During a legal career of over twenty-five years, Shane has practised in national and international commercial dispute resolution as a solicitor and barrister as well as an academic. With insights gained from working at leading international, national and boutique law firms, and three years as a lecturer at Oxford University, Shane brings an intellectual, strategic and commercial approach tailored to each matter.
His practice encompasses cases concerning building and construction, contractual disputes, corporations law, insolvency, professional indemnity claims, real property, restraint of trade, securities, and trade practices. Shane also acts in succession matters and tort claims, and has specialist experience in public and private international law. More recently, Shane has built a sizeable practice in class action matters and was listed in this area by the Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers® 2020.
Shane is a highly experienced, adaptable and approachable lawyer who is adept at assisting at all stages of dispute resolution. His experience, both led and unled, includes matters in the Supreme, Federal and High Courts. He has also represented parties in mediations and other forms of ADR.
Shane is a national councillor and the Queensland convener for the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He is visiting counsel at 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, Sydney.
Examples of significant matters Shane has been briefed on include:
> Appeal from refusal to set aside a judgment against a self-represented litigant in a long trial against a bank and mortgage broker in which fraud and misrepresentations were alleged.
> Acting on behalf of 34,000 investors to recover over AUD 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 AUD 9 billion invested).
> Involved in 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.
COMPETITION & CONSUMER
> Supreme Court of Queensland proceedings (led by H B Fraser QC) enforcing contractual restraint of trade against former partner of accountancy firm.
> Claim (with P Zappia QC) in the Supreme Court of Queensland for declaratory relief under the unwritten law that the plaintiff is not obliged to pay any sum to the defendant under a written contract of guarantee on a number of different grounds. Relief sought pursuant to s 87 of the Trade Practices Act 1974 or s 237 of the Australian Consumer Law, based on misleading or deceptive conduct or unconscionable conduct.
> Highly technical dispute in the Federal Court of Australia (led by M Stewart QC) concerning a contract clause regulating the amount which a domestic property, as Lessor, might charge a commercial energy supplier, as Lessee for various utility and other services supplied. A further issue considered was the effect of enforceability of the Services Charges clause contrary to s 88 of the National Energy Retail Law (Queensland), requiring those selling electricity in Queensland to hold an authorisation or exemption and whether such authorisation or exemption could be granted retrospectively by the regulator.
> Acting unled in a claim by former State director of a political party (an unincorporated association) for breach of the contract ending his employment, and breach of the party’s constitution.
> Proceedings (led by Glenn Newton QC) considering whether a transfer order ought to be made in circumstances where it appears to the Court that the Federal Court proceedings have been commenced as an abuse of process.
CORPORATE INSOLVENCY & BANKRUPTCY
> Appearing unled in Federal Court of Australia proceedings where creditors of two related companies in liquidation applied for the appointment of a Special Purpose Liquidator under Division 90, s 90-15 of the Insolvency Practice Schedule (Corporations).
> A Supreme Court of Queensland dispute (with M M Stewart QC) over proceeds of sale of land between court appointed receivers of the land and subsequent transferees of registered mortgages over that land.
> Acting (with C M Kenny QC) in Federal Court of Australia proceedings connected to an allegation that funds from an alleged Ponzi scheme were traceably used in the purchase of properties by a commercial resort group to resorts properties it currently owned. The application was brought by the Securities and Exchange Board of India.
> 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.
> Appearing unled in a Federal Court of Australia injunction to restrain certain members from putting resolutions to a general meeting of a company limited by guarantee.
> Defending (with D O J North SC) a workers compensation claim by a contractor working for the Solomon Islands prison service pursuant to an Australian foreign aid agreement.
PUBLIC & PRIVATE INTERNATIONAL LAW
> Briefed in a matter arising out of an oil spill from the MV Pacific Adventurer off the Queensland coast.
> Advising on questions concerning the conformity of duties legislation with the Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation.
> Instructed concerning the 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.
> Instructed on various matters dealing with anti-terrorist legislation and its conformity with international law, particularly the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights.
PROPERTY & LAND LAW
> Appearing (with Shane Doyle QC) in proceedings where a plaintiff sought to recover damages for loss of a commercial opportunity which is more likely to make a loss than a profit.
> Acting in a substantial dispute concerning misrepresentations over land sold in Dubai with proceedings in the UAE and Australia.
> Appearing unled in District Court proceedings addressing whether the defendants had caused substantial interference with the use or enjoyment of the plaintiff’s land and whether that interference with the plaintiff’s land was unreasonable.
Australian Financial Review Best Lawyers®
2020-2021 – Class Action Litigation
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - Queensland State Convener
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators - National Councillor
International Law Association - Queensland Chapter President
International Law Association - Management Committee (Australia)
Bar Association of Queensland - International Law Committee
Bar Association of Queensland
Caxton Legal Centre Inc
Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (FCIArb)
International Law Association
New South Wales Bar Association
Society of Construction Law (SoCLA)
1995 commercial litigation at Hunt & Hunt (Brisbane, now Cooper Grace Ward)
1996 Assistant to Justice M D Ireland, Common Law Division of NSW Supreme Court
1997 Assistant to Acting Justice Ian Temby, Common Law Division of NSW Supreme Court
1998 Insurance litigation at MinterEllison (Brisbane)
1999 Assistant solicitor at a leading boutique UK immigration and nationality specialist
2001-4 Lecturer (primarily contract law and international law), New College Oxford
2005 Private practice at the Queensland Bar
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