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Stefan Balafoutis

Admitted to the bar 2002
Entitled to practise in all Australian jurisdictions

Areas of Practice:

Administrative Law
Corporate Insolvency
Corporations Law

Intellectual Property
Trade Practices and Competition

Stefan has a broad commercial practice. He has extensive experience in contractual and equity disputes, corporations law matters, intellectual property cases and litigation over real property. Stefan also has expertise in NSW revenue matters and matters involving the Competition and Consumer Act, including disputes before the Australian Competition Tribunal.


Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours equiv) (UNSW) 1996
Bachelor of Commerce (Finance) (UNSW) 1996

Previous experience

Stefan has 20 years experience in commercial litigation.

In 1997 he commenced his career as an Associate to Justice Lockhart, who was a Federal Court judge and President of the Australian Competition Tribunal at the time.

Stefan then worked as a solicitor with Corrs Chambers Westgarth in their commercial litigation and trade practices groups before coming to the bar in 2002.

Selected Cases

Some examples of cases that Stefan has been involved in appear below. Further information about experience in particular areas is available upon request.

Disputes involving contracts, equitable principles and real property

  • Proceedings concerning the interpretation and rectification of contracts (Jana v Ezistripdemo [2017] NSWSC 1135; Gillies v Gillies [2017] NSWSC 522)
  • Proceedings alleging that former employees breached a restraint of trade clause (Crowe Horwath v Trilogy, NSW Supreme Court, 2017)
  • Proceedings against employees who misappropriated money, including seeking freezing order (Henry Schein v Manning (NSWSC, 2017); TAFE Commission v Cordoba (NSWSC, 2015); British American Tobacco v Sheikh (NSWSC, 2015)).
  • Proceedings alleging proprietary estoppel and seeking a constructive trust (Blacket v Barnett [2017] NSWSC 1032)
  • Proceedings seeking equitable compensation and an equitable charge on the basis of a failed joint venture (Dean v Aylward [2017] NSWSC 972)
  • Possession proceedings defended on the basis of misleading and unconscionable conduct (Secure Funding v Stark [2015] NSWSC 223; [2013] NSWSC 1729; [2013] NSWSC 1401).
  • Proceedings seeking to set aside a deed on the basis of undue influence and the Contracts Review Act (White v Wills [2014] NSWSC 1160).
  • Appeal proceedings concerning contract for sale of land: validity of a notice to complete, repudiation and return of deposit (Velik v Steingold [2013] NSWCA 303).
  • Proceedings concerning breach of contract and quantum of damages with respect to cancellation of a music tour (Fernandez v Perez t/as Pitbull [2012] NSWSC 1242; [2012] NSWSC 1602; [2011] NSWSC 1007).
  • Proceedings concerned with priority of competing equitable interests (Citigroup [2013] NSWSC 526; Circuit Finance v Wills [2006] NSWSC 35).
  • Proceedings seeking extension of a caveat (Mathews v Council of the Shire of Gunnedah [2010] NSWSC 412).
  • Proceedings seeking to set aside a mortgage under Contracts Review Act (Permanent Custodians v Mera & Ors, NSW Supreme Court, 2007-10)
  • Proceedings involving a contractual dispute between banker and customer (Sam Management v Bank of Western Australia [2009] NSWCA 320).
  • Proceedings alleging undue influence, breach of fiduciary duty and unconscionable conduct (Badman v Drake [2008] NSWSC 1366).
  • Proceedings between lessor and lessee under the Retail Leases Act (Rose v Batson Holdings Pty Ltd [2004] NSWADT 268).
  • Proceedings alleging vendor was not entitled to rescind contracts for sale of land (Churnin v Pilot Developments [2003] NSWCA 391).
  • Proceedings alleging vendors acted unconscientiously by terminating a contract for sale of land (Romanos v Pentagold Investments (2003) 217 CLR 367).
  • Proceedings concerned with Protected Estates Act - now NSW Trustee and Guardian Act ([2014] NSWSC 1810; [2008] NSWSC 36, [2005] NSWSC 581, (2004) 60 NSWLR 513, [2003] NSWSC 621)

Disputes arising under the Corporations Act including insolvency matters

Stefan has been awarded an Advanced Certificate in Insolvency from ARITA (the Australian Restructuring Insolvency & Turnaround Association). He is also a professional member of ARITA.

