Damian heads up our global Class Actions practice.
Damian helps clients manage key business risks and resolve their most complex commercial disputes, including major class action risks.
Damian’s strategic approach to managing disputes focuses on delivering successful commercial outcomes for clients. He is a key strategic adviser across a broad range of industry sectors.
Based in Melbourne, Damian gained valuable experience over recent years working on the ground 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:
- 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
- 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 a substantial multiparty funded shareholder class action arising out of the merger between Oxiana and Zinifex (and having also successfully defended OZ Minerals in two previous litigation-funded shareholder class actions)
- 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
- 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
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:
- “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
- “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
- “strategic, client-focused …having exceptional industry knowledge and is a clear industry-leader in class actions” – Legal 500 2018
- “superb litigator” – Legal 500 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.
- 2019 Lawyer of the Year for his work in Class Action Litigation in Melbourne.