Norton Rose Fulbright Australia
Related services and key industries
- Alternative dispute resolution (ADR)
- International arbitration
- Regulation and investigations
- Climate change and sustainability
Tamlyn Mills is an experienced dispute resolution practitioner with a broad practice encompassing commercial and corporate litigation, international arbitration and related court proceedings, including the enforcement of arbitral awards and foreign judgments in the Australian courts.
Taking a commercial and pragmatic approach to matters, Tamlyn provides clients with strategic pre-action advice, assists them to achieve the early and efficient settlement of disputes through alternative dispute resolution mechanisms and acts in proceedings before the State and federal courts and before arbitral tribunals. Throughout her career, Tamlyn's practice has focussed on significant and complex disputes, often raising novel and untested points of law. She has represented clients at both first instance and appellant level, including up to the High Court, and has acted in proceedings in the Supreme Courts of Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia.
Tamlyn has a specialist focus on international arbitration and has acted as counsel to a range of clients in foreign seated arbitrations under the major arbitral rules as well as in domestic ad hoc arbitrations, including undertaking oral advocacy and the examination of witnesses. She is acting in the leading Australian cases concerning the recognition of investor state arbitral awards against sovereign States under both the ICSID Convention and New York Convention. She regularly provides training and advice to corporate colleagues on the drafting of tailored dispute resolution clauses and disputes risk mitigation in commercial agreements. Tamlyn holds a Master of Laws with Distinction from the London School of Economics and Political Science, specialising in international dispute resolution. She serves as a member of the NSW State Committee of ACICA and recently successfully completed the CIArb Accelerated Route to Membership course.
While Tamlyn's experience spans a number of industries, she has a depth of experience in the mining, oil and gas, energy and financial services industries. She is a member of the NSW State Committee and National Learning and Development Committee of the Energy and Resources Law Association.
Clients recognise Tamlyn for combining sharp intelligence, technical expertise and commercial acumen to provide sound and trusted advice. Prior to joining Norton Rose Fulbright, Tamlyn spent over 10 years at Minter Ellison, working in both the firm's Brisbane and Sydney offices.
- LLM (Distinction), London School Of Economics, (2013)
- Grad Dip Legal Practice, Griffith University, (2008)
- LLB (Hons First Class), University Of Queensland, (2007)
- BA (majoring in literature and international relations), University Of Queensland, (2007)
- Supreme Court of Queensland 2008
- High Court of Australia 2008
International Arbitration and Cross Border Disputes
- Acting for a global mining services provider in relation to a dispute with an Indian SOE in relation to a construction project in India.
- Acting for award creditors in proceedings in Australia for the recognition of an investor state arbitral award against the Kingdom of Spain arising from their investment in renewal energy investments in Spain. The arbitration proceedings were conducted under the auspices of ICSID and concerned breaches of the Energy Charter Treaty by Spain. In Australia, Spain pleaded sovereign immunity and the proceedings considered whether Spain had waived immunity under Australia's foreign state immunity law. The award creditors were successful before the Federal Court and Full Federal Court and Spain appealed to the High Court (receiving special leave). The High Court unanimously refused Spain's appeal, finding that by ratifying the ICSID Convention Spain had submitted to the jurisdiction of the Australian courts in proceedings for recognition and enforcement of ICSID awards. These proceedings are significant and the first time in Australia the recognition of an ICSID award has been contested and faced a plea of sovereign immunity. Tamlyn also acts in several other similar cases against Spain currently at first instance level.
- Acting for award creditors in proceedings in Australia for the recognition and enforcement of an investor state arbitral award against the Republic of India arising from their investment in a satellite project in India. The arbitral proceedings were conducted under the auspices of the PCA and concerned breaches of a bilateral investment treaty between India and Mauritius. The proceedings are the first time the recognition and enforcement of an investor state award under the New York Convention will be tested.
- Acting for Sellers in relation to West Coast gas price reviews subject to ad hoc domestic arbitration seated in Western Australia. The matters involved satellite litigation in the Western Australian Supreme Court concerning the effectiveness of a price review notice issued outside the stipulated contractual time period. The Court of Appeal unanimously found in favour of the Sellers in a significant decision concerning the interpretation of time stipulations in contracts of this nature.