  • Proceedings seeking termination of a winding up (In the matter of Hunter Valley Dental Surgery (No 2) [2017] NSWSC 1144)
  • Proceedings seeking approval of a liquidator’s remuneration (In the matter of Hunter Valley Dental Surgery (No 2) [2017] NSWSC 1027)
  • Proceedings seeking approval of compulsory acquisition of shares from minority shareholders (BG & E Management v de Aboitiz [2016] FCA 1368)
  • Appeal from the making of a sequestration order (Renshaw v Queensland Mining (No 2) [2016] FCA 1482)
  • Proceedings for orders regarding the priority of creditors to be paid by a liquidator (Weston (Liquidator); In the Matter of 7 Steel Distribution Pty Limited (In Liq) [2015] FCA 742)
  • Proceedings for the inspection of books under the Corporations Act (Darambazar v Kara Minerals [2016] FCA 265).
  • Proceedings for the appointment of a receiver and manager and the fixing of remuneration (SMP Consolidated (in liq) v Posmot [2014] FCA 1382).
  • Proceedings by a liquidator for the approval of a litigation funding agreement (Re Opel Networks [2013] NSWSC 1245).
  • Proceedings alleging oppression and concerning validity of members’ resolution (Re Richardson & Wrench Holdings (2013) 97 ACSR 351).
  • Proceedings seeking judicial advice under s 511 of the Corporations Act (Re 7 Steel Distribution [2013] NSWSC 669).
  • Ongoing proceedings by an investor against financial advisers (MBD Management v Butcher [2010] FCA 1071).
  • Proceedings instituted by ASIC concerning breach of director's duties and a managed investment scheme (ASIC v Weriton, NSWSC, 2010-11)
  • Proceedings seeking the recovery of unfair preferences and uncommercial transactions - acting for liquidator (Tolcher v Capital Finance [2008] HCATrans 281, 282 and 316; (2006) 164 FCR 83; (2005) 143 FCR 300).
  • Proceedings alleging oppression and breach of directors' duties (Pongrass Group Operations v Paterson, NSW Supreme Court, 2005-11).
  • Miscellaneous Corporations Act proceedings, including liquidator's examinations, winding up applications and applications to set aside statutory demands (eg Beck v Weinstock [2010] NSWSC 1068; Crawford v Oswald Park [2006] NSWSC 987).

Intellectual property disputes

  • Proceedings alleging former distributor engaged in copyright infringement and breached contract (Career Step v TalentMed, Federal Court, 2017)
  • Proceedings alleging former employee engaged in breach of confidence and copyright infringement (Integratedliving Australia v Maitland, Supreme Court of NSW, 2017)
  • Proceedings alleging trade mark infringement, misleading conduct and passing off (Clipsal Australia v Clipso Electrical (Federal Court, 2016).
  • Proceedings seeking additional damages under the Copyright Act (Dynamic Supplies v Tonnex International (No 3) [2014] FCA 909).
  • Proceedings concerning the proper interpretation of s 145 of the Patents Act (MPEG LA v Regency Media (2014) 105 IPR 202).
  • Trade mark proceedings in the Trade Marks Office (C Coconut Water v Natural Raw C [2014] ATMO 119).
  • Proceedings alleging infringement of copyright including moral rights (Perez v Fernandez, Federal Magistrates Court).
  • Proceedings alleging misuse of confidential information in an employment relationship (Macquarie Telecom v Moon, Supreme Court of NSW).
  • Proceedings alleging infringement of performers’ rights and misleading conduct (Washington v Qantas Airways [2013] FCCA 778).
  • Proceedings alleging copyright infringement against companies and their directors and seeking additional damages (PPCA v Cattch [2013] FCCA 931; PPCA v Evermore [2013] FCCA 17; PPCA v Advanced Beauty & Body Care [2012] FMCA 486; PPCA v Camilleri [2012] FMCA 147; PPCA v Jabouri Brothers [2011] FMCA 799; PPCA v All Girls Entertainment [2010] FMCA 293; PPCA v Adelaide City Entertainment [2005] FMCA 923).
  • Copyright Tribunal proceedings assessing reasonable royalties for digital downloads (APRA v AMCOS (2009) 84 IPR 402).
  • Proceedings seeking Anton Piller orders and Norwich Pharmacal relief arising from copyright infringement (Australia New College v Li [2005] FMCA 984).
  • Proceedings alleging large scale copyright infringement over the internet (Universal Music Australia Pty Ltd v Sharman License Holdings Ltd (2005) 220 ALR 1).

