trial. We were successful in defending the claim and the judgment (running to over 250 pages) completely exonerated the Public Trustee (and was upheld on Appeal)
Queensland Local Government Council: Scott acted for a Queensland Local Government Council in respect of Supreme Court of Queensland proceedings commenced by a property developer who sought $14 million in damages in respect of contractual arrangements for the development of a parcel of land. Scott was able to exert appropriate pressure through interlocutory proceedings to obtain significant security for costs as well as ensuring the matter ran efficiently towards a trial. Ultimately, the matter settled at a mediation.
Electoral Commissioner of Queensland: Scott co-led the team defending the Electoral Commissioner of Queensland (ECQ) in relation to proceedings commenced under the Electoral Act. This includes proceedings commenced by numerous Australian political parties. The proceedings conducted included matters of interpretation of the Act as well as, in some cases, injunctive relief. All proceedings were successful for the ECQ with non-adverse outcomes for the client.
Queensland Treasury: Scott acted for Queensland Treasury in response to the New Generation Rolling Stock Inquiry. The terms of reference of the Inquiry required the Commission to analyse the procurement process, the contractual obligations and the design approval process, much of which was overseen by Queensland Treasury Corporation. Clayton Utz assisted Treasury to respond to compulsory notices issued by the Commission on an urgent basis and required the co-ordination of legal and forensic services (including McGrath Nicol) to respond to the requirements of the Commission At its peak there were over 20 legal and forensic staff involved in the engagement. Scott was able to assist Treasury to meet its obligations and to provide strategic advice regarding the response to the Commission by Treasury in a short time frame and within the allocated budget.
Department of Housing and Public Works: Scott acts for the Department in respect of a dispute arising from the decommissioning of the Logan Renewal Project. The matter has proceeded for over 3 years and included a formal mediation. Scott provided ongoing advice during that period in relation to all aspects of the alleged claim and ultimately was able to negotiate a favourable settlement on behalf of the State.
International Coal Miner: Scott acted on behalf of an international mining company in its dispute with a partner regarding its long term coal sales contract. This major dispute proceeded for over two years and culminated in a trial in the Supreme Court of Queensland (which proceeded for seven weeks) which involved issues of breach of contract, equitable remedies and Trade Practices Act obligations.
Tarong Energy (now Stanwell): Scott acted for Tarong in successfully defending Federal Court proceedings filed by Intercoal in which it claimed $30 million in damages for an alleged breach of section 46(1) (misuse of market power) of the Trade Practices Act).
See Litigation and Dispute Resolution
Restructuring and Insolvency
Department of Health (Commonwealth): Advising the Department on all aspects of its dealings with a financially distressed aged care provider (PresCare), including the operation of aged care legislation and the Court appointment of Receivers.
CRCG-Rimfire Pty Ltd: Scott advised the Administrators and then Deed Administrators of CRCG-Rimfire Pty Ltd, including successfully defending Federal Court proceedings seeking orders for the termination of the DOCA (including on appeal) and an appeal against the Deed Administrators' rejection of certain proofs of debt.
Caledon Coal: Scott advised on a range aspects of the administration and subsequent liquidation of the Caledon Group of Companies. The significance of this matter was its size (over A$3.4 billion in creditors) and the fact that it was the sale of a trading coal mine which is unusual (albeit in care and maintenance) together with the unique nature of the court orders required in order to effect the sale.
JM Kelly Group: Scott acted for the Liquidators of thirteen entities in the JM Kelly Group in relation to one of the longest public examinations heard in the Federal Court. The liquidators estimate that the total creditors of the JM Kelly Group are in excess of A$30 million. Scott continues to act in respect of all aspects of the liquidation including Supreme Court Proceedings commenced against former advisors to the group.
Octaviar Group: Co-leads the team for the Public Trustee of Queensland, a major creditor of the Octaviar Group of companies. The Octaviar Group has approximately $2 billion in creditors. In particular, Scott acted in proceedings to successfully set aside Deeds of Company Arrangement and replace the then liquidators as well as claims against the former Auditors.
Storm Financial Limited: Lead adviser to the receivers and managers of the Storm Financial Group in relation to all aspects of the receivership including recovery of assets and actions against the former directors. The Storm Group had funds under investment of approximately $1 billion.
