WHO WE ARE

DANIELLE SNELL

Danielle is one of Victoria’s star litigators, who has worked at several top tier law firms and on many high-profile cases.

She has a passion for promoting Diversity, Inclusion & Equality in the sector and for challenging the traditional law firm model in to provide a more transparent and authentic legal service to clients. Danielle is a mother, wife, friend and professional who was pregnant at the time she decided to create a truly entrepreneurial law firm that promotes a new way of servicing clients. She endeavours to create a dynamic and progressive workplace of the future. Danielle’s key interests are complex commercial litigation, insurance litigation and women’s rights. Danielle is a member of the Diversity Committee of the Law Institute of Victoria, Sexual Harassment Working Group (SHWG) and Women in Insurance. Danielle has chaired women’s legal network groups focused on assisting the development of female practitioners in the profession and guest lectures at RMIT University. Some of her previous cases are included below.

         

  • Acting on behalf of auditors in a Supreme Court of Victoria class action brought by investors where losses sought exceeded $150 million.
  • Acting on behalf of two former directors in a Supreme Court class action brought by investors of a plantation scheme alleging, inter alia, that statements made in product disclosure statements were misleading and deceptive which case ran to trial for over 90 days.
  • Defending a Victorian council in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings in which damages of over $15 million were sought by a property developer who alleged that a planning permit had been granted negligently due to the land’s proximity to a former council rubbish tip.
  • Representing a firm of lawyers alleged to have negligently recommended to a property developer client that it repudiate a contract of sale resulting in alleged losses in excess of $8 million. This was a multi-party proceeding in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
  • Acting in defence of financial service providers including authorised representatives of Australian Financial Service licensees as well as individuals lodging complaints against financial advisors in the Supreme Court of Victoria and at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) which have reached final determination.
  • Acting for minority shareholders in multi-party oppression proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia wherein damages of over $7 million was sought.
  • Acting in a high profile case on behalf of a firm of solicitors in relation to a Supreme Court enquiry concerning whether solicitors, barristers and expert witnesses had breached their overarching obligations under the Civil Procedure Act 2010 and a subsequent hearing at the Court of Appeal dealing with the power to orders costs against solicitors and barristers; Linda Hudspeth v Scholastic Cleaning & Consultancy Services Pty Ltd & Ors VSCA 78.
  • Acting on behalf of a Victorian rural water authority in relation to multiple claims arising from flooding in northern Victoria in early 2011, the largest of which involved a claim for physical damage and loss of profits brought an agricultural business seeking damages of more than $15 million.
  • Acting for employees in proceedings issued in the Federal Court of Australia alleging breaches of employment contracts, breaches of relevant provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and pursuant to the Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic).
  • Acting for a Top6 legal firm concerning the expulsion of a partner who alleged he had been expelled from the partnership without procedural fairness wherin damages of over $12 million was sought. This proceeding was intensive and involved fifteen interlocutory battles some of which were appealed to the Court of Appeal and High Court of Australia.
  • Acting for women in sexual harassment complaints lodged against individuals and employers at the Australian Human Rights Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).
  • Successfully defending a Victorian council alleged to have negligently approved a planning permit by failing to obtain a certificate of compliance from a registered building surveyor prior to the granting of the permit.
  • Acting pro bono on behalf of a retiree who was duped into investing in a property syndicate by a conman who was eventually imprisoned for his conduct. The civil proceedings ran to trial in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Court found that an interest in a unit trust is capable of supporting a caveat and the lender was liable for the conduct of the mortgage originator and their brokers: Schmidt v 28 Myola Street Pty Ltd [2006] VSC 343 (19 September 2006). Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited v Schmidt & Anor [2009] VSC 508 (10 November 2009); [2010] VSC 67 (4 May 2010); (No 3) [2010] VSC 261 (17 June 2010). Violet Home Loans Pty Ltd v Schmidt & Anor [2013] VSCA 56 (25 March 2013)
  • Acting on behalf of individuals and corporations before ASIC in relation to examinations and production of documents to ASIC.
  • Acting on behalf of the plaintiff in defamation proceedings Elizabeth Mooney v the Age Company Ltd & Anor VSC 473 regarding an article entitled, “Death in Branhomle Death Mystery, “Death by Poison”.
  • Acting for media institutions in contempt proceedings brought by The Queen.
  • Acting on behalf of individuals, company directors, medical and financial professionals in defamation proceedings in both the County Court of Victoria and Supreme Court of Victoria.
  • Acting for pilots against major airline corporations concerning employment and superannuation entitlements.
  • Acting for patients injured by negligent medical treatment against major health institutions.
  • Representing mid-wives and pharmacists including attendance at Professional Standards Panel hearings at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
  • Acting on behalf of property owners in relation to proposed compulsory acquisitions pursuant to the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic);
