The initial response in a commercial dispute is often to fight it and defend yourself, and as one of Melbourne’s most experienced commercial litigation practices we can certainly advise you on this approach. Yet it is this same experience that ensures that we examine all the possible approaches and strategies at your disposal together with the likely outcomes across all of the options available to you.

Could your reputation be harmed? Will a particular course of action make your business less attractive to a buyer in the future? How do you proceed where you need a business relationship to continue after an agreement is reached? Should you seek settlement before going to court?

Whether your business is considering to proceed with a dispute or has a claim or demand brought against it, being properly prepared and expertly guided on the potential commercial and legal outcomes puts you in the best possible position to choose a course of action.

Rather than assembling big teams of lawyers on litigation matters, we look closely at your situation to identify the lawyer in our team that has the appropriate level of experience to handle the work, and then let that lawyer run the file. This approach is much more cost effective for clients.

Our team is experienced in initiating and defending disputes in all courts such as the Federal Court, Supreme Court, County Court, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) as well as acting in alternative dispute resolution methods and strategies such as mediation and commercial arbitration.


  • Actions against borrowers and guarantors
  • Actions arising out of personal and corporate insolvency
  • Administrative tribunal hearings
  • Building and construction disputes and litigation
  • Commercial arbitration
  • Commercial contract disputes
  • Commercial property and lease disputes
  • Debt recovery
  • Directors, shareholders, partners and business owner(s) disputes
  • Employment law and industrial relations disputes
  • Enforcing securities and loan recoveries
  • Enforcement of business agreements
  • Franchising disputes
  • Investigating online and google reviews
  • Intellectual property and information technology litigation
  • Mergers and acquisitions disputes
  • Misleading and deceptive conduct
  • Sale of business disputes
  • Workplace Health and Safety Disputes and Investigations

Recent Experience

  • Acting for significant policyholders in a $200 million claim against a large insurance provider
  • Advising the shareholders of a publicly listed Company about their rights and subsequent complaint to ASIC
  • Acting for family members in a dispute with another family member over approximately $40 million of development property and shares held in a development company
  • Acting for a South African Government entity in a $60 million claim against a major accounting firm and an Australian Government organisation
  • Drafted numerous submissions in the Financial Services Royal Commission
  • Acting for two parties in a range of complex disputes in both the Federal and Supreme Courts arising from the collapse of a national motorsport team
  • Acting for an employer group in determining whether an independent contractor was ‘deemed’ an employee and subsequent eligibility to receive compensation for a workplace injury

Our Experts

Businesses rely on Catherine as a disputes specialist who will guide them through complex litigation, and who understands the commercial realities of being involved in a dispute.

John Caridakis

John has extensive experience representing clients in business disputes and insolvency related matters issues, with expertise spanning a diverse range of areas including property, contracts, lending, trade practices, and shareholder disputes.

Angelo Conti

Angelo has acted in a number of high-profile corporate collapses and is an experienced insolvency practitioner with a commercial outlook who takes a holistic approach in determining the best course of action.

Luisa Gonzaga

Luisa is an occupational health and safety specialist, providing strategic, pragmatic legal advice on all aspects of Work Health and Safety (WHS) matters.

Peter Kennedy

A founding partner of Madgwicks Lawyers, trusted Melbourne legal identity and an astute business leader, Peter is a respected and much sought after litigation and insolvency lawyer.

Lisa McNicholas

Senior Associate
Highly experienced in insolvency and commercial litigation, Lisa is a well connected lawyer who creates tailor-made approaches to achieve successful and commercially minded outcomes for her clients.

Sonam Pala

Senior Associate
Sonam has strong litigation experience across contractual, property and construction, consumer law and corporate restructuring matters.

Alexandra Lawrence

Alexandra is an advocate for business owners in a broad range of industries on matters including insolvency, property and construction disputes, and contractual and director and shareholder disputes.

John Miller

With experience developed as a dispute and litigation lawyer for the Commissioner and Deputy Commissioners of Taxation, John brings hands on knowledge from managing complex insolvency and debt recovery proceedings together with a deep understanding of the mechanics of government agencies.

Lee Filkin

A versatile and results-driven lawyer, Lee achieves successful outcomes for clients across a range of industries.

Tye Manley

Tye provides assistance across the Madgwicks teams on a variety of commercial litigation engagements.

Thought Leadership & Past Experiences

Unyielding tax obligations: Understanding tax debt write-offs

John Miller provides clarity around when a tax debt is considered "uneconomical to pursue," and the potential future implications for taxpayers with historical tax debts.
18 March, 2024
Warning for solicitors who serve documents via links (One Drive/Dropbox etc)

Warning for solicitors who serve documents via links (OneDrive/Dropbox etc)

In this matter, His Honour McMurdo J found that the use of a ‘web service’ or ‘link’ was not a valid means of service of legal documents.
9 November, 2023