Our People

Principals
Martin Bennett
Martin Bennett
find out more
Martin Bennett

Admitted in 1978 Martin’s reputation as one of Perth’s leading and most fearless advocates has been built on a career of considerable achievement across all areas of civil and commercial litigation and regulation. Well known for his high-profile appearances – and successes – in the High Court, Federal Court, Western Australian Supreme and District Courts, Martin is a brilliant strategic thinker and one of Western Australia’s most eminent counsel.

Martin has once more been voted by his peers as one of Western Australia’s Preeminent Lawyers for Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution in the 2017 Edition of Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession.

Doyle’s Guide 2017 has also recognised Martin as a Leading Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution Lawyer Australia wide.

Practice Areas:

  • Administrative Law
  • Automotive
  • Commercial Arbitration (International and Domestic) and Expert Determinations
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Defamation
  • Duties Law
  • Employment Law
  • Energy and Resources
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property
  • Media
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Personal Property Securities
  • Real and Personal Property, Planning and Conveyancing
  • Trust and Managed Investments Schemes

Legal Experience

Chris Booth
Chris Booth
find out more
Chris Booth

Chris is a Principal in the Commercial and Corporate section of the firm.  Chris has considerable experience in commercial and corporate law having practised law in multiple jurisdictions including overseas.  Chris has particular experience in commercial property having acted for and against major property developers in Australia and the UK and in insolvency, restructuring, commercial and corporate law having practiced these areas in Australia and London.  Chris is entitled to practise law in Australia, England and Wales which enables him to act for international clients and conduct cross-border transactions.

Chris is a member of the Australian Energy and Resources Law Association – WA Branch (AMPLA), the Law Society WA Property Law Committee, the Law Society WA General Conditions Committee and is a previous councillor of the Northern Territory Law Society.

Practice Areas:

  • Automotive
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Duties Law
  • Employment Law
  • Energy and Resources
  • Estate Planning (Wills/Probate/Succession/Disputes)
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Personal Property Securities
  • Real and Personal Property, Planning and Conveyancing

Experience:

Acted in a recent receivership, takeover, DOCA administration, sale of assets and company windup on behalf of an international client.  Bennett + Co’s successfully defended application in [2012] WASC 483 paved the way for this client to recoup significant GFC losses following a refusal to pay loan amounts.

Colin Chenu
Colin Chenu
find out more
Colin Chenu

Admitted in 1986, Colin has practised as a barrister and solicitor in Western Australia for almost 30 years.  He has regularly appeared as counsel in the District and Supreme Courts of Western Australia and the Federal Court of Australia and has experience in a wide range of commercial litigious and non-litigious work. Colin’s broad expertise includes corporation’s law, trade practices, contracts, defamation, equity and trusts. He has a special interest in civil assets forfeiture-in which he has an extensive practice.  In April 2011, Colin appeared as counsel in the High Court to successfully oppose an application for special leave to appeal a significant asset forfeiture claim.

Colin advises a number of publicly listed and private corporations and high wealth individuals, and is highly valued for his ability to quickly identify the core issues in complex legal and factual disputes, and to provide solutions tailored to his clients’ commercial objectives.

Colin is recommended by Doyle’s Guide in their category “Leading Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyers – Perth 2017.”

Practice areas:

  • Administrative Law
  • Civil Assets Forfeiture
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Defamation
  • Energy and Resources
  • Estate Planning (Wills/Probate/Succession/Disputes)
  • Media
  • Trusts and Managed Investments Schemes
Nathan Ebbs
Nathan Ebbs
Managing Principal
find out more
Nathan Ebbs
Position Managing Principal

Nathan is Bennett + Co’s Managing Principal and practises in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution section of the firm. He has broad experience running commercial litigation for public and private companies, partnerships, trusts and individuals and has appeared as an instructing solicitor and counsel in many high-profile cases. Nathan is particularly proficient in the areas of competition and consumer law, Corporations Act matters, contractual disputes, directors’ and officers’ liability and mining and resources litigation. He is a board member of disability support group Identitywa, is Chairman of Radio Lollipop’s 2016 Steering Committee and a Council Member of the Law Society of Western Australia.