  • Advising numerous building practitioners involved in high value building projects in relation to their roles and obligations pursuant to building contracts and/or consultancy agreements and potential liability exposure.
  • Representing architects in disciplinary complaints made to the Architects Board of Victoria.
  • Representing builders, architects, owners corporations and individuals in building disputes prosecuted at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal including attendance at compulsory conferences and hearings.
  • Acting on behalf of auditors in a Supreme Court of Victoria class action brought by investors where losses sought exceeded $150 million.
  • Acting on behalf of two former directors in a Supreme Court class action brought by investors of a plantation scheme alleging, inter alia, that statements made in product disclosure statements were misleading and deceptive which case ran to trial for over 90 days.
  • Defending a Victorian council in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings in which damages of over $15 million were sought by a property developer who alleged that a planning permit had been granted negligently due to the land’s proximity to a former council rubbish tip.
  • Representing a firm of lawyers alleged to have negligently recommended to a property developer client that it repudiate a contract of sale resulting in alleged losses in excess of $8 million. This was a multi-party proceeding in the Supreme Court of Victoria.
  • Acting in defence of financial service providers including authorised representatives of Australian Financial Service licensees as well as individuals lodging complaints against financial advisors in the Supreme Court of Victoria and at the Australian Financial Complaints Authority (AFCA) which have reached final determination.
  • Acting for minority shareholders in multi-party oppression proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia wherein damages of over $7 million was sought.
  • Acting in a high profile case on behalf of a firm of solicitors in relation to a Supreme Court enquiry concerning whether solicitors, barristers and expert witnesses had breached their overarching obligations under the Civil Procedure Act 2010 and a subsequent hearing at the Court of Appeal dealing with the power to orders costs against solicitors and barristers; Linda Hudspeth v Scholastic Cleaning & Consultancy Services Pty Ltd & Ors VSCA 78.
  • Acting on behalf of a Victorian rural water authority in relation to multiple claims arising from flooding in northern Victoria in early 2011, the largest of which involved a claim for physical damage and loss of profits brought an agricultural business seeking damages of more than $15 million.
  • Acting for employees in proceedings issued in the Federal Court of Australia alleging breaches of employment contracts, breaches of relevant provisions of the Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) and pursuant to the Long Service Leave Act 2018 (Vic).
  • Acting for a Top6 legal firm concerning the expulsion of a partner who alleged he had been expelled from the partnership without procedural fairness wherin damages of over $12 million was sought. This proceeding was intensive and involved fifteen interlocutory battles some of which were appealed to the Court of Appeal and High Court of Australia.
  • Acting for women in sexual harassment complaints lodged against individuals and employers at the Australian Human Rights Commission under the Sex Discrimination Act 1984 (Cth).
  • Successfully defending a Victorian council alleged to have negligently approved a planning permit by failing to obtain a certificate of compliance from a registered building surveyor prior to the granting of the permit.
  • Acting pro bono on behalf of a retiree who was duped into investing in a property syndicate by a conman who was eventually imprisoned for his conduct. The civil proceedings ran to trial in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Court found that an interest in a unit trust is capable of supporting a caveat and the lender was liable for the conduct of the mortgage originator and their brokers: Schmidt v 28 Myola Street Pty Ltd [2006] VSC 343 (19 September 2006). Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited v Schmidt & Anor [2009] VSC 508 (10 November 2009); [2010] VSC 67 (4 May 2010); (No 3) [2010] VSC 261 (17 June 2010). Violet Home Loans Pty Ltd v Schmidt & Anor [2013] VSCA 56 (25 March 2013)
  • Acting on behalf of individuals and corporations before ASIC in relation to examinations and production of documents to ASIC.
  • Acting on behalf of the plaintiff in defamation proceedings Elizabeth Mooney v the Age Company Ltd & Anor VSC 473 regarding an article entitled, “Death in Branhomle Death Mystery, “Death by Poison”.
  • Acting for media institutions in contempt proceedings brought by The Queen.
  • Acting on behalf of individuals, company directors, medical and financial professionals in defamation proceedings in both the County Court of Victoria and Supreme Court of Victoria.
  • Acting for pilots against major airline corporations concerning employment and superannuation entitlements.
  • Acting for patients injured by negligent medical treatment against major health institutions.
  • Representing mid-wives and pharmacists including attendance at Professional Standards Panel hearings at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal.
  • Acting on behalf of property owners in relation to proposed compulsory acquisitions pursuant to the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic);
  • Advising numerous building practitioners involved in high value building projects in relation to their roles and obligations pursuant to building contracts and/or consultancy agreements and potential liability exposure.
  • Representing architects in disciplinary complaints made to the Architects Board of Victoria.
  • Representing builders, architects, owners corporations and individuals in building disputes prosecuted at the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal including attendance at compulsory conferences and hearings.

