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Geoff McClellan

Senior Adviser

Geoff is widely recognised as one of Australia’s leading commercial litigators. 



Geoff has extensive experience working on complex commercial disputes across a range of legal areas including major infrastructure and building projects, securities, taxation, insolvency, corporations, trade practices, contracts, professional negligence, media and industrial laws.

He regularly assists some of Australia and the world’s largest corporations in dealing with the strategic aspects of major disputes.

Geoff's experience includes acting for:

  • Lendlease in relation to the Barangaroo Development in Sydney, East-West Link roadway projects in Victoria, the coronial inquest in relation to the Thredbo landslide, and various inquiries into the Building Industry
  • Patrick Ports and Stevedoring, as the senior litigation partner in the Federal Court conspiracy proceedings brought by the Maritime Union of Australia (MUA) against Patrick and the Australian Government. He also ran the various civil disobedience injunction and contempt proceedings in relation to the picket lines in New South Wales
  • A group of 20 major Australian and international banks in the trial relating to the collapse of the Bell Group of companies, dealing with issues including insolvency, directors’ duties, equitable fraud and accessorial liability
  • Fairfax in the landmark Federal Court case concerning the sale of the major print publisher Fairfax to the consortium led by Conrad Black and The Daily Telegraph
  • County Natwest (now part of Citigroup) in the Ampolex proceedings, a major trial that included allegations of insider trading
  • Citigroup in relation to proceedings brought against it by the Australian Securities regulator ASIC



Geoff holds Bachelor’s degrees in Law and Economics from Sydney University. He joined the firm in 1980 and became a partner in 1988.

Geoff was Chairman of the Australian firm of Freehills for six years and has undertaken various senior management roles within the firm including, Head of the Disputes Practice in Australia, a member of the Global Executive, and Managing Partner for Clients and Sectors. In 2019 he retired from the Partnership to continue working with the Disputes group as a Senior Advisor.

Market Recognition

Recognised in Chambers Global Guide as ‘a real key player – level-headed and respected’, Geoff is consistently recognised as a leading litigation lawyer in all peer review awards.