● Specialties


7 Wentworth Selborne is a leading commercial chambers. Our floor is home both to silks recognised for their expertise in broad spectrum of commercial disputes and to junior ‘rising stars’ of the commercial Bar.

Our barristers regularly advise and appear for clients in all forums involving commercial matters and disputes, ranging from all manner of contractual disputes, to complex corporations, trust, and insolvency matters, and cases of international significance. Many of our barristers feature regularly in the numerous commercial law practice area rankings published annually by Doyles, Chambers & Partners, Best Lawyers, and The Legal 500.

Recent commercial cases of particular note in which our barristers have appeared include:

Kingdom of Spain v Infrastructure Services Luxembourg S.à.r.l. [2023] HCA 11 – proceedings concerning the enforcement of an of arbitral award made against the Kingdom of Spain and the attempted application of foreign state immunity to the same.

One T Development Pty Ltd v Peter Krejci in his capacity as liquidator of ENA Development Pty Ltd [2023] NSWCA 120 – proceedings concerning whether a liquidator was justified in treating company assets on the basis that they were not held on trust.

Scenic Tours Pty Ltd v Moore [2023] NSWCA 74 – litigation funded consumer class action proceedings concerning climate-change induced cruise disruptions.

Cirrus Real Time Processing Systems Pty Ltd v Jet Aviation Australia Pty Ltd [2023] NSWSC 464 – proceedings concerning the correct construction of a contract for the provision of development services relating to air-combat training software.

DSHE Holdings Ltd (Receivers and Managers) (in liq) v Potts; HSBC Bank Ltd v Abboud; Potts v National Australia Bank Ltd [2022] NSWCA 165 and DSHE Holdings (Receivers & Managers Appointed)(In Liquidation) v Nicholas Abboud (No 3); National Australia Bank Limited v Nicholas Abboud (No 4) [2021] NSWSC 673 – proceedings concerning alleged breaches of directors duties by the directors of the former electronic retailer, Dick Smith Electronics.

WCX M4-M5 Link AT Pty Ltd v Acciona Infrastructure Projects Australia Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] NSWSC 505 – proceedings concerning contaminated land and the construction of the WestConnex M4-M5 link road tunnels in Sydney, including the application and operation of a dispute resolution clause.

In the matter of the New South Wales Rural Fire Service & Brigades Donations Fund [2020] NSWSC 604 – judicial advice proceedings concerning the use of more than $50 million in donations received as part of the Facebook fundraising appeal launched by Celeste Barber during the 2020 summer bushfires.

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7 Wentworth Selborne is “the go-to chambers for construction barristers” (Legal 500) with market-leading expertise and tremendous depth at both Senior and Junior counsel level.

More than half of the barristers from our floor appear in construction and infrastructure matters, ranging across the spectrum from appellate matters on billion dollar nation-building infrastructure projects through to Home Building disputes.

Our Barristers also regularly appear in domestic and international construction and infrastructure arbitrations, expert determinations, references, and mediations.    

    Recent construction cases of particular note in which our barristers have appeared include:

    Roberts v Goodwin Street Developments Pty Ltd [2023] NSWCA - proceedings which raised the question of what types of buildings are covered by the statutory duty of care imposed by the Design and Building Practitioners Act 2020 (NSW).

    MP Water Pty Ltd in its capacity as Trustee for the MP Water Trust v Veolia Water Australia Pty Ltd [2022] NSWCA 127 - appeal concerning proper construction of a contract for the provision of services in relation to water treatment facility and a “step-in” clause requiring subcontractor to “assist” principal contractor.

    WCX M4-M5 AT Pty Ltd v Acciona Infrastructure Projects Australia Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] NSWSC 505 - application in relation to a stay of proceedings concerning the design and construction of the WestConnex M4-M5 link tunnels.

    CPB Contractors Pty Ltd v DEAL S.R.L [2021] NSWSC 820 – proceedings concerning an application for a stay pursuant to International Arbitration Act 1974 (Cth) in relation to disputes arising from the WestConnex M4 widening project.

    White Constructions Pty Ltd v PBS Holdings Pty Ltd [2020] NSWCA 277 - appeal relating to a claim for damages in connection with the sewerage design for a development of a multi-lot subdivision in Kiama.

    Heavy Plant Leasing Pty Ltd (in liquidation) v McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd (No 2) [2022] NSWSC 1775 – proceedings resulting from the Santos’ $16 billion Liquefied Natural Gas Project involving consideration of the risks of making concurrent claims upstream and downstream.

