Christopher Beames Partner

Chris practises primarily in the area of commercial dispute resolution, specialising in complex disputes and in technical matters arising in the course of large commercial litigation, including class actions.

Over more than 15 years, Chris has acted for corporations, company directors, insolvency practitioners, regulated entities and regulators, and local government in various disputes and Court proceedings around Australia.  He has extensive experience in general commercial and contractual disputes, class actions/representative proceedings, Corporations Act matters, Court approvals of schemes of arrangement, insolvency matters and recovery actions (acting for both liquidators and defendants), ASIC investigations and prosecutions, judicial review applications and administrative reviews by tribunals, and appeals.

Chris also has considerable experience in regulatory matters, acting for both regulated businesses and regulators.  He has acted for gas and electricity transmission and distribution businesses providing advice on regulatory issues, assisting in the preparation of their regulatory pricing proposals, and in merits reviews and judicial reviews of their regulatory determinations and access arrangements.  He has also acted in matters relating to the regulation of ports and railways.

With Bachelors and Honours degrees in science (majoring in pure mathematics), Chris is able to readily understand complex mathematical/accounting/economic concepts involved in a legal matter and how they interact with the relevant legal issues – for example, the quantification and assessment of damages in commercial litigation and matters the subject of expert evidence.  Chris has extensive experience in briefing experts and counsel in relation to such issues.

Chris was recognised in Doyle’s Guide’s rankings of Leading Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyers in 2020 and 2021 (and as a Rising Star in 2015 and 2016).

Experience

General

Port of Melbourne

Advising the Port of Melbourne (which was privatised in 2016) on pricing and other regulatory issues.

Lehman Brothers liquidation

Acting for various clients (including local councils) in claims against Lehman Brothers Australia Limited (in liquidation) in relation to their investment in collateralised debt obligations (CDOs).

ABC Learning Centres

Acting for the former CEO of ABC Learning Centres in various examinations and proceedings following the administration and liquidation of ABC Learning Centres Ltd.

ASC AWD Shipbuilder

Acted for ASC in the Supreme Court of NSW, and on appeal to the NSW Court of Appeal, in a contractual dispute regarding the construction of the Air Warfare Destroyers.

Gazal Corporation

Sought and obtained approval from the Federal Court for a scheme of arrangement for Gazal's acquisition by PVH Corp.

BankSA class action

Acted for a group of investors who lost funds in an alleged Ponzi scheme in a class action against BankSA then acting as Court appointed administrator of the scheme to distribute the settlement funds.

Recognition

Career & qualifications

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Science (Hons, Mathematical & Computer Sciences), University of Adelaide
  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Adelaide
  • Graduate Diploma (Legal Practice), Law Society of South Australia

Memberships

  • Law Society of South Australia

International experience

  • Acted for international clients in disputes within Australia 
  • Represented Australian clients in international arbitration

Insights Read more insight

Litigation in a pandemic – where have all the cases gone?

In recent years, commercial litigators have become accustomed to delays in interlocutory steps and adjournments of hearings and trials as the courts have responded to the COVID-19 pandemic and...

More
Matters of Interest – Departing from the default

Most Australian superior and intermediate courts have the power to award successful litigants interest on monetary judgments for the period between their claim arising and judgment being given by...

More
Matters of interest – fixed or floating?

A recent decision of the Supreme Court of Queensland has highlighted the need to be vigilant when calculating pre-judgment interest, particularly in respect of long running litigation.

More