Mark Chapple is a partner in Baker McKenzie's Sydney office. A leading dispute resolution and insolvency lawyer in Australia for four 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 and previously devised and presented Masters programs at the University of Technology, Sydney in Insolvency and Corporate Restructuring and Advanced Insolvency and Corporate Restructuring.
Mark was also head of Baker McKenzie's Australian and Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution practices until late 2005 and Baker McKenzie's full-time Australian Managing Partner from late 2005 until June 2010 and is now co-head of Baker McKenzie's Australian Class and Funded Actions Group.
Mark has represented many major Australian and international clients in large and 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, futures and option contracts and insurance and reinsurance.
Mark also has extensive experience in accounting and auditing standards and issues, securities and other class actions and ASIC, APRA, Royal Commission, ICAC, Parliamentary and other Government enquiries, investigations and examinations.
Representative Legal Matters
Mark continues to act for former directors and other officers of the Arrium Group in various matters arising from the financial collapse of the Arrium Group in 2016, which resulted in one of Australia's largest and most complex insolvencies. Those matters include:
- extensive public examinations by liquidators and a major creditor
- defending proceedings commenced by a major Australian bank, a global bank and three US hedge funds against the former CFO and four other defendants, and prosecuting a cross-claim against a major global law firm, in respect of over AUD 350 million in Arrium borrowings, and over AUD 1.7 billion in Arrium debt rollovers December 2015 and February 2016
- defending proceedings commenced by another major Australian bank and two global banks against the former CFO and two other defendants, and prosecuting a cross-claim against a major global law firm, in respect of over AUD 285 million in Arrium borrowings between December 2015 and February 2016
- defending proceedings commenced by three Arrium entities in liquidation and their respective liquidators against eight clients and two other parties, and prosecuting a cross-claim against a major global law firm, in respect of alleged insolvent trading involving over AUD 480 million in Arrium borrowings between December 2015 and February 2016, which is understood to be the largest insolvent trading proceedings to go to trial in Australia
- defending a securities class action commenced on behalf of Arrium shareholders against three former directors and the estate of the late former Chair, and also KPMG, in respect of the carrying values of assets in financial statements and a AUD 700 million capital raising
Mark was selected as the Partner of the Year at the 2016 Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards.
Mark has also 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, Best Lawyers: Australia, 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, being variously described over an extended career 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"
- "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"
- be a "true leader who thoroughly inspires those working for him", bonding "highly motivated and effective defence teams" of "great depth and breadth
- Western Australia~Australia (1999)
- Victoria~Australia (1988)
- New South Wales~Australia (1981)
- University of Sydney (Bachelor of Economics Majors in Accounting, Economics and Government) (1979)
- University of Sydney (LL.B.) (1981)