Assistant Crown Solicitor
Paula Freeleagus leads Crown Law's Commercial Dispute Resolution team.
Paula joined Crown Law in 1999 as Team Leader of the Planning and Environment team after working in the private sector for several years to Associate level as a commercial litigation and insolvency specialist. In 2003, Paula was seconded to establish the Confiscations Branch in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and returned to Crown Law in 2004 as Assistant Crown Solicitor of the Commercial Dispute Resolution Team.
As a commercial litigator with more than 27 years’ experience in both private practice and government, Paula has a comprehensive and unique understanding of all facets of government litigation. Her areas of expertise span across commercial disputes, insolvency, debt recovery, trade practices and consumer law litigation, injunctive relief, real property litigation, negligence claims, state revenue litigation and advice and alternate dispute resolution.
Paula has conducted many large commercial and significant litigation matters on behalf of the ministers, directors-general, the State and State employees, in all jurisdictions. During the conduct of significant litigation matters, Paula has personally briefed ministers, the Attorney-General, directors-general and Cabinet on the conduct and strategic direction of the matters.
Paula has had the conduct of numerous significant litigation matters and general litigation matters on behalf of ministers, directors-general, the State and State employees, in all jurisdictions. Her experience includes:
- defending the State of Queensland in the Supreme Court proceedings of Hamcor & Armstrong v State of Qld & Ors where the plaintiffs sought damages in negligence in excess of $18 million arising out of an industrial fire at Narangba
- the conduct of 23 Supreme Court claims (heard together) claiming damages in negligence for property damage and diminution in value arising out of the 2008 mine subsidence event at Collingwood Park
- defending Federal Court proceedings in the matter of RP Data Limited v State of Queensland seeking injunctions, declarations and damages against the State and State employees alleging fraud, conspiracy and breaches of the Trade Practices Act 1974
- negotiating by way of alternate dispute resolution 73 compensation claims arising out of the 'Pacific Adventurer' oil spill in Moreton Bay in the Maritime Jurisdiction of the Federal Court
- defending and negotiating claims for compensation under the Acquisition of Land Act 1967, including the conduct of the Land Court compensation claim and High Court proceedings in Marshall v The Director-General of Transport
- advising and acting on behalf of the Department of Main Roads, the former Environmental Protection Agency and Wet Tropics Management defending major claims for compensation in the Land Court
- negotiating claims for compensation under the Water Act 2000 and claims for compensation arising out of flooding caused by the construction of dams.
- defending State employees and the State against claims for damages arising out of alleged malicious prosecution and false imprisonment
- defending Supreme Court proceedings in the matter of Kelsall & Others v State of Queensland and Brisbane City Council seeking declarations claiming invalidity of a Change of Purpose declaration regarding a property acquired by the Department of Transport
- seeking declarations, penalties and injunctions under the Consumer Credit (Queensland) Act 1994 and Consumer Credit Code, the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 and the Australian Consumer Act 2010
- advising and representing departments in Planning and Environment Court appeals
advising and representing departments on breach of contract claims and litigation
acting on behalf of clients at mediations and without prejudice conferences and successfully negotiating resolution of claims
- defending Supreme Court claims against ministers and State employees alleging negligent misrepresentation, negligent misstatement and misfeasance in public office
- advising and acting for the Commissioner of State Revenue on debt recovery matters and appeals under the Duties Act 2001, Payroll Tax Act 1971, Land Tax Act 2010 and the Taxation Administration Act 2001
- advising departments on insolvency, bankruptcy, preference claims and debt recovery
- acting on behalf of the Registrar of Titles defending claims alleging fraud seeking compensation under the Land Title Act 1994
- defending QCAT proceedings claiming damages for alleged breaches of the Retail Shop Leases Act 1994.