- Acting for an Asian telecommunications company in a London seated, LCIA arbitration as Respondent in a dispute arising from a failed merger in Pakistan. The arbitration proceedings were conducted in Dubai before a sole arbitrator and involved witnesses from Malaysia, Canada, South Africa and Pakistan.
- Acting for Japanese, Indian, New Zealand and Australian joint venture interests in a Singapore seated, ICC arbitration as Respondents in a dispute with Timor-Leste arising from the termination of a production sharing contract for an offshore block in the Timor Sea.
- Acting for a US energy services company in a Jakarta seated, BANI arbitration as Claimant in a dispute arising from an oil exploration campaign in Indonesia and subsequent steps to enforce the award in its favour in Singapore and resist annulment proceedings in Indonesia. The arbitration hearing was conducted remotely before a three person tribunal, involving attendees and witnesses appearing from Sydney, Singapore, Jakarta, London, Malaysia and Scotland.
- Advising an energy major in relation to government legislation affecting its interests, including the availability of treaty arbitration.
- Advising a litigation funder in relation to potential arbitration and litigation in the UAE and Australia in connection with a litigation funding arrangement.
- Acting for a contractor in a series of international arbitrations arising out of large construction projects in the Middle East. The arbitrations are subject to various regional institutional rules, including DIAC, DIFC and ADCCAC, as well as different local laws.
- Advising a client on the potential enforcement of a US judgment in Australia and associated issues, including service requirements and submission to jurisdiction.
- Acting for a global investment bank in defending complaints of fraud and embezzlement made by a high net worth Indonesian investor to the Indonesian police, arising from losses incurred in complex foreign exchange and equity derivatives products.
Commercial and Corporate Litigation
Energy and Resources
- Acting for 4 non-executive directors of Kagara Limited (in liquidation) in a class action by shareholders alleging misleading and deceptive conduct and breach of continuous disclosure obligations in relation to the valuation of mining assets and the accounting treatment of costs associated with those assets.
- Acting for an ASX listed exploration and mining company with mining interests in British Columbia, Canada in relation to a complex dispute with former directors involving allegations of misuse of confidential information and diversion of corporate opportunities in breach of contractual, statutory and fiduciary duties.
- Acting for an ASX listed exploration and mining company to defend proceedings brought by former directors in the Western Australia Supreme Court seeking to restrain the release of information, including an application to enforce the plaintiffs' undertaking as to damages.
- Acting for a significant resources company in high value, complex disputes involving the supply of coal to an adjacent Power Station under a long term coal supply agreement, including multiple proceedings in the Supreme Court of Queensland and ongoing strategic advice.
- Acting for a Queensland electricity generator in sensitive proceedings concerning the calculation of certain rebate payments owing under a coal supply arrangement and referable to the sale of metallurgical coal on the export market. The proceeding concerned a significant revenue stream for a Queensland state owned asset.
- Acting for a Queensland electricity generator in the successful defence of proceedings commenced by the Australian Energy Regulator in the Federal Court of Australia for alleged breaches of the National Electricity Rules. The proceeding was the first of its kind in Australia and was significant in clarifying the meaning of the "good faith rebidding rule".
- Acted for Queensland government-owned corporation QIC in proceedings in the New South Wales Supreme court concerning losses flowing from an alleged double metering configuration at one of its retail investments in New South Wales. The dispute involved complex legal arguments in relation to points of law untested in Australia as well as complex factual matters involving the flow of payments between customers, participants and the market operator in the national electricity market.
Financial Institutions and Private Equity
- Acting for a global bank in complex proceedings in the Victorian Supreme Court in relation to funding of an Australian satellite project, including a derivative leave application.
- Acted for a financial advisory firm to defend claims of misleading and deceptive conduct in breach of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission Act 2001 (Cth) brought by a former client of one of its authorised representatives. The case raised issues about the territorial application of the Corporations Act and the ASIC Act and the calculation of damages where an investment loss is yet to crystallise.
- Acting for a private equity investor to successfully resolve a dispute with a founding director and substantial shareholder involving numerous allegations of misconduct and disputes concerning the parties' respective rights under governing contractual arrangements.
- Acting for a large private equity fund in proceedings in the Queensland Supreme Court involving a dispute between shareholders in a significant manufacturing company. The dispute involved numerous allegations of fraud and dishonesty relating to the conduct of the parties over a number of years.
