Rachel has a combined commercial and public law practice.
Her commercial dispute resolution practice covers a wide range of areas and industries, but with a particular focus on building and construction (from large infrastructure through to domestic building disputes), intellectual property, and media and defamation law. Her specialist expertise in this area is recognised by Australian Financial Review Best Lawyers® who list Rachel as a leading Australian junior counsel in Defamation and Media Law.
Acting for both individuals and public bodies, Rachel’s extensive administrative law practice, which is predominantly judicial and merits review, encompasses health, local government and regulatory law, as well as public law cases affecting the building regulator. With her expertise extending to professional discipline cases, most notably in the healthcare field, she regularly represents medical practitioners and other health professionals in Professional Services Review matters under the Health Insurance Act 1973 and appeals of decisions of the Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA.
She is a versatile advocate, appearing regularly in Federal and State Courts and before a range of tribunals both as sole counsel and led by senior counsel at trials and hearings in civil, review and appeal jurisdictions. Further, she advises and represents clients in alternative dispute resolution processes and acts as Mediator in commercial disputes.
Since being called to the bar in 2016, Rachel has acted for clients in a wide variety of matters including:
Media & Defamation
> appearing for broadcaster Alan Jones in a high-profile seven-week defamation trial (led by R Anderson QC);
> opposing an appeal to the Court of Appeal of a decision to dismiss an application for summary judgment concerning whether a registrant of a domain is a publisher (led by R Anderson QC);
> advising and appearing in an application seeking an extension of the limitation period for the purpose of commencing an action in defamation;
> appearing with senior counsel opposing an application to dispense with a jury;
> representing a plaintiff whose picture was wrongly used in news stories reporting a hit-and-run resulting in death;
> advising and representing a wide range of corporate and private clients in both pursuing and defending defamation proceedings;
> advising and appearing in an application for preliminary disclosure prior to the commencement of proceedings.
Public & Administrative Law
> appearing (led by J Burnside AO QC) for a doctor in a three-day hearing in the Federal Court, seeking judicial review of decisions made in the Professional Services Review (PSR) scheme [judgment pending];
> representing a doctor in a PSR Committee hearing;
> advising and representing doctors under review by the Director of PSR;
> acting for a doctor appealing decisions by the Medical Board of Australia and AHPRA;
> advising and appearing for a film production company in relation to a challenge to local laws regarding filming;
> advising and appearing on behalf of the Queensland building regulator in applications, hearings and trials (both led and as sole counsel) in the Supreme, District and Magistrates Courts, QCAT and its Appeal Tribunal in licensing matters, merits reviews, judicial reviews and appeals;
> appearing for the Queensland building regulator in appeals, trials and applications for summary Judgment in proceedings relating to the statutory home warranty scheme.
> acting for construction companies (as sole counsel and with senior counsel) in proceedings for breach of contract, negligence and misleading and deceptive conduct;
> appearing for construction companies opposing applications to set aside adjudicators’ decisions made under the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017;
> appearing (led by P Dunning QC) in an appeal of a decision to set aside an Adjudicator’s decision;
> acting for trade suppliers, construction and engineering companies in contract and debt recovery proceedings;
> advising and representing construction companies in adjudication applications under the BIF Act (previously BCIPA) and expert determinations;
> acting for homeowners and builders in private building disputes in QCAT.
Commercial & Other
> acting for the opponent in proceedings under subsection 92(4)(b) of the Trade Marks Act 1995 where a finance company sought the removal of a registered trade mark on the basis of non-use;
> representing homeowners in a trial defending a claim for breach of copyright [judgment pending];
> advising and representing an individual in relation to a claim for conspiracy and breach of fiduciary duties;
> acting for a trade supplier as one of eighteen respondents in Federal Court proceedings brought by Liquidators of a building company;
> advising Liquidators in relation to distribution of trust assets and applications for freezing orders;
> appearing for owners of commercial premises in an application to remove and replace an Administrator of the body corporate;
> advising and appearing on behalf of commercial property owners and business owners in relation to retail tenancy disputes in QCAT.
Mediation & ADR
> representing companies, regulatory bodies and individuals in alternative dispute resolution processes including compulsory conferences, settlement conferences and mediations;
> acting as Mediator in intellectual property, media and defamation and contract related matters.
Prior to her call to the Bar, Rachel practiced as a solicitor for five years at a boutique commercial litigation firm where she conducted dispute resolution and commercial litigation for corporations, builders and developers, government bodies and private clients, regularly appearing in State Courts, Federal Courts and Tribunals.
Australian Financial Review Best Lawyers®
2022-23 – Defamation and Media Law
Doyle’s Guide to the Legal Profession
2021 – Leading Administrative & Public Law Barrister (Australia)
Bar Association of Queensland
2014-2016 Associate Solicitor, Robinson Locke Litigation Lawyers
2012-2013 Solicitor, Robinson Locke Litigation Lawyers
2011-2012 Solicitor, Forbes Dowling Lawyers
Bachelor of Laws (QUT)
Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (QUT)