ROBERT MCGIRR

Rob, an industry veteran, was admitted to practice in 1978 and became one of the Victoria’s first Accredited Commercial Litigation Specialists in 1993.

Rob has over 40 years experience in the legal industry as a Senior Partner responsible for commercial litigation and insurance legal teams. Rob practices substantially in commercial litigation, arbitration, equity, trade practices, contract disputes, corporate governance/directors duties/oppression actions, with a particular emphasis on professional indemnity defence work and a special interest in defamation matters. Rob has practiced throughout Australia and in New Zealand at both trial and appellate levels. After taking a sabbatical in 2019, Rob has partnered with Danielle to create a new transformational way of providing legal services and to pursue his passion to help clients achieve commercial solutions. Some of his previous cases are included below.

         

  • Representing the sole insurer for solicitors in Victoria, the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee, for over the past 30 years. This has involved acting on behalf of Victorian solicitors and the insurer in a variety of litigious matters in all jurisdictions, including appeals arising from sale of business disputes, defamation, mortgages, family law, personal injury actions, company actions, and criminal matters. Examples of cases include: Lydiard Financial Services Pty Ltd v Moran [2003] VSC 65 (5 March 2003); [2005] VSC 184 (30 May 2005). Finch v Arnold Thomas Becker Pty [2015] VSCA 86 (6 May 2015); [2015] VSCA 246 (10 September 2015); [2016] VSCA 117 (24 May 2016). Rosa v Galbally & O’Bryan (a firm) [2012] VSC 3 (31 January 2012); [2013] VSCA 116 (17 May 2013); (No 2) [2013] VSCA 154 (20 June 2013); (No 3) [2013] VSCA 159. Marijancevic v Ferraro & Anor [2013] VSCA 124 (28 May 2013).
  • Involvement in a major piece of litigation in relation to the sale of an IT platform to the stock exchange of New Zealand (NZX Limited) from 2011 to 2016. These proceedings involved claims by the plaintiff alleging misrepresentations that induced it to enter into a sale and purchase agreement for the purchase of businesses from the defendants and breaches of warranty and false and misleading statements in breach of the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) arising in the same transaction. The plaintiff also filed claims against the third – sixth defendants as guarantors of the defendant’s liability or as assignees of the benefits under the sale and purchase agreement. The defendant issued counterclaims alleging breaches by the plaintiff of its post-acquisition obligations to resource the business in a way that compromised the prospects of the defendant earning additional consideration payments (earn – outs) for their sale and pre-contractual misrepresentations and breached of the FTA. The case was conducted in the Wellington High Court and required Robert to appear in New Zealand for the duration of the 10 week trial. The plaintiff’s claim was for an amount of $45 million and the defendant’s counterclaim was for $15 million: NZX Ltd v Ralec Commodities Ltd & Ors [2016] NZHC 2742; [2015] NZHC 1140; [2012] NZHC 1585
  • Acting on behalf of a major Australian logistics company including: Twentieth Super Pace Nominees Pty Ltd v Australian Rail Track Corporation [2006] VSC 353 (27 September 2006); (No 2) [2006] VSC 500 (19 December 2006); (No 3) [2007] VSC 84 (9 March 2017).
  • Involved in a major building dispute by the client against a commercial building company, a division of BlueScope Steel Australia in respect to the construction on behalf of a client of a rail freight terminal in South Australia involving Supreme Court action in the building and technology list and the subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal and thereafter the conduct of an arbitration under the Commercial Arbitration Act 2011. Some examples include: Lysaght Building Solutions Pty Ltd v Blanalko Pty Ltd [2013] VSC 201 (26 April 2013); [2013] VSCA 158 (24 June 2013) (the leading case in Victoria as the first summary judgement case under s 63 of the Civil Procedure Act 2010); (No 2) [2013] VSC 435 (21 August 2013); [2017] VSC 97 (10 March 2017).
  • Defamation advice and involvement in legal proceedings including previously acting on behalf of Pacific Publications Pty Ltd, the Publisher of New Idea and providing pre publication advice – also acting on behalf of plaintiffs in the prosecution of defamation proceedings, notably as an example: Herbert Elliot v The Age Company Ltd [2006] VSC 358.
