top silks get ready for royal commission

The largest authorized present within the nation is about to open in Melbourne when former High Court justice Kenneth Hayne’s Financial Services Royal Commission (FSRC) begins its public hearings subsequent week.

And there is no scarcity of stars given the raft of top QCs required to serve the sheer variety of monetary establishments concerned within the short-tenured 12 month inquiry.

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The huge monetary providers outfits have arrange ‘war rooms’ inside their respective headquarters the place executives and groups of inhouse and exterior legal professionals will watch the proceedings on a reside feed.

The listing of massive identify silks – the kind of barristers that always cost 5 figures for a day’s work – recruited by the large 4 banks, AMP, Macquarie point out the monetary establishments concerned are taking the matter very significantly.

So does the listing of the exterior regulation companies the place groups of instructing solicitors shall be aiding the banks’ already giant inhouse authorized groups.

This consists of the business tremendous sector which had been scratching its head about why it had been focused by the evaluate.  In response they’ve recruited some critical authorized weapons with silks in addition to “Mr Fix-It” Leon Zwier from Arnold Bloch Leibler. Zwier was the guy who coached Bill Shorten by way of his Trade Union Royal Commission testimony.

ASIC can also be busy getting ready to elucidate its successes and, little question, defend its many failings in prosecuting, investigating and stamping out dangerous behaviour within the sector.

A public tender exhibits the watchdog has forked out $2.15 million to enroll an exterior regulation agency. That tender solely runs till June 30, 2018 — maybe indicating when ASIC believes the general public hearings will wrap up.

However, a spokesman for the FSRC advised Fairfax Media this week “there are no deadlines set for June 30, 2018”. The deadlines that have been set are clear — Hayne is to ship an interim report on September 30 and a ultimate report on February 1.

In the meantime, there isn’t any want to fret about there being a scarcity of massive identify legal professionals to run different instances for the banks (like CBA’s defence of allegations from Australian Transaction Reports and Analysis Centre it breached cash laundering and anti terrorism financing legal guidelines or the identical financial institution’s of allegations from ASIC it rigged the financial institution invoice swap fee) as a result of there are nonetheless many in a position silks round to deal with these instances. 

Below is a who’s who of the lead legal professionals solely for a few of the main monetary teams anticipated to seem on the royal commission. Rest assured there will probably be a phalanx of different silks and junior barristers to help these QCs of their endeavours.

For the Commission

Counsel: Rowena Orr

Orr is ranked as one of many nation’s greatest competitors legal professionals by authorized rating outfit Doyle’s List. Her quotation on the distinguished listing got here after showing for each the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and company entities in a slew of competitors instances together with representing Heinz in its child meals battle with the watchdog. Cambridge and University of Queensland educated Orr has in depth royal commission expertise in comparison with another barristers appointed for the banks, being counsel for the State of Victoria in royal commission into household violence in 2015.

Counsel: Michael Borsky, QC

The comparatively recent confronted Michael Borsky has sprinted up the rankings of top barristers since taking silk in 2016 on account of his experience in each business and public regulation. Borsky, a graduate of each Oxford and Monash Universities, lately confirmed off his deft expertise at understanding complicated monetary issues when given the job of arguing Australian Securities and Investment Commission’s (ASIC) case towards Westpac within the financial institution invoice swap price trial. He has additionally labored for main corporates together with Flight Centre and Coles within the corporations’ respective stoushes with the ACCC.

Commonwealth Bank of Australia

Counsel: Steven Finch SC

Finch has for a number of years been considered one of the crucial well-regarded practitioners on the New South Wales Bar. He has solely lately swapped financial institution colors from the purple of Westpac (in its defence of ASIC’s case alleging the financial institution rigged certainly one of Australia’s key rates of interest) for the yellow and black for the Commonwealth Bank in getting ready the group for the banking royal commission.

According to a survey of the career by authorized publication Chambers and Partners, Finch is a “fierce advocate” who’s method is described by his friends as “persuasive quite than making an attempt to bludgeon the courtroom into submission.” He is considered main a phalanx of barristers appointed by the financial institution to care for its subsidiaries.

