Having worked as both a commercial litigation solicitor at a top tier law firm and now as a barrister (combined) for over 27 years Nicholas is able to draw on a wealth of experience to advise and litigate for his clients. This experience combined with his friendly and collaborative working style make him a popular choice for instruction by both lawyers and clients.
Prior to being appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2018, Nicholas was led by 28 Silks, many of whom are now superior court judges.
Nicholas has conducted lengthy trials, including a number of lengthy e-trials in the Federal Court, the Supreme Court and Commercial Arbitration. Nicholas champions the use of technology at the Bar and is amenable to utilising all electronic tools in order to expedite the briefing experience for the ease of his clients.
Nicholas’ extensive experience in all fora means he is ideally positioned to assist clients at all stages of disputes. His practice is dominated by legally complex and high value work in the Supreme Court and commercial arbitration. He appears in all courts, arbitrations and commissions of inquiry as well as possessing extensive experience in mediations, as counsel and mediator.
Nicholas’ expertise lies in: banking & finance; building & construction; collapses of major financial services corporations; contract; duty of care owed by local authorities; franchising, equity, property; joint venture, partnership, shareholder and director disputes; judicial review; land valuation & town planning; mining & environment; professional negligence; trade practices, breach of duty by directors.
In addition, Nicholas is regularly instructed in regulatory enforcement matters, primarily for authorities and regulatory bodies, as well as taking on pro bono work.
Nicholas is an elected member on the Queensland Bar Association and sits on the ethics and Bar care sub-committees. He is a director of a charity, Roses in the Oceans whose purposes include preventing suicide. Nicholas is the President of the Queensland Chapter of the Hellenic Lawyers Association. Nicholas is also a barrister representative on a Law Council of Australia working group in relation to opportunities to better promote the use of e-trials and facilitate the sharing of more information through electronic means.
Nicholas has been retained in a wide variety of matters, including:
› acting for global provider of technical and professional services, including engineering and construction in a commercial arbitration (2018);
› acting for major international mining companies challenging jurisdiction of the Land Court in the context of a challenged referral for compensation (2018);
› acting for Port of Brisbane to resist an attempt to obtain, by subpoena, production of commercial in confidence business records (2018);
› acting for Coles to resist an attempt to obtain, by non-party disclosure, commercial in confidence business records (2018);
› acting for an international co-venture in a commercial arbitration about the cost of constructing a major piece of infrastructure that involves allegations of misleading or deceptive conduct as well as alleged breaches of contract (2018);
› acting for BHP and its co-venture partners in relation to a contested application to expand a major coal mine (2017/2018);
› Supreme Court proceedings involving the design of major infrastructure at a major airport (2017/2018);
› acting for a national rail carrier in a number of proceedings Supreme Court proceedings arising out of a number of derailments; (2016 to 2018);
› acting for one of the Australian big four Australian Banks in Supreme Court proceedings against it involving allegations of misleading and deceptive conduct and breach of contract (2017/2018);
› acting for one of the major home lending banks in Supreme Court proceedings defending proceedings commenced against it by a former franchisee (2017/2018);
› Supreme Court proceedings against local authorities arising out of developments approved by the authorities (2016/2017/2018);
› acting for one of Australia’s largest grazier families in judicial Reviews Proceeding (2017);
› challenges to decisions of the Queensland Building and Construction Commission (acting for the Commission and generally on appeal);
› appearing for a national broadcaster in a Coronial Inquest investigating a number of police shootings that occurred in Queensland. The national broadcaster was given leave to appear because the issues include matters concerning the presence of media helicopters at one of the shootings (2015/2016);
› representing the Wagner interests in the 2015 Grantham Flood Inquiry. The hearing of the Inquiry was conducted with the assistance of a database used to call up documents and other electronic material in the openings, examining witnesses, tendering evidence, for use in written submissions and closing address;
