Ben Schefe

Ben Schefe

Director | Employment Law & Litigation (LLB)

 

Ben is a Director of our Litigation team, based in Brisbane’s CBD.

Ben’s Experience

Since his admission in 2009, Ben has practiced exclusively in the areas of employment law/workplace relations, estate litigation, building /construction and commercial litigation (including personal and company insolvency).

Ben has a particular interest in employment law/workplace relations, estate litigation and building / construction.

Regarding employment law/workplace relations matters, he has acted for both employers and employees before all State and Commonwealth Courts, Tribunals and Commissions. Ben has a special interest in assisting SMEs with their employment issues.

In building and construction litigation, Ben has acted for and advised individuals and companies, with a primary focus on SMEs and subcontractors, in residential and commercial building disputes before all State Courts and QCAT as well as preparing and defending BCIPA and BIF claims and subcontractor’s charges.

As a specific example of his experience in this area, Ben assisted his principal contractor client to successfully appeal a $350,000.00 BCIPA/BIF claim.

With respect to estate litigation, he has acted for executors and beneficiaries in estate disputes in both the Supreme and District Courts. For example, Ben has assisted executors to claims made against the estate, and assisted parties either completely left out of the will, or included in the will but with inadequate provision, to make further provision claims. This includes a number of claims resulting in the client receiving millions of dollars’ worth of money and assets.

Ben’s involvement in personal and company insolvency matters has seen him act for individuals, directors, bankruptcy trustees, liquidators and administrators on a broad range of disputes, including prosecuting and defending:

  • applications for company wind ups;
  • creditor’s petitions in bankruptcy;
  • preference claims;
  • claims for voidable transactions; and
  • claims against directors for breaches of director’s duties and other breaches under the Corporations Act.

Other specific examples of Ben’s experience include:

  • working with an employee to recover a seven-figure sum from a major corporation resulting from a bullying and harassment claim that led to psychological damage;
  • assisting various employers to successfully restrain or seek damages from employees who have been in breach of their restraint provisions and/or have been in breach of confidentiality provisions; and
  • assisting employers and employees in the termination of executive level staff, including negotiating appropriate settlements.

Qualifications

  • Bachelor of Laws – Queensland University of Technology (QUT) – July 2007
  • Graduate Certificate in Employment Law – Curtin University – August 2012

Memberships

  • Queensland Law Society
  • Industrial Relations Society of Queensland

About Ben

Outside of work, Ben enjoys spending time with his wife, family and friends. He also loves going to the gym, playing golf and supporting his beloved Brisbane Broncos.


Ian Neil

Ian Neil

Director – Litigation (LLB)

 

Telephone: 07 3479 5211

Ian is Director supervising our litigation team in the Redlands and is located in both the Cleveland and Brisbane CBD offices.

After 13 years in the Queensland Department of Justice (Magistrates Courts), Ian joined McCarthy Durie in 1989 and has been practising in the area of litigation (dispute resolution) ever since. With more than 36 years of Court experience, Ian’s knowledge of Court proceedings in all jurisdictions is hard to rival.

Professional Experience:

Ian has practised in the Childrens, Small Claims, Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts and Court of Appeal in all manner of commercial and criminal law matters; in the Planning and Environment Court and the  Land Court; Family Court and Federal Court;  Auctioneers and Agents, Mental Health, Industrial Relations (now Fair Work Australia) and various other Tribunals including  the new Queensland Civil and  Administrative Tribunal.  Ian has regularly appeared as advocate in those jurisdictions and otherwise instructed a wide range of Barristers, from Queen’s Counsel to Junior Counsel. In all dispute matters, Ian’s objective is always to attempt an early, pragmatic resolution of issues to minimise the costs and stress of litigation.

Ian’s focus area of practice nowadays is in the Planning & Environment Court and the Land Court, mostly acting for developers but often acting for submitters (“objectors”) and interest groups against Councils  or developers,  or for residents who have arguments against Council decisions (eg rezonings or development approvals affecting their property),  or are being prosecuted by Council for breaching Local Laws (eg tree clearing; unlawful uses),  or for residents whose land is being resumed by Council or a Government Department.  Ian has represented a very large variety of clients in Planning Law disputes. A short list of examples include:

Agnes Water Shopping Centre;  Pialba Place Shopping Centre;  Crystal Waters Shopping Centre; Lakeside Shopping Centre; Karreman Group (quarry and tile manufacturing); Fiteni Homes – Edgarange Pty Ltd housing subdivisions; Mount Tamborine Residents Group (opposing commercial water extraction); various Heritage Listing disputes; Mandalay Aged Care; The Manor Group Retirement Villages; Jim Cavill residential developments; Platinum Design Architects; Casagrande Investments residential development.

Ian has also been a qualified Mediator with the Queensland Law Society and has conducted and been involved in many Mediations of all manner of disputes.

Community:

Apart from his extensive experience in litigation and legal matters, Ian has also been highly prominent in the Redlands Community as:

  • Executive Member, Past President and Life Member of the Chamber of Commerce
  • Chairman of Redlands Education Forum
  • Member of Redlands Economic Development Forum
  • President Carmel College P&F Association
  • Board Member Sheldon College
  • Board Member Redland Foundation
  • Executive Member Redlands Institute
  • Honorary Solicitor to many community organisations including:
  • Queensland Muscular Dystrophy Association (10 years)
  • Coochiemudlo Island Golf Club
  • Redland Bay Golf Club
  • Coochiemudlo Island Surf Lifesaving Association (and Patrol Member)
  • Member of Cleveland Rotary Club

Qualifications:

  • Bachelor of Laws

Memberships:

  • Queensland Law Society
  • Queensland Environmental Law Association
  • Urban Development Institute of Australia (Qld)
  • Master Builders Association (Qld)