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Peter A Smith


Peter is a commercial litigator specialising in corporate restructuring, turnaround and insolvency



Peter has more than 24 years experience acting for leading Australian banks and insolvency practitioners, as well as a number of Herbert Smith Freehills’ corporate clients.

Peter is endorsed as a leading restructuring and insolvency practitioner in Chambers Asia-Pacific (Australia) 2015 (and others), which notes that clients praise him for his work on property receiverships in Queensland following the global financial crisis and recent environmental disasters.

‘He has dealt with assets over AUD300 million in relation to these receiverships. One client enthused: "He has been sensational for us and has a superb team backing him up." They also praise his "good commercial mind" adding: "He works with you to get the right outcomes,"’

Peter is also acknowledged as the QLD Market Leader for Insolvency in the 2015 edition of Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession.

An accredited mediator trained and experienced in alternative dispute resolution procedures, Peter’s expertise extends to corporate law, tax disputes and trade practices. He has acted on cases in Australia and offshore.

Peter is a member of the Law Council of Australia’s Insolvency and Reconstruction Law Committee, and a Queensland committee member of ARITA and the Turnaround Management Association.

Peter’s experience includes:

  • Octaviar Limited (formally MFS Limited) as a senior member of the turnaround and restructuring team
  • leading the legal team responsible for implementing a review and resolution process for a major bank’s customers affected by the collapse of Storm Financial
  • Peter was part of the Freehills restructuring team that advised the Senior Banking Syndicate on the restructuring of the I-MED Group, Australia’s largest, privately owned diagnostic imaging network. The transaction was one of the most significant restructuring transactions in the Australian market of the last five years and has been referred to in the press as a ‘model debt-for-equity swap deal for a few private equity situations ahead’
  • acted for North American gold producers in successfully defending an oppression suit issued in the National Court of Papua New Guinea
  • Chase Manhattan Bank on proceedings issued in Australia and Bermuda, concerning the security of foreign currency deposits from the New Cap Reinsurance Group, in excess of A$240 million.