First Capital Securities Limited: Acting for the receivers of First Capital Securities Limited involved in advising the receivers on all aspects of the receivership of a large Queensland-based financial services firm.
ATO: Acted for the DCT in defending Supreme Court of Queensland proceedings commenced by a tax payer claiming damages of over $400 million.
Employment: Advised the Department in relation to its ability to recover unspent funding from the Aboriginal Rainforest Council.
Commonwealth Department: Advised in relation to a number of large entities (funded by the Commonwealth) that have fallen into external administration. This advice included the options for the Commonwealth to recover its funds, to enforce rights of access, to appoint Funds Administrators as well as the transition of services to a new provider in the context of a liquidation or and administration (and subsequent Deed of Company Arrangement).
Department of Housing and Public Works: Advised in respect of the impacts of Insolvency law associated with the reforms to security of payment legislation, in particular the introduction of Project Bank Accounts (PBAs). Scott provided strategic advice and assisted with specific drafting of amendments to the suite of contract terms to facilitate the administration and operation of the PBAs.
See Restructuring and Insolvency
Administrative and Public Law
DoHA: Advised the Department in relation to a number of large entities (funded by the Commonwealth) that have fallen into external administration. This advice included the options for the Commonwealth to recover its funds, to enforce rights of access, to appoint Funds Administrators as well as the transition of services to a new provider in the context of a liquidation or and administration (and subsequent Deed of Company Arrangement).
Queensland Health Fraud Investigation: Scott was urgently engaged to investigate and advise the Department in relation to the actions of a former Queensland Health employee who is alleged to have taken $11 million from the Department. This investigation included a forensic analysis of the actions of the employee including recommendations as to immediate and long term actions arising from the investigation.
Electoral Commissioner of Queensland: Scott co-led the team defending the ECQ in relation to proceedings commenced under the Electoral Act. This includes proceedings commenced by numerous Australian political parties. The proceedings conducted included matters of interpretation of the Act as well as, in some cases, injunctive relief. All proceedings were successful for the ECQ with non-adverse outcomes for the client.
Flood Inquiry – Brisbane City Council: Co-led the representation of the Brisbane City Council in the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry. The Commission held 5 rounds of public hearings between April 2011 and February 2012 and received voluminous written submissions and expert and lay evidence. Scott advised on all aspects of the Commission's investigations and the Council's response to the matters of interest to the Commission. Given the size of the matter, Scott also implemented a weekly reporting regime on all aspects of the response to the Inquiry relevant to Council, including budget management tracking and control.
Department of Housing and Public Works: Scott advised in respect of the impacts of Insolvency law associated with the reforms to security of payment legislation, in particular the introduction of Project Bank Accounts (PBAs). Scott provided strategic advice and assisted with specific drafting of amendments to the suite of contract terms to facilitate the administration and operation of the PBAs.
Commissions of Inquiry: Scott has acted in the majority of State Commissions of Inquiry in Queensland, including acting for Brisbane City Council in the Flood Commission of Inquiry, The Racing Inquiry (for Racing Qld), The Greyhound Inquiry (for Racing Qld), The Barrett Centre Inquiry (for Metro South), the Youth Detention Review (for an Executive Director of DJAG), the Queensland Rail Train Crewing Practices Inquiry (for the Board of QR) and the New Generation Rolling Stock Inquiry (for Queensland Treasury).
Port of Townsville: Acts for the Port of Townsville (POTL) in respect of three separate Supreme Court of Queensland proceedings in respect of the termination of a licence to operate at the Port. POTL seeks a declaration as to its rights to terminate the licence and recover the port charges. Scott also acts for POTL in respect of its ongoing dealings with Queensland Nickel and the liquidators of Queensland Nickel entities.
See Administrative and Public Law
Debt Trading and Special Situation Investing
Acting for the administrators of a Queensland mine: acting for the administrators of a listed entity and its subsidiaries which owned a Queensland mine. This involved advice in relation to all aspects of the administration, the implementation of a Deed of Company Arrangement and the recapitalisation of the listed shell.
Asset Loans Group: Acting for the administrators and deed administrators of the Asset Loans Group in relation to all aspects of the administration and subsequent Deed of Company Arrangement. In addition, advising the deed administrators in relation to the recapitalisation of the listed parent company Asset Loans Limited.
See Debt Trading and Special Situation Investing
Agribusiness and Food
See Agribusiness and Food