The Hon. Robert McDougall QCCONTACT DETAILS
Phone: (+61)(02) 8029 6264
Fax: (+61)(02) 9221 7183
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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
Robert graduated with Honours in Arts in 1967, and with Honours in Law in 1971. He practised as a solicitor from 1972 to 1974 and commenced practice at the Bar in 1975. He was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 1990.
Robert’s major practice areas at the Bar included insurance law, construction law, equity and commercial law and trade practices litigation. He appeared in some of the most significant commercial and construction disputes, both in Court and in arbitrations, decided over the years 1990 to 2003.
Robert was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in August 2003. He sat principally in the Commercial, Technology and Construction and Arbitration Lists, hearing and deciding many major commercial and construction cases. Many of his judgments dealt with challenges to the awards of arbitrators.
Robert retired from the Court in January 2019 and returned to private practice as an Arbitrator, Referee and Mediator, principally in the areas of commercial and construction law. He is a Fellow of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, a Fellow of the Resolution Institute, and a member of (among others) the panel of arbitrators maintained by the Singapore International Arbitration Centre. He holds current appointments as sole or presiding arbitrator in domestic and international arbitrations, including arbitrations conducted under the ACICA and ICC Rules.
Robert holds the position of Adjunct Professor, School of Law at the University of Technology, Sydney. He has lectured in equity and commercial law. He has delivered numerous papers on a wide variety of topics, ranging from court architecture and design to expert evidence, at national and international conferences. A list of those papers may be found on the Supreme Court’s website.
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.