I am a civil litigation lawyer.  I am engaged by clients to resolve civil disputes, either by settlement or at trial.

Occasionally I take on criminal cases.

The majority of my clients come to me through this website.

I also get many referrals, usually from accountants and other lawyers.

I am especially experienced in these kinds of cases listed below:

Civil disputes

Prosecutions (acting in defence)

Legal costs disputes

Click on the links above for fictional examples. Confidentiality prevents me from stating the actual facts of cases in which I have acted.

These fictional examples show the types of cases people retain me for.

For a published decision of a Supreme Court appeal case in which I was counsel, see: UXCEL PTY LTD -v- CITY OF BAYSWATER [2013] WASC 5

Restraints of trade / restrictive covenants in employment contracts


Mr Smith is offered a job as a state manager for a national company. Part of his work will involves sales.

The company provides him a written employment contract to sign, which includes restraints of trade.

Mr Smith is unsure whether to sign the contract.

He is worried the restraints of trade will limit his future employment prospects.

Mr Smith seeks advice about the extent to which the restraint clauses in the contract are enforceable.

Example 2

Mr Jones has recently been offered a job with a new employer, which he has accepted.

The new employer is in competition with his existing employer, ABC Pty Ltd.  

When he started work with ABC Pty Ltd, he was provided with a letter of appointment.

The letter of appointment stated that post-resignation, he could not do any work for any client of ABC Pty Ltd, for 3 years into the future. 

Mr Jones has been served with a writ by ABC Pty Ltd, which has found out he is about to resign and work for a competitor.

ABC Pty Ltd, as part of the case, is seeking an interlocutory injunction from the Supreme Court to immediately prevent Mr Jones from doing any work for any existing clients of ABC Pty Ltd.

Mr Jones seeks a lawyer to act for him in the case.


Disputes involving real estate agents


Mr Smith is a real estate agent.

Mr Smith, acting for a seller of a residential property, has taken a deposit of $25,000 from a buyer.

The buyer terminates the contract for the purchase of the house.

Both the seller and the buyer claim the deposit. Mr Smith seeks a lawyer to act for him to commence an interpleader proceeding in the District Court, for the Court to decide who gets the deposit.


Example 2

Mr Jones is a real estate agent who has been sued for negligence.

The person who has commenced the lawsuit is a buyer of a residential property.

Mr Jones had sold the property, on behalf of a client.

The buyer claims that Mr Jones made misleading and/or false representations about whether the property would be rezoned for subdivision.

Mr Jones’ professional negligence insurer refuses to indemnify Mr Jones, because of an exclusion clause in the insurance policy.

Mr Jones seeks a lawyer to act for him to: (a) dispute the decision of the insurer; and, (b) in the interim, defend him against the case that has been commenced by the buyer.


Worksafe prosecutions

A building company is constructing a building in East Perth.

It has a number of electricians on its staff.

One of the electricians gets electrocuted and suffers a permanent disability.

Worksafe investigators draft a report which leads to a prosecution against the building company.

The building company intends to plead guilty, but disputes some of the findings in the report.

These findings are relevant to what sentence the Court will hand down.

The building company seeks a lawyer to act for it to: (a) negotiate with the prosecutors; and (b) represent it in Court to dispute the facts and do a plea of mitigation for sentencing.

Town planning & building prosecutions

Mr Smith owns a warehouse in an industrial area. Mr Smith has leased out the warehouse to a tenant. The tenant has advertised the warehouse on AirB&B as a backpackers hostel.

The local council has commenced a prosecution pursuant to the Planning and Development Act 2005 (WA) against Mr Smith, as the landlord.  This is because backpackers hostels are not allowed to be run in industrial areas, pursuant to the local town planning scheme.

Mr Smith seeks a lawyer to defend the prosecution.

Click here for detailed information about town planning prosecutions in Western Australia.

Claims for repayment of a loan

Mr Smith and Mr Jones are business partners, running a small business.

Mr Smith falls on hard times and Mr Jones loans him $100,000.

After a short while the business is closed down.

Given their long-standing friendship, Mr Smith and Mr Jones had not agreed on terms as to the loan, including when the money was to be repaid and whether any interest would be payable.



