Barristers

Andrew OBrien

Andrew’s practice is focused on commercial law and the regulation of corporations. He appears before Courts and arbitral tribunals alone and with senior counsel.

Andrew is typically briefed in matters that are characterised by legal and factual complexity and involve significant reputational risk. He regularly appears in complicated contractual disputes and matters in which equitable relief is sought.

Andrew also has a substantial practice in proceedings under sections 232,233 and 461 of the Corporations Actand similar proceedings arising out of the breakdown of partnerships and joint ventures.

His formative background in criminal law provides a unique advantage in regulatory matters, inquiries, quasi-criminal matters, civil penalty proceedings and cases involving allegations of misconduct. Because of this, Andrew is often briefed in the early stages of regulatory investigations and regularly appears for clients at compulsory examinations. He has previously acted in sensitive matters for judicial officers, public figures, captains of industry and other lawyers.

Andrew maintains chambers in both Brisbane and Sydney.  Prior to being called to the bar in 2011, Andrew worked as a Judge’s Associate on the Queensland Court of Appeal and a solicitor in a boutique firm practising in criminal, administrative and defamation litigation. Andrew holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours from the University of Queensland.

 

Experience

A cross-section of matters in which Andrew has been briefed include:

 

  1. Acting for the director of a responsible entity of an illiquid managed investment scheme in proceedings brought by ASIC and in a related Federal Court claim for damages in excess of AUD $160M.

 

  1. Acting for a large mining company in Supreme Court of Queensland proceedings concerning a mineral development licence valued in excess of AUD $1B.

 

  1. Appearing in the Supreme Court of Queensland for a secured creditor in a proceeding to recover AUD $37M owing under a facility agreement relating to the lease of a business jet.

 

  1. Acting for a large private company in a Federal Court civil penalty proceeding brought by the ACCC involving allegations of unconscionable conduct, misleading and deceptive conduct and undue harassment.

 

  1. Acting for the plaintiff in proceedings on the commercial list in the Supreme Court of New South Wales with respect to a failed investment scheme involving allegations of breaches of fiduciary duties, breaches of statutory duties and tracing of assets estimated to exceed AUD $10M.

 

  1. Appearing in a 10 week trial in defence of an executive charged with offences under sections 1307 and 1309 of the Corporations Act in the District Court of New South Wales. Directed verdicts of not guilty were returned on all counts.

 

  1. Acting for the plaintiff in proceedings in the Queensland Supreme Court to recover monies invested by the plaintiff after being provided with forged public documents.

 

  1. Acting for insurers to recover monies paid in respect of fraudulent claims.

 

  1. In the Supreme Court of Queensland for the Japanese siblings of a deceased estate where there were significant real property holdings both in Japan and Australia. There were associated proceedings in the District Court of Japan with respect to the validity of a will. The matter involved translators, issues of foreign law and issues of forum non conveniens.

 

  1. Acting for a telecommunications company in several Federal Court proceedings as part of protracted litigation relating to the lease of premises used as a datacentre. In addition to contractual interpretation, the proceeding raised issues involving the regulation of energy supply and illegality.

 

  1. Acting for large multi-national corporations on applications in respect of subpoenas or notices to produce, or in respect of other vexatious quasi-criminal proceedings instigated against them by private citizens.

 

  1. Many proceedings before both Courts and arbitral bodies arising out of a breakdown of relationship between directors, shareholders, partners or joint venturers.

 

  1. Many proceedings involving offences under the Corporations Act, the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act, the Competition and Consumer Act, the Planning Act, the Work Health and Safety Act, the Fire and Emergency Services Act, taxation legislation and other local government laws.

 

  1. The Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry, the Barrett Adolescent Centre Commission of Inquiry and various coronial inquests.