Tom Darbyshire

Tom Darbyshire

Commercial Dispute Resolution, Corporate & Commercial, Insolvency, Finance

Commencement Date:
Bachelor of Laws, University of Western Australia
Admission Details:
Supreme Court of Western Australia (1992), High Court of Australia (2000)
Areas of Expertise:
Corporations Act matters, in particular disputes relating to corporate governance; Cyber; Contract Law; Insolvency; Statutory Interpretation; Building and Construction Law; Finance and Related Issues; Trade Practices and Consumer Law; Property disputes; Litigation and General Legal Services.

Tom joined Kott Gunning in 1997 and became a partner in 2002.  Between 2008 and 2012 he was Managing Partner, and he resumed that role between October 2014 and March 2016.

Tom has extensive experience as a litigator and has appeared as Counsel in all State and Federal Courts, with the exception of the High Court.

He specialises in matters arising out of the Corporations Act, particularly in relation to directors’ duties, corporate governance and insolvency. He regularly advises individuals, directors of SMEs and large organisations on directors’ duties, governance issues, compliance and risk arising not only from the Corporations Act, but also in relation to the Privacy Act, Personal Property and Securities Act and the Australian Consumer Law.

And more recently, the legal aspects of cyber security including managing personal and company reputation under new mandatory reporting laws.

Tom advises individuals, directors, liquidators, secured and unsecured creditors and businesses on all aspects of insolvency and reconstruction.  Tom is a professional member of the Australian Reconstruction and Insolvency and Turnaround Association.  He has acted in, advised on and written about Board disputes, recovery actions by external administrators and bankruptcy trustees, directors’ duties in an insolvency context and fiduciary duties of office holders.

Tom has particular expertise in the effect of insolvency on property rights and he regularly advises liquidators, trustees in bankruptcy, property owners, property managers, lessees and lessors about the impact of external administration on property ownership, building projects, leases, licences and planning issues.

Tom has wide experience in property disputes.  Property litigation which Tom has been involved in includes disputes over valuations, legal and equitable ownership, leases, easements, rights of way and adverse possession.  Tom has acted in property matters for individuals, private and public companies and State Government Authorities.  He was the Supervisor of the Adverse Possession project run by Kott Gunning between 2007 and 2010.

Tom also has considerable experience in both contentious and non-contentious construction matters. He regularly advises contractors and subcontractors in negotiations about the terms of building and construction contracts and has directly acted in, and overseen, substantial litigation and arbitration in construction disputes.

Memberships and Affiliations:
  • Insolvency Practitioner’s Association of Australia
  • Law Society of Western Australia
  • Governance Institute Western Australia
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