Mr Jones has demanded that Mr Smith repay the money.   Mr Smith is now asserting that the $100,000 was, in fact, money paid to him by Mr Jones for additional work he did in relation to the business.

Mr Jones seeks a lawyer to commence a case for repayment of the money.

Claims for payment for work done

ABC Pty Ltd has a contract with a mining company, providing cleaning services on a large scale at its work camps.

The mining company has recently been prosecuted by a local council because of the unhygienic state of a kitchen in one of the work camps.

The mining company is withholding payment for cleaning at all work camps until the outcome of the prosecution.

The mining says it will deduct the fine that is handed down by the Court from the money payable to ABC Pty Ltd pursuant to the contract.



ABC Pty Ltd asserts that it is not responsible for the unhygienic state of the kitchen and that, in any event, it is entitled to receive payment for work done in relation to all the other work camps.

ABC Pty Ltd seeks a lawyer to commence a case for payment for work done.

Inheritance disputes, including family provision cases

Mr Smith is one of 3 sons of his late Mother, Dorothy. Dorothy only recently died.

Shortly before she died, Dorothy suffered a stroke. It is not clear exactly when Dorothy suffered a stroke, but it happened around the same time she executed a new will. In the new will, Mr Smith only receives half of what each of his siblings receives.



Mr Smith seeks advice about whether he should commence a case in the Supreme Court challenging the validity of the will.

Franchising disputes

ABC Pty Ltd is a franchisee, selling dog washing services in the southern suburbs of the Perth metropolitan area. The franchisor is located in Queensland.

The franchisor has recently provided notice to ABC Pty Ltd that it intends to establish a 2nd franchise in the southern suburbs of Perth. ABC Pty Ltd is concerned that this will result in a loss of business, potentially making the business it runs unviable.


ABC Pty Ltd seeks a lawyer to provide advice and write an initial letter to the franchisor claiming that the franchisor is acting in breach of the franchise agreement that was signed by the parties when the franchise was established.


Accusations of fraud against an employee

Mrs Smith worked as the office manager for a plumbing company. Over the years Mrs Smith became the go-to person for the plumbing company when it came to any kind of administrative task. 

About 3 years ago Mrs Smith and the owner of the plumbing company, Mr Jones, had a conversation one night during which Mrs Smith got angry because of all the work she was being asked to do after hours. Mr Jones persuaded Mrs Smith not to resign and said to her that he wanted her to have 10% of the business. 

Subsequently Mrs Smith annually calculated 10% of the taxable profit made by the plumbing company and did an EFT transfer of that money to her own bank account. She assumed that this was what Mr Jones had wanted to happen. 



Mr Jones is about to sell the company and his lawyer in the sales transaction asks about these EFT transfers. 

Mr Jones claims he never intended for Mrs Smith to simply transfer the money in this way and that he had meant for the 10% profit arrangement to be negotiated, later. 

Mrs Smith has now been served with a writ for recovery of the money and seeks a lawyer to act for her in the case.


Disputes with other lawyers over legal costs

Ms Smith hired Mr Jones as her lawyer, 2 years ago, in relation to a personal injury claim.

Ms Smith had been injured in a motor vehicle accident.

At the time Mr Jones failed to provide Ms Smith with adequate disclosures about legal costs, as required by law.


Ms Smith is disputing the invoice issued by Mr Jones for legal costs, now that a settlement is about to be paid to her as a result of the personal injury claim.

Ms Smith seeks a lawyer to negotiate with Mr Jones and, if necessary, apply to the Supreme Court for Mr Jones’ invoice to be assessed.

Unlawful termination of an employment contract

Mr Smith worked as the CEO of a local council.

The council has recently terminated Mr Smith's employment contract, claiming he failed to adequately supervise a junior employee recently found out to have defrauded the council of money. 

Mr Smith claims his employment contract has been unlawfully terminated. 



He says he adequately supervised the junior employee, but the junior employee had been so deceitful that it was not foreseeable he would defraud the council. 

Mr Smith seeks a lawyer to commence a case for damages for breach of the employment contract.