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Sydney specialises in the areas of commercial equity, including real property, conveyancing, easements, covenants, strata, building and construction law, partnership disputes, insolvency, and leasing. Sydney appears before the Supreme and Federal Courts, NCAT and has represented clients in the Industrial Relations Commission, Crime Commission and the Independent Commission Against Corruption as well as at technical references, arbitrations and mediations. Sydney’s experience in Easement matters includes: Acting as mediator.
Applications to restrain servient owners from obstructing the use of an easement.
Applications to be granted easements e.g. access/carriageway/services under Sec 88k of the Conveyancing Act
Applications for declaratory relief in respect of easement rights.
Whether easements have become obsolete or have been abandoned.
Whether covenants have been overridden by planning instruments.
Issues pertaining to both common law and Torrens title.
Whether a legal practitioner has been negligent by not giving advice in the context of the purchase of land, that there was no easement securing the right of the purchaser to retain a particular utility in place.
Whether there is an equitable easement, or easement by estoppel, to maintain in situ valuable signage and services.
Construction of development consents which make provision for easements, including deferred commencement conditions.
Comparing strategies under Sec 88k Conveyancing Act / Access to Neighbouring Land Act /Encroachment of Buildings Act. He is also a NMAS accredited mediator, and a BarADR accredited arbitrator and an expert determiner. Complementing his practice as a barrister and mediator, Sydney authors two major loose-leaf services published by Thomson Reuters: Commercial Damages and Injunctions: Law & Practice; and part-authors two leading loose-leaf services, Commercial Arbitration: Law & Practice, and International Commercial Arbitration. Sydney is a frequent presenter at CPD Seminars, some of which are linked below. Prior to being called to the Bar, Sydney was a solicitor in the Construction Divisions of Minter Ellison Morris Fletcher (now Minter Ellison) and Deacon Graham & James (now Norton Rose Fulbright). To brief Sydney, please contact him on (02) 9232 7658 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="normal" color="#000000" up="30" down="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Areas of Practice Appellate
Building & Construction Law
Easements and Covenants
Equity & Trusts
Inquests, Inquiries & Royal Commissions
Local Government, Planning & Environmental Law
Real Property Law
Retail and Commercial Leasing
Trade Practices & Competition [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="normal" color="#000000" up="30" down="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]
Qualifications Accredited Mediator, National Mediation Accreditation System (NMAS), 2018
BarADR Approved Arbitrator & Expert Determiner, 2017
Higher Diploma in Company Law: University of Witwatersrand, South Africa, 1990
Master of Laws: University of Cambridge, UK, 1986
Bachelor of Laws: University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1984
Bachelor of Arts: University of Cape Town, South Africa, 1982 [/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="normal" color="#000000" up="30" down="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]
1997 – Present: Barrister, 13 Wentworth Chambers 1995 – 1997: Senior Associate, Deacons Graham & James (now Norton Rose Fulbright) – Construction Department 1994 – 1995: Solicitor, Levingstons – Commercial Litigation and Maritime Law Department 1991 – 1994: Solicitor, Minter Ellison Morris Fletcher – Construction Department Academia Sydney is a former part-time lecturer on the topic of Damages and Equitable Remedies, as part of the Master of Laws Program at the University of Technology, Sydney[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="normal" color="#000000" up="30" down="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]
NSW Bar Association Australian Bar Association Resolution Institute[/vc_column_text][vc_separator type="normal" color="#000000" up="30" down="30"][/vc_column][/vc_row][vc_row css_animation="" row_type="row" use_row_as_full_screen_section="no" type="full_width" angled_section="no" text_align="left" background_image_as_pattern="without_pattern"][vc_column][vc_column_text]
[N.B. Easement/Covenant cases and advices are marked with **] Some of the matters in which Sydney has appeared or advised are as follows. Those which are unnamed are either current or were subject to settlement and hence limited details can be provided: 2021 • NSWSC Proceedings No. 2020/321959 - Mediator – mediate multi-party dispute concerning an easement for carriage way, benefiting commercial premises. ** • NSWSC Proceedings No. 2020/44220 – ongoing matter as to whether a right of way ought be extinguished under Sec 89 Conveyancing Act. ** • Advice as to construction of easements for jetty access. ** • Settle application in NSWSC for easement for encroachment. ** • Advise developer about easement for passing bay. ** • Advice as to construction of a right of way allowing gates to be constructed. ** 2020 • Proceedings in the SC of NSW and the ACT: Appeared at mediation of a NSW Supreme Court dispute between partners involved in a construction company; drafted pleadings that one party had become the agent for sale of the shares of the other, owed fiduciary duties and breached them. Claim by one party to an equitable interest in a property purchased by the other and used in the business - Successfully mediated before final hearing. • NSWSC proceedings [No. 2019/316427] against a director of a company in liquidation. Settled pleadings and affidavits as to breaches of director’s duties including uncommercial transactions – successfully mediated before final hearing. • Submissions to the Registrar General on behalf of dominant owner of property, which benefited from an easement for access over neighbour; Successfully opposing an application for removal of the easement by reason of abandonment. Neighbours / servient owner made administrative application that the easement be removed from the register on the basis of obsolescence/abandonment. ** • Advice as to the true construction of an easement for access benefitting substantial rural property. ** • Advice on whether an easement for access to a substantial estate could be removed on Sec 89 Conveyancing Act grounds e.g. obsolescence. ** • Draft pleadings in a NSWSC claiming that there is an easement by estoppel