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Team Members

Mali Karunaratne

Special Counsel
Mali Karunaratne is a special counsel in Cooper Grace Ward’s litigation and dispute resolution group.

Mali Karunaratne is a special counsel in Cooper Grace Ward’s litigation and dispute resolution group.

Mali is an experienced dispute resolution lawyer and has advised clients in a broad range of matters that have involved contractual disputes, directors’ duties, oppression and shareholder disputes, bankruptcy, corporate insolvency, trustee and fiduciary issues, misleading and deceptive conduct, product liability, administrative law, regulatory actions, class actions, real property disputes, building disputes, defamation, professional negligence and disputes involving unincorporated associations.

As well as having worked in the litigation and dispute resolution group in law firms in Sydney and Brisbane, Mali has worked in a ‘Big 4’ global accounting firm. He has also worked as an in-house lawyer in a large business group in South East Asia and as an assistant to a number of judges in the UK Royal Courts of Justice.

Mali has been involved in the successful resolution of commercial disputes of various types, including large and novel matters, through commercial settlements, trial and appellate litigation.

  • Bachelor of Laws (Honours) – Macquarie University
  • Bachelor of Commerce (Accounting) – Macquarie University
  • Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice (Distinction) – The College of Law
  • Solicitor – Supreme Courts of Queensland and New South Wales
  • Solicitor – High Court of Australia

Involved in the successful representation of interests in varied matters, including, for example, the interest of clients in:

  • high value land development disputes;
  • a successful High Court appeal involving issues of statutory illegality: Gnych v Polish Club Limited [2015] 255 CLR 414 (2015);
  • regulatory actions in the competition and consumer, education and aged care spaces;
  • a government commission of inquiry;
  • corporate and personal insolvency scenarios;
  • intellectual property disputes.

Areas of Expertise


Liquidator's powers of examination assigned to litigation funder

The Federal Court has recently confirmed that liquidators are able to assign their rights to examine people and to obtain the production of documents.

Australian Consumer Law - does statutory unconscionable conduct require some vulnerability or disadvantage?

On 19 March 2021, the Federal Court handed down a decision that clarified the scope of section 21 of the Australian Consumer Law. The Court indicated that, while exploitation of some vulnerability or disadvantage will often be a feature of unconscionable conduct, it is not is not an essential element in establishing that a party has engaged in statutory unconscionable conduct.

Obtaining disclosure of information before court proceedings

Before commencing court proceedings, a claimant will need to ascertain the identity of the person to sue and whether they have a claim against them.