With a reputation for quality and expertise, Les provides tailored advice and representation on a wide range of commercial litigation and dispute resolution issues to our clients ranging from individuals to businesses who require the skills of a specialist commercial litigator.
Les takes time to understand the issues first-hand, devising a strategic plan to resolve the dispute either through negotiation or through to court.
Les’ practice areas are diverse. He regularly acts in disputes concerning contract law, partnership law, real property, equity, and trusts (including estates), company law, planning disputes and building and construction. Les is passionate in consistently delivering effective, cost-conscience and practical outcomes for our clients.
Les has been a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation since 2006. Accreditation is a nationally recognised mark of excellence. He has presented seminar papers on the management of complex litigation, landlord and tenant law (commercial) and ethics and is a sought-after presenter and chairperson.
Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation since 2006
Bachelor of Laws, James Cook University 1995
Lawyer, admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland 1997
Lawyer, admitted to the High Court of Australia 1997
Member, Queensland Law Society
Les’ recent cases
A selection of cases in which Les has acted is set out below.
- Les acted for a respondent to an appeal to the Court of Appeal. This case considered an application by Les’ client to dismiss the appeal due to the appellant’s failure to comply with an order to provide security for costs of the appeal. The application was successful, and the appeal dismissed. Choppair Helicopters Pty Ltd v AMT Helicopters Pty Ltd  QCA 264
- Les acted for a daughter of deceased who was seeking further provision from her deceased mother’s estate. Prior to her death, the client’s mother had carried out transactions designed to remove assets from her estate through the making of a gift and loan back. This case considered whether the transactions were valid and whether they were void as contrary to public policy and void as a sham. During the trial it was conceded that the transactions were not enforceable. The Judge found that the parties seeking to enforce the transactions should have to pay costs to the other parties on the indemnity basis because, including, he probably would have found that the transactions were void as contrary to public policy and void as a sham. Re Permewan No. 2  QSC 114
- Les acted for a helicopter maintenance business that was engaged to do some works in respect to a helicopter engine. This case considered whether Les’ client had breached its obligations and was liable to pay damages (claimed at 400,000 EUR) to the plaintiff. The Judge found that while some obligations had been breached, the damages were not more than $5,000.00 AUD and the plaintiff had already been compensated for its loss. The plaintiff was ordered to pay the Les’ client’s costs assessed on the standard and indemnity basis. Choppair Helicopters Pty Ltd v AMT Helicopters Pty Ltd  QDC 169
- Les acted for a daughter who was seeking further provision from her deceased mother’s estate. Prior to her death, the client’s mother had carried out transactions designed to remove assets from her estate prior through the making of a gift and loan back. This case considered an application to remove the executor of the estate due to a conflict of interest and unwillingness to consider whether the transactions were void. The executor was removed, and an administrator appointed. Re Permewan  QSC 151
- Les acted for an individual and related entities as defendants. This case considered applications by the plaintiff to consolidate two separate claims, whether permission should be given for the plaintiff to file a consolidated pleading that included new allegations of fact (and relief sought) and the joinder of parties. Les’ clients successfully defended the applications, and the plaintiff was ordered to pay costs. Grace Buncle Pty Ltd & Anor v Ralph Lauren 57 Pty Ltd & Ors  QSC 182
- Les acted for an individual and related entities as defendants. This case involved the construction of a document that recorded terms of an interim compromise between the plaintiff and the defendants. The plaintiff argued the compromise was not enforceable because, by law, the plaintiff could not do what it had agreed. Les’ clients successfully argued that on its proper construction, the compromise was enforceable. The plaintiff was ordered to pay costs. Grace Buncle Pty Ltd v Ralph Lauren No 57 Pty Ltd  QSC 24
- Les acted for a private company on a claim against a defendant for moneys had and received and an account of profits and declarations of interests in land. This case involved a claim for damages for loss of opportunity and requirements to plead such as claim. Graham & Linda Huddy Nominees Pty Ltd & Anor v Byrne & Ors  QSC 221
During his career Les has acted in a diverse range of cases including:
- Acting for a financial planner resisting a claim for breach of a restraint of trade. After obtaining interim injunctive relief, the plaintiff did not further pursue the claim against Les’ client.
