Nicholas Anson
Partner, Melbourne
I am a commercial disputes practitioner specialising in insolvency, restructuring and risk management. I provide strategic and technical advice, and manage litigation on behalf of lenders, borrowers, insolvency practitioners and public sector clients.

My primary focus is managing legal risks, facilitating workouts and advising on how to handle distressed counterparties. However, I also help clients manage regulatory and reputational risks, including in the context of commercial litigation, voluntary product recalls, distressed property developments and distressed investment schemes.

I am a regular speaker on issues that affect the financial services and government sectors, including crisis management, ethics and professional responsibility, conduct and culture.

Career highlights

  • Legal Practitioners’ Liability Committee – advised on claims against solicitors arising from the Personal Property Securities Act 2009 (Cth)
  • Victorian Department of Education – helped the department restructure how funding is provided to the vocational training sector
  • Victorian Department of Justice – counselled the department on restructuring the Ararat Prison private–public partnership
  • Receivers and managers of the Great Southern Group – Assisted with restructuring certain core forestry management investment schemes, and the ultimate sale of a forestry estate to institutional investors for $415 million
  • Elders Limited – advised the board in relation to the company’s exit from its forestry managed investment scheme business, including managing conflicts of interest and regulatory and litigation-related risks, attending board meetings and presenting to the Group’s banking syndicate
  • ANZ – served as the bank’s primary adviser in relation to the collapse of Opes Prime Stockbroking, which affected approximately 1,200 clients and resulted in outstanding debts to ANZ of more than $700 million. This involved providing guidance on closing out its stock-loan book and acting for ANZ in proceedings brought by Opes Prime clients seeking title to shares that were loaned to the bank
  • A privately owned supplier of mining services – acted in a contractual dispute with a distressed junior listed miner that involved more than $20 million in unpaid certified interim payment claims
  • The non-executive directors of Harris Scarfe – advised on an insolvent trading claim in which the liquidators claimed more than $140 million from each director, eventually settling the matter on confidential terms