JWS achieves top result for State of Victoria in landmark gaming licence compensation disputes

March 2016

Johnson Winter & Slattery has successfully represented the State of Victoria in two significant disputes with former Victorian gaming licence holders, Tabcorp Holdings Ltd (Tabcorp) and Tatts Group Ltd (Tatts), over compensation following the expiration of their gaming licenses in 2012.

The matters were on appeal from the Supreme Court of Victoria and were heard by the High Court of Australia last November. The decisions in relation to each claim were handed down today.

The Court allowed the State’s appeal in relation to Tatts’ claim which will result in the re-payment by Tatts Group to the State of around $540m plus interest and costs. The Court also dismissed Tabcorp’s claim for about $950 million.

In discussing the result, Johnson Winter & Slattery's Managing Partner, Peter Slattery, said today’s judgments brought an end to the parallel proceedings which have been running since August 2012, and that the outcome is an enormous win for the firm’s client.  

“Our excellent team of litigators, ably led by leading disputes partner Chris Connor and consultant Tony Johnson, has worked on these matters since their commencement.

I commend them for their unwavering focus and dedication to achieving what is an exceptional outcome for our client,” Mr Slattery continued.

In discussing today’s win, Mr Connor said the decisions of the High Court today represent the culmination of over three years’ work on what was by any measure large scale litigation and which involved complicated issues.

“The reasoning of the High Court judgments confirms that where corporations engage in business dealings with government which are regulated by legislation or contract, or a combination of both, the rights and obligations of both parties will essentially be determined by the interpretation of the words of the applicable legislation and the provisions of any contract and the context in which it was entered into,” Mr Connor continued.

“We are proud, pleased, and honoured at the opportunity to have worked with the State of Victoria and the Department of Treasury and Finance and together with them achieved this excellent result” he went on to say.

Johnson Winter & Slattery details

Johnson Winter & Slattery is a commercial law firm representing Australian and international clients on their most strategic, complex and demanding transactions and disputes throughout Australiaand surrounding regions.

Our service delivery model distinguishes us from other major law firms. We maintain a much higher ratio of senior to junior lawyers and focus on assignments that are well suited to this low leverage structure. Our focus on ensuring the hands-on involvement of partners on each assignment is favoured by clients seeking the superior and more efficient outcomes achieved through senior lawyer engagement.

Media contacts

Chris Connor, Partner
T. +61 3 8611 1309
M. +61 411 360 131
e. [email protected]

Marc Walker, Business Development Director
T. +61 2 8247 9659
M. +61 429 781 680
e. [email protected]