Shane has a commercial practice, with experience in a wide variety of matters including building and construction, contractual disputes, corporations law, insolvency, intellectual property, professional indemnity claims, real property, restraint of trade, securities, tax litigation, and trade practices. He also acts in succession matters (including family provision and constructive trust claims), and in some tort claims, and has specialist experience in public and private international law. Shane was listed in the Australian Financial Review’s ‘Best Lawyers 2020’ for class action litigation.
Shane has appeared in Supreme and Federal Court applications, trials, and appeals, with experience of being briefed as sole counsel, with a leader, and with his own junior. He has appeared as junior counsel in the High Court of Australia, as counsel before lower courts and tribunals, and has represented parties in mediations and other forms of alternative dispute resolution.
Before coming to the Bar, Shane spent three years as a Lecturer at New College, Oxford University (teaching contract and international law), and practised as a solicitor.
Shane is visiting counsel at 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, Sydney.
Commercial matters in which Shane has acted include:
- a range of corporate disputes between directors, shareholders, partners, joint venture parties and companies
- a class action on behalf of 46,000 investors to recover over $130 million invested in property in Australia by the Indian operators of the world’s largest Ponzi scheme (claimed to be 58 million investors and over $9 billion invested).
- a variety of contractual disputes, including construction of contracts, enforcement of restraint of trade clauses, protection of intellectual property, disputes over sales of businesses, franchise disputes, enforcement of guarantees
- a substantial dispute running over several years between the former owners of a Nigerian telecommunications business, involving proceedings in the British Virgin Islands, the Netherlands, Nigeria, Panama, and Queensland
- numerous real property matters involving misrepresentation claims, the lodgement of caveats, disputes over leases (including options, outgoings, application of the Retail Shop Leases Act), recovery of possession, and disputes over commissions
- a substantial dispute concerning misrepresentations over land sold in Dubai, with proceedings on foot in the UAE and in Australia
- matters involving the appointment of receivers, winding up applications, and other matters dealing with insolvency and bankruptcy
- acting on behalf of the Commissioner of Taxation in appeals to the AAT
- disputes in relation to mining equipment and drilling operations
- professional indemnity claims, including claims against architects, engineers, financial advisers, insurance brokers, solicitors, and valuers
- a group of over 25 claims brought against a large national retail stockbroking and wealth management firm in relation to inappropriate financial advice involving clients of modest means (many soon to be retired) making highly geared investments in equities
Shane has been retained by the Crown (the details below have been approved for disclosure) and by private parties in numerous matters involving public international law, private international law, the domestic law of foreign jurisdictions, and litigation in multiple jurisdictions. Some of these have not involved public hearings in Court. Apart from the commercial matters referred to above, these have included:-
- the heads of damages available under the Montreal Convention (in connection with claims arising out of the shooting down of Malaysia Airlines flight MH17)
- issues arising out of an oil spill from the MV Pacific Adventurer off the Queensland coast in 2009
- questions concerning the conformity of duties legislation with the Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation
- issues arising out of the injury of an Australian contractor who was working for the Solomon Islands prison service pursuant to an Australian foreign aid agreement
- consequences for an Australian manufacturer arising out of allegations made against its foreign parent company of corrupt dealings with the government of a developing country
- defending claims made against her former employer by an Australian who was prosecuted and jailed in a foreign state in connection with her complaint that she had been sexually assaulted
- advice dealing with the sale (on a cost recovery basis) by an Australian tissue bank of human tissue to medical researchers overseas
- various matters dealing with anti-terrorist legislation and its conformity with international law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights
- the conformity with international law of various pieces of proposed legislation, including legislative restriction on industrial action, preventive detention of dangerous prisoners, communications between prisoners and the media, and the external management of a person’s social security payments
- written Views of the United Nations Human Rights Committee issued in response to a communication made by an Australian to that Committee
- issues relating to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples
Australian Financial Review Best Lawyers®
2020 – Class Action Litigation
Queensland State Convenor for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Australian Branch
National Councillor of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Australian Branch
President, Queensland Chapter of the International Law Association (Australian Branch)
Member, Management Committee, International Law Association (Australian Branch)
Member, International Law Committee, Bar Association of Queensland
Bar Association of Queensland
Caxton Legal Centre Inc
International Law Association
New South Wales Bar Association
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Assistant to Justice MD Ireland (1996) and then to Acting Justice Ian Temby (1997), both of the Common Law Division of the NSW Supreme Court.
Practised with solicitors Hunt & Hunt (now Cooper Grace Ward) in Brisbane (commercial litigation), Minter Ellison in Brisbane (insurance litigation), and Sturtivant & Co in London (leading boutique UK immigration and nationality specialists).
Lecturer at New College, Oxford University (2001-04) (primarily teaching contract law and international law to both undergraduate and postgraduate students).
Commenced private practice at the Queensland Bar in January 2005.
Doctor of Juridical Studies, University of Sydney
Master of Studies (by thesis), University of Oxford
Bachelor of Laws (Honours), University of Queensland
Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland
Postgraduate Diploma in Teaching in Higher Education, University of Oxford