Commercial Disputes and Advisory
Acting for a global food business to map potential exposure of directors to personal liability in relation to the organisation's international operations, including coordinating global advice from Austria, Singapore, China, UAE, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
Acting for a NSW government client in proceedings in the NSW Supreme Court related to a long running employment dispute. The proceedings concerned the interpretation and effectiveness of releases and restraints provided in two settlement agreements.
Acting for a software company in relation to a payment dispute under a software design and implementation agreement.
Acting for a large Australian owned fuel business in appellate proceedings in the Victorian Court of Appeal in a dispute with their former solicitors and a former Chairman arising from a failed IPO. The dispute raised numerous issues, including the duties owned by a Board Chairman and the ability of self-represented solicitors to recover their costs.
Acting for a large agribusiness client in an urgent application in the Federal Court of Australia seeking an injunction and other orders in relation to alleged oppressive, unfairly prejudicial or unfairly discriminatory conduct under the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth).
Acting for the wholly-owned subsidiary of an Australian listed company to enforce an expert determination in the NSW Supreme Court and defend a counter-claim for rectification of the underlying share sale agreement.
Acting for a Sydney-based property development company in proceedings in the New South Wales Supreme Court involving a multi-party dispute about the validity of the purported exercise and assignment of Call Options over land.
Advised a significant national client on a dispute in relation to a high value IT project, including providing strategic and contractual advice and drafting a notice of termination.
Acted for a property investment group in an expert determination to successfully resolve a long running dispute over failure to disclose defects prior to our client's purchase of a retail homemaker centre.
Assisting with global strategic advice to an international retail client and health services provider on the identification, assessment and management of risk in relation to potential claims concerning the management of joint venture partnerships with stores in the United Kingdom, including the conduct of internal investigations and the effect of pricing and marketing policies on individual stores. The claims represented a significant reputational and commercial risk for the business internationally.
Acting for the plaintiffs in proceedings in the Queensland Supreme Court involving the publication of misleading and deceptive advertisements by the defendants in relation to the supply of discounted pharmaceuticals.
Part of the team acting for Bellamys Australia Limited in the defence of two competing shareholder class actions.
- The Lawdragon Global Litigation 500, 2021
- Next Generation Partner (dispute resolution – arbitration), The Legal 500 APAC directory 2022
- Co-Author, "Enforcement and Recovery: Theory" in GAR Guide to Investment Treaty Protection and Enforcement First Edition, 2022
- Co-Author, Climate Change and sustainability disputes between foreign investors and states, December 2021
- Co-Author, Promoting investment through arbitration: recent reforms in the South Pacific, December 2021
- Co-Author, Renewable energy project disputes: navigating the dark side of the energy transition, July 2021
- Co-Author, ACICA releases updated arbitration rules, April 2021
- Co-Author, Institutional responses to the COVID-19 pandemic: Cooperation, collaboration and going virtual, June 2020
- Co-Author, Be wary of strangers: WA Court of Appeal decides when disputes involving both parties and non-parties to an arbitration agreement should be stayed, June 2020
- Panellist, Recent Trend of Enforcing ICSID Awards in Australia, ACICA, 2021
- Joint presenter, Burnt by the Boilerplate, Qantas, 2021
- Presenter, Legal Professional Privilege, AMP, 2020
- Moderator, 'Global Perspectives on International Arbitration', Arbitration Week, 2020
- Faculty member, 'Lifecycle of an arbitration: enforcement', ACICA45, 2020
- Joint presenter, 'Ethical Kryptonite', KPMG, AMP and JLL, 2020
- Host, 'Market Insights – Litigation Funding', AMPLA, 2020
- Joint presenter, 'Principles of Legal Professional Privilege in Australia', KPMG and AMP, 2019
- Joint presenter, 'Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls', AMP, 2019
- Joint presenter, 'Managing Risk in Cross Border Contracts: International arbitration for transactional lawyers', AMPLA NSW and ACICA, 2017
- 'International Comparative Legal Guide to Enforcement of Foreign Judgments – Australian Chapter', 2016 and 2017, ICGL – Enforcement of Foreign Judgments.
- NSW State Committee, Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), 2020-2023
- NSW State Committee and National Learning and Development Committee, Australian Mining and Petroleum Law Association (AMPLA), 2020-2022
- Secretary of AMPLA (NSW Branch), 2016-2017
- Arbitral Women (2021-2022)