image of Tim JonesTim Jones

Clayton Utz Partner , Brisbane T +61 7 3292 7010 https://www.claytonutz.com

Described by one client as "a force with which to be reckoned with", Tim Jones is a highly experienced commercial litigator strongly committed to giving his clients practical, solutions-focused advice to minimise their risk of litigation and disputes.

Tim's particular focus is on representing clients in the corporate, energy and resources, and property fields, who praise his commercial approach and overall careful management of the range of potential risks facing them.

Complementing his disputes works, Tim also helps our corporate, not-for-profit and government clients in resolving regulatory investigations with a wide variety of regulators including ASIC, the Board of Professional Engineers and the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission. 

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Expertise

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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Energy and resources

  • Mining: Tim acted for an Australian mining subsidiary of a Chinese State Owned Enterprise, following the purchase of a $129m coal mining tenement in Queensland, in a dispute involving the misappropriation of part of the purchase funds by the one of the vendors. A four-month trial was heard by the Victorian Supreme Court both in Melbourne and Hong Kong and involved a number of complex arguments. In 2020, in the Victorian Court of Appeal, Tim's client overturned the first instance decision which had rejected its defence and its multi-million dollar counterclaim. In 2021, Tim's client subsequently defended a special leave application to the High Court by the plaintiff and was awarded damages and costs in excess of AU$30m. Tim is currently advising his client in respect of the liquidation of the judgment debtor in the British Virgin Islands.
  • Mining joint venture dispute: Tim acted for an international mining company in a high-value joint venture dispute with an Australian ASX-Listed mining company which was one of the most significant disputes before the Queensland Supreme Court in the last decade and involved a number of complex contractual, disclosure and procedural matters. A number of important judgments were delivered in the course of these proceedings, including one which has influenced the law on legal professional privilege claims and in-house counsel. (Aquila Coal Pty Ltd v Bowen Central Coal Pty Ltd [2013] QSC 82)

Real estate

  • Property joint venture dispute: Tim acted for the Australian subsidiary of a large Chinese property development company in a dispute with its joint venture partner over a significant residential development project in Queensland. Tim's client was able to injunct a buy-out attempt by the joint venture partner and the matter was favourably settled before any trial proceeded, leading to its acquisition of the other joint venture interest. The development was strategically important for the client for its planned expansion across Australia.
  • Property development dispute: Tim acted for an ASX listed property development client in a dispute with a developer who purchased a significant lot in our client's master planned community, centring on the nature and extent to which the land could be developed. Proceedings were commenced in the Queensland Supreme Court by the developer, and a negotiated settlement favourable to our client was ultimately reached.
  • Property dispute: Tim acted for subsidiaries of Brookfield by taking over the conduct of an appeal to the Queensland Court of Appeal regarding access arrangements over adjacent land owned by a tavern pursuant to easements in favour of Brookfield in respect of its marina. Tim's clients were successful with the appeal (Multiplex Bluewater Marina Village Pty Ltd & Anor v Harbour Tropics Pty Ltd [2017] QCA 202).
  • Tenancy dispute: Tim is acting for a large hospitality and hotel client in a leasing dispute with the landlord regarding the application and interpretation of the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Regulation 2020 (Qld) and the Retail Shop Leases and Other Commercial Leases (COVID-19 Emergency Response) Amendment Regulation 2020 (Qld). Tim's client is arguing that a landlord is required to take into consideration a "Reasonable Recovery Period" within the meaning of leasing principle 5 of the "National Cabinet Mandatory Code of Conduct – SME Commercial Leasing Principles During COVID-19". The matter is currently on foot.
  • Land valuation: Tim has advised a number of ASX-listed property clients challenging statutory land valuations by the Valuer-General in Queensland under the Land Valuation Act 2010, and has been involved in two successful and significant trials before the Land Court: Brisbane Square Pty Ltd v Valuer-General [2016] QLC 69 and GPT Re Limited v Valuer-General (No 2) [2018] QLC 9.

Tax litigation

  • Tax litigation: Tim was part of the partner team acting for a US based Fund in its dispute with the Australian Tax Office over its sale of lithium assets in Western Australia and an alleged resulting tax liability.
  • Tax litigation: Tim acted for a large Japanese mining house in a dispute with the Australian Taxation office regarding the tax payable in respect of an acquisition of a large coal mine in Queensland.