- Acting for a purchaser of land in a claim for negligence against the local government for approvals to develop land in an area known by the local government to be affected by landslides. The claim settled at mediation.
- Acting for an applicant for title by adverse possession on a judicial review of decisions by the Registrar of Titles. The judicial review application by Les’ client was successful. The client did not further pursue the application for title.
- Acting for a designer, manufacturer, and wholesaler of unique glassware in a claim in the Federal Court of Australia for injunctions and damages against a competitor for misleading and deceptive conduct and passing-off. The client’s claim settled by negotiation with defendant.
- Acting for a designer, manufacturer, and wholesaler of a variety of homeware products in a claim in the Federal Court of Australia for injunctions and damages against a competitor for misleading and deceptive conduct and passing-off. Les’ client successfully applied to the Federal Court for interim injunctions restraining the defendant. The balance of the client’s claim settled at mediation.
- Acting for the owner of an airport resisting an application for relief against forfeiture of a lease by a tenant who sub-let premises without consent and where the sub-lessee’s conduct impacted on the operations of the airport including intruding into flight sightlines. The tenant obtained relief against forfeiture (subject to conditions) from the Supreme Court of Queensland but was ordered to pay costs to Les’ client.
- Acting for a real estate agent defending a claim regarding entitlement to commission payable from a deposit. Les’ client successfully defended the claim in a trial in the District Court of Queensland. The plaintiff was ordered to pay costs to Les’ client.
- Acting for a financial advisor company to obtain injunctions against one of its directors and shareholders from diverting income from the company and thereafter claim for damages. After obtaining injunctions against the co-director and shareholder in the Supreme Court of Queensland, the balance of the client’s claim settled by negotiation.
- Acting for executors of deceased estate in respect to an application for further provision by an adult child of the deceased. The case involved allegations of disentitling conduct and Centrelink fraud. The application for provision settled at mediation.
- Acting for a licensed real estate agent claiming commission on sales of property from a promoter of property investment and corresponding civil and criminal defence of counterclaims alleging stealing and fraud. The claims, counterclaims, and criminal charges (for indictable offences) were settled at mediation (subject to the Director of Public Prosecutions not proceeding with the indictment).
- Acting for a real estate agent claiming damages for loss of opportunity to affect a sale. The claim settled by negotiation after the commencement of court proceedings by Les’ client.
- Acting for a joint venturer in a claim for damages for loss of opportunity arising upon unlawful termination of a development agreement and agreement for lease. The claim settled by negotiation after the commencement of court proceedings by Les’ client.
- Acting for a complainant on a charge of contempt arising from an alleged breach of undertakings to the Court. The complaint settled by negotiation
- Acting for an individual and related entities defending multiple claims for an account and for damages and compensation and declarations arising from alleged breaches of, and upon the winding up of, alleged partnerships. The plaintiff was ordered to pay costs to Les’ clients in connection with several interlocutory hearings. The plaintiff could not pay the costs and appointed administrators. The claims were settled by negotiation with administrators of the plaintiff.
- Acting for an adult child who applied for adequate provision from his father’s estate. The deceased, believing Les’ client was an alcoholic, created a testamentary discretionary trust that would vest to the trustee unless Les’ client could prove sobriety for a continuous period of two years within a 10-year period. Also, there were complicating facts including: the Will was the subject of errors or the deceased did not understand his assets and liabilities when making the Will; the deceased contracted to sell real property inter vivos and made notes as to how the sale proceeds should be applied but died before the sale was completed; the deceased had allegedly instructed his accountant to record the forgiveness of a debt but died before the forgiveness was effected. The application settled at mediation and consequential orders made by the Supreme Court of Queensland by consent.
- Acting for the adult children and executors of a deceased’s estate, resisting an application for adequate provision from the estate by a widow of a short marriage, where the widow had several natural adult children from whom she (and the deceased) was estranged and whereabouts unknown. The application resolved by negotiation and consequential orders made by the Supreme Court of Queensland by consent.
- Acting for a co-executor of a deceased estate where the relationship between co-executors had broken down. Allegations as between the co-executors as to conflicts of interest and breaches of duty. On an application by one co-executor to remove Les’ client as executor, Les successfully negotiated a settlement by which both executors consented to removal with payment of their costs and an administrator appointed. Consequential orders made by the Supreme Court of Queensland.