MChapple

Mark D. Chapple

Partner
Baker & McKenzie

Biography

Mark Chapple is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Sydney office.  A leading dispute resolution and insolvency lawyer in Australia for over three decades, and Partner of the Year at the 2016 Lawyers Weekly Australian Awards, Mark is regularly retained to successfully resolve a wide range of major complex commercial disputes, while also taking lead roles in many of Australia's most significant corporate insolvencies over that period.

Mark is an accredited mediator, an experienced advocate and a respected author and presenter on a wide range of dispute resolution, commercial and business management topics. He was also head of Baker McKenzie's Australian and Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution practices until late 2005, and as well as the Firm's Australian Managing Partner from late 2005 until June 2010.

Mark has also devised and presented Masters programs at the University of Technology, Sydney in Insolvency and Corporate Restructuring and Advanced Insolvency and Corporate Restructuring.

Practice Focus

Mark has represented many major Australian and international clients  in complex commercial disputes, including in relation to directors duties, liquidator, receiver, investor and shareholder claims, contested takeovers, privatisations, buy-outs, shareholder oppression, insider trading, auditors' liability and other Corporations Act issues, contract, negligence and misleading and deceptive conduct claims, major infrastructure projects and commercial property, trusts and incorporated and unincorporated joint ventures, breaches of fiduciary duty and confidence, fraud and local and off-shore asset tracing and recovery, high-yield bonds and futures and option contracts and insurance and reinsurance.

Mark also has extensive experience in securities and other class actions and ASIC, APRA, Royal Commission, ICAC, Parliamentary and other Government enquiries, investigations and examinations. 

Representative Legal Matters

Andersen and HIH/FAI Insurance Groups

Between 2000 - 2005 Mark acted for Andersen (formerly Arthur Andersen) (as auditors) and certain individual partners (as auditor and audit team members) in various matters arising from the financial collapse of the HIH/FAI Insurance groups, including:

  • investigations into the audit and collapse of the HIH/ FAI Insurance groups (including extensive work with respect to director conduct, Australian accounting standards and audit and insurance practice);
  • preparing evidence and witnesses for, and representing Arthur Andersen before, the HIH Royal Commission over more than 100 hearing days;
  • preparing Andersen partners and staff for, and appearing in, extensive ASIC and APRA examinations; and
  • as a senior partner member of Andersen's defence team in a major audit negligence claim and a securities class action.

Professional Honors

Mark was selected as the Partner of the Year at the 2016 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards, including for his outstanding work for AECOM Australia in the CLEM 7 litigation (see above).

Mark has been consistently highly recommended by independent legal directories and other industry and peer surveys, including Euromoney's  "Guides to the World's Leading Insolvency Lawyers", Chambers Guides Asia-Pacific 2016 , Best Lawyers: Australia (2008-2016), PLC Which Lawyer? ALB Guide: Restructuring and Insolvency, Legal Media's Guide to the World's Leading Insolvency and Restructuring Lawyers and Euromoney's Banking, Finance and Transactional Guide 2016, being variously described as:

  • one of Sydney's leading commercial lawyers and commercial litigators;
  • "extremely astute", "diligent, intelligent and very experienced" and "extremely thorough and very bright"; 
  • "standing out for his balanced practical advice and high level commercial commitment";
  • "bringing a sense of urgency to matters with his ability to respond quickly, unerring attention to detail and sound commercial judgment"; and
  • "realistically commercial but with a hard edge if litigation is required".

Mark has also been observed by clients, Senior Counsel and world leading experts with whom he has worked in major litigation to:

  • be an "outstanding commercial litigation solicitor" who is "at the pinnacle of partners of major law firms";
  • have "profound forensic, analytical and tactical skills", exhibiting  "expert and experienced forensic judgment, a learned and sophisticated understanding of legal issues and an impressively comprehensive knowledge of the evidence" together with "an uncanny ability to remain across a huge amount of very technical information" while leading large teams;
  • have an "outstanding level of competence and an enormous capacity for application and hard work";
  • have a "composed and unruffled demeanour", demonstrating "calm, grace and good humour under pressure" and "impressive empathy and tact"; and
  • be a "true leader who thoroughly inspires those working for him", bonding "highly motivated and effective defence teams" of "great depth and breadth.

Admissions

  • Western Australia~Australia (1999)
  • Victoria~Australia (1988)
  • New South Wales~Australia (1981)

Education

  • University of Sydney (Bachelor of Economics Majors in Accounting, Economics and Government) (1979)
  • University of Sydney (LL.B.) (1981)

Languages

  • English