Rob Lawson is a commercial disputes lawyer with over 13 years’ experience, with a strong commercial and client focus. With a background as a commercial property lawyer, Rob has a particular specialisation in property related disputes.
Rob has significant experience in commercial litigation as well as insolvency litigation, particularly in regards to leasing litigation (for both landlords and tenants), as well as general property based litigation. This has included acting in litigation relating to the obtaining of injunctive relief, building defects, lease make good disputes, termination of lease and re-possession of premises for landlords, disputes over rent reviews in leases, litigation for recovery of rental arrears and loss of bargain damages, compulsory acquisition of land, appointment of trustees to sell property held as joint tenants, and a landmark Australian case on priorities under the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth).
Rob has appeared and instructed Counsel in a range of courts and tribunals including in the District and Local Courts of New South Wales, the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal and Appeal Panel, the Federal Court of Australia, and the Supreme Courts of New South Wales and Queensland.
Rob Lawson’s recent experience includes:
- Acting for a large multi-national automotive company defending a lease make good claim from an institutional landlord in the Queensland Supreme Court, including arguing defences based on limitation of damages under s112(1) of the Property Law Act 1974 (Qld) where there is no diminution in the value of the premises as a result of the failure to make good. Given the technical nature of the evidence relating to the state of repair of the building and the building services, there was a strong construction element to the dispute.
- Acting for a large multi-national private education provider as Plaintiff in obtaining an injunction preventing the landlord from drawing down on a bank guarantee provided under the lease, and ultimately defending a claim for failure to make good the leased premises. One of the defences argued was based on the statutory limitation on damages for failure by tenants to make good leased premises where the building will be demolished under s133A of the Conveyancing Act 1919 (NSW).
- Acting for the successful Plaintiffs in In the Matter of Maiden Civil (P & E) Pty Ltd  NSWSC 852 (Maiden Civil Case). The case commenced as an application by our client in the NSW Supreme Court for an urgent injunction (which we obtained), and then complex litigation seeking orders for possession of 3 Caterpillar trucks (following the insolvency of a company) under provisions of the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth). The case is the leading authority in Australia on determining priority between competing security interests under the provisions of the PPSA.