Contact

+

P: 9262 6188 

E: rtassell@pvlaw.com.au

Introduction

+

Rob has over 25 years experience in general litigation at all levels in New South Wales, interstate and in the Federal jurisdiction. His litigation practice covers a wide range of matters including commercial litigation of various types: 

  • contract disputes, both seeking to enforce and overturn contracts; 
  • defamation, for plaintiffs and defendants; 
  • insolvency and debt recovery, for creditors and debtors; 
  • professional negligence; 
  • directors’ duties and corporate governance disputes; 
  • disputes involving competing property interests; 
  • banking and finance;
  • enforcement and avoidance of guarantees, including for unconscionable conduct and under the Contracts Review Act;
  • administrative law, including challenging government decisions on the grounds of lack of procedural fairness; and 
  • criminal law.   

Rob became an Accredited Specialist – Commercial Litigation in 1998 and continues to retain that qualification and practise in that area.

He commenced his first legal job with the then Verekers Solicitors & Attorneys in July 1989, was made partner in January 2001 and has stayed with that firm through its merger with Pikes Lawyers to the formation of Pikes & Verekers Lawyers in 2012. 

Through this continuity, Rob has benefited from, and partly formed, the culture of Verekers Lawyers and subsequently Pikes & Verekers Lawyers. The firm has a collegiate and co-operative approach in which the partners and solicitors frequently consult with and assist each other for the benefit of their clients but at no extra cost to them. 

Rob retains a “hands on” approach to litigation and works closely with other members of the firm on larger matters to ensure that there is a clear strategy of thought which is carried through to get the best possible result for the client in the most efficient and cost-effective manner. Rob works in particular with Jennifer Hold in defamation and professional negligence matters and with Mark Green in commercial and corporate litigation and dispute resolution matters. 

Rob’s team approach extends to working closely with counsel, with whom Rob has developed close working relationships over the course of his practice. 

He regularly appears in Court in the preparatory and interlocutory stages of cases and has appeared without counsel in a number of hearings in the Local, District and Supreme Courts where circumstances have made that necessary.

Experience

+
  • Extensive involvement in the Blackburn Royal Commission and the subsequent claim by Mr Blackburn against the State of New South Wales.
  • A series of successful defamation actions (and settlements) including Jarratt v John Fairfax Publications Pty Limited [2001] NSWSC 739 and defences including Lee v Keddie [2011] NSWCA 2
  • A natural justice case for a former Deputy Police Commissioner successfully pursued to the High Court: Jarratt v Commissioner of Police for New South Wales [2005] HCA 50.
  • Large-scale litigation including issues concerning leases, contracts, equity, forgery, unjust enrichment, good faith, equitable defences, strike-out of pleadings, privilege and costs: Tim Barr Pty Ltd v Narui Gold Coast Pty Ltd [2010] NSWSC 1106.
  • Contractual dispute regarding ownership and operation of an aged care facility and entitlement to company shares including estoppel issues: Smith v Wikramanayake [2007] NSWSC 136. 
  • Dispute regarding contractual repudiation, execution of deeds, strata titles and owners corporations: Waldorf Apartment Hotel v Owners Corporation SP 71623 [2009] NSWSC 882, upheld on appeal Waldorf Apartment Hotel v Owners Corporation SP 71623 [2010] NSWCA 226. 
  • Successfully enforcing directors’ and officers’ insurance cover for a senior executive of a construction company alleged to have engaged in misleading and deceptive conduct: 470 St Kilda Road Pty Limited v Robinson [2013] FCA 1420
  • Successfully defending a claim for return of an aged care accommodation bond brought against the financiers of the aged care facility: Ryan and Briggs v Wikramanayake [2013] NSWSC 1171.

Contact

+

P: 9262 6188 

E: rtassell@pvlaw.com.au

Qualifications

+

BA 1986, University of New South Wales 

LLB 1988, University of New South Wales