External legal professionals: Clayton Utz with help from PwC

Inhouse chief: Jacqueline Schrader and Anna Lenahan

Australia and New Zealand Banking Group

Counsel: Matt Collins QC 

High profile Melbourne silk Matt Collins, QC, is greatest recognized for his work in defamation regulation. He lately represented Rebel Wilson within the landmark defamation proceedings introduced towards Bauer Media. He additionally represented News Corp and Andrew Bolt in its well-known 18C case. Collins can also be an completed business lawyer and has beforehand represented ANZ.

Counsel: Alan Archibald QC

An undisputed sage of the Victorian business bar, Alan Archibald has represented ANZ in quite a lot of instances through the years together with ANZ’s short-lived defence of ASIC’s Federal Court motion alleging the financial institution rigged the financial institution payments swap fee (BBSW) in addition to the financial institution’s profitable High Court attraction of a category motion referring to ATM charges. He is famend for his potential to resolve extremely complicated, troublesome issues which can serve the financial institution properly given its chief government Shayne Elliott lately described the financial institution’s 50 web page submission to the inquiry as “confronting”.

Inhouse chief: Bob Santamaria

External legal professionals: Clayton Utz

National Australia Bank

Counsel: Neil Young QC

Not the rock star, the rock star lawyer, is an often-used quip to explain Young. Like Archibald for ANZ, Young is steadily listed as one of many nation’s top silks and praised for his measured strategy. A Federal Court decide between November, 2005 and January 2007, Young was described as felling lots of his opponents together with his “medium paced delivery” in an Age profile written on his appointment to the bench. In the years since he stepped off the bench and again into his barristerial robes, Young has efficiently represented Rio Tinto and Crown Casino in troublesome authorized stoushes.

Counsel: Wendy Harris QC

A category motion gun for rent, Harris has represented Murray Goulburn, Newcrest, UGL, WorleyParsons and NAB in securities class actions. Harris has additionally constructed up in depth litigation expertise representing the Victorian authorities in its $1 billion declare towards Tatts and Tabcorp in 2015 and was counsel for the Insurance Council of Australia within the Victorian bushfires royal commission. The senior vice-president of the Victorian Bar Council, Harris additionally lately labored with Young defending NAB towards allegations from ASIC it had rigged the financial institution invoice swap fee.

Inhouse chief: Sharon Cook

External legal professionals: Herbert Smith Freehills

Westpac Banking Corp

Counsel: Matthew Darke QC

Darke has solely just lately wrapped up his illustration for Westpac at an eight week trial for the financial institution over its alleged rigging of the financial institution invoice swap fee. It was at that trial that Darke a defence that studiously prevented any point out of a swear phrase — fairly the feat provided that a lot of the proof led by ASIC of dealer’s conversations have been extraordinarily blue. After taking silk in 2014, Sydney-based Darke has quick develop into a lawyer of selection for main firms in insolvency, competitors and mental property issues.

Counsel: John Sheahan QC

Another star of the bar, Sydney-based Sheahan has earned a popularity for his deft dealing with of complicated business litigation. His identify popped up in 2014 as hypothesis ramped up concerning the subsequent judicial appointment to the High Court following the retirement of none aside from Commissioner Hayne and Justice Susan Crennan. Sheahan is an skilled in competitors regulation and is a member of the Takeovers Panel however he’ll convey further power to the group by means of his expertise as senior counsel aiding the James Hardie Inquiry in 2004.

External legal professionals: Allens, Gilbert + Tobin

Inhouse chief: Rob McGrory, Rebecca Lim 

Industry Super Australia (Australian Super, CBUS, and so forth)

Counsel: Jim Delany QC

This extensively revered Melbourne silk is understood for his broad business expertise notably with class actions, contract regulation and company disputes. This has included the category motion introduced on behalf of detainees at Manus Island and the extremely complicated litigation referring to collapsed forestry managed funding schemes and in a damages case introduced by Asahi towards three guarantee. Given the truth that the governance of builders’ tremendous fund CBUS was canvassed on the commerce union royal commission, Delany’s expertise in development litigation might additionally come in useful.

