Biography

Colleen is partner in Gilbert + Tobin’s Disputes + Investigations group.

She has extensive experience in commercial litigation, class actions litigation and proceedings involving insolvency issues and restructuring.  Colleen has over 25 years’ experience in all aspects of commercial litigation, including high profile and highly contested litigation and regulatory investigations.  She is considered one of the pre-eminent commercial litigators in Australia and is highly regarded for providing strategic advice, dealing with complex issues and obtaining commercial outcomes.

Colleen also has substantial experience in advising high profile directors and companies involved in investigations, Royal Commissions and litigation brought by ASIC, the ACCC and liquidators and administrators.

Colleen’s experience includes:

  • Lead Partner - Successfully acting for New Hope Corporation Limited and a number of its subsidiaries in legal proceedings commenced in the Supreme Court of New South Wales against Wiggins Island Coal Export Terminal Pty Ltd.
  • Lead Partner – Advising the Insurance Council of Australia on its response to the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
  • Lead Partner - Successfully acting for Google Inc (instructed directly by US parent) in defending proceedings brought by the ACCC regarding alleged misleading and deceptive conduct over sponsored links which appear on Google’s search result pages. This is one of the world’s leading cases in online advertising and the responsibility of search engines and Google was successful on all counts in the High Court of Australia.
  • Lead Partner - Securing a $280 million settlement - the largest settlement of a misleading and deceptive conduct claim in Australian corporate history - for the RiverCity companies in proceedings against AECOM Australia in the Federal Court of Australia in relation to Brisbane’s Clem 7 Tunnel.
  • Lead Partner - Successfully represented RiverCity Services in defending a securities class action in the Federal Court of Australia for over $250 million.
  • Lead Partner - Acting for the BrisConnections Group in its claim in excess of $1 billion against Arup for misleading or deceptive conduct and negligence in undertaking the traffic forecasting for the AirportlinkM7. A class action had also been commenced by retail equity investors against Arup.
  • Lead Partner - Acting for Vocation Limited (in liquidation) in a multi-million dollar class action brought by the shareholders of Vocation Limited.
  • Representing Lowe’s (US) in numerous proceedings against Woolworths in relation to the exit and unwinding of their joint venture hardware businesses, Masters and Home, Timber & Hardware.
  • Advising companies and professional advisers involved in investigations and litigation by both the Australian and Securities Investments Commission (ASIC) and the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC), and also advising companies in respect of Schemes of Arrangements.
  • Representing major corporates in complex joint venture, shareholder and contractual disputes and in major arbitrations.

An "intellectually very capable lawyer who picks a path through a lot of complex issues to come up with the best position for us as a client."

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020

Colleen Platford wins praise from a peer as "an extraordinarily thorough bet-the-company litigation practitioner.”

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020

Ranked as a leading individual for Dispute Resolution.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2020

Colleen won the Outstanding Female award in the Insolvency and/or Restructuring Industry. 

Women's Insolvency Network 2018

Colleen has consistently ranked as a leading individual in Dispute Resolution.

Chambers Asia Pacific 2015-2019

Colleen is recognised Litigation, Alternative Dispute Resolution and Insolvency and Reorganization Law

Best Lawyers Australia 2020

Colleen receives enthusiastic praise from market commentators, one characterising her as an "extraordinarily capable lawyer" who stands out, not only for being "incredibly passionate about the interests of the client," but also for "great flexibility of mind and coming up with ideas no one else had thought of."

Chambers Asia Pacific 2018

Colleen was recognised as a preeminent practitioner for Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution in NSW. 

Doyle's Guide 2017

Colleen was awarded Disputes Star of the Year – Australia.

Asialaw Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards in Hong Kong 2016

Colleen was awarded Disputes Star of the Year – Australia.

Asialaw Asia Pacific Dispute Resolution Awards in Hong Kong 2015

Finalist for Partner of the Year. 

Australian Law Awards 2016 & 2018

Colleen was named Partner of the Year.

Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards 2015

Colleen was named as a leading Disputes lawyer in Benchmark Asia Pacific. 

Benchmark Asia Pacific 2015

Colleen was included on the Australasian Lawyer’s List of Hot 40 Lawyers for 2014, 2015 and 2016. 

Australasian Lawyer’s List of Hot 40 Lawyers