02 9221 0728
02 9221 4951
Areas of Practice
Constitutional and Administrative Law
Professional Negligence & Insurance Law
Environment, Planning and Strata Law
Arbitration, Mediation and Conciliation, including practicing as an arbitrator
Commercial and Equity Litigation and Advice
Shipping and Admiralty Law
Migration Public Law
Liability is limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation
Peter King Endorsement
“Few people have had the honour of being elected head of their Primary School, High School (Shore School), University College (St. Paul’s College) and Federal Member for the electorate of Wentworth. It speaks volumes for their character and personability. Mr. Peter King holds that rare record. A Rhodes Scholar, with his high intelligence and wealth of legal knowledge, values family, as a husband to Fiona, an equally accomplished barrister, and a father to three sons. Peter works tirelessly for his clients with an impressive success rate and is especially passionate in supporting and mentoring young people in progressing their careers. Peter is a man of honourable character and humility, and has a friendly and endearing manner, of which I admire. Peter has provided me with invaluable exposure and experience both inside and outside of the courtroom, with interesting and fulfilling tasks and has made me feel a valued member of the Queen’s Square Chambers team.”
Claudia Photios, University of Sydney
Peter King Previous Success Stories
Peter has appeared and advised regularly in banking matters.
Four years ago, Peter King was subpoenaed by a Commonwealth parliamentary enquiry into banking matters affecting regional businesses and farmers in Australia and gave detailed evidence of his experience in over 50 matters since his return to the Bar after his time as the MHR for Wentworth in the Federal Parliament. This included Peter producing subject to orders as to confidentiality the deeds of settlement in those matters in which his clients obtained settlements against the major banks. Peter was subpoenaed to assist the inquiry because he has been involved as the preferred counsel for many claimants against banks in Courts and Tribunals around Australia. In the course of providing evidence to the Parliamentary enquiry, Peter King proposed that a Royal Commission into financial misconduct should be held and subsequently the Australian Government appointed the Hon Ken Hayne AC as the Royal Commissioner into that subject matter which had a successful outcome in the public interest across all sectors. Where cases have not been settled, in a little understood area of the law, Peter King has robustly fought a number of cases for farmers, small business people and individuals against large banks.
Peter King’s most recent success was for Sydney businessman Mr Colin Reid, against CBA in the Court of Appeal before the Chief Justice and two other justices in Reid v Commonwealth Bank of Australia (2022) NSWCA 134. The principle issues concerned the overcoming of a release in which Mr Reid unintentionally forfeited substantial financial rights against the bank.
In Spencer v The Commonwealth, a proceeding in the High Court of Australia, Peter King appeared for Mr Spencer successfully in upholding his right to claim against the Commonwealth, damages and other relief for the unauthorised sequestration of carbon on his alpine farmland. The case was ground breaking in that the Court recognised that small businesses and farmers affected adversely by international treaties such as the Kyoto Protocol were entitled to just terms compensation under the Constitution Section 51(xxxi). The case remains the leading authority on the test of summary dismissal.
In Re Refugee Tribunal; Ex parte Aala, in the High Court of Australia, Peter King successfully appeared in a leading public law matter for the nephew of a member of the Shah of Iran’s last cabinet before the Islamic revolution. The case is a landmark case because it established for the first time the legal concept of a constitutional writ. In 2020, this was recognised in the latest version of the High Court Rules which provide for a new process called Constitutional or Other Writ. The case also established that breach of natural justice is a jurisdictional error in public law. Peter King continues to appear in and advise in a broad variety of public law and constitutional cases. In 2022, the High Court Australia upheld Peter King’s argument in a landmark case under Migration Act Section 501 CA relating to deportation.
In Dillon v The Baltic Shipping Co, Peter King appeared successfully in a class action in admiralty where all of the Australian passengers on the Russian Cruise Liner the Mikhial Lermentov against the owners being the Baltic Shipping Company of Leningrad now St Petersburg. The matter commenced in the Admiralty Division of the Supreme Court of NSW and was appealed by the owners including to the High Court of Australia. Each of the 150 class members recovered damages for negligent navigation and breaches of Australian consumer laws. Before he entered into Parliament, Peter King was described as Australia’s leading maritime lawyer. Peter King continues to act in admiralty matters particularly, at present, in commercial and international arbitrations in the area.
