Chris Gasteen

Special Counsel

Chris is an experienced government lawyer with an extensive background across a range of areas including litigation and dispute resolution, insurance law, administrative law and commercial law. He has brought this broad experience to the handling of significant and high-profile planning and environment litigation matters on behalf of the State. Chris also offers expertise in legal practice management having held various high-level legal managerial positions in private practice.

Litigation and dispute resolution

  • Acting for the State of Queensland (the State) in class actions such as:
    • Rodriguez & Sons P/L v Seqwater, SunWater and the State of Queensland (Queensland Floods Class Action)
      Acting for the State in class action proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales arising out of the 2010 – 2011 flood events in South-East Queensland.
    • Pearson v The State of Queensland (Aboriginal Stolen Wages Class Action) Acting on behalf of the State in these Federal Court proceedings. The claim sought recovery of wages earnt between 1936 and 2007.
  • Conducting alternative dispute resolutions including mediations, arbitrations, settlement conferences and compulsory conferences
  • Acting in disputes in regard to maritime claims, property damage and pure economic loss claims, mortgagees in possession, contested marshalling, and liquidated claims
  • Acting in debt recovery matters including bankruptcy and winding up proceedings
  • Acting in property damage claims of significant complexity including claims for negligence and breach of duty
  • Acting in franchise disputes involving recovery proceedings and passing off disputes
  • Preparing defence of significant State litigation matters and advising in preparation of related sensitive government policy documentation.

Administrative Law

  • Undertaking administrative inquiries, commission hearings, coronial inquests and investigations such as:
    • Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements – acting for the State
    • Royal Commission into Defence and Veteran Suicide – acting for the State
    • Commission of Inquiry into Forensic DNA Testing in Queensland – acting for the State
    • Board of Inquiry into RAAF F-111 Deseal/Reseal workers and their families – acting for officers of interest
    • Commission of Inquiry into 2010-2011 Queensland Floods – acting for the State in drafting statements for State employees of interest
  • Appearing as Counsel before various courts and tribunals and other professional disciplinary bodies
  • Carriage of QCAT matters at all levels including conciliation, mediation, experts’ conclaves and complex and lengthy hearings.

Commercial Law

  • Acting in commercial maritime matters
  • Advising, negotiating and drafting a wide range of commercial contracts including sponsorship agreements, license agreements, Deeds of Grants, and tender and
  • Procurement arrangements
  • Acting in complex commercial lease negotiations on behalf of the State.

Insurance Law

  • Litigating and resolving disputes with third party claimants
  • Resolving contribution claims among insurers
  • Advising on a broad range of insurance matters including professional indemnity insurance, marine insurance, public liability insurance and compulsory third party insurance
  • Advising on and drafting product disclosure statements.

Planning and environment

  • Handling of significant and high-profile planning and environment litigation matters on behalf of the State such as:
    • Rainbow Shores P/L v Chief Executive, Department of Environment and Resource Management and others Defending the State in the Planning and Environment Court of Queensland with regard to a decision to refuse an application by Rainbow Shores Pty Ltd for approval of a 200 hectare development on Inskip Peninsula, north of Rainbow Beach.
    • Falzon & Ors v Coordinator General for the State of Queensland & Gladstone Ports Corporation Defending the State in the Planning and Environment Court in this matter where Mr Falzon, on behalf of 60 local fisherman and business owners, objected to dredging permits being issues by the Coordinator General of the Gladstone Ports Corporation.
    • Nona & Ors v the Honourable Andrew Powell MP & Silverback Properties Pty Ltd Defending the State in the Planning and Environment Court in this matter where a group of local residents challenged the validity of the declaration of the Steve Irwin Wildlife Reserve Nature Refuge.
  • Acting for insurers in large claims involving multiple claimants.