Nigel Pakes

LL.B (Director)

Phone: +61 8 9221 0033
Senior Legal Assistant: Jennifer Shaw

Nigel holds a Bachelor of Laws from Murdoch University and has been practising for almost 20 years. He leads our commercial litigation team with Greg O’Shannessy. Nigel is involved in large and complex commercial and contract disputes, advising listed and private companies and high net worth individuals.

Nigel appears primarily in the Federal Court of Australia, and the Supreme and District Courts of Western Australia, as well as tribunals such as the Western Australian State Administrative Tribunal and the Fair Work Commission. He also represents clients in mediations (court-based and private) and commercial arbitrations.

Nigel acts for and advises clients involved in a wide range of commercial disputes, including in the areas of energy and resources, building and construction, technology and innovation, property, contractual disputes and claims, insolvency, competition and trade practices litigation, corporate disputes (at board and shareholder level) and inheritance and deceased estates. He frequently represents clients involved in large scale partnership, shareholder and joint venture disputes and complex debt recovery matters.

Nigel’s recent experience includes:

Shareholder, Partnership and Joint Venture Disputes

  • Acting for parties involved in a shareholder dispute in the Supreme Court of WA regarding the multi-million dollar sale of a large private business to a high profile listed company.
  • Acting for directors and minority shareholders of the owner of a large-scale entertainment complex, in a dispute with majority shareholders, necessitating injunctions and relief for oppressive conduct, and resulting in the negotiated takeover of the company by minority shareholders.
  • Acting for shareholders in a financial services business in relation to claims of breach of a shareholders agreement, with successful resolution by way of negotiated sale of interest in the company, and release from restraint covenants.

Property, finance and investment

  • Acting for shareholders of a company vehicle for a 50 lot property subdivision project, in dispute with other directors and investors, with successful resolution of the dispute via negotiated exit and redistribution of subdivision property.
  • Acting for the promoters and responsible entity of a managed investment scheme/property development in a dispute with finance providers, requiring Supreme Court proceedings for injunctions and declarations opposing the appointment of receivers and managers.
  • Acting for various landlords in actions against tenants and guarantors for recovery of rent and vacant possession of leased premises.
  • Acting for various lenders and mortgagees for recovery of loans and enforcement of mortgages and for possession of mortgaged property.

Construction, Engineering and Mining

  • Acting for a listed oil and gas explorer and producer in a dispute with its principal contractor, including a damages claim for substantial defects, with successful resolution of the dispute through private mediation conducted by a former High Court Judge.
  • Acting for a listed operator/manager of a large-scale iron ore project in a dispute with its joint venture partner at the farm-in stage, which included successfully securing the disputed farm-in interest.
  • Advising and assisting a listed oil and gas explorer in relation to the management of a shut-down and demobilisation program, including dealing with claims by contractors and related Supreme Court proceedings.
  • Acting for the construction subcontractor/principal of a $700m industrial EPC project in the recovery of multi-million dollar defects claims against its subcontractor in Supreme Court and arbitration proceedings.


  • Acting for the managing director and shareholder of a construction company in a shareholder dispute which included taking action in the Supreme Court of Western Australia to restrain oppressive conduct.
  • Acting for a director of a private company in relation to claims of breach of director duties and defending a shareholder statutory derivative action in the Supreme Court of WA.
  • Advising ASX listed companies involved in commercial disputes and litigation regarding continuous disclosure and other compliance issues under the Listing Rules.

Insolvency and Bankruptcy

  • Acting for a director and shareholder of a deadlocked private company with substantial gold mining assets, with successful prosecution of winding up proceedings, and realisation of the company’s gold assets, and recovery of the shareholder’s loans.
  • Acting for and advising liquidators, voluntary administrators, deed administrators and trustees in bankruptcy, company directors and creditors, including in relation to preference claims and voidable transactions, PPSA issues, sale of assets, deeds of company arrangement and personal insolvency agreements, insolvent trading, breach of director’s duties, and adjudication of proof of debt claims.
  • Acting for creditors and debtors in relation to statutory demands, set-aside applications and winding up proceedings.

Contract, Trade Practices and Competition law, Debt recovery

  • Acting for majority shareholders in relation to claims by a former minority shareholder alleging misleading and deceptive conduct and breach of disclosure obligations in connection with multi-million dollar company takeover.
  • Acting for promoters of a managed investment scheme in relation to claims by a group of international investors claiming statutory and common law damages for misleading and deceptive conduct in connection with the sale and marketing of interests in the scheme.
  • Acting for creditors in a wide array of debt recovery and enforcement actions, including by Court proceedings (Supreme and District Courts of WA) and statutory demand procedure- including claims for unpaid rent against tenants and lease guarantors, contractual debts, fees for accounting and other professional services, loan debts and enforcement of securities.

Inheritance and deceased Estates

  • Acting for beneficiaries of a deceased Estate comprising farming assets and interests in an investment company with successful negotiation of disputed claims based on severance of the deceased’s joint tenancy interests in property.
  • Acting for the executor of a deceased Estate with business assets and property in excess of $40 million in relation to claims by a beneficiary for a substantially increased share in the assets of the Estate.