The most successful matters are the ones that do not go to trial. At all times I am mindful of getting the best possible outcome for my clients at the earliest possible stage.
The following are decisions in some of the matters I have argued.
Middendorp v Lygina  WASC 431
I acted at trial (unled) for the successful plaintiff who sought equitable relief to permanently restrain his former partner from making use of documents that she had surreptitiously copied (including correspondence between him and his family law solicitor). We were also successful on an earlier interlocutory decision,  WASC 409, concerning the equitable jurisdiction of the Supreme Court (vis a vis parties to family law proceedings) and on costs:  WASC 431 (S).
WA v Urban (Unreported, District Court of WA, 12 March 2021, IND 157 of 2020)
I acted for the accused Mr Barry Urban, a former member of the Legislative Assembly of WA. Mr Urban was charged with giving knowingly false evidence before a committee of the Legislative Assembly. We ran albeit unsuccessfully, important arguments about parliamentary privilege. The transcript of the reasons for dismissing our application for a permanent stay of the relevant charges is available here.
Gwe v Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police (No 2)  NSWCA 350
My clients successfully obtained indemnity costs against the Australian Federal Police. This was only possible because the clients had, in accordance with my advice, made a Calderbank offer to the Commissioner at an appropriate juncture in the appeal; referred to immediately below.
Gwe v Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police  NSWCA 247
I acted for the only cuckoo-smurfing victim who has been successful in excluding property from restraint under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002.
Skelly v The State of Western Australia  WASCA 3
A consideration by the WA Court of Appeal on the proper approach to causation in the context of fraud under s409 Criminal Code (WA). I successfully defended the appeal for the respondent (State of Western Australia). I had previously been trial counsel and prior to that, conducted the assessment of the brief of evidence following the investigation by the Australian Securities & Investments Commission (ASIC).
Head v DPP (WA)  WASCA 157
I secured an injunction from the Court of Appeal preventing the DPP and the State from selling my client’s home. The home had been confiscated based upon my client’s conviction for a drug offence and his consequential declaration as a drug trafficker. The conviction was the subject of a separate appeal; and the DPP were not willing to wait until the outcome of the conviction appeal before selling the house. I appeared without Senior Counsel leading me, against the Director of Public Prosecutions herself. I am pleased to note that Mr Head was also ultimately successful in his conviction appeal, reported as  WASCA 21.
Lordianto v Commissioner of the AFP; Kalimuthu v Commissioner of the AFP  HCA 39
I juniored Hament Dhanji SC (as His Honour then was) before the High Court. I have written more about the decision here. Of note the High Court unanimously endorsed at  an argument that I personally formulated and that we ran (unsuccessfully) in the WA Court of Appeal. Namely that a person will (without more) be a “third party” under s330(4)(a) of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 if the person meets the description of the remainder of the sub-section. This is a centrally important protection that will, over time, limit the otherwise draconian effect of the Act.
R v Abbas  WASCA 64
I juniored Ms Wendy Abraham QC (as her Honour then was) in a successful Crown appeal against sentence. Mr Abbas was a high-level people smuggler. The decision considered the significance of mandatory minimum terms.
R v Commissioner of Taxation  WASC 7
I appeared for the Commissioner of Taxation (instructed by the Commonwealth DPP) in response to a sentence appeal in relation to multiple offences against s8H of the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth), namely failing to comply with an earlier court order to lodge tax returns. There were very few appellate decisions on point. The Court accepted that a suspended term of imprisonment was not manifestly excessive.
Mullholland v Winslow  WASCA 19
An important decision that confirmed just how broad WA Police powers are when it comes to detaining and compulsorily interviewing people under the Criminal Property confiscation Act.
Eltech Services Pty Ltd v Corrie  WADC 161
Sadly not an uncommon case. My client, the plaintiff, had employed Ms Corrie as an accounts officer. Ms Corrie defrauded the client of a very substantial sum. I successfully applied ex parte for freezing orders not only against her assets, but also against her husband (who there was evidence had benefited from her actions). Ms Corrie was subsequently convicted and my clients recouped some of their losses. Again as is sadly common, much of the defrauded money had been spent.
Commissioner of the AFP v Kalimuthu & Anor (No 3)  WASC 108.
This was the first decision to consider the meaning of s 330(4)(a) Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (the section that protects innocent third parties from forfeiture). I have written more about the decision here. I was successful at first instance. This was overturned on appeal, see above.
