Dispute resolution

JWS is uniquely placed as a Top Tier Dispute Resolution Practice in Australia, handling the largest and most complex litigation across regulatory prosecutions, insolvency, plaintiff and defendant class actions, corporate, commercial and competition and tax disputes. 

There are few firms that can now match JWS across the size, scale and sophistication of its dispute resolution work. No firm of a comparable size has a similar practice. Our partners’ hands on involvement, and our drive and determination to succeed in the cases we conduct in the most cost effective and efficient matter, have seen more and more clients choose JWS for the big ticket claims and defences.

We are renowned for our DR experience and expertise across the spectrum of class actions, insolvency, regulatory claims, corporate, commercial, competition and tax disputes and civil and criminal regulatory investigations and prosecutions for companies, directors and senior executives. We are unique in the market place, combining top-tier capabilities with a service model that promotes the hands-on involvement of our senior lawyers.

We also have considerable expertise in acting for litigation funders who drive class action litigation in Australia. This experience provides us with invaluable insights into the judgment calls made for both plaintiffs and defendants in the conduct of complex claims. Our clients obtain commercially attractive results based on our savvy, strategic and non-process driven advice.

We provide a compelling offer of outstanding litigation services. Our independence and relative conflict-free positioning enables us to pursue plaintiff-based litigation, as well as defendant work.  Our focus on providing strategic advice to Australian funds on class actions puts us in a unique position to prosecute their claims.

We are dedicated to the causes we fight, and to achieving the best case scenario for our valued clients.

Our team acts in disputes across the following areas:

Experience

Corporate & Commercial Disputes

State of Victoria

Successfully represented the State of Victoria in two significant disputes with Tabcorp Holdings Ltd and Tatts Group Ltd over compensation following the expiration of their gaming licenses in 2012.

Lighthouse Corporation Pty Ltd

Secured a significant jurisdictional win for Lighthouse Corporation against East Timor over a $320M oil contract dispute allowing the claims to be decided in Australia.

ASC

Acted for ASC AWD Shipbuilder Pty Limited (the Australian Submarine Corporation) in disputes with Donau Pty Ltd over the construction of the Australian Warfare Destroyer.

Origin Energy

Acting for Origin Energy/Australian Pacific LNG Pty Ltd against C3 IoT International, Inc around damages and breach of IT contracts relating to complex oil fracking operations.

Horizon Power

Acted for Horizon Power multi-party proceedings in Supreme Court of Western Australia concerning the Karratha component the Pilbara Underground Power Project.

Australian Labor Party (ALP)

Acting for ALP in relation to the high profile “Operation Aero” public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding a cash donation made to NSW ALP.

Australia Pacific LNG Pty Limited (APLNG)

Acting in Supreme Court Commercial List Proceedings on complex technical matters and damages analysis concerning the operation of one of the largest coal seam gas fracking operations in Australia.

Glencore and Viterra

Representing our clients in an application to the Supreme Court of Victoria to re-open the trial in a proceeding brought by Cargill following hard fought litigation in the Victorian Supreme Court over the sale of Joe White Malting.

Kingdom of Spain

Representing the Kingdom of Spain in their high profile and complex defense of four arbitral enforcement proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia in which the Kingdom of Spain has been ordered to pay over $650 million.

WSP

Acting for our client on a number of high-value, complex litigations arising from major infrastructure projects including the ongoing $721 million Lane Cove Tunnel litigation by Transurban against the builders and designers of the tunnel.

Regulatory

Australian Securities and Investments Commission

Advised in Federal Court proceedings against ANZ, CBA, NAB and Westpac for alleged market manipulation and rigging of the bank bill swap rate for financial gain.

Get Swift Limited

Representing ASIC in a Federal Court proceeding against GetSwift Limited and directors concerning ASX announcements which ASIC says were misleading and a failure to notify the ASX of material information in relation to these client agreements.

Competition

Unilever

Represented Unilever ANZ in the long running ACCC prosecution against Colgate Palmolive, PZ Cussons Woolworths for engaging in alleged price fixing, information sharing and boycott behaviour.

Ramsay Health Care

Successfully acted for Australia’s major private hospital operator in its defence of significant civil penalty proceedings brought by the ACCC in 2017 in the Federal Court of Australia.

People

Recognition

Ranked as a band 2 for dispute resolution: litigation
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2021
Law Firm of the Year in alternative dispute resolution
Best Lawyers, 2021
Ranked as a band 2 for dispute resolution: class actions
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2021
Dispute resolution team of the year
Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards, 2020
Ranked as band 3 in dispute resolution law
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020-2021
Ranked as band 3 in dispute resolution: class action (plaintiff) law
Chambers Asia-Pacific, 2020-2021
Our team is taking the lead on some of the most complex class actions before the court – on both plaintiff and defence side
Lawyerly Class Action Powerhouses, 2019
Johnson Winter & Slattery's dispute resolution practice is ranked in band 1
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2019
Our team's dispute resolution (class actions) practice is ranked as band 4
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2019
Our team's dispute resolution practice is ranked in tier 2
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2018
The JWS team wins praise for its "clear, effective and well-directed communication and advice"
Asia Pacific Legal 500, 2017
The "go-to guys for the difficult stuff"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2018
Paul Reidy … enjoys widespread recognition as a "very good" and "well regarded" disputes lawyer with an especially notable profile for the handling of sensitive regulatory issues
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2018
Robert Johnston "really looks after his clients" and "the level of personal service is outstanding"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2018
"Readily accessible depth of experience and advice, with a specialist in any area where you need advice"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2017
"Many of the associates are very promising practitioners – junior litigators who will make their mark in due time"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2017
"Bringing relevant expertise to the table in a very cohesive manner"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2017
Paul Reidy is "very well regarded in the commercial litigation space," and sources characterise him as "strategically strong and clever" and "extremely responsive"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2016
"A good team - and a good team effort - for a large piece of litigation"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2016
"Niche performers at the highest level: what they do, they do superbly"
Chambers Asia Pacific, 2015

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