Matthew practices in commercial law, public law and white collar crime.
He has extensive experience in general commercial litigation, regulatory matters, and corporations and financial services law.
Matthew was previously a Special Counsel at Maddocks. Before coming to the Bar, he spent 11 years largely in private practice and at major regulatory authorities in Australia and the UK.
Matthew read with Justin Brereton and his senior mentor is Jonathon Moore QC.
Matthew has extensive experience in commercial litigation, and regularly acts in contract, professional negligence, property and trust disputes. He has acted in class actions, complex multi-party proceedings, and urgent applications for injunctions and freezing orders.
Matthew is a commercial, thorough and determined advocate.
Corporations, financial services and insolvency
Matthew has particular expertise in corporations law, financial services and insolvency. He has worked in-house at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission and the Financial Services Authority (UK), and acted for commercial parties in relation to major corporate collapses, financial fraud and cross-border insolvency.
Matthew worked on the UK’s largest successful insider trading prosecution, and recently acted in the first civil penalty proceeding under the Future of Financial Advice laws.
Regulatory and public law
Matthew has extensive experience acting for both regulatory authorities and regulated businesses, in matters concerning:
He regularly advises on statutory interpretation, regulatory decisions and strategy, and acts in civil penalty, judicial review and merits review proceedings.
Matthew regularly writes and presents on matters concerning commercial regulation. He is a co-author of the National Energy Regulation Handbook (2017).
Some of Matthew’s recent matters include:
Acting for the trustee of a superannuation fund against the fund administrator, concerning breach of contract, negligence and misleading/deceptive conduct (2018) Supreme Court – ongoing (led by Jonathon Moore QC).
Acting in shareholder oppression proceedings (2018) Supreme Court – ongoing.
Advising the Australian Energy Regulator in relation to potential enforcement action – ongoing (led by Tom Clarke).
Chief Commissioner of Police v Horley (2018) County Court – examination of judgment debtor, a convicted fraud.
ASIC v Golden Financial Group Pty Ltd (formerly NSG Services Pty Ltd) (No 2)  FCA 1267 – first civil penalty proceeding under the Future of Financial Advice laws (led by Jonathon Moore QC).
Cant v Healey Infrastructure Pty Ltd (2017) Magistrates Court – liquidators’ claim for voidable transactions, three-day hearing with expert and lay evidence.
Victoria Project Pty Ltd v Wu & Others (Owners Corporation List) (2017) VCAT – successfully obtained an urgent contested injunction concerning the management committee of a major apartment complex.
United Petroleum Pty Ltd v Minister for the Environment and Energy (2017) Federal Court – judicial review concerning enforcement powers under the Fuel Quality Standards Act – appearing against QC – resolved after several interlocutory disputes (unled, then led by Rowena Orr QC).
Previti v VicRoads (2017) Magistrates’ Court – merits review under the Road Safety Act, two-day hearing concerning truck driver’s fitness to drive, complex medical evidence concerning epilepsy and cardiovascular conditions.
Application by ActewAGL Distribution  ACompT 2 – written submissions on behalf of Energy Consumers Australia in limited merits review proceeding under the National Electricity and Gas Laws.
Parkhill Industries Pty Ltd v Lui (Civil Claims List)  VCAT 1459 – contractual dispute, raising illegality and consumer law issues.
Commercial Resolutions (Aust) Pty Ltd v K-Line Mobile Mechanics Pty Ltd (Civil Claims List)  VCAT 916 – disputed debt, raising agency and limitations issues.
Details of Matthew’s experience before coming to the Bar can be found in the Extended Biography tab.
Some of Matthew’s notable experience as a solicitor, or in-house lawyer, is set out below.
Matters as instructing solicitor
Wood v Astra Resources Ltd  FCA 1192 – acting for foreign liquidators in relation to cross-border insolvency issues (with Ian Thomas as counsel).
ASIC v Astra Resources Ltd (No 2)  FCA 560 - acting for foreign liquidators of an English company, in civil penalty proceedings brought by ASIC against the company in liquidation (with Ian Thomas as counsel).
Beachley Street Pty Ltd v Commonwealth & Ors (2016) Supreme Court - acting for the Commonwealth in a complex multi-party dispute concerning liability for environmental contamination at a former Commonwealth industrial facility (with Tom Howe QC as counsel, settled).
Substantial executive fraud (2016) Supreme Court – leading a covert investigation in relation to a substantial executive fraud, and successfully obtaining freezing orders (with Andrew Tragardh as counsel).
Investigation regarding 21st Century ‘land banking’ schemes (2015) – leading the initial stages of a major ASIC investigation into unregistered managed investment schemes.
ASIC v Avestra Asset Management Ltd (2015) Federal Court - leading an ASIC investigation against a licensed operator of managed investment schemes, obtaining orders for the appointment of provisional liquidators (with Jonathon Moore QC and Tom Clarke as counsel).
Marijancevic v Roads Corporation  VSC 339;  VSC 240;  VSCA 181 – successfully defending judicial review proceedings brought against VicRoads in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal (with Nick Wood as counsel).
Keddel v Roads Corporation (2014) Magistrates Court - merits review under the Road Safety Act, concerning fitness to drive issues after epileptic seizure causing an accident (with Sarala Fitzgerald as counsel).
JSRM v Tertiary Education Quality Standards Agency (2014) AAT – acting for a registered higher education provider in a merits review challenging the cancellation of its registration (with Helen Symon QC, Haroon Hassan and Angel Aleksov as counsel, settled).
Kastrinakis v ACPA  FCA 995 - successful judicial review proceeding against the Australian Community Pharmacy Authority (with Suresh Senathirajah as counsel).
In the matter of FEA Plantations Ltd (subject to DOCA) (receivers appointed)  FCA 1331 – application for winding up of forestry managed investment schemes (with Philip Crutchfield QC and Oren Bigos as counsel).
Forest Enterprises Australia Ltd (subject to DOCA) (receivers and managers appointed) v Tasmanian Plantation Ltd (subject to DOCA) (controllers appointed) & Ors (2013) Supreme Court - acting for receivers of an operator of forestry managed investment schemes, in a proceeding against a class of several thousand scheme members regarding the termination of leasing arrangements and forestry rights (with Philip Crutchfield QC and Oren Bigos as counsel, settled).
Burdett-Baker, in the matter of AFS Group Ltd (in liquidation) v National Australia Bank Ltd & Anor  FCA 799 – application by liquidator for directions regarding determination of third party rights (with Ed Moon and Catherine Gobbo as counsel).
Advising a superannuation administrator in respect of complex liability and insurance issues arising from a major failure in its IT system, affecting thousands of members (2013).
Operation Saturn – R v Mustafa and Ors (2012) – working on the UK’s largest ever successful insider trading prosecution (with Michael Bowes QC and Gillian Jones as counsel).
Casey v State Trustees Ltd (2010) Federal Court - defending an investor class action brought by ASIC in relation to the collapse of the Westpoint Group, bringing 26 third party claims (with Robin Brett QC and Greg Ahern as counsel, settled).
Barber v Kylow Pty Ltd & Ors (2010) Supreme Court of NSW - acting for a German bicycle producer in a cross-border product liability claim, where the plaintiff suffered catastrophic brain damage and our client had contribution claims against parts suppliers and manufacturers in Taiwan (with James Sheller as counsel).