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Team Members

Graham Roberts

Graham is one of the firm’s most experienced commercial litigators, with over 30 years’ experience.

Graham is a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s litigation and dispute resolution team. He acts for commercial clients, major suppliers and secured creditors. He specialises in enforcement of securities, preference and guarantee claims, company and partnership disputes and commercial litigation.

He also has considerable experience in mortgagee sales, receiverships, statutory demands, winding up applications, voluntary administration, liquidation and bankruptcy matters. Graham also acts for liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy.

  • Bachelor of Laws – University of Queensland
  • Bachelor of Commerce – University of Queensland
  • Solicitor – Queensland, South Australia and Tasmania
  • Solicitor – High Court of Australia
  • Recognised in Best Lawyers (since 2018) – Insolvency and Reorganisation Law
  • Recommended in Doyle’s Guide 2017 Leading Insolvency & Restructuring Lawyers – Queensland

Insolvency, security enforcement and recovery matters

  • Acting on statutory demand and winding up applications.
  • Acting in bankruptcy matters.
  • Defending preference recovery claims.
  • Acting for directors in insolvent trading claims.
  • Providing advice on director penalty notices.
  • Acting for unsecured creditors in obtaining court orders to freeze and trace assets.
  • Acting for secured creditors in enforcing securities.
  • Acting in contested receiverships.
  • Acting in disputes against lenders.
  • Providing advice regarding the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth).
  • Acting in matters involving the enforcement of a foreign judgment.
  • Acting on behalf of liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy in the recovery of preference payments from creditors (including the Australian Taxation Office).
  • Acting for an insurer to obtain an order for the appointment of a court receiver where a misappropriation was traced to a residential property. Orders were obtained that the property was held on constructive trust for the insurer and that the property be sold, and the proceeds be paid to the insurer.
  • Acting for a creditor where the debtor failed to comply with conditions imposed by the NSW Supreme Court on a statutory demand application, enabling the creditor to pursue winding up proceedings against the debtor.
  • Acting for a United States Chapter XI Trustee in tracing money misappropriated in the US and invested by a company in Australia by purchasing a rural property. A negotiated agreement was entered into with the delinquent director and proceedings were brought for the reinstatement and winding up of the Australian company to recover the misappropriated money. We then acted for the liquidator on the sale of the property.
  • Acting for a liquidator in recovering trust assets from the new trustee where the former trustee company was placed into liquidation.
  • Acting for a liquidator in obtaining court approval for action taken as a bare trustee.
  • Acting for a New Zealand financier in the NSW Supreme Court proceedings involving a $3 million dispute relating to the appointment of a receiver, a commercial building dispute and a bank guarantee claim (matter settled at mediation).
  • Acting for a receiver in the NSW Supreme Court proceedings seeking to enforce NSW mortgage securities involving disputes under the Contracts Review Act 1980 (NSW) and Consumer Credit Code (matter settled at mediation).
  • Acting for a mortgagee in NSW Supreme Court proceedings involving alleged forged mortgages, issues as to priority and disputes as to indefeasibility of title (matter settled at mediation).
  • Acting in a matter involving a forged residential mortgage and statutory compensation under the Land Title Act 1994(Qld) (matter settled at mediation involving the mortgagee, registered owner and Qld Registrar of Titles).
  • Acting for lenders in consolidated Supreme Court proceedings involving allegations of fraud made against the lender’s broker, disputes as to alleged agency of the broker and adequacy of lender’s loan approval process.
  • Obtaining a Queensland Supreme Court judgment for possession on a $4.7 million loan prior to the expiry of the commercial loan where the mortgagor had failed to obtain a sale contract by the stipulated date in accordance with the loan conditions.

Areas of Expertise


Defamation perspectives: separate 'serious harm' hearings and the Federal Court

Defamation actions include a ‘serious harm’ threshold that often enables respondents to more readily dispose of complaints that do not result in significant damage to the claimant’s reputation. The recent decision in Peros v Blackburn highlights one pitfall for parties defending defamation actions in seeking separate ‘serious harm’ hearings in the Federal Court, and raises whether the Federal Court Rules require amendment to better align with the defamation legislation of the states and territories.

Digital age pitfalls with BIF Act claims

The digital age has certainly enhanced our ability to convey information, something that is very important in the building and construction industry. However, technology can also create pitfalls, particularly when it comes to claims under the Building Industry Fairness (Security of Payment) Act 2017 (Qld), where compliance with technicalities is critical. The case of Iris Broadbeach Pty Ltd v Descon Group Australia Pty Ltd gives a recent illustration.

Podcast: Coffee with CGW - Get to know Graham Roberts

Join us for a coffee chat with litigation and dispute resolution partner Graham Roberts and private clients partner Scott Hay-Bartlem as we delve into Graham's background, explore his life outside work, and discuss what gets him excited about his work in this candid conversation.

What others say

CGW’s strength in commercial dispute resolution is its two senior partners in that area: Rocco Russo and Graham Roberts. Each has a vast amount of experience in commercial dispute resolution. They are focused on efficient and effective dispute resolution. They are well-regarded in the industry for these reasons.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2022

Graham Roberts aims for early, practical resolution of disputes where possible. He keeps clients well informed of steps to be taken, the reasons for those steps, the options available and the cost-benefit analysis.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2022