David is a consultant within Cooper Grace Ward’s corporate and commercial workgroup, specialising in company law and practice and in competition and consumer law. He also advises extensively on the duties and responsibilities of directors and officers.
His board experience includes service on audit committees of public companies and as a chairman of the operational risk management committee of a public company. David’s commercial approach to legal problem solving and his knowledge of developing risk management systems has, in part, been obtained through his director and board experience and also through his experience advising clients on both occupational health and safety and competition and consumer law compliance programs.
These programs have been with listed and unlisted public and proprietary companies, and are designed to create efficiency and effectiveness in the operations of the business. Program outcomes include greater responsibility, accountability and engagement of people in the risk management process with a view to protecting the enterprise, its board and senior management, and employees responsible for overseeing activities regulated by relevant laws.
David has been listed by Best Lawyers Australia for Commercial Law (since 2014), Corporate Law (since 2015), Agricultural and Rural Affairs (since 2022), and Corporate and Governance Practice (since 2022).
- Solicitor – Supreme Court of Queensland
- Recipient – Order of Australia Medal
- Director and chair of Corporate Governance Committee – Indue Ltd
- Former director – Golden Circle Ltd, Freshmark Ltd, Farnell and Thomas Ltd, Queensland Cotton Corporation Ltd
- Listed by Best Lawyers Australia for Commercial Law (since 2014), Corporate Law (since 2015), Agricultural and Rural Affairs (since 2022), and Corporate and Governance Practice (Since 2022)
- Past chairman – operational risk management committee for a listed public company
- Past chairman – audit committee of a public company
- Past chairman – Business Law Section of Queensland Law Society
- Past chairman – Competition and Consumer Committee Queensland Law Society
- Fellow – Australian Institute of Company Directors
- Fellow – Australian Institute of Management
- Australian Law Council, Company Law Committee
- Member – Agribusiness Association of Australia.
Risk management / corporate governance
- Advising a large agribusiness corporation on governance issues, specifically on handling of actual or potential conflict of interest issues within the board. David has also advised the corporation on governance issues arising out of employment law concerns.
- Advising bodies on the content of resolutions, including special resolutions and rights of voting, as well as advising boards on proper meeting procedures for boards and committees and on the appropriate methods for dealing with minutes of meetings including content and methods of signing.
- Advising extensively on issues of conflict of interest within companies and other bodies, and appropriate means of handling conflicts within the law to minimise the impact of disruptive influences that can arise because of conflict positions.
- Advising specifically in relation to complaint handling for various clients.
- Advising a major transport company in relation to a fatality on site and providing representation in response to subsequent prosecution under the Workplace Health and Safety Act 1995 (Qld). The matter resulted in successful negotiation with the prosecution, including carrying out workplace health and safety compliance review, and working with independent experts to achieve significant cultural change within the higher ranks of the transport company.
Public administration and government law
- Acting for a large agribusiness corporation providing extensive advice on their corporate governance compliance obligations.
- Providing advice on many sensitive issues in FOI matters and particularly the issues involved with exemptions to FOI such as legal professional privilege and ‘Cabinet in Confidence’. Accordingly, he managed many legal matters ensuring that proper decisions were made to full judicial reviews in courts and tribunals. Many of these matters were complex and involved multiple stakeholders.
- Advising a Queensland regulatory body in the sporting industry, which was appointed by statute, in relation to a third party taking action to obtain and review a decision made by our client under the Judicial Review Act 1991 (Qld).
Competition and consumer protection law
- Acting for major Australian public companies involved in trade practice investigations leading to administrative and court resolution, and giving of section 87B undertaking and negotiating penalties for approval by court.
- Providing extensive advice on implications of Trade Practices Act 1974 (Cth) (now known as Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth) (CCA)) on commercial activity including the conduct of trade practices audit for a statutory regulatory body.
- Developing and implementing competition law compliance programs for numerous companies, including listed and unlisted public companies and proprietary companies.
- Providing ongoing corporate advisory, intellectual property, competition and consumer, and compliance advice to a major insurance company.
- Acting for a major construction company in relation to a price fixing allegation brought by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and for one of the concrete companies allegedly involved in price fixing activities in south east Queensland, both matters being dealt with in the Federal Court.
