Dispute resolution

The breadth of experience and collective government knowledge of the lawyers in the Commercial Dispute Resolution Team enables them to provide immediate expert advice and representation in relation to any type of claim arising out of:

  • commercial and contractual disputes
  • injunctive relief
  • trade practices breaches
  • consumer law breaches
  • defamation
  • land title fraud claims
  • state revenue and recovery appeals
  • false imprisonment and malicious prosecution
  • trespass claims
  • negligence claims
  • alternate dispute resolution
  • non-party disclosure and subpoenas.

The lawyers in the team have significant experience in providing advice and representation in all courts on various matters including commercial disputes, claims for damages alleging negligence, nuisance, false imprisonment and malicious prosecution, claims alleging breaches of the Australian Consumer Law, compensation claims under the Land Title Act 1994 and injunctions.

The team also advises and represents departments and the State in a range of matters brought before Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (QCAT).

Our commercial dispute resolution lawyers provide advice and representation to a number of departments responding to notices of non-party disclosure, subpoenas and summonses issued from all state courts in both civil and criminal matters, the Federal Court, the Family Court, QCAT and requests issued out of courts from other States.

In addition, the lawyers in the Commercial Dispute Resolution Team specialise in all forms of alternate dispute resolution. They have successfully negotiated the resolution of numerous disputes on behalf of their client departments, through mediation and participation in without prejudice conferences.

RP Data Pty Ltd v State of Queensland
  • Defending Federal Court proceedings to restrain the State from entering into new Queensland Valuation and Sales System licence agreements; and successfully resisted an application seeking a declaration that the State had engaged in conduct that contravened the former Trade Practices Act 1974.
Hamcor & Armstrong v State of Qld & Ors – significant litigation
  • Defending Supreme Court proceedings which concerned the alleged negligent actions of the Queensland Fire and Rescue Service in combating one of Queensland’s largest chemical fires. The plaintiffs sought damages in excess of $18 million. This case involved the first judicial consideration of s. 129(1) of the Fire and Rescue Service Act 1990 and s. 36 of the Civil Liability Act 2003. The matter is on appeal.
Collingwood Park Litigation – significant litigation
  • Defending 23 Supreme Court claims (heard together) alleging negligence on the part of the State in the conditioning and supervision of mining activity and claiming property damage and diminution in value arising out of the 2008 mine subsidence event at Collingwood Park. The total of the plaintiffs' claims was approximately $2.14 million. This was a complex and unique claim.

    At trial the State was found to have owed a duty of care to residents of Collingwood Park in granting the mining lease and in monitoring and enforcing the mining lease conditions. The State was also found to have breached its duty of care by failing to adequately monitor and enforce the conditions of the mining lease.

    However, only five plaintiffs whose properties were immediately adjacent to the 2008 subsidence event, were able to establish diminution in value of their property due to the subsidence event. The total value of those claims was $95,000. Judgment and costs were awarded in favour of the State in respect of 13 of the remaining proceedings. Furthermore, the State successfully defended a late allegation of failure to remediate and was awarded costs in its favour against all plaintiffs in respect of that aspect of the claim.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Nicole Perrin 
  • Defending a complex $13.5 millon land title fraud claim for damages against the State under the Land Title Act 1994 involving high profile media figure, Matthew Perrin.
State of Queensland v TLC Consulting Services Pty Ltd 
  • Obtaining an injunction in the Supreme Court on behalf of the Commissioner of Fair Trading against TLC Consulting Services Pty Ltd, a high media profile introduction agency; and subsequently recovered in excess of $570,000 from TLC on behalf of the Office of Fair Trading following enforcement proceedings; and successfully prosecuted the director of the agency for contempt, resulting in a term of imprisonment.
Ferguson v State of Queensland & Anor
  • Acting on behalf of the State (through Queensland Police Service) and a detective in a Supreme Court claim for false imprisonment and negligence made by one of the persons arrested and charged for the murder of a man in Toowoomba. The preparation for trial involved the meticulous review of Police records in relation to the investigation of the plaintiff and his brother. The matter involved material that was highly sensitive in nature. The trial also attracted a high level of local media interest. The claim was successfully defended on behalf of the State and the detective and the proceedings were dismissed with costs
Alternate dispute resolution
‘Pacific Adventurer’ oil spill – significant litigation 
  • This claim arose out of the major oil spill from the vessel MV Pacific Adventurer into waters off Cape Moreton in 2009.

    The shipowners (‘Swire’) established a limitation fund in the Federal Court in respect of the spill. Crown Law represented the State in the Federal Court proceedings with respect to the recovery of the costs of the clean up incurred by the State and other public sector agencies. Seventy private sector claims for loss and damage arising from the spill were also made against Swire. Crown Law was responsible for the management of this alternate dispute resolution process which enabled private sector claimants to be identified and their claims substantiated, and (where validated) paid out from the limitation fund quickly and economically without recourse to expensive and time consuming litigation.