The Queen v Li (unreported, District Court, 1 December 2016)
I argued that a registered money remitter had no case to answer on a charge of money laundering under s 400.9 of the Criminal Code (Cth). The prosecution sought to make out liability through reliance on a deeming provision (s 400.9(2)) coupled with alleged contraventions by my client of the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act 2006 (Cth) (“AMLCTF Act”). Sweeney DCJ accepted my argument that the prosecution had misconstrued the effect of relevant sections of the AMCLTF. The charge was consequently dismissed without the jury being asked to return a verdict.
Commissioner of the AFP v Kalimuthu  WASC 376.
This decision established that there were issues (of fairness) with the practice the AFP had adopted in applying on an ex parte basis to restrain funds that were already the subject of freezing orders under s 15B Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth). The Court accepted my argument (on behalf of the respondents) that the AFP should at the ex parte restraining order application, have disclosed the fact that they could have (but had not) applied to extend a freezing order that was already in place. That would have allowed the Supreme Court to program the restraining order application to be heard on notice to my clients. The Court held the AFP’s failure was a material non-disclosure. This aspect of the decision is arguably relevant to the question of whether a restraining order should be granted ex parte over physical property that has already been seized by Police. See generally -, in particular .
May v State of Western Australia  WASC 24.
I acted for an Inspector appointed under the Animal Welfare Act 2002 (WA). We successfully resisted an injunction application. The plaintiff had been seeking to stop the Inspector from proceeding with a civil forfeiture application in the Magistrates Court.
Commissioner of the AFP v Ruzehaji (No 3)  SADC 62.
The decision considers the circumstances in which a person against whom criminal charges are pending may be compulsorily examined on oath about the conduct that gives rise to those charges, and when such an examination should be stayed pending determination of the criminal charges. To that end the decision considers both X7 v Australian Crime Commission  HCA 29 and Lee v New South Wales Crime Commission  HCA 39. See also my article in Brief magazine on that topic. Separately the decision also considers 1) the means by which an ex parte restraining order made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) may be set aside, and 2) the scope of s 180 of that Act (which provides for examination of defendants and third parties). I argued the matter before the Chief Judge of the South Australian District Court together with Mr Arthur Moses SC of the Sydney bar.
Commissioner of the AFP v Sayed  WADC 37.
The decision considers the proper approach to quantification of a Pecuniary Penalty Order under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth).
Commissioner of the AFP v Courtenay Investments Ltd [No 2]  WASC 55.
The judgment considers a novel point of statutory interpretation about the use that can be made of criminal trial transcript in civil confiscation proceedings. It is a decision of the Honourable Justice Edelman, in a Commercial and Managed Cases list matter. I argued the matter with Ms Wendy Abraham QC of the Sydney bar.
Ex Parte the Commissioner of the AFP  WASC 252.
I persuaded the Chief Justice that an application for an ex parte property restraining order fell within what his Honour had previously described as a “rare and exceptional circumstance”; see his judgment at the appellate level in DPP v Kamal (below) at .
Courtenay Investments Limited v DPP (Cth)  WASCA 121.
The Court of Appeal dismissed an ‘abuse of process’ complaint brought against my client.
DPP v Kamal (2011) 248 FLR 64; (2011) 206 A Crim R 397;  WASCA 55.
I argued the matter together with Mr S Gageler SC (the then Solicitor-General for the Commonwealth and now Justice of the High Court of Australia) and Ms G Braddock SC (now District Court Judge). The Court of Appeal ruled that the provisions of the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) that provided for property to be frozen on an ex parte basis did not infringe the Kable principle.
Ex Parte the Commonwealth DPP  WASC 277 (Goldfinger No 1).
A decision of the Honourable Justice Allanson to restrain (ie freeze) approximately $20m worth of gold and silver bullion under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (Cth) on the basis that it was the proceeds of offences in the United States. For more information on the matter see the article in Brief magazine.
Smith v R (2007) 35 WAR 201; (2007) 213 FLR 12; (2007) 175 A Crim R 528;  WASCA 163.
The decision considers the principles applicable to the joinder of criminal charges and the joinder of defendants. I argued the matter with Mr Stephen Hall SC (now the Honourable Justice Hall).
Lappan v Hughes  WASCA 173. cited at [s 23.12] of Criminal Law WA.
The decision established that the general defences found in Chapter 5 of the Criminal Code (WA) do not apply to prosecutions under the Dog Act 1976 (WA). I led the argument for the appellant prosecutor (a ranger employed by the City of Bunbury).
Bandaid Tyres Australia Pty Ltd v Williams  WASC 306.
An application for an Anton Piller order (search order).