- Providing extensive advice on implications of the CCA on commercial activity including the conduct of trade practices review for a statutory regulatory body in the sporting industry.
- Dealing with the ACCC in relation to section 45, 46, 47, 51AC, 52, and 53 contraventions, section 87B undertakings, authorisations and notices under the former Trade Practices Act 1974 (now the CCA).
- Drafting standard form terms of trade documentation and advising in relation to contractual terms and the CCA.
- Advising clients in regards to their dealings with and representations to the ACCC in relation to third line forcing and other exclusive dealing issues.
- Advising clients in relation to the national competition policy framework and the national competition principles and making representations to state government as to the implications for activities within the states.
- Providing compliance training to persons entering into enforceable undertakings or against whom training orders were made in court proceedings.
- Providing compliance review in respect of unlisted public company in terms of court orders and reporting in relation to conduct and proceedings of company since orders made.
- Assisting in the drafting of agreements in relation to the sale and distribution of products focusing on the protection of the supplier but balanced against the need to meet the obligations of the 2010 Consumer Law amendments for standard contracts.
- Advising corporations in relation to competition and consumer law requirements, including obligations regarding exclusive dealing or other arrangements in conflict with competition law.
- Conducting compliance system and contract reviews in relation to ACCC compliance.
- Advising on a broad range of topics under Part IV of the CCA such as price fixing, retail price maintenance, exclusive dealing and third line forcing and the merger provisions.
Mergers and acquisitions
- Acting for a public company in the acquisition of a business for $50 million+ heading a team of 10 lawyers carrying out due diligence in three states, negotiating the contract and heading all matters post contract to effect settlement.
- Numerous papers delivered at industry and corporate forums on subjects of corporate governance, and competition and consumer law.
- Directors’ Risk’, Technical Excellence Program, August 2013.
- Family Business Australia Seminar, June 2013.
- Corporate Culture Seminar, May 2013.
- ‘Directors Duties – A Legal Minefield for Directors’, Legalwise Seminar, March 2013.
- ‘Australian Consumer Law: Unsolicited consumer Agreements’, North QLD QLS Symposium, November 2012.
- ‘Australian Consumer Law – Unsolicited Consumer Agreements’, Cairns Hospital Board Presentation, October 2012.
- ‘Directors and Officers Duties’, Legalwise Seminar, August 2012.
- ‘Challenges of Information Technology for Boards Notes and Information’, AICD – Event Directors Briefing, March 2012.
- ‘Company Secretarial Law & Practice’, Law & Finance 2nd Annual Company Secretarial Law & Practice, May 2006.
- ‘Change is Inevitable, Adapting is Crucial’, Company Secretarial Law & Practice AICD 2006 Conference, May 2006.
- ‘What should you be advising directors now?’, Legal Master Classes, November 2005.
- ‘Carrying out a Trade Practices Compliance Program’, November 2005.
- ‘TMA – Law & Finance’, November 2005.
- Company Secretarial Law & Practice’, February 2005.
- ‘Due Diligence’, June 2004.
- ‘Taking SMEs to the next step. The relevance of culture to capital raising decisions’, H&H Capital Raising Seminar, May 2003.
- ‘Homeland Security Directors’ & Officers Duties for Countering Terrorism’, H&H Discussion Forum on Countering Terrorism, February 2003.
- ‘Responsibilities and liabilities in testing and measurement – Legal Aspects’, QML Seminar 5 December 2002.
- ‘Responsibilities and liabilities in testing and measurement – Legal Aspects’, NATA Seminar October 2002.
- ‘Corporate Governance’, H&H Compliance Seminar, October 2002.
- ‘Corporate Governance’, June 2002.‘Corporate Governance’, June 2002.
- ‘Corporate Governance’, May 2002 and May 2003.
- ‘Corporate Governance’, IA International Conference, Brisbane, May 2002.
- ‘The Importance of a Culture of Compliance in Risk Management’, Qld Chapter of the ACPA, March 2002.
- ‘Liability of Directors’, chaired conference and delivered paper, December 2001.
- ‘Liability of Chief Financial Officers’, CPA Conference, November 2001.
- ‘Corporate Governance’, Public Sector Risk Management Conference, Brisbane, May 2001.
- ‘Corporate Governance’, GTA Managers’ and Directors’ Conference, Cairns, March 2000.