General

  • Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry: In 2018, Tim was entrusted by our banking client with the preparation of multiple witnesses' statements and the subsequent preparation of witnesses who gave evidence in the round 5 superannuation hearings before Commissioner Hayne.
  • Prosecutions: Tim was retained by the Surveyors Board of Queensland to advise it and run the prosecution of an individual who was carrying out cadastral surveys whilst not registered as a cadastral surveyor (section 75(1) of the Surveyors Act 2003 (Qld)) and carrying on a business providing cadastral surveys while not registered as a consulting cadastral surveyor (section 76(1)). The prosecution was successful with the individual pleading guilty and the Magistrate ordering the individual to pay the Board's legal costs in addition to a penalty.
  • Personal Injury Claims: Tim is currently advising several of our large coal mining clients with regard to the defence and settlement of a number of coal workers' pneumoconiosis claims currently in the Supreme Court of Queensland. He is also acting for a number of charitable institutions in defending and settling sensitive and historical sexual abuse claims.

See Litigation and Dispute Resolution

Investigations and Crisis Management

Corporate

  • Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry: In 2018, Tim was entrusted by our banking client with the preparation of multiple witnesses' statements and the subsequent preparation of witnesses who gave evidence in the round 5 superannuation hearings before Commissioner Hayne.
  • Publicly listed company: Tim advised the CEO of a publicly listed client subject to an examination under section 19 of the ASIC Act regarding allegations of non-compliance with the continuous disclosure requirements under the ASX listing rules. Ultimately, ASIC did not proceed with any further action.
  • Listed and unlisted corporate clients: Tim regularly undertakes compliance reviews for our corporate clients and advises them on compliance with the Professional Engineers Act (Qld) to ensure engineers employed by them are either registered professional engineers in Queensland or appropriately supervised when undertaking professional engineering services.

Public sector

  • Queensland Crime and Corruption Commission (CCC) Investigation: Tim assisted a business fund administered by our client for the Queensland Government in responding to an investigation by the CCC into allegations of corrupt conduct relating to a government chief of staff after he was seeking to obtain funding for a company in which he was a shareholder and director. Ultimately, the CCC investigation did not identify any evidence of misuse of position.
  • Local Government: Tim acted for a large local government in respect of an investigation commenced by the Board of Professional Engineers under section 44 of the Professional Engineers Act (Qld) regarding certain activities undertaken by Council engineers during a large monsoon event, specifically whether they constituted professional engineering services, and whether registered professional engineers were involved in them. Tim and his team assisted the Council in providing a submission regarding compliance with the Act which satisfied the regulator there was no wrongdoing.
  • Large Local Government: Acting for a large council, Tim drafted large parts of a submission provided to a Queensland Government agency in respect of the Council's response to a large weather event in circumstances. The media and plaintiff law firms were making uninformed liability assertions, which heightened the need to take care in describing Council's response. The subsequent Queensland Government report findings indicated that the actions of the Council were completely appropriate, and the mayor and instructing solicitor from the local government commended Tim for his work.

Not for profit and charities

  • Large Charitable Organisation: Tim assisted a large national charitable organisation with revenue of AU$50m+ per annum in successfully responding to a Notice of Intention to Revoke Charity Registration issued by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commissioner regarding alleged breaches of Governance standards 1 and 5 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation.
  • Large Charitable Organisation: Tim guided a large Queensland based charity with revenue of AU$20m+ per annum in successfully responding to a Notice of Investigation which was issued by the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commissioner regarding potential breaches of Governance Standards 1, 2 and 5 of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission Regulation.
  • Large Charitable Organisation: Tim advised the Board in respect of the now concluded prosecution over the tragic death of a patron at a gym it operates. Tim has also provided advice since the incident on the finalisation of the prosecution and the media response, including:
    • attendance at site;
    • negotiating with the regulator;
    • liaising with the Coroner;
    • advising on various notices to produce and compliance with an improvement notice; and
    • assisting in determining an appropriate strategy for response to significant media pressure.

See Investigations and Crisis Management

Knowledge

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