Behrens, Christopher

Senior Executive Lawyer

With more than 30 years in commercial and general litigation, Chris has wide-ranging experience in claims management and complex commercial disputes. His abilities extend beyond legal expertise to strategic planning and team leadership. Between 2016 and 2019 Chris was the team leader of our Civil Claims team at AGS.

Presently Chris is leading the Commonwealth team in the class action brought by residents of Williamtown, NSW in the Federal Court in relation to PFAS contamination of waterways and groundwater. He is our client service manager responsible for the Department of Defence.

A practical, solutions-oriented legal adviser, Chris makes it a priority to build strong rapport with his clients. He advises and acts for the Commonwealth in various courts, tribunals and inquiries. He advises on complex liability and risk assessment, legislative and litigation issues, and negotiates settlements via mediation. His experience spans contract and property disputes, compensation claims, protection of information, insolvency and debt-recovery, legal risk audits and development of industry-specific dispute resolution schemes.

Chris was the Chair of the ACT Law Society Government Lawyers Committee from 2009 until 2013, and received the 2017 ACT Law Society Government Law Award.

Recent experience

Chris’s recent work includes:

  • advising Commonwealth agencies on liability and claims-handling arising from environmental contamination at Defence sites and Commonwealth airports
  • acting for the Commonwealth in complex compulsory acquisition compensation claims
  • participating in a taskforce of experts to review the eCensus shutdown in August 2016.

Qualifications

Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Economics, University of Tasmania, 1987

Areas of law

Litigation specialisation

Property and environment

  • dispute resolution and litigation
  • managing claims arising from environmental contamination and in relation to land acquisition
  • advising on the conduct of property claims and the settlement of disputes, and providing strategy options and solutions.