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    7 Wentworth Selbourne is a pre-eminent planning and environmental law floor.  

    Members of our floor appear in all jurisdictions of the Land and Environment Court and have complementary expertise across the spectrum of commercial and real property disputes litigated in the Supreme Court and other forums. This depth of experience and expertise has also made many of our members the Counsel of choice for matters in the NSW Court of Appeal concerning planning and environmental law.

    The Senior and Junior Counsel at 7 Wentworth Selborne have extensive experience across all areas of planning and environmental law and have worked together successfully on many cases and advices.

      Recent planning, environment, and property cases of particular note in which our barristers have appeared include:

      G&J Drivas Pty Ltd v Sydney Metro [2023] NSWLEC 20 – high-value Class 3 proceedings where Court found that the applicants were entitled to compensation for market value in the sum of $178,986,153 and in so doing made an important contribution to the law regarding the scope of ss 55 and 56 of Land Acquisition (Just Terms Compensation) Act 1991 (NSW).

      Skyton Holdings No 5 Pty Ltd v Strathfield Municipal Council [2023] NSWLEC 61 –  separate question of concerning whether a Local Planning Panel was properly constituted under s 2.18 of the Environmental Planning and Assessment Act 1979 (NSW).

      IOF Custodian Pty Limited atf the 105 Miller Street North Sydney Trust v Special Minister of State [2022] NSWLEC 86 – application for judicial review of the Special Minister of State’s decision to list MLC Building, North Sydney on State Heritage Register.

      Environment Protection Authority v University of Sydney [2022] NSWLEC 41; 251 LGERA 361 – prosecution in respect of two offences under Radiation Control Act 1990 (NSW) of failing to ensure regulated material not in possession of person with appropriate license and of disposing of regulated material without consent of Environment Protection Authority.

      Mangoola Coal Operations Pty Limited v Muswellbrook Shire Council [2021] NSWCA 46 – appeal by a coal mine operator concerning the proper categorisation of land for rating purposes under the Local Government Act 1993 (NSW).

      Crookwell Development Pty Ltd v Independent Planning Commission [2020] NSWLEC 1484 – proceedings in respect of wind farm operator’s development application for the installation, operation, maintenance and decommissioning of a 16-turbine wind farm at Crookwell.

      Dincel Construction System Pty Ltd v Penrith City Council [2021] NSWCA 133; 247 LGERA 384 – appeal by a structural wall manufacturer from orders made in significant and complex civil enforcement proceedings relating to the unlawful construction of earthworks and hardstand, and unlawful storage use, of land at Kemps Creek.

      Hunter Industrial Rental Equipment Pty Ltd v Dungog Shire Council (2019) 101 NSWLR 1; 241 LGERA 321; [2019] NSWCA 147 – complex civil enforcement and judicial review proceedings relating to the continued operation of a quarry.

      Moorebank Recyclers Pty Ltd v Tanlane Pty Ltd [2018] NSWCA 304 – planning proposal that was subject to a judicial review challenge on the basis of breaches of State Environmental Planning Policy No 55— Remediation of Land.

      Stolyar v Towers [2018] NSWCA 6 – appeal which gave rise to a consideration by the Court of Appeal of the principles applicable to the validity of easements.

      Hunter’s Hill Council v Minister for Local Government & Ors [2017] NSWCA 188; (2017) 224 LGERA 1 – judicial review challenge to the proposals to amalgamate certain local government areas across the State of New South Wales with significant repercussions for how certain local government areas were structured in the State.

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      7 Wentworth Selborne has one of the strongest insurance practices in Australia. Our barristers regularly provide strategic advice to insurer and insured clients on the early resolution of claims and, where that is not possible, on litigation strategy.

      Our barristers have, between them, an in-depth knowledge of all classes of insurance business and extensive experience in dealing with coverage and indemnity issues across all lines of business. They are regularly briefed in some of the largest and most complex insurance cases in the country. In recent times they have advised and appeared for numerous parties to insurance disputes arising from major events such as the COVID 19 Pandemic and the 2011 Queensland Floods, allegations against a major financial services firm involving systemic compliance issues (relating to the provision of financial advice and the charging of “fees for no service”), corporate collapses such as those of major retailer Dick Smith, investment bank Babcock & Brown and financial services firm Linchpin Capital Group, as well as foreign bribery and corruption allegations against global construction industry contractor CIMIC Group.

