Litigation masterclass

Course ID CN200331_LIT1

  • Face to Face
  • 4.5
  • All

Success in litigation and dispute resolution requires careful preparation, planning and an array of specific skills. Get the edge on your opponents and better results for your clients by ensuring that your litigation and dispute resolution skills are refined and up to date. 

Attendees will come away with: 

  • Important tips and knowledge from the bench in preparing written submissions 
  • Tips and traps to manage stress and well-being during litigation 
  • How to read the bench, prepare for court appearances and meet judicial expectations 
  • Understand the nuances of proportionate liability and apportionment in civil claims  

The speakers are:

  • Chair: Nicholas Mavrakis, Partner, Clayton Utz
  • The Honourable Justice Andrew Bell, President of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of NSW 
  • Anthony Cheshire SC, Barrister, Eighth Floor Wentworth Chambers 
  • Rashelle Seiden SC, Barrister, Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers 
  • Ermelinda Kovacs, Barrister, Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers 
  • Melanie Cairns, Barrister, Alinea Chambers 
  • Jason Betts, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

50% discount for New Lawyers

New Lawyers in their first three years of practice are eligible for a 50% discount off the full price of this program. This discount cannot be claimed in conjunction with any other discounts, including the alumni/Law Society member discount. Please quote NEWLAWYER at the checkout.

View Full Program Information


Full Price $480.00

Alumni/Member Price $432.00


Start date:

24 March 2020

End date:

24 March 2020


8.30am - 12.50pm


The College of Law,
Level 16, 111 Elizabeth Street,
Sydney, NSW 2000

About This Course




8.30am: Registration/introduction Chair: Nicholas Mavrakis, Partner, Clayton Utz


8.35am: Opening address – Written advocacy Speaker: The Honourable Justice Andrew Bell, President of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of NSW


9.35pm: Managing stress and well-being in litigation Speaker: Anthony Cheshire SC, Barrister, Eighth Floor Wentworth Chambers
  • Pacing yourself up to and through the trial
  • Managing high-stress and high conflict situations
  • Techniques for maintaining health and vibrancy
  • Establishing the right support systems


10.20am: Morning tea and networking opportunity


10.35am: Oral advocacy Speakers: Rashelle Seiden SC, Barrister, Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers and Ermelinda Kovacs, Barrister, Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers
  • Using case theory to plan a successful hearing
  • Oral advocacy – directions to appeals
  • How to read the bench, prepare for court appearances and meet judicial expectations


11.20am: Proportionate liability and apportionment in litigation Speaker: Melanie Cairns, Barrister, Alinea Chambers
  • Differences that arise in a proportionate liability defence to professional negligence claims in tort, contract or for misleading conduct, including:
    1. Whether the court can order two parties 100% liable for a loss
    2. If a plaintiff can frame their claim to exclude proportionate liability
    3. How else a claim in tort or contract may differ from a misleading conduct claim


12.05pm: Running class actions Speaker: Jason Betts, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills


12.50pm: Close


Designed for

This seminar is ideal for solicitors in general practice, litigation partners, litigation specialists, corporate counsel, class action lawyers, solicitor advocates and enforcement lawyers. 

Mandatories Covered

The program covers the mandatory requirements of professional skills and substantive law.


Presenter biography

Nicholas Mavrakis Partner, Clayton Utz

Nicholas has over 25 years' experience in managing large and complex litigation in commercial disputes, regulatory investigations, class actions, securities law, cartel disputes, fraud and tax disputes.

Nicholas advises domestic and international corporate and banking clients with their local and global disputes, regulatory and internal investigations and follow on regulatory enforcement action and court proceedings. He is regularly called upon by financial services clients to assist in complicated regulatory investigations and disputes, covering a broad spectrum of areas across wealth/financial planning, responsible and consumer lending, markets, culture and governance.


The Honourable Justice Andrew Bell President of the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court of NSW

The Hon Justice A.S. Bell graduated from the University of Sydney with a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws receiving First Class Honours and the University Medal in both degrees and was also awarded the Sydney University Convocation Medal. He was awarded a Rhodes Scholarship to undertake a Bachelor of Civil Law at the University of Oxford where he graduated with First Class Honours and was awarded the Vinerian Scholarship for first place in the Bachelor of Civil Law. His Honour completed his doctorate at the University of Oxford. His thesis formed the basis for his subsequent book Forum Shopping and Venue in Transnational Litigation.

His Honour was admitted to the Bar in 1995 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2006. During his time at the Bar, his Honour had a broad national practice at trial and intermediate appellate levels. He also had an extensive international arbitration practice.

Since 2008, his Honour has been an Adjunct Professor at the Sydney University Law School, where he teaches Private International Law, an area in which he has published extensively. He is the co-author of Nygh’s Conflict of Laws in Australia.

In February 2019, his Honour was appointed as the President of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. At the time of his appointment, his Honour was Senior Vice-President of the New South Wales Bar Association.