Nathan is recommended by Doyle’s Guide in their category “Leading Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyers – Perth 2017.”

Practice Areas:

  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Duties Law
  • Employment
  • Energy and Resources
  • Trusts and Managed Investments Schemes

Legal Experience (Recent):

  • Rambal v The Griffin Coal Mining Co Pty Ltd [2015] WASCA 197.
  • Pramoko v Grande Enterprises Ltd [2015] WASCA 157.
  • Sims v Suda (No 2) [2015] FCA 281.
Mark MacLennan
Mark MacLennan
find out more
Mark MacLennan

During a legal career of nearly 30 years in Australia and New Zealand Mark has advised and appeared for numerous organisations including large and small companies, public companies and Government bodies.  Mark has conducted litigation in most courts and tribunals in New Zealand and Western Australia, and the Federal and High Courts of Australia. He has a vast knowledge and particular interest in partnership, corporation and property disputes. Mark’s redoubtable litigation skill and experience also extends to competition and consumer law and acting for individuals in professional disciplinary proceedings.

Mark is married with two children.  He is a cricket and rugby tragic.

Mark was recommended by Doyles’ Guide in their category “Leading Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyers – Perth 2015.”

http://doylesguide.com/leading-litigation-dispute-resolution-lawyers-perth-2015/

Practice Areas:

  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Arbitration (International and Domestic) and Expert Determinations
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Energy and Resources
  • Insurance
David Sanders
David Sanders
find out more
David Sanders

David has more than 20 years’ experience in corporate law. He has advised numerous entities, including ASX-listed and private companies on capital raising, mergers and acquisitions, Corporations Act and ASX Listing Rules compliance and corporate governance, as well as commercial transactions across a range of industries and jurisdictions. In addition to his legal qualifications, David also has a Graduate Diploma of Applied Finance and Investments from the Securities Institute of Australia.  David is the Chairman of Murlpirrmarra Connection Limited, which focuses on education and training for indigenous youth in the Yilgarn Region of Western Australia. He is also a non-executive director of:

Marenica Energy Ltd

Quickflix Limited

Tungsten Mining NL and

International Raw Materials Pty Ltd.

Practice Areas:

  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Finance, Initial Public Offerings and Secondary Capital Raisings
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Duties Law
  • Energy and Resources
  • Estate Planning (Wills/Probate/Succession/Disputes)
  • Mergers and Acquisitions
  • Real and Personal Property, Planning and Conveyancing
  • Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Trust and Managed Investments Schemes
Senior Associates
Christine Arthur
Christine Arthur
find out more
Christine Arthur

Christine is an experienced practitioner in the fields of commercial litigation and dispute resolution.  She has acted for a broad range of clients in a number of factually and legally complex matters including successfully acting on behalf of the North West Shelf Domestic Gas providers in relation to a dispute with Verve Energy over a gas supply agreement.  Ultimately the North West Shelf Domestic Gas providers were successful in the High Court of Australia.

Christine also assisted Martin Bennett in the case of Dr Gray v University of Western Australia which is a widely reported and seminal case in the practice areas of intellectual property and employment.

Additionally, Christine’s experience as a corporate solicitor for AON International means that she can provide strategic and contractual advice in relation to insurance for company directors, corporations and professionals if insurance has been denied.

Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution.
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Employment
  • Energy and Resources
  • Insurance
  • Intellectual Property

Legal Experience:

  • University of Western Australia v Gray (No 20) [2008] FCA 498.
  • University of Western Australia v Gray [2009] FCAFC 1163.
  • Electricity Generation Corporation t/as Verve Energy v Woodside Energy Ltd & Ors [2011] WASC 268.
  • Electricity Generation Corporation t/as Verve Energy v Woodside Energy Ltd & Ors [2013] WASCA 36.
Dalitso Banda
Dalitso Banda
find out more
Dalitso Banda

Dalitso is an experienced Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution lawyer practicing in complex commercial and corporate disputes. Dalitso has acted for a broad range of clients including publicly listed companies and proprietary companies involved in industrial sectors such as Mining and Resources, Engineering and Construction, Investments, Information Technology, Professional Services, Property, Agriculture and Transport. Dalitso has a particular interest in corporate governance litigation.

