The Hon. Robert McDougall QCCONTACT DETAILS
Phone: (+61)(02) 8029 6264
Fax: (+61)(02) 9221 7183
Email Robert McDougall
CLERK: Bob Rymer
Phone: (+61)(02) 9232 4016
Email Bob Rymer
Silk: Appointed Queens Counsel in 1990
BA (Hons) 1967
LLB (Hons) 1971
Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW (2003-2019)
Adjunct Professor, School of Law, University of Technology Sydney
Areas of Practice
Whilst at the Bar, Mr McDougall's major areas of practice included insurance law; construction law; equity and commercial law (including professional negligence litigation); banking law (including consumer credit law); and trade practices litigation. He appeared in many of the most significant commercial and construction disputes heard over the years 1990 to 2003.
During Mr McDougall's judicial career he heard and decided many major commercial and construction cases. They encompassed a wide range of contract, insurance, construction and trade practices disputes. He has also delivered the leading judgment in the Court of Appeal on numerous occasions.
Many of the cases Mr McDougall heard involved complex questions of expert evidence in many disciplines, including:
- engineering (civil, structural, geotechnical, electrical, mechanical, petrochemical, fire, mining, and others);
- valuation (land and businesses); and
- loss assessment.
As a result, Mr McDougall developed expertise in analysing, assessing and deciding conflicts in expert evidence thoroughly and speedily.
Additionally, he has lectured in equity and commercial law, and delivered papers on a wide variety of topics.
Arab Bank Australia Ltd v Sayde Developments Pty Ltd (2016) 93 NSWLR 231, a Court of Appeal judgment considering whether a default interest rate amounted to a penalty.
Chase Oyster Bar Pty Ltd v Hamo Industries Pty Ltd (2010) 78 NSWLR 393, a leading authority on the interpretation of the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW).
Chocolate Factory Apartments Pty Ltd v Westpoint Finance Pty Ltd  NSWSC 784, the leading authority on the principles to be applied when a court considers whether to adopt the report of a referee.
Crown Sydney Property v Barangaroo Delivery Authority; Lendlease (Millers Point) v Barangaroo Delivery Authority  NSWSC 1931, a multi-billion dollar contract dispute between two developers and a government authority regarding views to the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Sydney Opera House.
Ingot Capital Investments Pty Ltd v Macquarie Equity Capital Markets Ltd (No 6) (2007) 63 ACSR 1, a commercial dispute of “epic” proportions, involving 18 parties, 108 hearing days, and a 500 page judgment delivered within 6 months (and which was upheld on appeal).
Ku-ring-gai Council v Ichor Constructions Pty Ltd  NSWSC 610, a dispute involving the construction (for the first time in Australia) of ss 4 and 27D of the Commercial Arbitration Act 2010 (NSW).
Owners Corporation Strata Plan 61288 v Brookfield Multiplex  NSWSC 1219, which decided that a builder does not owe an Owners Corporation a duty of care to avoid pure economic loss resulting from latent defects in the common property. This conclusion was unanimously upheld by the High Court in Brookfield Multiplex Ltd v Owners Corp Strata Plan 61288 (2014) 254 CLR 185.
Rolleston v Insurance Australia Ltd  NSWSC 1561, a case deciding that where an expert report has insufficient reasoning, that factor does not simply make the report of lesser weight but rather renders it inadmissible. This conclusion was upheld on appeal in Rolleston v Insurance Australia Ltd  NSWCA 168.
Thiess Pty Ltd and John Holland Pty Ltd v Parsons Brinckerhoff Australia Pty Ltd  NSWSC 173; UGL Rail Pty Ltd v Trox (Australia) Pty Ltd  NSWSC 770, two separate major construction disputes dealing with the Lane Cove Tunnel Project.