  • Pro bono litigation from the Law Institute of Victoria via PILCH in particular the matter of Schmidt v Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited. This matter established that an interest in a unit trust is capable of supporting a caveat and secondly, that Perpetual Trustees were liable for the acts and omissions of the mortgage originators and their brokers: Schmidt v 28 Myola Street Pty Ltd [2006] VSC 343 (19 September 2006). Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited v Schmidt & Anor [2009] VSC 508 (10 November 2009); [2010] VSC 67 (4 May 2010); (No 3) [2010] VSC 261 (17 June 2010). Violet Home Loans Pty Ltd v Schmidt & Anor [2013] VSCA 56 (25 March 2013).
  • Acting on behalf of Nadia Khouri (nee Horkings) to obtain a grant of Legal Aid to successfully defend a claim against the Commonwealth Bank for judgement and possession of her home. The CBA’s claim was dismissed and they were ordered to pay her costs: Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Hassan James Khouri & Nadia Khouri [1998] VSC 128 (4 November 1998).
  • Conducting personal injury and medical negligence claims including wrongful death claims on behalf of various private clients. This included total and permanent disability claims on behalf of the insured against the insurers. Some examples include: Anneke Krajewski v Vogue Medical Pty Ltd & Ors National Family Day Care ats Sandra Anyadora – a claim for indemnity from Munich Re Insurance Group in relation to a sexual abuse claim. Ross Norman v National Mutual Life Insurance Limited – disability insurance claim, Lorraine Green – wrongful death claim. 
  • Involvement in a major building dispute which alleged negligence against architects, builders and engineers arising out of a multi-million dollar property in Prahran: Roscon Development Pty Ltd v Buckerfield Architects Pty Ltd & Ors.
  • Undertaking major Supreme Court litigation in relation to a dispute between family members arising out of property development projects (involving tens of millions of dollars). This matter concerned the operation and effect of the various companies and trusts and the obligations of directors, officers and trustees.
  • Undertaking public liability and professional indemnity work on behalf of London insurers in Australia including Novae Syndicates Limited and Pro Claim Management Solutions.
  • Acting in relation to public liability and professional indemnity claims on behalf of Victorian Council’s pursuant to the Civic Mutual Plus Members Insurance Scheme, for a period of 10 years.
  • Undertaking urgent Supreme and Federal Court interlocutory applications in relation to various matters including: Partnership Disputes, Appointments of Receivers and Nuisance claims.
  • Representing the sole insurer for solicitors in Victoria, the Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee, for over the past 30 years. This has involved acting on behalf of Victorian solicitors and the insurer in a variety of litigious matters in all jurisdictions, including appeals arising from sale of business disputes, defamation, mortgages, family law, personal injury actions, company actions, and criminal matters. Examples of cases include: Lydiard Financial Services Pty Ltd v Moran [2003] VSC 65 (5 March 2003); [2005] VSC 184 (30 May 2005). Finch v Arnold Thomas Becker Pty [2015] VSCA 86 (6 May 2015); [2015] VSCA 246 (10 September 2015); [2016] VSCA 117 (24 May 2016). Rosa v Galbally & O’Bryan (a firm) [2012] VSC 3 (31 January 2012); [2013] VSCA 116 (17 May 2013); (No 2) [2013] VSCA 154 (20 June 2013); (No 3) [2013] VSCA 159. Marijancevic v Ferraro & Anor [2013] VSCA 124 (28 May 2013).
  • Involvement in a major piece of litigation in relation to the sale of an IT platform to the stock exchange of New Zealand (NZX Limited) from 2011 to 2016. These proceedings involved claims by the plaintiff alleging misrepresentations that induced it to enter into a sale and purchase agreement for the purchase of businesses from the defendants and breaches of warranty and false and misleading statements in breach of the Fair Trading Act 1986 (FTA) arising in the same transaction. The plaintiff also filed claims against the third – sixth defendants as guarantors of the defendant’s liability or as assignees of the benefits under the sale and purchase agreement. The defendant issued counterclaims alleging breaches by the plaintiff of its post-acquisition obligations to resource the business in a way that compromised the prospects of the defendant earning additional consideration payments (earn – outs) for their sale and pre-contractual misrepresentations and breached of the FTA. The case was conducted in the Wellington High Court and required Robert to appear in New Zealand for the duration of the 10 week trial. The plaintiff’s claim was for an amount of $45 million and the defendant’s counterclaim was for $15 million: NZX Ltd v Ralec Commodities Ltd & Ors [2016] NZHC 2742; [2015] NZHC 1140; [2012] NZHC 1585
