Zac Chami is recognised for his expertise in private and public law, including commercial litigation and restructuring and insolvency.

Before joining Clayton Utz, Zac was a senior Commonwealth legal officer, giving him in-depth knowledge of a vast range of subjects concerning policy formulation, statutory interpretation, statutory and regulatory amendment of legislation, and public law issues.

He is a formidable restructuring and insolvency lawyer with experience and expertise in large-scale, high-profile and complex matters, including the FAI and HIH Insurance collapse.

Clients benefit from Zac's intimate understanding of government and policy structuring and his involvement in major litigation matters, including ASIC's civil penalty proceedings against former directors and officers of companies in the James Hardie Group, and James Hardie Industries NV. 

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Expertise

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Restructuring and Insolvency

Insolvency

  • HIH Insurance Group (in liquidation): Zac advised the liquidators of the HIH Insurance Group in relation to various recovery actions against auditors, actuaries, directors and others. The HIH Insurance Group collapse was precipitated by a deficiency estimated to be between $5 billion and $7 billion.
  • Trilogy Funds Management Limited (TFML):  Acted for and advised TFML, a responsible entity of a large fund  holding over $1B in land assets, in litigation, recovery and insolvency proceedings and its statutory and common law legal duties. 
  • Gunns Limited (In liquidation): Zac acted for the majority landowner on which the Great Southern Schemes operated in connection with the enforcement of the landowner's security interests under Part 5.3A of the Corporations Act 2001.
  • Clutha Limited: Zac successfully acted for a Japanese conglomerate (globally one of the largest fuel traders) in proceedings involving claims of insolvent trading, breach of fiduciary duty and duty of care and diligence under the then Corporations Law.
  • Outboard Marine Corporation: Zac successfully acted for the liquidator of one of the world's largest producers of outboard engines (Johnson and Evinrude) including de facto representative proceedings litigated in the Supreme Court arising from actions commenced by former Johnson and Evinrude outboard dealers. 

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Litigation and Dispute Resolution

  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC): Zac successfully acted for ASIC in its high-profile civil penalty proceedings against former directors and officers of companies in the James Hardie Group, ABN60 Pty Limited and James Hardie Industries NV.
  • AMP: Zac successfully acted for and advised AMP in relation to litigation concerning Part 2C.1 of the Corporations Act and its extraterritorial application.  As a result of the litigation, the Corporations Regulations 2001 were amended.
  • PrimeSuper: Zac successfully acted for PrimeSuper in relation to its c.$81M purchase of commercial property the settlement of which stalled due to contractual interpretation and stamp duty disagreements.   
  • Golden Horizon Finance Co, Ltd: Zac successfully acted for a financier in connection with the enforceability of loans provided to an Australian listed company.   

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Administrative and Public Law

Various Commonwealth Government Departments: Zac conducts merits and judicial review on behalf of the Commonwealth in all relevant tribunals, the federal courts and the High Court of Australia.

Zac has authored numerous papers and commonly presents on administrative law topics at conferences sponsored by the Australian Institute of Administrative Law (AIAL) and the Law Society of NSW. He is a committee member of the AIAL NSW chapter, and has published numerous papers on administrative law in academic journals. Zac regularly conducts training programs for clients, particularly on judicial review and administrative law. 

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Government Services

  • Finance (Comcover): Acted for Finance in highly sensitive tort civil claims for negligence, unlawful detention, and psychic injury matters brought against the Commonwealth government.
  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC): Zac successfully acted for ASIC in its high-profile civil penalty proceedings against former directors and officers of companies in the James Hardie Group, ABN60 Pty Limited and James Hardie Industries NV.

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Anti-dumping and importation

Zac acts for and advises local and foreign corporations, including Alcoa of Australia Limited, Ford Australia, Capral Aluminium, Nippon Steel & Sumitomo Metal Corporation, Stora Enso AB and Siemens Limited on issues relating to the Customs Act, Customs Tariff Act and WTO anti-dumping agreement. Zac has also acted in litigious matters for the recovery of customs duties and sales tax for the Australian Customs Service. 

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Knowledge

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