Damian heads up our global Class Actions practice.
Damian helps clients manage key business risks and resolve their most complex commercial and regulatory disputes, including major class action risks. His experience extends across Australia and the UK, and across a broad range of industry sectors.
Damian’s strategic approach to managing disputes focuses on delivering successful commercial outcomes for clients.
Based in Melbourne, Damian gained valuable experience over recent years working in London and continues to work widely across our Australian and international offices.
Damian acts in class action proceedings in both Australia and the UK and is recognised as a leading dispute resolution practitioner across all key industry publications.
Damian is a thought leader on class action issues and is co-author of the leading Australian text on class actions, Class Actions in Australia, now in its second edition.
He is also co-editor and co-author of a new book on class actions, Class Actions in England and Wales, published by Sweet & Maxwell in 2018, being a definitive review of the law and practice of class actions in England and Wales.
During 2017 he was co-editor of 25 Years of Class Actions in Australia: 1992-2017, a new book which brought together a number of contributors and perspectives on the first 25 years of class actions in Australia. He regularly presents and comments on legal issues, including class actions and litigation funding.
Damian’s experience includes advising:
- National Australia Bank in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financal Services Industry
- PricewaterhouseCoopers in relation to a class action against Vocation Limited
- Murray Goulburn on a range of multi-faceted issues including the defence of class action proceedings and various regulatory investigations, inquiries and proceedings
- Diageo in the global coordination and defence of class action litigation and proceedings in both Australia and the UK
- Newcrest Mining in successfully defending a funded shareholder class action in relation to disclosure issues associated with gold production guidance
- International mining company in relation to a claim before the English courts regarding alleged environmental issues arising from mining operations in Zambia
- OZ Minerals in successfully defending three funded shareholder class actions, the most recent being a substantial multiparty class action arising out ofthe merger between Oxiana and Zinifex
- Centro in several landmark multiparty litigation-funded shareholder class actions which involved allegations of contraventions of Australian securities laws and in the context of the A$16 billion restructure of the Centro Group. This was the first series of class actions in Australia involving competing proceedings run by different plaintiff law firms and funders
- Santos in the global coordination of legal and commercial issues arising from the East Java mud volcano in Indonesia, involving issues across multiple jurisdictions including Indonesia, the US, the UK and Australia
- Mayne in its response to the Pan Pharmaceuticals crisis, which was widely recognised as Australia’s largest pharmaceuticals product recall
- Telstra in successfully defending a significant shareholder class action involving allegations of contraventions of Australian securities laws. This was one of the first major shareholder class actions in Australia
- the State of Victoria and a number of its instrumentalities in successfully defending the class actions commenced in multiple jurisdictions following the interruption to gas supply at Longford
- the State of Victoria in the Longford Royal Commission into the Esso Longford Gas Plant Accident
Damian holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Economics from the University of Adelaide. He also has a Bachelor of Civil Law from the University of Oxford and a Master of Laws from the University of Cambridge. He has completed the Advanced Management Program at Harvard Business School. Damian is admitted to practise across Australia and in England and Wales.
Damian is described by clients as:
- “outstanding, whose technical expertise allows for a deep understanding of the class action regime and its nuances” – Legal 500 2019
- “a very experienced class action lawyer and very sage in his advice” - Chambers Asia Pacific 2019
- “No one knows [the class action] environment better, he really understands how to connect with the client; he delivers a powerful message to boards in language they can understand; he’s a lawyer you bring to the top table” – Chambers Asia Pacific 2019
- “strategic, client-focused …having exceptional industry knowledge and is a clear industry-leader in class actions” – Legal 500 2018
- “located at the cutting edge of class action work” and “plaintiff lawyers don’t want to see him on the other side” – Chambers Asia Pacific 2018
- “a good counsellor and backstop who understands and discusses the merits of different possible outcomes” – Chambers Asia Pacific 2018
- “superb litigator” – Legal 500 2017
- “calm and considered, trusted adviser who offers good, practical advice on difficult issues and explains complex legal issues clearly and succinctly” – Chambers Asia Pacific 2017
Damian is acknowledged by his peers in Best Lawyers as:
- one of a small number of solicitors in the category of Bet-the-Company Litigation over many years.
- 2019 Lawyer of the Year for his work in Class Action Litigation in Melbourne.\