Counsel: Michael Henry SC

The Sydney-based senior counsel has made operating excessive profile instances a part of his routine. When administrators and corporations discover themselves in a critical regulatory spot of hassle, Henry is usually one of many first people who find themselves referred to as together with by James Hardie director Dan O’Brien in his High Court attraction. The significantly expert silk additionally consists of in his CV ‘by way of contrast’ that he was the executor of the deceased property of Richard Pratt in proceedings introduced by his former mistress.

External regulation agency: Leon Zwier, Arnold Bloch Liebler

Inhouse lead: Litsa Tsitsis


Counsel: Garry Rich, SC

Keen watchers of Eddie Obeid’s many and assorted authorized stoushes will know Rich as one of many former Labor powerbroker’s barristers. Rich took silk in 2013 and since then has been busy including fairly a number of strings to his bow. He represented Airport Link receivership towards Arup. Chris Hill from PPB described Rich’s efficiency as distinctive in an interview with Fairfax Media.

“To simply have the ability to utterly tear a modeller aside on his personal visitors forecasts was extraordinary … it was like watching a practice wreck,” he stated.

Another current spotlight was Rich’s dealing with of Radhika Oswal’s testimony on the Supreme Court of Victoria within the billionaire’s $200 million authorized victory towards ANZ.

External legal professionals: Allens

Inhouse: Group authorized


Counsel: Philip Crutchfield QC

Tall and tanned, Crutchfield has run litigation for the likes of Woolworths, BHP and the non government administrators of Centro within the lengthy operating class motion introduced towards the crippled mall landlord. More just lately the Melbourne-based lawyer honed his regulatory expertise appearing for ASIC in its financial institution invoice swap price rigging case towards Westpac, NAB and ANZ. While Crutchfield has broad expertise in business regulation and is called being meticulous in his preparation, it is in cross examinations that he actually shines. Presumably, AMP took this into consideration when considering who might greatest wargame their executives for being within the witness stand.

Counsel: Robert Hollo, SC

An skilled in lots of areas, Hollo shines in insurance coverage stoushes notably these involving life insurance coverage. Given the current points within the life insurance coverage business after revelations about dodgy definitions and poor practices at AMP’s rival CommInpositive, it’s not shocking that Hollo is on AMP’s record, based on sources. Hollo has additionally represented the Commonwealth Bank in a number of instances involving claims by shoppers towards the monetary establishment.

External legal professionals: Chris Fox of King & Wood Mallesons in Melbourne.

Inhouse lead: Group authorized


Counsel: Michael O’Bryan QC

AustralianSuper could also be a part of the business tremendous fund sector that has been fiercely resisting their inclusion within the phrases of reference for the royal commission, however simply in case they’ve retained top silk Michael O’Bryan as their illustration for the royal commission. O’Bryan is understood for his work in competitors and shopper regulation and was a panelist on the Harper competitors evaluate. According to a current survey of shoppers of legal professionals for main authorized publication Chambers and Partners, O’Bryan is a “calm under pressure sort of guy” with an “enviable style and presence in court”.

Instructing Law Firm: Thomson Geer


Counsel: Peter Collinson QC

Collinson is considered one of ASIC’s frequent picks for counsel however he’s additionally labored on the opposite aspect of the bar desk representing corporates (like MYOB in 2002) which have run afoul of the company watchdog. He lately labored with Borsky and Crutchfield on ASIC’s case towards Westpac over the financial institution’s alleged rigging of the financial institution invoice swap price. Softly spoken in courtroom, Collinson is a self-described lover of the regulation who joined the bar in 1991 within the midst of the Australian financial recession and Victorian business property disaster.

External regulation agency: Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Inhouse lead: Chris Savundra

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