Stewart Peters Lawyer

Level 2, 11 Bank Place
Melbourne VIC 3000

Mobile: +61 0418 522 199
Email: stewartpeters@stewartpeterslawyer.com.au

Liability limited by a scheme approved under
Professional Standards Legislation

Stewart Peters has many years experience in resolving a wide range of commercial problems and disputes including:
  • Major corporate collapses including large scale litigation.
  • General insolvency problems including test cases.
  • Reported cases on trust or company law.
  • Contract and property disputes.
Major Transactions / Experience

Experience includes acting in the following kinds of matters:

  • The auditors in defence of a $400 million claim by the liquidator of the National Safety Council of Australia (Victorian division) (in liquidation), litigation ultimately involving 85 parties including individuals, corporations, statutory authorities and governments (this dispute also concerned whether 30 banks or other financiers by way of lease, charge or mortgage had enforceable claims as creditors in the liquidation).

  • Liquidators and administrators including the administrator of Fitzroy Football Club in relation to its administration and deed of company arrangement effecting the merger with Brisbane Football Club.

  • Various reported cases relating to trusts or trustees’ duties including conducting:
    • Re Enhill Pty. Ltd. on behalf of the president of the then insolvency practitioners association in relation to recoverability of fees from insolvent trustees companies;
    • Reader v Fried in relation to breach by trustees in selling their own property to a superannuation fund.

  • Hunters Products v ANZ Bank where ANZ Bank was found liable for financing the purchase of shares not then authorised by Corporations legislation.

  • Secured creditors and receivers including in relation to property occupied by a large Victorian motor parts manufacturer which went into liquidation.

  • Applications for appointment of receivers, liquidators and replacement trustees.

  • Directors, auditors and others involved in or having dealings with insolvent companies including in defending claims by liquidators or secured or unsecured creditors, including insolvent trading claims.

  • Parties with claims in insolvency administrations including a major construction supplier in relation to the failed National Express public transport operator.

  • Various kinds of corporate reconstructions or schemes relating to solvent or insolvent entities pursuant to Corporations or Life Insurance legislation.
  • Representative parties and test cases including:
    • The contradictor to the application by the Ansett Deed Administrators to pool the assets and liabilities of numerous Ansett companies.
    • A representative grower regarding Glenkara Estate Vineyard Project.
    • A defendant grower regarding a Timbercorp Olive Project.

  • Bankruptcy Trustees and advising with respect to the Bankruptcy Act.

  • Directors, professionals and others in dispute with, or served with notices by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission or other regulators.

  • Prosecutions and Inquiries.

  • Proceedings relating to damages, rectification or other relief sought as a result of fraud, misleading and deceptive conduct, non-disclosure or mistake including proceedings relating to rectification of contracts or registers.

  • Disputes between shareholders, unit trust holders, participants in joint ventures or business members including Candoora No 19 Pty Ltd v Freixenet Australia Pty Ltd regarding the meaning of fair value of shares in a put option and a disputed valuation.

  • Disputes on behalf of owners, developers, purchasers, lessees or occupiers of land in connection with ownership, securities, leases, contracts or caveats including:
    • Repudiation by a major retailer which was the proposed anchor tenant of a large development under construction.
    • Defence of misrepresentation or other claims alleged by purchasers against developers.
    • Defence of claims by purchasers based on claims that an unregistered managed investment scheme was being conducted.
    • Defence of claims for commission by estate agents.
    • Defence of rights of car park operators.
    • Acting for a fund purchaser in dispute with a construction vendor regarding obligations to subdivide two city properties and use best endeavours regarding a plan of subdivision affecting an adjoining third property.

  • Aviation disputes.
Memberships / Associations
Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association (ARITA)

Aviation Law Association (ALAANZ)
(Victorian Committee 2008-2016)

Insolvency & Reconstruction Committee, Business Law Section, Law Council of Australia and Law Institute of Victoria (Chair Melbourne Committee 2003-2005)

Law Institute of Victoria
Professional Qualifications
Bachelor of Laws (University of Melbourne), 1969

Master of Laws (University of Melbourne), 1976
(By Thesis on Reductions of Capital)
Supreme Court of Victoria, 1970
(Barrister & Solicitor)

High Court of Australia, 1970
(Barrister & Solicitor)

Supreme Court of Western Australia, 2001
(Barrister & Solicitor)
Legal Experience History
1969 (March) - 1971 (December) - Articled Clerk/Solicitor - Mallesons (Melbourne)

1972-1974 - Tutor in Commercial/Company Law - Commerce Faculty University of Melbourne

1975 (July-December) - Linklaters & Paines (London)

1976 (February) - 1980 (March) Solicitor/Senior Associate - Weigall & Crowther (Melbourne)

1980 (April) - 2007 (June) - Partner - Weigall & Crowther/Sly & Weigall/Deacons Graham & James/Deacons (Melbourne/office)

2007 (July) - Commenced practice of Stewart Peters Lawyer
Publications / Seminars including:

Power of the Court to reward creditors who fund liquidators in recovery of property by litigation, property protection or expense recovery (CPA Meeting/Insolvency Accountants) August/September 2016

Directors Duties – when a company goes bust (Legalwise, Melbourne) March 2016

Directors Duties in Distressed Scenarios and Corporate Restructuring (Legalwise, Melbourne) August 2013

Asset Planning Update – Bankruptcy Reform, (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners) Melbourne, Winter Conference August 2007 and December 2012

Insolvency of Managed Investment Schemes, (Tonkin Corporation Seminar, Melbourne) February 2007

Representation letters for clients and their Auditors – A continuing challenge for lawyers, (various articles published in the Law Institute Commercial Law Website September 2006 and the CPA publication “In The Black” March 2007)

Practical ramifications of latest insolvency case law, (Law and Finance Insolvency Practice Symposium, Melbourne) February 2006

Directors Liabilities, (Leo Cussen Institute) February 2005

A near-death experience – Insolvency issues for small business, (Law Institute Commercial Law Conference) September 2004

Employee entitlements, (Law Institute Insolvency Seminar) July 2003

Risk of Creditor Claims, (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners – Spring Conference Melbourne) 2002

Romalpa Clause – Retention of Title, Insolvent Trading Repercussions, Australia’s Voluntary Administration Procedure and Voidable Transactions – Claw Back Provisions, (Conference: Credit, Credibility & Financial Distress in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia) 1998

Liability of Auditors – Commentary on Causes and Prevention, (Law Council Insolvency Workshop) 1994

Subdivision J of the Bankruptcy Act, (Leo Cussen Institute) 1992/3

Trusts and Trustees Duties, (Leo Cussen Institute) 1982

Reduction of Capital, (Leo Cussen Institute) 1978