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Richard Midgley

Partner

Melbourne

+61 3 8687 7365

Richard has a depth of expertise in handling commercial disputes with a focus on achieving commercial and cost-effective outcomes. For over 20 years, he has assisted clients with disputes and conducted strategically both complex and more routine litigation in all jurisdictions across Australia.

EXPERIENCE & EXPERTISE

Richard's experience includes acting in property disputes such as those arising out of property sales, commercial and residential development and subdivision and all aspects of commercial leases. In corporate matters, he has advised on sale of business transactions, Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) issues, disputes involving directors and shareholders and joint ventures. More generally, he is often asked to advise on contractual claims, misleading and deceptive conduct claims, trust and equity disputes and financial fraud and recovery claims for both large and small businesses.

The insurance expertise that Richard has acquired extends to advising local and international insurers particularly in the fields of professional indemnity and Directors and Officers. This has included acting for a broad range of professionals, such as accountants, mortgage brokers, financial planners, insurance brokers, legal professionals, conveyancers, real estate agents, engineers, architects, building surveyors and patent attorneys and Richard is able to advise on class actions, Senate inquiries and Royal Commissions.

Examples of cases in which Richard has acted are: representing a director of an ASX listed entity in relation to shareholder claims arising under a prospectus, advising landowners in a joint venture dispute with developers concerning a residential subdivision, acting for a director and shareholder of a financial services group in a shareholder dispute and oppression claim and acting in claims against trustees by investors in non performing property developments.

Richard has also worked on claims against real estate agents for breach of duty and misleading conduct. These have commonly arisen where properties are painted in a glowing light but turn out to be subject to planning, environmental or other restrictions. Another frequent area of advice concerns a myriad of claims against accountants concerning audit, preparation of financial statements, financial forecasts, tax advice, other business consulting activities and disciplinary matters. He has also advised on claims following the insolvency of corporate entities including representation at public examinations by liquidators.

In construction matters, Richard has advised in matters involving a broad range of projects such as commercial and residential developments, a multi storey carpark and public infrastructure.

ACCOMPLISHMENTS

Examples of Richard’s experience include:

  • Successfully defending a claim between competing medical practices in the Supreme Court of Victoria in a proceeding that went from commencement to conclusion of trial within eight weeks (RJB Wolfe Pty Ltd v Mornington Peninsula Eye Clinic Pty Ltd & Anor [2019] NSWDC 260).
  • In an important decision for commercial leases establishing that the proper construction of a rent review clause did not necessarily require the stipulated date for service of a trigger notice to be complied with for a rent review to be effective (Cooltime Solutions Pty Ltd v Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd [2020] VCAT 83).
  • Advising insurer interests and obtaining a successful determination of the scope of cover under a policy both at first instance and at appellate level in a matter arising out of the collapse of Storm Financial and subsequent regulator and class actions (Bank of Queensland Ltd v Chartis Australia Insurance Ltd [2013] QCA 183).

Recognition

Publication and Papers

Co-author of the Australian chapter of ‘Directors’ Liability and Indemnification - A Global Guide’ first and second editions.

Awards / Accolades

Recognised by various independent global legal guides, including:

  • Ranked as a Recommended Lawyer – Professional Indemnity (Defendant) in Victoria by Doyle’s Guide 2020.
  • Ranked in the peer-reviewed Best Lawyers® in Australia list each year from 2018 to date.

Expertise

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws (Hons), 1989, The University of Manchester

  • Insolvency Education Program Graduate, 1999, ARITA Australian Restructuring Insolvency and Turnaround Association

Memberships

  • Australian Professional Indemnity Group
  • Law Institute of Victoria – Litigation Lawyers Section