Upcoming Commercial Court Seminar: Equitable Remedies for Breach of Fiduciary Duty

On 10 December 2012, the Victorian Supreme Court’s Commercial Court is hosting a conference.  The Hon Keith Mason AC QC, former President of the NSW Court of Appeal will be speaking on the topic “Remedies for breach of fiduciary duties: Lessons from two recent mega-cases: Grimaldi and Bell Resources”.

This is one of four topics that will be addressed on the day, and should provide valuable insight on the topic.

Intermediate appellate courts have for decades grappled with discordant authorities on claims arising from a breach of fiduciary duty.

The High Court’s decision in Farah Constructions Pty Ltd v Say-Dee Pty Ltd (2007) 230 CLR 89 settled one issue in the field — the requisite level of knowledge to establish a ‘knowing assistance’ claim — but the High Court has not yet had an opportunity to resolve many related controversies.

A number of intermediate appellate courts has been asked to consider questions concerning the reach of what was said by the High Court in Farah Constructions.  Two such questions, as yet unanswered at the highest level, are the state of knowledge required to establish a knowing receipt claim and the egregiousness of the breach that must have occurred for it to constitute a ‘dishonest and fraudulent design’.

Two appeal courts have recently had to grapple with the post-Farah Constructions state of the law: the Western Australian Court of Appeal in Westpac Banking Corporation v The Bell Group (in Liq) (No 3) (2012) 89 ACSR 1 and the Full Court of the Federal Court in Grimaldi v Chameleon Mining NL (No 2) (2012) 287 ALR 22.

While this seminar may be no substitute for reading the combined 849 pages of the two judgments, it is likely to provide an extremely useful analysis.

A link to the flyer is here.


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