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, 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 has been recognised in Doyle’s Guide’s rankings of Leading Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyers since 2020 (and as a Rising Star in 2015 and 2016).



Hyundai and Kia

Acting for lead plaintiffs in significant class actions concerning defective Hyundai and Kia motor engines involving over 500,000 Australian car owners. The action follows similar problems faced by Kia and Hyundai in the USA where they were fined over USD$200M by the auto regulator in relation to late and inaccurate information provided in the course of recalling engines with potentially fatal problems, and following the settlement of several multi-billion dollar class actions.

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.


Career & 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


  • Law Society of South Australia

International experience

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

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