      Our Barristers also regularly appear for insurers and insured clients where their interests coincide, in the defence of public liability and professional indemnity claims and claims against company directors and officers. Our Barristers also regularly advise and appear for insurers and insured clients in subrogated recovery actions arising out of damage to insured property.

        Recent insurance cases of particular note in which our barristers have appeared include:

        Argo Managing Agency Ltd & Anor v Quintis Ltd (subject to DOCA) [2022] FCAFC 86 – proceeding concerning directors and officers’ liability insurance and rectification of the insurance policy.  

        CIMIC Group Limited v AIG Group Limited [2022] NSWSC 999 – proceeding concerning claims in relation to alleged bribery in Iraq against two consecutive insurance towers of a Directors and Officers insurance policy.

        J & J Richards Super Pty Ltd ACN 169 275 156 as trustee for the J & J Richards Superannuation Fund v Linchpin Capital Group Limited (In Liquidation) ACN 163 992 961 & Ors, Federal Court of Australia, Proceedings No. NSD 939 of 2020 (ongoing) – class action proceedings arising from the liquidation of Linchpin Capital Group and Endeavour Securities.

        SunWater Limited v Liberty Mutual Insurance Company [2022] NSWCA 273; Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, Australia Branch v SunWater Ltd (No 2) [2021] NSWSC 1582 – proceedings concerning proper construction of exclusion clause in relation to an indemnity claim arising out of class action concerning the 2011 Queensland floods.

        Inchcape Australia Ltd v Chubb Insurance Company of Australia Ltd [2022] FCA 883 – proceedings relating to the proper construction of and electronic and computer policy and the meaning of direct financial loss resulting from ransomware attack.

        FKP Commercial Developments Pty Limited v Zurich Australian Insurance Limited [2022] FCA 862 – proceedings relating to the construction of design and construction professional indemnity insurance policy.

        Swiss Re International SE v LCA Marrickville Pty Ltd [2021] FCA 1206 – test case in relation to the operation of the business interruption insurance in the circumstances created by Covid-19.

        Findlay v DSHE Holdings Ltd & Ors; Mastoris v DSHE Holdings Ltd & Ors; Mastoris & Anor -v- Allianz Australia Insurance Limited & Ors [2021] NSWSC 249  - proceedings relating to the class action against Dick Smith and its former directors and auditors.

        Count Financial Ltd v Pillay [2021] NSWSC 99 – application for leave to proceed against professional indemnity insurer of defendant accountant under the Civil Liability (Third Party Claims Against Insurers) Act 2017 (NSW).  DIF III – Global Co-Investment Fund LP & Anor v DIF Capital Partners Ltd & Ors [2020] NSWCA 124;

        DIF III Global Co-Investment Fund LLP & Anor v Babcock & Brown International Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 527 – proceedings relating to the collapse of the specialist investment and advisory firm Babcock & Brown.

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        The members of 7 Wentworth Selborne act in matters across the spectrum of public law and administrative law matters in all Federal and State courts and tribunals. Members are briefed both for and against public bodies at every level of government.

        Significant matters include acting in successful constitutional challenges to Executive power in the High Court of Australia, appearing for Federal economic regulators in major civil penalty proceedings in the Federal Court, and appearing in significant judicial review proceedings in the Full Court of the Federal Court and the Court of Appeal.

        Members are also frequently briefed in commercial and common law matters involving the Commonwealth and State governments which raise complex public law issues. This includes mass tort claims against the Commonwealth involving novel duty of care questions, and class actions against the State government arising out of major infrastructure projects.

        Our floor has specialist expertise and experience acting and advising in administrative law and merits review proceedings in the Land and Environment Court, including challenges to major planning decisions as well as regulatory matters involving State regulators such as the New South Wales Building Commissioner and other authorities responsible for enforcing environmental laws.

          Sims v Commonwealth of Australia [2022] NSWCA 194 – proceedings brought by the Commonwealth to recover ultra vires payments mistakenly made to former Navy officer after his separation from Navy; including issues as to whether ss 81 and 83 of the Constitution provide an implied basis for the recovery.

          National Disability Insurance Agency v KKTB [2022] FCAFC 181 – appeal in relation to the National Disability Insurance Scheme providing support for  individuals with severe to profound disabilities.

          Hunt Leather Pty Ltd v Transport for NSW [2022] NSWSC 1547 – application in relation to the Sydney Light Rail Class Action.

          Australia YMCI Ltd v Secretary of the Department of Customer Service [2021] NSWSC 1114 – application for transfer in relation to judicial review proceedings concerning a building work rectification order.

