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Hugh Paynter


Hugh works with clients on commercial dispute resolution and has a particular focus on tax disputes.



Hugh has significant experience in acting on commercial and corporate disputes. As well as high value contractual disputes, his experience includes the following issues: directors' duties, insolvency, restraint of trade, regulatory, and valuations.

Experience advising:

  • National Australia Bank in tax disputes with more than $900 million at stake concerning international hybrid capital raisings (the US$1 billion ExCaps and US$450 million TrUEPrS), involving general deductibility, Part IVA and transfer pricing issues
  • Lend Lease in its successful defence of a $95 million Part IVA and CGT dispute concerning its $365 million Westpac warrant transaction
  • The Cross City consortium in a $60 million land rich stamp duty dispute involving significant valuation issues
  • a group of 20 major Australian and international banks in appeals relating to the collapse of the Bell Group of companies, with a particular focus on directors’ duties, accessorial liability and equitable remedies


Hugh holds a Bachelor of Commerce and a Bachelor of Laws degree from the University of New South Wales and a Master of Laws from the University of Sydney. He holds a postgraduate diploma in Applied Finance and Investment. At University, he won prizes in corporate law, tax and finance.

He is a published author on the operation of Part IVA and the promoter penalty rules, and also regularly gives external presentations on tax dispute management, legal professional privilege and Part IVA.

He is admitted to practise as a solicitor of the Supreme Courts of NSW and South Australia and the High Court of Australia. He is a Chartered Tax Advisor as recognised by the Tax Institute of Australia