Professor Matthew Conaglen



Professor Conaglen is an Academic Barrister in New South Wales. He is currently Deputy Head of School and Deputy Dean at the University of Sydney Law School, where he is also the Professor of Equity and Trusts.
He teaches and researches in the fields of equity, trusts and obligations. He is the author of Fiduciary Loyalty: Protecting the Due Performance of Non-Fiduciary Duties (Hart, 2010), and a co-author of Snell’s Equity (33rd ed, Sweet & Maxwell, 2015), as well as numerous book chapters and articles in leading journals such as the Law Quarterly Review and the Cambridge Law Journal. His writing has been cited by the High Court of Australia, the United Kingdom Supreme Court, the Privy Council, the Supreme Court of New Zealand and the Singaporean Court of Appeal, as well as numerous lower courts in those jurisdictions. Prior to becoming an academic, he was a Senior Solicitor at a major New Zealand law firm where he was involved in a wide range of commercial litigation. In recognition of his expertise in the fields of teaching and research in the Chancery sphere, he was made an Academic Member of the Chancery Bar Association in England.
Professor Conaglen accepts instructions to provide advice, and assist in the preparation of submissions, in relation to matters involving aspects of the law of trusts and equity, including fiduciary duties.

Mark Sheldon



Mark specialises in major engineering and construction matters, including infrastructure and mining disputes. He has been consistently recognised in Doyles Guide as a leading construction barrister in New South Wales and more recently in Doyles Guide’s Leading Construction & Infrastructure Junior Counsel – Australia, also as a Future Leader in Who’s Who Legal: Construction. His broader practice encompasses complex commercial and property disputes.

Mark regularly appears unled in commercial and construction cases at first instance and in arbitrations. He also has experience in the New South Wales Court of Appeal. His client base consists of top-tier Australian and international construction contractors and sub-contractors, multi-national corporations, overseas mining operators, local councils, certifiers, developers and strata owners.

Mark regularly appears in superior courts and tribunals in New South Wales, as well as in other Australian jurisdictions and internationally. He has appeared unled in domestic arbitrations and with highly esteemed Senior Counsel in multi-million-dollar international arbitrations in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in expert determinations, adjudications and mediations.

Mark provides strategic advice across all aspects of litigation and is commended for his approachability and commitment to achieve the most favourable outcome for his clients. He is also commended for his thorough preparation, strong work ethic and ability to integrate well into a team.

Prior to being called to the Bar in 2015, Mark practised as a solicitor at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Arnold Bloch Leibler and before that was Tipstaff to the Honourable Justice Einstein in the Supreme Court of New South Wales (Commercial and Technology and Construction Lists). While at Corrs, Mark was seconded to the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) to assist in the drafting of the ACICA Arbitration Rules.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of New South Wales. Previously, he was a headnote author for the New South Wales Law Reports and authored the catchwords for Domestic Commercial Arbitration for the New South Wales Law Reports with John West QC.

Harrison Grace



Harrison practices primarily in the areas of commercial law, corporations law, equity, trusts, professional negligence, property, planning and environment law, and public law.  A select list of cases in which he has appeared is attached to his CV, which may be downloaded below.

Before coming to the Bar in 2016, Harrison worked in international arbitration in Singapore for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (focusing primarily upon investor-state and treaty disputes), and in Paris for Allen & Overy (on large scale commercial claims).

Harrison was previously Tipstaff to the Honourable Justice R I Barrett of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.  He was also a contributor to Robson’s Annotated Corporations Legislation.

Harrison holds a Juris Doctor (Dist) and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons I) from the University of Sydney. He taught Civil and Criminal Procedure at Sydney Law School and worked there as a researcher. He studied on exchange at Sciences Po, Paris and speaks French.

Martin Smith



Prior to commencing at the Bar in 2011, Martin practised as a commercial litigation solicitor (including at Freehills) for four years and spent 18 months as associate to a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

Martin practises in corporate and commercial law, building and construction law, property law (particularly lease disputes), employment law (often including restraints of trade and confidential information issues) corporate insolvency/bankruptcy, trade practices (particularly involving misleading and deceptive conduct and passing off), insurance and administrative law.

Martin has appeared led and unled in commercial matters in all of the principal courts in New South Wales as well as the Federal Court. He often appears (usually as sole counsel) for Commonwealth departments in judicial review and related appeal proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court, the Federal Court and the High Court.

Martin has a substantial advice practice and is also regularly briefed to appear in urgent interlocutory applications in relation to property, restraint of trade and corporations law matters.

Recent significant or reported matters:

• Successfully defended a large international engineering firm in a professional negligence and misleading or deceptive conduct action brought against it. The amount claimed was in excess of $50 million and it occupied over five weeks of hearing time: Downer EDI Rail Pty Ltd v John Holland Pty Ltd and Ors (No 4) [2018] NSWSC 326.

• Northern Sydney Local Health District v Amaca Pty Ltd (under NSW administered winding up) [2017] NSWCA 251; insurance; double compensation

• SZTAL v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] HCA 34; High Court of Australia – statutory construction; interaction between the Convention against Torture and the Migration Act (successful, led by the Commonwealth Solicitor-General)

• Acted for respondent Minister in a judicial review case in the Federal Court involving allegations of bias arising from comments made by the Minister on public radio (successful, unled for the Minister against silk) – Zaburoni v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] FCA 654

• CGU Insurance Limited v AAI Limited [2016] NSWCA 335 – insurance, statutory interpretation

Lock v Australian Securities and Investments Commission (2016) 111 ACSR 318 – class action involving allegations of negligence; misfeasance in public office (for ASIC)

• Various insolvency proceedings, acting for liquidators, companies and revenue authorities

• Acting for a director in a significant case involving allegations of breach of directors of duty and insolvent trading

• Various professional negligence actions against solicitors (briefed by insurers)

• Acted for the successful defendants in a three-week confidential information trial. Indemnity costs were awarded in the defendants’ favour.