          Gloucester Resources Limited v Minister for Planning [2019] NSWLEC 7 – appeal concerning an open cut coal mine and its impacts on existing, approved and likely preferred uses of land in the vicinity.

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          7 Wentworth Selborne has a unique white collar crime and regulatory practice genuinely combining deep expertise in large scale complex commercial litigation with specialist criminal law skills.

          Our members are instructed by prosecuting and regulatory government agencies and defendants, both corporations and individuals, in leading white-collar crime and regulatory cases, including the prosecution of ANZ and other major banks for cartel conduct, prosecutions in relation to allegations of foreign bribery and dishonestly influencing a public official relating to tax liabilities, prosecutions arising out of ICAC Inquiries, proceedings concerning wilful misconduct in public office, civil penalty proceedings brought by ASIC, and High Court proceedings involving the construction of key terms used in the Criminal Code. Such cases often give rise to complex issues requiring expertise in both commercial and criminal law. They require specialist skills by practitioners with experience in these dual areas.

          Our barristers have extensive experience in white-collar crime and regulatory proceedings, regularly appearing in high-stakes matters before Australian Courts. Our specialist advocates offer a breadth of experience in both prosecuting and defending complex criminal charges and are committed to providing the best legal advice and representation, backed by a deep understanding of the particular pressures faced by both defendants and government agencies. The floor’s practice benefits from its extensive complementary expertise in commercial disputes, with which it often intersects in novel and unexpected ways.

          Recent white collar and regulatory cases of particular note in which our barristers have appeared include:

          AFP v Greenfield (ongoing) – representing the prosecutor in an ongoing prosecution of two union officials, arising out of the Trade Union Royal Commission, for allegedly accepting corrupting benefits.

          R v Alex & Ors (ongoing) – representing the prosecutor in an ongoing prosecution of six individuals for allegedly defrauding the Commonwealth by causing several corporations not to remit to the ATO approximately $14million of PAYG withholding tax.

          Board of Inquiry into the Criminal Justice System in the Australian Capital Territory (2023) – acting for the ACT Director of Public Prosecutions at the Board of Inquiry into the conduct of criminal justice agencies involved in the trial R v Lehrmann and issues that may have wider implications for the prosecution of criminal matters, particularly sexual assault trials in the ACT.

          Rex v Dirani (2023) – prosecuting an individual charged with conspiring with others to commit acts in preparation for a terrorist act, specifically the obtaining of a firearm that was used to kill NSW Police Force employee Curtis Cheng outside Parramatta police headquarters in 2015.

          SafeWork NSW v Autocare Services Pty Ltd [2022] NSWDC 547 – representing a corporation that pleaded guilty to failing to comply with its duty under the Work Health and Safety Act 2011 to ensure the health and safety of its workers, which resulted in its workers being exposed to risk of death or serious injury as a result of being struck by the movement of a deck on a trailer. At a disputed facts hearing, successfully argued that the prosecutor had failed to prove the availability and suitability of the pleaded ways to eliminate or minimise the risk, as required by s 18(d) of the Work Health and Safety Act 2011, were reasonably practicable.

          ASIC v Select AFSL Pty Ltd & Ors [2022] FCA 786; (2022) 162 ACSR – representing defendants in regulatory proceedings brought by ASIC alleging breach of the conflicted remuneration provisions of the Corporations Act, unconscionable conduct, misleading or deceptive conduct, undue harassment, coercion, and failure to provide financial services efficiently, honestly, and fairly.

          R v Dougas; R v Read; R v Linke; R v Casamento; R v Counihan; R v Jacobs Group (Australia) Pty Ltd (No 2) [2021] NSWSC 1084 – representing an individual charged with conspiring with corporate executives to bribe foreign public officials in Vietnam in the exercise of their official duties in connection with foreign aid projects funded by the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.  Successfully secured a discontinuance of all Supreme Court charges.

          Namoa v The Queen [2021] HCA 13 – High Court of Australia considering whether meaning of “conspires” and “conspiracy” in s 11.5 of Criminal Code incorporates any common law rule that spouses alone cannot conspire.

          R v Kinghorn – prosecuting charges of dishonestly influencing a public official relating to tax liabilities and concerning alleged control of overseas corporations

          R v Beydoun – prosecution arising out of an ICAC Inquiry of an individual for paying a corrupt commission to a public official in connection with a development application

          Maitland v R; Macdonald v R [2019] NSWCCA 32 – proceedings concerning wilful misconduct in public office relating to grant of mining exploration licences

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