in respect of substantial adjoining properties, alternatively, a claim for an easement for carriageway pursuant to Sec 88 K Conveyancing Act. ** • Advise owner of servient property, over which runs an easement for access, canvassing whether the easement could be removed pursuant to Sec 89 Conveyancing Act by reason of abandonment; and if not, what rights the dominant and servient owners enjoy e.g. as to re-forming its surface; its daily use and what would constitute actionable interference/ nuisance. ** • Advise owners of a shopping centre, in circumstances where an easement benefitting the land is to be resumed. ** • Turvey v Crotti (No. 2)  NSWSC 399 – As lead counsel for Turvey- Costs – Costs on an indemnity basis – whether case unduly prolonged by groundless contentions – offers of compromise – whether maximum sum of costs should be specified. – Successful – Significant Costs ordered. ** • Maphaven Pty Ltd Pty Ltd v The Owners –Strata Plan No 48887  NSWNCAT – Strata schemes – strata levies – what is the obligation (if any) of a lot holder to make contribution to insurance premiums over and above ordinary levies – change to the use of the leased premises (carpet shop to bespoke tattoo artist) – what impact (if any) did this have on insurance premiums of the strata schemes ? – meaning of consent in Sec 82 (2) Strata Schemes Management Act 2015 – Orders made under Sec 241 of the SSMA –costs awarded to applicant – no part of the costs incurred by the respondent to be levied against the Applicant. • Australian Commercial Marketing v Gold  NSWSC 1701 – Land Law – Occupation of commercial premises – lease / licence – option in licence exercised orally for part of premises, so as to allow the Defendant to remain for a further three years; and other related issues including severance of part of agreement relating to determining rental in the option period that is void for vagueness. • S v A  – Ex Parte Freezing order for close to $900,000 for real estate agent’s commission. • Turvey v Crotti  NSWSC 1959 – As lead counsel for Turvey-Easements – for right of way – old system sub-division – nuisance – defendant obstructed the plaintiff’s ability to excercise the right of way over an access road appurtenant to her property. There was a subdivision of a large estate in the 1800s where the transfers to the original purchasers included the rights to pass and repass on the roads shown in the original plan of subdivision. At least one of these easements was omitted to be registered in a transfer in the 1900s where the land was qualified title, and the Registrar General then used his powers under s 42 Real Property Act 1900 (NSW) to register the easement. Common ground that the defendant’s conduct constituted actionable nuisance – damages for inconvenience. ** • C v T NSWSC  – Application for easement for stormwater to benefit a very large sub-division in Tweed Heads, pursuant to s88k Conveyancing Act. Significant experts’ reports on planning & zoning, civil & hydraulic engineering, valuation and environmental issues. Minister issued concept approval – reasonable necessity and other issues – after being case managed in the Real Property list the matter was mediated by Mason QC; as such, party names redacted. ** • C v G  – Easement for access – blocked by gate – interim injunction for access obtained – matter case managed in Real Property List and settled by negotiation. ** • M v R NSWSC - Application for easement for access & services pursuant to s88k Conveyancing Act – historic Pyrmont terraces – expert evidence by inter alia architect, heritage architect & electrical engineer – case managed in the Real Property list after evidence served. Mediated successfully in 2018 by Mason QC. ** • McGrath v Mestousis  NSWSC 995: counsel for Mestousis up to but not including trial. Sec 88 K application by McGrath for an easement for stormwater, for purposes of development of residential land – whether easement reasonably necessary for effective use or development of the land – effect of easement upon servient tenement – risk of damage caused by easement works – difficulty in carrying out easement works in compliance with conditions of consent – easement imposed. ** • Littles v J&K Homes Pty Ltd  NCATAP 84 – NCAT Appeals Panel – Home Building contract – contract not terminated at time of hearing – successful appeal against finding that claim for Breach of Warranties could not be maintained. Error of law demonstrated. • S v I – Restraint of Trade – dispute between doctors. Sale of business. Was restraint part of the sale agreement? If so, was it reasonable or was it liable to be struck down? • Spark Property Pty Ltd v Mammone & Cristofaro – SC proceedings 2017/64574 – Successful application to declare Vendor’s Notice to Complete & Notice of Termination of a contract for sale of land, invalid. True construction/rectification of contract. Order for specific performance and costs granted. • Taste of Tuscany Restaurant v Papantoniou  NSWSC 932 – Lease – existence of agreement – no concluded agreement – no intention that parties be bound prior to a formal lease being duly executed – unjust enrichment
• Dionys v National Australia Bank, 12 June 2015 – Successful claim against bank regarding the transfer of funds without authority. Proceedings involved question of whether bank had contractual defences (upheld on appeal  NSWCA 242). • Crawford v Crawford & Morris NSWSC Equity Division Proceedings, 2016/71897 – Freezing/Mareva Orders, worldwide freezing orders regarding properties in Australia and Malta. • Wang & Ors v Kaymet Pty Ltd  NSWSC 1058 – Admissibility of an expert’s report on the basis of whether the opinion shown to be based on the expert’s specialised knowledge. • Wang & Ors v Kaymet Pty Ltd  NSWSC – Proceedings involving purchasers of units “off the plan” and whether builder/developer used reasonable efforts to register the strata plan by the “sunset date”; whether rescission lawful. • Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC): Operation Spicer  – Represented the Free Enterprise Foundation, an entity which received donations for the Liberal Party. • Pisano v Williams  NSWSC 1070 – Building and construction dispute; sale of a residence and a claim for damages for misleading or deceptive conduct and breach of duty of care. Defence I raised rejected by the learned trial judge but upheld on appeal by the NSWCA. • Aussteel v Marcon  NSWSC – Preliminary discovery application. • Snowy River Shire Council v Adaminaby Craft Group Inc  NSWLC – Successful claim for return of a valuable decorative curtain involving the doctrine of accession as...
09 January, 2019