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Gregory Couston

Partner
+61.2.9513.2480
Fax +61.2.9513.2399

Mr. Couston is a commercial disputes/litigation partner. His practice focuses on professional liability, financial sector litigation, insurance coverage issues, property disputes, and contamination/environmental liability.

Mr. Couston's clients include professionals in various fields – with particular emphasis on lawyers; as well as property companies, financial institutions, manufacturers and trading companies, particularly Asian trading companies. He is also a trained and practicing mediator.

Mr. Couston delivers proactive dispute management and outcomes focused service to his clients.

He has, for a number of years, been selected in The Best Lawyers in Australia in the fields of insurance law, and also commercial litigation as one of Australia’s leading insurance law and litigation lawyers in the Best Lawyers lists.

Mr. Couston frequently presents, and is regularly published on, liability and risk management issues.

Achievements

  • Recognised as one of Australia’s leading insurance lawyers (2012 – 2018) and litigation lawyers (2014/15 – 2018) in Best Lawyers.

Professional/Civic Activities

  • Australian Insurance Law Association member
  • Resolution Institute member
  • Nationally accredited mediator (NMAS)
  • Charity/orphanage work in Uganda, India and Philippines

Speaking Engagements

Mr. Couston frequently presents at liability and risk management seminars and conferences.

Additional Information

Further publications authored by Mr. Couston:
  • "Can a lawyer act contrary to a former client's interests", Law Society Journal (NSW), August 2016
  • "Informal communications with judges' chambers – a professional and risk management issue", Law Society Journal (NSW), June 2016
  • "Lawyers' Liability to non-clients – additional dimensions of liability in finance transactions", Law Society Journal (NSW), October 2014
  • "Privilege Lost – preservation of privilege, practice pointers", Law Society Journal (NSW), August 2014
  • "Informal Wills – the duty of a lawyer to consider, discuss and make an informal will for a client", Law Society Journal (NSW), July 2014
  • Defending Federal Court of Australia class actions against professional advisors concerning failed property development schemes/proposals.
  • Acting on a wide range of negligence and Australian Trade Practices claims against solicitors arising from commercial transactions, loans and mortgages, property dealings, development schemes, trusts, wills and the conduct of litigation.
  • Representing the “determinating expert” in Federal Court of Australia proceedings concerning the regulation of credit card charges.
  • Advising on insurance issues concerning the collapse of a New Zealand finance company.
  • Defending multiple claims against a managing agent arising out of a central business district office fire.
  • Defending a Japanese Bank in securities liability claims conducted in USA and Australia; and obtaining "anti-suit"; injunctive relief, preventing the claimants proceeding in both jurisdictions.
  • Conducting injunction proceedings in Australia on behalf of a Chinese trading company – restraining a bank from paying money under a Letter of Credit facility. This dispute involved Australian litigation and Swiss arbitration concerning the underlying issues.
  • Defending litigated claims concerning actuarial and valuation issues between shareholders in a significant insurance company.
  • Advising a multinational oil company on its insurance rights – in the context of potential prosecution and liability issues concerning importation of defective fuel oil.
  • Managing litigation between a UK group of companies and their Australian and Lloyd's insurers concerning significant asbestos liability in Australia.
  • Advising the owner of an offshore platform of entitlements under a construction material damage policy concerning construction and cyclone damage.
  • Advising an Australian corporate entity on disputed policy response entitlements under an EPL policy in the context of a U.S. class action.
  • Conducting insurance coverage dispute for an international supplier of building materials against its liability insurer arising from multiple losses sustained in a foreign jurisdiction.
  • Advising on insurance coverage under an Environmental Impairment Policy in the context of hydrocarbon and asbestos contamination of an extensive residential property development in NSW.
  • Defending an international oil company in a class action by claimants seeking to recover excise tax collected by the oil company (and others), where the High Court of Australia had determined that the excise was unconstitutional. The claim against our client exceeded AUD100 million. The case was part of a major set of proceedings involving oil retailers and tobacco retailers.
  • Defending and managing claims against a major producer of building adhesive products conducted in multiple Australian States involving an allegedly defective swimming pool product.
  • Advising a number of corporate entities (including a major oil company) on management and liability issues concerning pollution incidents and contaminated properties – including dealings with regulators.