AGS wins 'Dispute Resolution Team of the Year'
On Friday 31 August 2018, AGS was announced 'Dispute Resolution Team of the Year' in the Lawyers Weekly 18th Australian Law Awards.
The gala event, celebrated at The Star Sydney, by over 800 of the 'legal profession's finest', according to Lawyers Weekly, 'recognises the outstanding work being done across major legal practice areas, brilliance at the bar, legal in-house powerhouses, innovators and various firm-led pro bono programs'.
The award, judged by an independent panel, is based on work done over the 2017–18 financial year, how the team's combined expertise benefitted clients, as well as recognising the qualities that set the team apart as a leader in its field of practice.
AGS Dispute Resolution represents Commonwealth entities in a wide range of matters, including high-profile national security matters, Australia's largest class actions, and litigation relating to competition, employment law, information protection, tax and administrative law (including migration and entitlements). In 2017–18, they were involved in many landmark matters including:
- the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, including as Solicitor Assisting
- the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory
- acting for AUSTRAC in its proceeding against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in which the largest civil penalty in Australian corporate history was imposed by the Federal Court
- working with ASIO and the AFP in the Inquest into the Death of Ahmed Numan Haider
- working collaboratively across AGS and the public service in representing the Commonwealth in Kamasaee, a personal injury and false imprisonment damages claim which included the largest public interest immunity dispute in Australian legal history
- representing the Commonwealth in the Roo-Roofing class action arising from the Home Insulation Program
- acting for the Commonwealth in the Brett Cattle class action over the temporary ban on live animal exports to Indonesia
- representing the Commissioner of Taxation in Thomas concerning the question of whether declaratory orders obtained by a taxpayer in a State Supreme Court could bind the Commissioner of Taxation in his administration and application of the taxation laws in proceedings in the Federal Court
- representing the ACCC in the determination by the Federal Court of relief, including penalties, following the High Court's decision that Air New Zealand and Garuda had contravened the Trade Practices Act 1974, holding that price-fixing conduct took place in a 'market in Australia'
- the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
AGS Dispute Resolution was recognised for its comprehensive network of highly-skilled in-house counsel, its cohort of Special Counsel and professional leaders in specialist areas of practice and for its culture of collaboration with both clients and across AGS more generally.
'This is a tremendous accolade for AGS and the Dispute Resolution group in particular. No one should doubt the importance and extraordinary range of the work we do or the high standards we achieve in doing it,' wrote the Australian Government Solicitor, Michael Kingston, on receiving the news. 'Congratulations to the Dispute Resolution group on receiving this award. It follows a year in which they (like other parts of AGS) worked very hard and produced some exceptional outcomes.'