Anthony Cheshire SC Barrister, Eight Wentworth Chambers

Anthony was called to the English Bar in 1992 and practised at the bar in London before moving to the New South Wales Bar in 2004. He practices from the 8th Floor of Wentworth Chambers in a broad range of areas, but with a particular focus upon general commercial, corporations, insolvency, inquiries, equity, probate, property, insurance, equity and professional negligence. He was appointed Senior Counsel in 2015.

Anthony has been involved in several hearings of note, including the Walker inquiry into Camden and Campbelltown Hospitals, the ICAC inquiries involving Craig Knowles and Bob Carr, Melissa Hawach’s efforts to discover the whereabouts of her ex-husband after he had abducted her children, Patrick Power’s disciplinary hearing, the Callinan inquiry into equine influenza, the Beasley inquiry into Auburn Council, the Trade Union Royal Commission, the Financial Services Royal Commission and the NewCap Reinsurance Company litigation that ran for over a year and then for a month on appeal.

In 2017/18 Anthony was Counsel Assisting the Inquiry before the Hon Patricia Bergin SC under the Charitable Fundraising Act 1991 into the Returned and Services League of Australia (New South Wales Branch), RSL Welfare and Benevolent Institute and RSL LifeCare Limited.

Anthony acts as a mediator and arbitrator. He also lectures and gives legal training extensively.


Rashelle Seiden SC Barrister, Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers

As an appellate and administrative law advocate, Rashelle advises and represents government, private and corporate clients in matters concerning administrative law, trusts, corporate and commercial law, insolvency and revenue, including tax crime. Rashelle has a reputation for handling large, complex cases.

Rashelle has appeared in many high-profile cases in the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia and the NSW Court of Appeal. In 2013, she was appointed Senior Counsel for the State of NSW. Rashelle was listed in the Doyle’s Guide every year since 2016.

Prior to joining Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers, Rashelle was a member of Sir Harry Gibbs Chambers in Queensland, a pre-eminent tax and commercial chambers, where her primary focus was representative proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia together with some tax litigation.

Until August 2019 Rashelle was a Principal Member, and member of the Appeal Panel, of the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT) and former Head of NCAT’s Revenue List.


Ermelinda Kovacs Barrister, Ground Floor Wentworth Chambers

Ermelinda is a barrister specialising in tax and commercial law. She carries with her over 14 years’ experience practising in tax law. Before coming to the Bar, Ermelinda practised as a solicitor and held the position of Director in the tax practice at Ernst & Young. In her role, she assisted multinational enterprises and private groups prevent and resolve difficult or sensitive disputes with the Australian Taxation Office and State Revenue Offices.

Ermelinda is frequently retained by a range of corporate, private and government clients in connection with complex tax and commercial matters. In addition to appearing in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, the Supreme Court and the Federal Court, Ermelinda has an extensive advisory practice.

Ermelinda is the Secretary to the Australian Bar Association’s Taxation Committee. She holds a Master of Laws in Taxation and she has taught the Tax course in the MBA program at UTS.


Melanie Cairns Barrister, Alinea Chambers

Melanie Cairns is a leading senior junior in commercial law at the NSW Bar. Her areas of expertise include commercial & corporations, consumer law, equity & trusts, insurance, intellectual property, professional indemnity and real property.

Melanie has appeared unled in the Court of Appeal, Supreme Court and Federal Court of Australia. She has practiced at the NSW Bar for 11 years and before that she was a Senior Associate at Clayton Utz. Melanie is known for her commercial approach to running and resolving litigation and she has acted for a variety of clients including AIG Insurance, Allergan Pharmaceuticals, AMP, ANZ Wealth, Baulderstone, JP Morgan, Lendlease, Perpetual, QBE, the NSW Health Dept, Tenix Defence and Woolworths, as well as having acted for individuals and small to medium sized entities.

Melanie is a member of the Bar Association’s Professional Conduct Committee and its Diversity and Equality Committee, and co-chair of the Equitable Briefing Committee. She has a Master of Laws and Combined Bachelor of Arts/Law from UNSW, where she has also lectured in undergraduate and postgraduate law.


Jason Betts Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

Jason is one of Australia’s premier class action lawyers and also specialises in complex litigation, crisis management and regulatory investigations and prosecutions.

Jason has acted in Australia’s largest class actions, including the majority of Australia’s major securities litigation. He lead the defence of Australia’s largest ever product liability class action and acted in the seminal decision on third party litigation funding in Australia – Fostif.

Jason has been recognised in Best Lawyers for the "Litigation", "Class Action Litigation" or "Product Liability" categories each year since his admission to partnership (2010 - 2016). He has also been recognised in Chambers Asia Pacific in 2015 and 2016 as a notable practitioner/leading individual with HSF's Dispute Resolution - Band 1 ranking.


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