Christine Small Partner

Meet Christine

Christine is a disputes lawyer with experience in handling complex and large-scale litigation, arbitrations and professional determinations.

She has worked with clients across a variety of industries including financial services, resources and infrastructure, real estate, general contractual and commercial disputes. She also acts in consumer law matters and regulatory investigations. 

Christine’s clients value her ability to provide strategic advice prior to and during the disputes process. She has acted for Qantas, Rio Tinto, Caltex, the ACCC and ASIC.

Christine has been a recommended lawyer for dispute resolution for the APL500 and was selected by her peers for inclusion in the 12th Edition of The Best Lawyers in Australia for alternative dispute resolution.

Experience

Recent matters

Rio Tinto

Acted for Rio Tinto in a Supreme Court proceeding defending a $47million claim commenced by Walker Corporation arising out of Rio Tinto’s withdrawal from negotiations over an agreement to lease 12 floors of a Brisbane CBD office building. The matter was resolved in the month prior to trail on confidential terms. Since then, Christine has acted on four further disputes for Rio Tinto.

Qantas

Acted for Qantas in Supreme Court proceedings against Jones Lang LaSalle (Qantas’ facilities maintenance manager) seeking damages in excess of $50million arising out of the release of 37,000 litres of fire-fighting foam concentrate (AFFF) from Hanger 3 at Brisbane Airport.

Macquarie Bank Limited

Acted for Macquarie Bank in a Supreme Court proceeding where Macquarie was being sued by a property development company for breach of contract. A strategic decision was made early in the litigation to make an application to split the trial so that the issue of liability was heard as a preliminary issue. Macquarie was successful in that application and was ultimately successful at trial and on appeal.

ACCC

Acted for the ACCC in Federal Court proceedings brought against Europcar. The proceeding related to allege contraventions of section 55B of the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) which relates to charging excessive (credit card) surcharges. This was the first proceeding commenced by the ACCC in reliance upon section 55B.

Large Resource Companies

Acted for 5 large coal companies in defending Supreme Court proceedings commenced by Aurizon Network in relation to the proper construction of agreements for the construction and modification of rail infrastructure connecting to the Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal near Gladstone.

International

Axiom Mining Ltd

Acted for a subsidiary of Axiom Mining Ltd in defending a proceeding commenced by a subsidiary Sumitomo Metal Mining Co, Limited. The trial ran for 95 hearing days and the proceeding challenged the registration of certain land containing a nickel deposit estimated to be worth billions of dollars and sought judicial review of the cancellation of an award of an international mining tender. Judgment in favour of Axiom was delivered in first instance. Also acted on the appeal.

Recognition

Selected by her peers for alternative dispute resolution
The Best Lawyers in Australia, 2019

Career & qualifications

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons)
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting Major)
  • Masters of Law (Corporate and Commercial)

Memberships

  • Member of Law Council of Australia, Competition and Consumer Committee

International experience

  • Admitted to practice in the High Court of Solomon Islands for two matters