Area of expertise

Insurance Law

  • Directors & Officers
  • Financial Institutions
  • Professional Indemnity

Commercial Law

  • Commercial litigation & dispute resolution

Howard Obst

Senior Consultant BJuris, LLB

office Melbourne
phone +61 3 8399 6137

Howard is one of Victoria’s most experienced litigators, with more than four decades of legal experience.

Howard has acted almost exclusively in litigious matters since 1980, including defending claims against various professionals under financial lines policies as well as acting for directors and officers and advising numerous D&O insurers in respect of some major claims.

His particular expertise is in the practice of law generally, having defended claims against lawyers from the 1980s onwards, undertaking the management of responses to disciplinary matters affecting legal practitioners and advising lawyers and legal firms on issues relevant to their practices, including partnership disputes.

Major matters

  • More than 30 years’ experience in defending claims against barristers and solicitors on behalf of the key professional indemnity insurer for this sector, involving a multitude of areas of law and circumstances giving rise to the claims
  • Advising on the managed ‘exit’ of individual partners from various legal firms
  • Advising and representing individual lawyers faced with professional conduct complaints, including responding to investigations, negotiating disciplinary outcomes and defending applications for professional sanctions brought by the Victorian Legal Services Board and Commissioner
  • Acting for one of the ‘Big 4’ accountants in connection with a number of claims including, the 1996 ‘Yannon transaction’ (involving Coles Myer Limited shares) and more recently, a claim in which a competitor ‘Big 4’ accountant alleged a failure to discover its own error
  • Acting for one of the parties at the centre of the widely-publicised Amcor / Visy ‘cardboard box cartel’ allegations, including in respect of the investigation by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission
  • Acting in unitholder, partnership and joint venture disputes.

Professional Membership

  • Law Institute of Victoria