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Frances Williams

Partner

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Frances is a litigator with over 20 years' experience. Her practice includes commercial and construction disputes, competition, anti-trust and consumer protection law, Royal Commissions, regulatory investigations, inquiries and prosecutions. Frances has extensive experience in managing large scale litigation and appeals, including electronic disclosure and electronic courtbooks.

Frances is the Deputy Chair (Brisbane) of the Law Council – BLS Competition and Consumer Committee and the Queensland Law Society Litigation Rules Committee. She is also a member of the National Association of Women in Construction.

Key deals

ASIC – MFS/Octaviar proceedings

Acting for ASIC in a claim with allegations of dishonesty in connection with the payment of almost AU$150 million from a managed investment scheme, including an appeal to the Queensland Court of Appeal and currently an application for special leave to appeal to the High Court. The trial (60 days) and the appeal (11 days) were conducted electronically. ASIC was wholly successful at trial and was successful on all grounds on appeal, except for one legal issue to be considered by the High Court.

AER Electricity and Gas reviews

Acted for the AER since 2008 in various administrative reviews by the Australian Competition Tribunal and related judicial review proceedings in the Federal Court in respect of decisions under the National Electricity Law and the National Gas Law determining electricity and gas regulated prices.

QCLNG

Acted for QCLNG in respect of a range of disputes and dispute processes, including:

  • Acted with a large team from the Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney offices on an ICC Arbitration involving 4,944 pages of pleadings, over 100 witnesses and 48 experts concerning claims in relation to the construction of an LNG pipeline and associated infrastructure.
  • Acted on a second ICC Arbitration in respect of claims under a related contract, also in relation to the construction of an LNG pipeline and associated infrastructure.
  • Acted on payment disputes arising under the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) for the Curtis Island LNG project. Advised on payment claims and prepared submissions for adjudication. Acted in respect of a successful application to the Supreme Court for judicial review of the adjudication decision.
  • Established a Dispute Resolution Board to consider disputed variations under the two related contracts. Assisted QCLNG with evaluating claims and prepared submissions for consideration by the Board, including the hearing process (with one hearing held in London).