Dispute resolution

Overview

We have leading-edge experience in advising clients on large-scale litigation and class actions. Our litigation partners have been involved in most of the significant claims and major class actions in Australia over the last 20 years.

We are unique amongst Australian firms because we act for both plaintiffs and defendants in large-scale litigation and class actions related to antitrust/competition, corporate, financial services and tax matters. Members of our team are widely recognised litigation and class action experts.

Tough litigators who do a very good job for their clients.
Chambers Asia-Pacific

We also have considerable expertise in acting for litigation funders who drive class action litigation in Australia. This experience provides us with invaluable insights into the judgment calls made for both plaintiffs and defendants in the conduct of complex claims. Our clients obtain commercially attractive results based on our savvy, strategic and non-process driven advice.

We provide a compelling offer of outstanding litigation services. Our independence and relative conflict-free positioning enables us to pursue plaintiff-based litigation, as well as defendant work.  Our focus on providing strategic advice to Australian funds on class actions puts us in a unique position to prosecute their claims.

We are dedicated to the causes we fight, and to achieving the best case scenario for our valued clients.

Experience

Recent disputes

Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC)

Acted for ASIC in proceedings against two of Australia’s largest banks, the ANZ and Westpac bank, for alleged market manipulation and rigging of the bank bill swap rate (BBSW) for financial gain.

Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Trust Inc

Acting for one of the largest Aboriginal Trusts in the Northern Territory, the Groote Eylandt Aboriginal Trust Inc, in prosecuting various claims against advisors arising from fraud, breaches of trust and financial irregularities.

Gunns Liquidation

Representing the liquidators of the Gunns Group (PPB Advisory) in a claim in the Supreme Court of Tasmania against its former auditors, KPMG, arising from their 2009 audit of the Group.

Jetstar Airways

Acting for Jetstar in defending civil penalty proceedings brought by the ACCC, alleging misleading and deceptive conduct by Jetstar (and Virgin) in relation to the imposition of a ‘booking and service fee’ on online ticket sales.

Octaviar Liquidation

Acting for the liquidators of the Octaviar Group in Supreme Court of NSW proceedings against its former auditors, KPMG.

RiverCity Motorway Proceedings

Acting for the liquidators (PPB Advisory) of the financially collapsed RiverCity tunnel infrastructure project in litigation involving claims by the project lenders for nearly $2 billion and by the unitholders in a $280 million funded class action.

State of Victoria

Successfully represented the State of Victoria in two significant disputes with Tabcorp Holdings Ltd and Tatts Group Ltd over compensation following the expiration of their gaming licenses in 2012.

Class actions

Standard & Poor’s Global Inc

Acting for the lead applicants, Lifeplan Australia Friendly Society & others, in Federal Court proceedings against Standard & Poor’s for multi-million dollar losses related to investments in synthetic CDOs, which carried their credit ratings from AA- to AAA and were sold through Lehman Brothers’ Australian subsidiary.

SurfStich Group

Acting for the lead applicant against the company for failure to correct profit guidance in allegations that the company artificially raised its revenue and, consequently, its share price.

DDH Graham

Defended one of two defendants in the Federal Court of Australia in a $60 million class action brought by depositors allegedly defrauded by third party financial advisers on accounts DDH Graham managed as agent for the Bank of Queensland.

Dick Smith and directors

Acting for the plaintiffs (a group of institutional investors) in claims worth $125 million for misleading conduct around the prospectus issued in late 2014 and its subsequent market disclosures concerning stock levels, inventory, stock purchasing and provisioning.

Pitcher Partners

Acting in a shareholders class action against Pitcher Partners, the auditors of Slater + Gordon, with a potential claim value of $300 million.

People

Recognition

The JWS team wins praise for its "clear, effective and well-directed communication and advice".
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2017
Paul Buitendag, Aldo Nicotra, Tony Johnson, Joseph Scarcella, Robert Johnston, Tom Jarvis, Ben Renfrey, Richard Lilly and Chris Connor are named as leading lawyers in Dispute Resolution Law.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
Kevin Lynch, Paul Reidy, Robert Wyld, John Powell, Chris Connor, Tom Jarvis, Roxanne Smith, Toni Vozzo, Will Coulthard and Richard Lilly are named as leading lawyers in Litigation.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2018
Ben Renfrey, Tom Jarvis, Richard Lilly, Tony Johnson and Paul Reidy are named as leading lawyers in Alternative Dispute Resolution.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2018
Robert Johnston is named as a leading lawyer in class action litigation.
Best Lawyers Australia, 2018
JWS enjoyed a number of strong results in 2015, including the "highly strategic" Paul Reidy’s defence of Metagenics in a claim arising from the sale of the Australian arm of the business, and Chris Connor and founding partner Tony Johnson’s defence of the State of Victoria in High Court proceedings relating to expired gaming licences.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2017
Paul Reidy is "very well regarded in the commercial litigation space," and sources characterise him as "strategically strong and clever" and "extremely responsive."
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2016
"A good team - and a good team effort - for a large piece of litigation."
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2016
(JWS) provides national coverage of contentious issues, particularly for clients from the energy and natural resources and media sectors. Also active on disputes involving competition law, and in funded litigation and class actions.
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2015
"Niche performers at the highest level: what they do, they do superbly."
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2015
"Tough litigators who do a very good job for their clients."
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2015
Johnson Winter & Slattery has an "impressive caseload", with names to note including Paul Reidy and Tony Johnson.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2014
Paul Reidy earns high praise for his litigation skills from clients in the media and property sectors.
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2014
The "commercially focused" Roxanne Smith is recommended.
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2014

Related insights Read more insight

Foreign Bribery Update – May 2018

This Update covers a range of important developments in Australia and overseas in the area of foreign bribery policy, investigations and regulation to 1 May 2018. These developments will impact on...

More
Dispute Resolution Update - Jan 2018

The latest insights into our case developments, matters in the spotlight, and broader news in the dispute resolution space.

More
Acumen December 2017

noun – quickness of perception; keen insight. A range of legal issues relevant to corporate counsel and senior executives, written by our senior practitioners.

More