Contact

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P: 9262 6188 

E: sgriffiths@pvlaw.com.au

Introduction

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Stephen has worked as a lawyer for more than 40 years during which time he has had a widely diversified practice. He has a broad range of skills and is adaptable and competent in a range of areas. One constant has been in the field of local government, planning and environmental law.

Experience

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  • Represented the Queensland SGIO in the successful High Court appeal in Sharman v Evans (1977) 138 CLR 563 which at the time was the highest award of damages for personal injuries in Australia (1977). 
  • Represented the RSPCA in conducting many successful prosecutions in the Local Court, District Court, Supreme Court and Court of Appeal (1979-1990). 
  • Represented the State Building Society of New South Wales in numerous Supreme Court debt recovery actions (1984-1990). 
  • Represented a franchisee group in successful proceedings against the franchisor in the High Court in Tana v Baxter [1986] HCA 69. These were proceedings originally commenced in the Industrial Commission of New South Wales based on the claim of an unfair contract of employment and ran successfully through the full Court and the High Court on behalf of franchisees seeking relief from and compensation in respect of an Australian-wide fast food franchise (1986). 
  • Successfully represented a number of entities in the creation of easements and airspace rights to land adjoining Qantas Drive, Joyce Drive and the Robey Street and O'Riordan Street bridges at Sydney Airport for the installation of large-scale advertising signs. This involved complex commercial and property lease agreements and litigation involving the State Rail Authority of NSW and the Federal Airports Corporation (1988-1994). 
  • Successful litigation of a claim by RMYC Port Hacking against its insurer for storm damage to its marina. The insurer had refused indemnity on the basis that the damage flowed from faulty design in the marina system. The action taken included Supreme Court proceedings and the conduct of a hearing before a Court-approved referee. Issues involved state-of-the-art marina design world wide and experts were called from Australia and abroad. The referee found no former damage and the client's claim was upheld (1991). 
  • Recovered $700,000.00 for Leichhardt Council in the successful conclusion to a dispute concerning the ratability of land owned by the Crown (1993-1995). 
  • Appeared on behalf of successful cross respondents in Federal Court proceedings Brian McMullin & Anor v ICI Australia Operations Pty Ltd & Ors [1996] FCA 991. This was one of the first class actions brought in Australia and was brought on behalf of cattle producers against ICI following the contamination of meat produced for export by a pesticide sprayed on cotton crops (1996-1997). 
  • Represented South Sydney City Council in successful proceedings against the Royal Botanic Gardens and Domain Trust in the Supreme Court of New South Wales through the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia in a commercial dispute arising out of the operation of the Domain Carparking Station (1996-2002). 
  • Successfully appeared for an intervener (a refractory industry) in Land and Environment Court proceedings concerning a residential subdivision to require that the developer, as a condition of consent, carry out at the developer's expense noise amelioration works to our client's factory (2004). 
  • Successful representation of an applicant for development consent for a 152 site manufactured home estate within the Albury local government area (2007). 
  • Successfully defending proceedings brought by Shellharbour City Council against a number of residents accused of wrongful disclosure of confidential Council information (2008). 
  • Numerous successful prosecutions, injunction proceedings and planning appeals in the Land and Environment Court of New South Wales.
  • Member Property Law Dispute Resolution Working Party – Law Society of NSW (1998-1999). 
  • Member Professional Conduct Committee – Law Society of NSW (2000-2001). 
  • Appointed by the President of the Law Society of NSW as expert to determine dispute between Orange City Council and Orange Regional Conservatorium Inc. (2001). 
  • Panel Member – Senior Solicitors' Scheme Panel of the Law Society of New South Wales, October 2005. 
  • Arbitrator in the District Court of NSW (1983-2006). 
  • Arbitrator in the Local Court of NSW (1983-2007). 
  • Appeared on assignment from the Legal Aid Commission of New South Wales in the Children's Court throughout New South Wales on behalf of numerous young persons facing criminal prosecutions (1980-2000).