Elle Nikou Madalin practices predominantly in commercial and corporate law, public and regulatory matters. She also has expertise in media and defamation matters, and sports law. Elle is easy to work with, timely and pragmatic, and is experienced in dealing with the particular concerns of her clients in high-profile, scandalous and sensitive matters.
Commercial and corporate law
Elle has advised and appeared in complex trial, appeal and interlocutory matters, and commercial arbitrations, for corporations and private individuals in a diverse range of industries. She has particular experience in contract (including international contract disputes), corporations law, partnerships and joint ventures, equity, torts (not including PI), misleading and deceptive conduct, financial products and services, trade practices, consumer law and employment.
Public and regulatory
Elle appears regularly for both the State of Victoria, regulators, government departments and agencies, and for private individuals and corporations in civil penalty proceedings. She has a firm grasp of model litigant guidelines and principles.
Elle is experienced in all aspects of sports law, including in proceedings concerning doping, discipline, member protections, drafting of institutional rules and policies, employment, incorporated associations, re-licencing of athletes after suspension, and governance.
In addition to her work as counsel, Elle is regularly appointed as a tribunal member and independent investigator for a variety of national and state sports governance bodies. She is appointed to the AFLPA’s panel of arbitrators, and is a national selection panel Chair for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
Media, defamation and reputational harm
Elle regularly advises and appears on behalf of both plaintiffs and defendants in matters concerning both online and print publications where alleged harm to personal or business reputation has occurred.
Elle is also experienced in matters where publication of proceedings is sought to be suppressed.
Elle is regularly asked to lecture in her areas of expertise by both universities and other education providers, and has had her work published in peer-reviewed journals. Prior to coming to the Bar, Elle practiced in commercial litigation and dispute resolution at Maddocks and Piper Alderman. She is currently completing her Masters of Commercial Law where she maintains a first class honours average.
Selected recent cases
AXF Group Pty Ltd (in liq) & anor v AXF Holdings Pty Ltd, Richard Gu & ors (2020) VSC - Claim for indemnification of insolvent fomer trustee over trust assets for liabilities exceeding $200M. Applications for freezing and ancillary orders, and receivership orders. Application for approval of litigation funding agreement pursuant to s 477(2B) of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth). Dispute over entitlement to possesion of certain assets, exercise of liquidator's discretion not to convene a meeting of creditors, and other issues. (With S. D. Hay QC)
Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria v Belle Gibson (2019) FCA – Examination of judgment debtor in relation to failure to pay pecuniary penalties owing pursuant to findings of unconscionable conduct under s 21 of the Australian Consumer Law (Vic). Forensic examination of bank accounts, crypto currency holdings and futures and options trading.
Football Federation Australia v Atkinson & Ors (2019) – Disciplinary investigation and proceedings following Australian team international sex scandal.
Burrows & Anor v Lightspeed Finance Pty Ltd & Anor (2019) VSC – Alleged breaches of tripartite collateral contract and fiduciary duty by mortgage broker, and alleged contraventions of the Australian Securities and Investments Act 2001 (Cth). (With A. T. Strahan QC)
Sox Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors v Spiral Developments Pty Ltd and Sox Holdings Pty Ltd v South East Developments (Vic) Pty Ltd (2019) VSCA – Appeal on proper construction of suite of agreements and alleged termination in bad faith. (With A. T. Strahan QC)
Racing Victoria Ltd v Weir (2019) RAD Board – Charges pursuant to the Rules of Racing. (With P. Wheelahan)
Gouvas v Amanatidis & Ors (2018) VSC – Claims against individual and corporate defendants for breaches of partnership agreement, fiduciary duties and trust arising out of alleged property investment joint venture. Complex series of financial transactions across multiple entities concerning multiple properties. Allegations of third-party liability. (With R. Heath QC)
Spiral Developments Pty Ltd v Sox Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors and Sox Holdings Pty Ltd v South East Developments (Vic) Pty Ltd (2018) CCV – $12M claim for breaches of contract giving rise to loss of opportunity in respect of various option agreements. Dispute over proper construction of option agreements. Whether series of documents to be read as one deed. Further allegation of implied good faith term. Further allegation that alternative basis for termination under side deed unenforceable as a penalty. Waiver of privilege over legal advice leading to termination. Attempt to voluntarily deregister defendant on eve of trial. Correct assessment of damages for loss of opportunity. (With A. T. Strahan)
Fortune Holding Developments Pty Ltd & Ors v V Properties (VIC) Pty Ltd & Ors (2017) VSC – Shareholder's derivative action. Claim for breach of director and fiduciary duties and breach of partnership agreement. Counterclaim for breach of partnership agreement and recovery of various loan sums. (With M. Goldblatt)
Duffy & Anor v Marr & Anor (2017) VSC – Defamation, injurious falsehood and misleading and deceptive conduct as against a company and its director. (With M. Goldblatt)
Hardie v Herald & Weekly Times Ltd & Rule  VSCA 103 – Defamation. Imputations that the plaintiff was a brothel madam, operated a brothel and was otherwise involved in the management of a venue where secret tip-offs between corrupt police and criminal bikie gangs were exchanged. Appeal in respect of imputations and quantum of damages awarded. Cross-appeal in respect of imputations upheld at first instance. (With S.K. Wilson QC)
Nikolic v Racing Victoria Ltd (2016) VCAT – Review of jockey licence application, acting for key witness. (With P. Wheelahan)
LeasePLUS Operations Pty Ltd v Project Gas Services Pty Ltd (2016) CCV – Claim for breach of lease in respect of 42 separate vehicles and estoppel. Claim for liquidated damages pursuant to contract, or alternatively damages. Defences included allegations that liquidated damages clause was void as a penalty. Counterclaim of misleading and deceptive conduct. (With A.T. Strahan)
Hardie v Herald & Weekly Times Ltd & Rule  VSC 364 – Defamation. Online and print publications containing imputations that plaintiff's strip club was a venue in which police gave secret tip-offs to members of outlaw motorcycle gangs. Defences of justification and qualified privilege pleaded. (With S.K. Wilson QC)