› a lengthy commercial arbitration that ran in 2014 and 2015 in respect of the design of significant underground infrastructure. The total number of hearing days for the arbitration was 44 days. The structures in respect of which Nicholas was briefed in occupied approximately 30 days. The hearing was conducted with the assistance of a database used to call up documents and other electronic material in the openings, examining witnesses, tendering evidence, for use in written submissions and closing address;
› a lengthy ASIC pecuniary penalty proceeding that commenced in 2013 and concluded in 2014 conducted in the Queensland Supreme Court that involved various allegations of breaches of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) arising out of the collapse of a large managed investment scheme. The total number of hearing days for the trial was 60 days. The hearing was conducted with the assistance of a database used to call up documents and other electronic material in the openings, examining witnesses, tendering evidence, for use in written submissions and closing address;
› one of the trials involving the Storm Financial collapse. The trial was conducted in the Federal Court in 2012 and 2013 and involved issues about the existence and operation of an unregistered managed investment scheme, alleged breaches of contract, provisions of the ASIC Act, the then Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) as well as unconscionable conduct. The total number of trial days was 49. The proceeding successfully settled shortly after closing addresses. The hearing was conducted with the assistance of a database used to call up documents and other electronic material in the openings, examining witnesses, tendering evidence, for use in written submissions and closing address;
› an international arbitration involving the construction of an Oil Refinery;
› disputes in the Supreme Court of Queensland involving the proper construction of the Building and Construction Industry Payment 2004 (Qld);
› matters generally conducted in the Supreme Court of Queensland about the construction/cost of road networks, tunnels, haul roads, railway networks and commercial and residential towers;
› judicial Reviews Proceeding including a review of the minister’s decision to renew a coal mining lease; (trial; Court of Appeal; successful in opposing special leave to High Court) and review of local authority decisions to not issue permits;
› proceedings involving the proper construction of provisions of the Acquisition of Land Act 1967, and whether the construction authority was required to offer the land back to the former owner (trial; Court of Appeal; successful in opposing special leave to High Court);
› a number of appeals and declaratory proceedings in the Planning and Environment Court;
› proceedings seeking declarations that certain business assets are held on trust flowing from alleged breach of fiduciary obligations; and
› freezing and recovering assets for an investor involved in the Opus Prime collapse.
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession – Commercial Litigation & Disputes Barristers
- 2018 Commercial Litigation & Disputes Barristers (Queensland) – Recommended Junior Counsel
- 2017 Commercial Litigation & Disputes Barristers (Queensland) – Leading Junior Counsel
- 2016 Commercial Litigation & Disputes Barristers (Queensland) – Leading Junior Counsel
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession – Construction & Infrastructure Barristers
- 2018 Construction & Infrastructure Barristers (Queensland) – Leading Junior Counsel
- 2017 Construction & Infrastructure Barristers (National) – Recommended Junior Counsel
- 2017 Construction & Infrastructure Barristers (Queensland) – Leading Junior Counsel
- 2015 Construction & Infrastructure Barristers (Queensland) – Recommended Junior Counsel
2012 - present Board, Roses in the Ocean "Stemming the tide of suicide"
2017 - present Elected to the council of the Queensland Bar Association
2016 - present Member of the Queensland Bar Association’s Professional Conduct Committee
2015 - present Representative on the Queensland Bar Ethics Committee
2015 - present Representative on the Queensland Bar, Bar Care Committee
2018 - present President of the Queensland Chapter of the Hellenic Australian Lawyers Association
2017 - present Member of the Federal Court legal technology sub-committee of the Law Council of Australia. The sub-committee was formed to develop a nation-wide guideline for discovery from collection of documents from the client through to e-trials
2015 - present Queensland Bar representative on a working group identifying opportunities to promote e-trials and facilitate sharing more information electronically in criminal matters
Bar Association of Queensland
1991-2003 Solicitor - Nicholas undertook a bachelor of law degree on a part-time basis at QUT. He undertook 5 year articles of clerkship whilst studying law. Nicholas completed his degree in 1991 and was admitted as a solicitor in December 1991. As a solicitor, Nicholas worked and gained experience in a small Brisbane CBD firm; a regional law firm in New South Wales and a mid-tier Brisbane firm. He joined a national law firm where he worked as a commercial litigator for about 8 years before coming to the bar in 2003.