  • Acting on behalf of a major Australian logistics company including: Twentieth Super Pace Nominees Pty Ltd v Australian Rail Track Corporation [2006] VSC 353 (27 September 2006); (No 2) [2006] VSC 500 (19 December 2006); (No 3) [2007] VSC 84 (9 March 2017).
  • Involved in a major building dispute by the client against a commercial building company, a division of BlueScope Steel Australia in respect to the construction on behalf of a client of a rail freight terminal in South Australia involving Supreme Court action in the building and technology list and the subsequent appeal to the Court of Appeal and thereafter the conduct of an arbitration under the Commercial Arbitration Act 2011. Some examples include: Lysaght Building Solutions Pty Ltd v Blanalko Pty Ltd [2013] VSC 201 (26 April 2013); [2013] VSCA 158 (24 June 2013) (the leading case in Victoria as the first summary judgement case under s 63 of the Civil Procedure Act 2010); (No 2) [2013] VSC 435 (21 August 2013); [2017] VSC 97 (10 March 2017).
  • Defamation advice and involvement in legal proceedings including previously acting on behalf of Pacific Publications Pty Ltd, the Publisher of New Idea and providing pre publication advice – also acting on behalf of plaintiffs in the prosecution of defamation proceedings, notably as an example: Herbert Elliot v The Age Company Ltd [2006] VSC 358.
  • Pro bono litigation from the Law Institute of Victoria via PILCH in particular the matter of Schmidt v Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited. This matter established that an interest in a unit trust is capable of supporting a caveat and secondly, that Perpetual Trustees were liable for the acts and omissions of the mortgage originators and their brokers: Schmidt v 28 Myola Street Pty Ltd [2006] VSC 343 (19 September 2006). Perpetual Trustees Australia Limited v Schmidt & Anor [2009] VSC 508 (10 November 2009); [2010] VSC 67 (4 May 2010); (No 3) [2010] VSC 261 (17 June 2010). Violet Home Loans Pty Ltd v Schmidt & Anor [2013] VSCA 56 (25 March 2013).
  • Acting on behalf of Nadia Khouri (nee Horkings) to obtain a grant of Legal Aid to successfully defend a claim against the Commonwealth Bank for judgement and possession of her home. The CBA’s claim was dismissed and they were ordered to pay her costs: Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Hassan James Khouri & Nadia Khouri [1998] VSC 128 (4 November 1998).
  • Conducting personal injury and medical negligence claims including wrongful death claims on behalf of various private clients. This included total and permanent disability claims on behalf of the insured against the insurers. Some examples include: Anneke Krajewski v Vogue Medical Pty Ltd & Ors National Family Day Care ats Sandra Anyadora – a claim for indemnity from Munich Re Insurance Group in relation to a sexual abuse claim. Ross Norman v National Mutual Life Insurance Limited – disability insurance claim, Lorraine Green – wrongful death claim. 
  • Involvement in a major building dispute which alleged negligence against architects, builders and engineers arising out of a multi-million dollar property in Prahran: Roscon Development Pty Ltd v Buckerfield Architects Pty Ltd & Ors.
  • Undertaking major Supreme Court litigation in relation to a dispute between family members arising out of property development projects (involving tens of millions of dollars). This matter concerned the operation and effect of the various companies and trusts and the obligations of directors, officers and trustees.
  • Undertaking public liability and professional indemnity work on behalf of London insurers in Australia including Novae Syndicates Limited and Pro Claim Management Solutions.
  • Acting in relation to public liability and professional indemnity claims on behalf of Victorian Council’s pursuant to the Civic Mutual Plus Members Insurance Scheme, for a period of 10 years.
  • Undertaking urgent Supreme and Federal Court interlocutory applications in relation to various matters including: Partnership Disputes, Appointments of Receivers and Nuisance claims.

CONTACT US

    GET IN TOUCH WITH US PERSONALLY AT:

    DANIELLE SNELL CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
    dsnell@elitlaw.com.au
    0401 812 885

    ROBERT MCGIRR CO-FOUNDER & DIRECTOR
    rmcgirr@elitlaw.com.au
    0413 944 023

    For any general enquiries:
    info@elitlaw.com.au

    MELBOURNE
    Elit Lawyers by McGirr & Snell
    Level 40, 140 William Street, Melbourne, Victoria, 3000.
    Phone: +61 3 9098 8646
    Facsimile: +61 3 9098 8655
    Email:  info@elitlaw.com.au

    BRISBANE
    Elit Lawyers by McGirr & Snell
    Level 19, 10 Eagle Street, Brisbane Queensland, 4000.
    Phone: +61 7 3121 3273
    Facsimile: +61 3 9098 8655
    Email:  info@elitlaw.com.au