Disputes arising under the Competition and Consumer Act including regulatory disputes

  • Full Federal Court appeal from decisions of Australian Competition Tribunal (Australian Energy Regulator v Australian Competition Tribunal [2017] FCAFC 79, 80, 144)
  • Australian Competition Tribunal proceedings reviewing the Australian Energy Regulatory’s decisions concerning the electricity distribution network (Applications by Ausgrid and Others [2015] ACompT 2; [2015] ACompT 3; [2016] ACompT 1-5)
  • Australian Competition Tribunal proceedings reviewing the Australian Energy Regulator’s decision concerning the natural gas distribution network (Application by Envestra [2012] ACompT 3; [2012] ACompT 4; Application by APT Allgas [2012] ACompT 5).
  • Proceedings challenging the Australian Energy Regulator’s decision concerning electricity prices in the ACT (ActewAGL v Australian Energy Regulator [2011] FCA 639).
  • Proceedings alleging misleading or deceptive conduct (Chint Australasia v Cosmoluce [2008] NSWSC 635; Lewis v McKinnon [2011] NSWSC 338).
  • Proceedings alleging contravention of s 51AD of the Trade Practices Act and the Franchising Code of Conduct (Civic Video v Garfell [2008] NSWDC 3).
  • Australian Competition Tribunal proceedings reviewing ACCC’s decision to reject Vodafone’s and Optus’ access undertaking (Application by Vodafone Network Pty Ltd (2007) ATPR 42-150; Application by Optus Mobile Pty Ltd (2006) 205 FLR 29).

Disputes involving NSW revenue law

  • Proceedings involving disputes about stamp duty (Esplanade Wollongong v CCSR [2017] NSWCATAD 157); (Balcaskie v Chief Commissioner of State Revenue (NSWSC, 2016); Oak Brick v CCSR [2016] NSWSC 1039; Esplanade Wollongong v CCSR [2015] NSWCATAD 228; BD Corporation v CCSR [2015] NSWCATAD 163; Twyble v CCSR (NSWSC, 2015); Temporary Holding Club v CCSR (NSWSC, 2015); ETO v CCSR (NSWSC, 2013); Southern Cross Airports v CCSR (NSWSC, 2012)).
  • Proceedings involving disputes about land tax (Bellbird Ridge v CCSR [2016] NSWSC 1637); Dandaloo v CCSR (NSWSC, 2014)).
  • Proceedings involving disputes about payroll tax (HRC v CCSR (ongoing); Knight Watch Security Services v CCSR [2017] NSWCATAD 223; Chan & Naylor Australia v CCSR [2016] NSWCATAD 4).

Disputes involving administrative law

  • Proceedings seeking judicial review of decisions of the Australian Competition Tribunal (Australian Energy Regulator v Australian Competition Tribunal [2017] FCAFC 79, 80, 144)
  • Proceedings under the ADJR Act seeking to set aside the decision of the Australian Competition Tribunal (AER v Ausgrid (Federal Court, 2016)).
  • Proceedings alleging that taxi regulation was acquisition of property on unjust terms (Aerial Capital Group v Australian Capital Territory (2013) 217 FCR 153).
  • Proceedings under the ADJR Act seeking to set aside the decision of the Australian Energy Regulator (ActewAGL v Australian Energy Regulator [2011] FCA 639).
  • Proceedings seeking judicial review of decision refusing to grant a lease (Reid & Darmody v ACT Planning and Land Authority [2008] ACTAAT 6).
  • Proceedings in the Land & Environment Court and Court of Appeal concerned with judicial review of a council’s development approval (Belmorgan v GPT (2007) 153 LGERA 450; Mid Western Community Action Group v Mid-Western Regional Council [2008] NSWLEC 143; [2007] NSWLEC 411; GPT v Wollongong City Council (2006) 151 LGERA 116).
  • Proceedings seeking prerogative relief and orders under the ADJR Act to set aside a decision of ACT Planning Authority to grant development approval (Capital Property Projects v Planning & Land Authority [2007] ACTAAT 7, [2007] ATSC 95, [2008] ACTCA 9).
  • Proceedings seeking to invalidate delegated legislation (Capital Property Projects v Planning & Land Authority (2006) 206 FLR 328).


10th Floor Selborne/Wentworth Chambers
180 Phillip Street
Sydney NSW 2000
DX 375 Sydney

Tel No. 02 9232 0630
Fax No. 02 9221 3724
Email balafoutis@tenthfloor.org

Clerk: Emma Hoolahan
Tel No. 02 9232 4609
Fax No. 02 9221 3724
Email hoolahan@tenthfloor.org


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