Practice Areas:

  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Arbitration (International and Domestic) and Expert Determinations
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Energy and Resources
  • Estate Planning (Wills/Probate/Succession/Disputes)

Legal Experience

  • Acting in a multi-billion dollar dispute between Perdaman Chemicals and Fertilisers and The Griffin Coal Mining Company and its holding companies.
  • Acting as counsel and solicitor in numerous matters in the Supreme Court of Western Australia, Federal Court of Australia, Federal Circuit Court of Australia, District Court of Western Australia, Magistrates Court of Western Australia and State Administrative Tribunal.
  • Acting for various companies and individuals (as plaintiff and defendant) in oppression actions made under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
  • Acting for and against publicly listed mining companies in relation to tenement disputes in Australia and Africa.
  • Acting for various companies and individuals in relation to breaches of directors’ duties, trusts and corporate failures.
  • Acting for members of a regulated industry affected by digital disruption technology.
  • Advising and representing various clients on all aspects of subpoenas.

 

 

Taleesha Elder
Taleesha Elder
find out more
Taleesha Elder

Taleesha is a Senior Associate in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution section of the firm.

Taleesha graduated from UWA in in 2011 with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours)/Bachelor of Science. Prior to joining Bennett + Co in 2013, Taleesha worked as an Associate to a judge of the Supreme Court of Western Australia. Taleesha has extensive experience in commercial litigation, particularly Corporations Act, CATSI Act, defamation and intellectual property matters.

Areas of practice:

  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Defamation
  • Energy and Resources
  • Intellectual Property

Legal experience (recent):

  • WA Property Holdings Pty Ltd v Colliers International (WA) Pty Ltd [2016] FCA 1089
  • Sandy v Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC [No 2] [2016] WASC 75(S)
  • Sandy v Yindjibarndi Aboriginal Corporation RNTBC [No 2] [2016] WASC 75
Jeremy Forsyth
Jeremy Forsyth
find out more
Jeremy Forsyth

Jeremy is a Senior Associate in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution section of the firm.  He has broad experience running complex commercial litigation and regulatory investigations in both Australia and the United Kingdom.  He has a particular interest in corporate governance litigation and litigation and regulatory investigations in the financial services industry.

Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Insolvency,  Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Employment
  • Insurance

 

Legal Experience:

  • Acting for companies, directors and officers the subject of investigation by regulatory authorities.
  • Assisting the US Securities & Exchange Commission to investigate international inter-dealer brokers for evidence of alleged misconduct including price collusion, algorithmic or high volume trades, zero sum trades and undeclared commissions.
  • Assisting a major international bank to respond to an investigation by the European Antitrust Commission in relation to alleged misconduct in the setting of benchmark interest rates.
  • Advising insolvency practitioners in a diverse range of industries including viticulture, engineering services, childcare and retirement centres.
  • Assisting Mr Forrest to defend proceedings by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) in ASIC v Fortescue Metals Group & Anor (No 5) (2009) 264 ARL 201.
  • Assisting a major freight and logistics company to bring proceedings against a former employee for breach of the non-compete and non-solicitation clauses in his contract of employment.

 

 

 

 

 

Thaw Thaw Htin
Thaw Thaw Htin
find out more
Thaw Thaw Htin

Thaw Thaw’s experience has included commercial and regulatory litigation conducted in the Supreme Courts of Western Australia, New South Wales and Victoria as well as the Federal Court of Australia. Prior to joining Bennett + Co Thaw Thaw worked at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) where she advised on financial services laws and managed enforcement actions against financial services providers. Thaw Thaw’s work at ASIC saw her and her team receive an Australia Day Medal in 2012.  Thaw Thaw’s unique experience in regulatory investigations, corporate and commercial disputes make Thaw Thaw an integral senior member of the firm.

Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Energy and Resources
  • Trusts and Managed Investments Schemes

Legal Experience:

  • Acted for and advised a listed automotive retailing and logistics company in relation to an information technology systems implementation contract dispute.
  • Part of the ASIC regulatory team in the Trio Capital investigation involving the largest superannuation fund fraud in Australia, the regulation of managed investment schemes and corporate governance.
  • Acted for the ACCC in Federal Court enforcement proceedings concerning breaches of competition and consumer law.
  • Acted for an ASX listed top 200 Australian gold exploration and production company in Supreme Court proceedings concerning whether consent to the assignment of a mining tenement had been unreasonably withheld.
  • Acted for an Australian nickel and gold mining company in Supreme Court proceedings concerning a pre-emptive rights contract dispute.

 

Tanya Lavan
Tanya Lavan
find out more
Tanya Lavan

Tanya is a Senior Associate in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution section, having joined the firm following its commencement in February 2011.

Tanya has experience running major and complex corporate litigation involving competition and consumer law, Corporations Act (compliance) matters and contractual disputes. Tanya also has an established practice in the areas of defamation and media law.

She has acted as instructing solicitor in relation to some of the largest commercial disputes in the Supreme Court of Western Australia.

Legal Experience:

  • The litigious dispute between Perdaman Chemicals and The Griffin Coal Mining Company (and its holding companies) involving alleged breaches of contract and a damages claim in excess of $US 3.5 billion.
  • The longest civil trial in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 2011 involving a dispute between former business partners with respect to the non-payment of alleged agreed partnership entitlements.
  • A number of contested, interlocutory (and pre-action) applications and in particular, applications seeking urgent injunctive relief (including in a media law context where interim orders restraining publication are sought).

Practice Areas:

  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Defamation
  • Estate Planning (Wills/Probate/Succession/Disputes)
  • Media

 

Michael Nas
Michael Nas
find out more
Michael Nas

Michael joined Bennett + Co at its commencement in February 2011 in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution section of the firm. Michael practices primarily in the Supreme Court of Western Australia and has broad experience in the conduct of major litigation, particularly for ASX-listed entities.  Michael’s practice focuses on contractual disputes arising in the mining and resources sector, as well as Corporations Act matters (such as statutory demands) and personal insolvency. Michael also has a particular interest in aviation law and has recently completed a research thesis (Master of Laws by Research, conferred February 2016) in that area, focusing on the regulation of Unmanned Aircraft Systems and the integration of these systems into public airspace.  Michael hopes to build his practice in the aviation law area using his Master’s thesis as a platform.

Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Arbitration (International and Domestic) and Expert Determinations
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Energy and Resources

Legal Experience:

  • Process Minerals International Pty Ltd v Consolidated Minerals Pty Ltd [2011] WASCA 219.
  • Streeter v Western Areas Exploration Pty Ltd [No 2] [2011] WASCA 17 (S).
  • Kaboko Mining Ltd v Noble Resources International Pte Ltd [2015] WASC 67.
  • Kelbush Pty Ltd v Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Ltd [2016] WASCA 14.
Nikki Randall
Nikki Randall
find out more
Nikki Randall

Having graduated in 2005 with a Bachelor of Laws (Honours), Nikki spent her first 5 years of legal practice with a large, independent commercial firm before joining Bennett + Co in 2011.

Nikki maintains a broad litigation practice, having acted for individuals as well as public and private companies and their directors in respect of contractual claims, negligence, misleading or deceptive conduct matters, partnership disputes, Corporations Act matters, misrepresentation claims and equitable actions such as breach of fiduciary duties and unconscionability.

Nikki also maintains a specialist defamation and media law practice.  Nikki has had primary conduct of some of the most prominent defamation cases in the Supreme Court of WA and has represented a variety of high net worth individuals, politicians, lawyers, sporting personalities, business people and company directors.

Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution.
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Defamation
  • Media

Her specialised defamation and media law skills extend to:

  • prosecution and defence of defamation proceedings in the Supreme Court of WA;
  • bringing urgent injunctions to restrain publication;
  • pre-action discovery applications to determine identity of publishers;
  • internet and social media defamation advice;
  • vetting potentially defamatory material ahead of publication;
  • advising on printed and online content;
  • drafting statutory Concerns Notices and Offers to Make Amends; and
  • drafting tailored apologies, retractions, corrections and undertakings.

 

Amy Rumble
Amy Rumble
find out more
Amy Rumble

Amy has been with Bennett + Co since the commencement of the firm.  Amy has experience running complex major litigation matters for publicly-listed and multinational companies and multi-million dollar international arbitration in the energy and resources sector.  She also has experience in conducting intellectual property, ICT, partnership and general commercial disputes.

  • Commercial Arbitration (international and domestic) and Expert Determinations
  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Corporate Insolvency, Reconstruction and Bankruptcy
  • Energy and Resources
  • Intellectual Property

Legal Experience (Representation):

  • A publicly listed Australian mining company in an $80 million international arbitration against a Chinese state owned entity for breach of a mining tenement sale agreement.
  • A world leading industrial packaging manufacturer in concurrent Federal Court proceedings against Australian manufacturers for patent and trade mark infringement and misleading and deceptive conduct.
  • A leading Australian fashion designer against a trade competitor in relation to claims of trade mark infringement, passing off and misleading and deceptive conduct.
  • Members of several successive partnerships in their successful defence of Supreme Court and Court of Appeal proceedings challenging the termination and formation of the successive partnerships and the distribution of partnership profits.
Associates
Alastair Forward
find out more
Alastair Forward
Rachel Ross
find out more
Rachel Ross
Alex Tharby
Alex Tharby
find out more
Alex Tharby

Alex joined Bennett + Co in 2013 in the Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution section of the firm. Alex has broad experience acting in high profile and high value corporate governance/directors’ duties disputes, oppression proceedings under the Corporations Act and defamation proceedings. He has also acted in shareholder and partnership disputes and in disputes involving trusts and estates.  Alex has acted for both plaintiffs and defendants in Western Australian and Federal first instance and appellate Courts and has a sound knowledge of superior court practice and procedure.

  • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution
  • Commercial Transactions
  • Competition and Consumer Law
  • Defamation
  • Insurance
  • Media
Senior Administration
Michael Harper
Michael Harper
Chief Operating Officer
find out more
Michael Harper
Position Chief Operating Officer

Bennett + Co’s Chief Operating Officer Michael Harper joined the firm from Pitcher Partners at the practice’s inception in February 2011.  As Chief Operating Officer Michael works closely with the Principals and is responsible for the overall management of the legal practice.  Michael has worked in the administration of professional services firms for more than 15 years.

Consultants
Michael Silbert
find out more
Michael Silbert

Michael Silbert has over 20 years of legal experience, mostly in challenging in-house roles in listed and private businesses in Australia, the UK and Asia. This positions him uniquely to see things “though the client’s eyes”.

His knowledge and application of corporate and commercial law is overlaid by his first-hand understanding of the critical importance of good corporate governance, risk management and compliance.

In Michael’s specialty areas such as equity capital markets, mergers & acquisitions, banking and finance, contracting, mining, and telecommunications, the primary demand from a client is and always has been value-for-money.  With his in-house perspectives and experience, Michael brings the benefit of understanding how good legal thinking sits alongside all of a client’s overall inputs to further its aims and objectives. Without understanding context, good legal advice is only that. But when it is provided as an integral part of a business’ strategic aims, it becomes a driver for a client’s success, adding owner value, and building brand and reputation.

Michael believes that “the aim for a good lawyer is to see that the client is game-ready for owners, new investors, customers, employees and regulators. Our legal advice should be seen as part of a client’s overall risk-management, and must always add to a client’s ability to achieve its business aims”.

Practice Areas:

  • Commercial Transactions
  • Corporate and Commercial Regulatory Compliance
  • Corporate Finance, Initial Public Offerings and Secondary Capital Raisings
  • Energy and Resources
  • Intellectual Property
  • Mergers and Acquisitions