International Arbitration and Commercial and Admiralty matters: in a series of cases in the Federal Court of Australia and Supreme Court of NSW, Peter successfully appeared on behalf of applicants seeking to enforce foreign arbitral awards principally from the People's Republic of China concerning large scale property development contracts in China, iron ore sea-carriage contracts and charterparties between Australia and Chinese ports. At the sixth session of the Xiamen Arbitration Commission, as a result in 2020, Peter was appointed an international commercial arbitrator in respect of dispute resolution matters arising in China and involving international trade issues.
Jurisdiction of Tribunal Law
In five recent matters in the High Court of Australia, Peter King appeared successfully for a kindergarten teacher and an Australian infantry major arguing that the Civil and Administration Tribunal of NSW had no jurisdiction or judicial power under the Judiciary Act 1903 and Civil and Administrative Tribunal Act 2013, over claims involving residents of different states. As a result, the High Court held in favour of Peter’s clients with costs with the result that the decision maker in this case NCAT [the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal] was held to have made adverse decisions against his clients without any legislative or other authority to do so. The decision in Burns v Corbett; Burns v Gaynor (2018) 265 CLR 304 is now the leading case on constitutional implications under chapter CIII of the constitution.
Farming and Water Law
Peter King has appeared in numerous cases for farmers, often in circumstances of distress, relating to unconscionable and misleading conduct by banks in difficult personal circumstances for farmers including drought and flood, and similar cases involving failure by banks to comply with the National Credit Court and Chapter 2 ASIC Act. A number of cases have been leading cases particularly in the area of water law including rights in relation to section 100 of the Constitution, irrigation rights and limitations on water rights. This includes successfully upholding the rights of farmers to participate in public affairs and their industry bodies in the significant Supreme Court Victoria decision of Morris v Victorian Farmer Federation (2022) VSC 407.
In March 2021, Peter King was instructed in a discrimination case in the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Queensland involving alleged misconduct during aircraft exercises at a large Queensland regional airport. In spite of the complexity of the issues, the matter resolved successfully in the Court of Appeal, avoiding costly and lengthy further litigation. Peter considers that it is always important to consider possible settlement in the interests of dispute resolution and cutting client’s costs. Peter King has appeared in many discrimination cases since sitting as a judicial officer on the NSW Equal Opportunities Tribunal and later on the Administrative Decisions Tribunal of NSW.
World Heritage Law and Practice
As former President of the World Heritage Committee and World Heritage Bureau, Peter has assisted a number of public campaigns in the community and in the courts upholding cultural and natural heritage values. See link to the current World Heritage challenges.
Peter King regularly assists young people with their work as young lawyers and he enjoys working with young Australians. In March 2021, he was the special guest at the University of Technology (UTS) Law Society at the Annual King and Wood Mallesons Speaker Series on ‘The COVID-Effect: How the Law has Adapted to the Greatest Challenge of our Time’. Peter spoke on how increased and more accessible government powers impede on individual freedoms and impact the functioning of democracy.
Download Peter’s Paper – Statutory Remedies for or relating to Breach of Contract
I am undertaking a 360km Walkathon from Taree NSW to Bondi Icebergs over 7 days in support of First Steps Count. FSC seeks to alleviate social challenges in one of the most disadvantaged rural regions in Australia by advancing the lives of children, families and communities in the Manning Valley, with an emphasis on early engagement and intervention for children aged 0 to 12 years in the Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities. FSC invites you to make a tax deductible donation via the link below of $50 which works out around $1 for every 10 000 steps. (Half a million steps for $50!) Your support would be greatly appreciated.
Unfortunately, due to a positive Covid test Peter King’s Taree to Bondi charity walk has been postponed from 12th of December 2022 and will now be commencing on 9th February 2023.
Peter is currently isolating at home till he is cleared of the virus.