• Shrestha v Migration Review Tribunal (2015) 229 FCR 301 (Full Federal Court); SZWBH v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2015) 229 FCR 317 (Full Federal Court); AAV15 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2015) 230 FCR 454) – procedural fairness; scope of the Court’s summary dismissal power (all unled for the Minister)

• New South Wales Netball Association Ltd v Probuild Construction (Aust) Pty Ltd [2015] NSWSC 1339 – change of position under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW)

Eli Ball



Eli accepts briefs in all areas of civil and commercial law.

Eli regularly advises and appears (both led and unled) in matters before the Supreme Court of NSW and the Federal Court of Australia, as well as lower courts and tribunals. His practice includes general and commercial equity, corporations, class actions, building and construction, insolvency, insurance, professional liability, property, and probate.

Prior to coming to the bar, Eli was a solicitor in the disputes team at Ashurst in Sydney.  He was also previously Tipstaff to the Honourable Justice David Ipp AO at the New South Wales Court of Appeal.

Eli has a Doctorate in Law from the University of Oxford, where he focussed on the laws of restitution, unjust enrichment, equity, trusts, and tracing.  His doctoral thesis, Enrichment at the Claimant’s Expense: Attribution Rules in Unjust Enrichment was published as a book in 2016.  While at Oxford, Eli also completed the Bachelor of Civil Law and Master of Philosophy in Law, and was a college lecturer in contract, equity and trusts, and tort.

Away from the law, Eli is an accomplished marathon butterfly swimmer.  He is the record-holder for butterflying the Rottnest Channel (19.7km) in Western Australia.

David Price



David has practiced as a barrister since 2006.  Before that, he had been a solicitor for over 10 years at a large commercial firm and tipstaff to the Hon Justice Cohen of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

His areas of practice include commercial law, company law, insolvency, mortgages & securities, equity & trusts, land law and wills & estates.  He appears in trials and appellate matters in both state and federal jurisdictions and has appeared in various commissions of inquiry.

David also has substantial experience in mediations as counsel and as the mediator.  The areas of his mediation practice include contractual, business and commercial disputes, partnerships, franchises, leasing, lending and mortgage enforcement, real property, equity and trusts, and estate disputes.

David has written a textbook on limitation of actions and a casebook on constitutional law, now in its sixth edition published in 2016.  He has contributed articles to various journals.  Most recently he has published a series of articles in the Law Society Journal on estate litigation.

Outside his practice, David is an active surf lifesaver.  He has also competed in several Ironman triathlons, and various marathons and half-marathons.  That has led to his advising sports clubs and associations.

 

Gerald Ng



Gerald was admitted to the NSW Bar in 2008. He has since appeared in diverse jurisdictions, including the High Court of Australia to the Court of Arbitration for Sport, and in a diverse range of cases, ranging from commercial and insurance disputes to constitutional and administrative law matters. These include two successful challenges to the constitutional validity of the National School Chaplaincy Program.

Before coming to the Bar, Gerald was an Associate to the Hon W M C Gummow AC, former Justice of the High Court of Australia, and then a solicitor at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons), first in its Financial Services Group and subsequently in Dispute Resolution.

Gerald was also previously a lecturer in Federal Constitutional Law at the University of New South Wales.

Helena Mann



Helena was admitted to the Bar in 2014 after practising as a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills and acting as a Tipstaff and Associate to Justice Slattery in the NSW Supreme Court.

She practices mainly in complex commercial and general equity matters (with particular interest in trust and property disputes). She also utilises her extensive commercial experience to assist on complex commercial prosecutions and is part of the 7th Floor’s White Collar Crime Team.

Helena is often able to draw on her legal education and experience in both civil and common law jurisdictions to find unique solutions for complex legal issues requiring a broader perspective.

She was born and raised in Poland where she graduated with a Masters of Law from the University of Warsaw and started her legal career. In 2009 she moved to Australia for love and completed a Bachelor of Law (1st Class Hons) at the University of Sydney. She is fluent in Polish and also knows German and Russian.

Duncan Macfarlane



Duncan Macfarlane has practiced at the bar since May 2006, specialising in contracts and building and construction disputes. Duncan has advised on many such disputes and has appeared in the NSW Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, District Court and the Local Court as well as in tribunals, arbitrations, mediations and expert determinations.

Duncan has been listed in the Doyle’s Guide to Leading Construction Barristers NSW in 2012, 2014, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021 and in Doyle’s Guide to Leading Construction Barristers Australia 2016.

Duncan is an accredited mediator under the Australian National Mediator Standards and is appointed to both the Supreme and District Court mediation panels. Details of his availability and rates can be obtained from the Clerk, Simon Walker.

Brett Le Plastrier



Brett was called to the Bar in 2009. Prior to this he was a Tipstaff in the Queensland Court of Appeal, and worked as a solicitor in competition law, insolvency, and general commercial litigation.

Brett has a broad practice in corporate and commercial litigation, including building and construction, banking and finance, insolvency, equity, property, local government and environmental law, and intellectual property.

He appears, regularly without senior counsel, in motions, trials, and appeals in Federal, New South Wales and Queensland courts and tribunals.

Due to his experience with litigation in Queensland he is often retained by solicitors in New South Wales to act and advise in relation to disputes in Queensland.

Brett continues to be recognised as a recommended junior in Doyles Guide’s Leading New South Wales Construction & Infrastructure Junior Counsel – New South Wales, 2021.

*Parking available for clients on request