Damian Lovell

Partner

Sydney, Australia

Damian is a highly skilled senior lawyer, with particular expertise in advising on, managing and resolving legal and commercial issues, disputes and regulatory investigations in Australia and globally.

He was a senior partner in the litigation practice at Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) for 12.5 years, was Vice President of Litigation at BHP Billiton for 6 years and most recently was a Litigation Consultant at NAB for the past 3.5 years.

Damian has an outstanding track record of successfully managing complex and sensitive matters of legal and reputational risk. His solid reputation is built on his decisive and pragmatic decision making ability and his focus on achieving timely outcomes for clients that are consistent with overall strategic goals.

Recent Matters

  • Representing Citigroup in relation to examinations and a subsequent proceeding brought by ASIC against Citigroup in relation to insider trading and breach of fiduciary duty claims.
  • Acting for BHP Billiton in the Oil-for-Food Royal Commission.
  • Representing CSR in proceedings against its insurers and successfully appealing to the High Court in the leading case on anti-suit injunctions.
  • Defending NAB in relation to the largest ever claim for damages in Australia (a claim by Idoport for in excess of $50 billion) which included 2 related and 3 subsequent proceedings and various appeals.
  • Leading the response to a wide-ranging and long-running FCPA multi-jurisdictional regulatory investigation, including fact finding and large scale document searches in various jurisdictions in answer to extensive requests from the US Securities and Exchange Commission and the US Department of Justice;
  • Setting the strategy for the overall response to the authorities;
  • Reviewing many thousands of pages of material and overseeing written and oral advocacy to relevant authorities;
  • Reporting to management and the Board on issues and progress.
  • Assuming responsibility for NAB's response to ASIC's investigation of the setting of the BBSW benchmark and reporting to senior management and the relevant Board Litigation sub-committee on the progress of the investigation;
  • Co-ordinating all aspects of NAB's defence of the proceedings commenced by ASIC in relation to BBSW, including overseeing NAB's case theory, developing a settlement strategy, reporting to senior management and the Board Litigation sub-committee and instructing KWM on the settlement negotiations;
  • Instructing Sullivan & Cromwell in relation to NAB's defence of the BBSW US class action commenced in 2016;
  • Assisting the Financial Services Royal Commission NAB legal team in responding to all aspects of the Royal Commission;
  • Advising the NAB Chief Legal Counsel on a confidential matter involving a large scale fraud in the office of the CEO.

Experience

  • 1987 – 1995: Solicitor, Freehills
  • 1996 – 2008: Partner, Freehills
  • 2008 – 2014: Vice President, Litigation, BHP Billiton
  • 2015 – 2019: Litigation Consultant, NAB

Qualifications

  • 1986: Bachelor of Commerce, University of NSW
  • 1986: Bachelor of Laws, University of NSW
  • 1987: Solicitor of Supreme Court of NSW
  • 1991: Barrister and Solicitor of High Court and Federal Court of Australia
  • 1994: Masters of Laws, University of Cambridge

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