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Stefanie Orlando takes the description of dispute resolution seriously. Her preference is always to use her negotiation and mediation skills to prevent litigation. But if her clients end up in court, her strategic thinking becomes essential.
Stefanie’s particular expertise lies in complex contractual disputes, directors and shareholder disputes and debt recovery. With an additional qualification in finance, Stefanie offers her clients a well-rounded approach. She is realistic about the reputational and financial implication of litigation and tailors her advice to assist in making a challenging time a little less stressful.
“Negotiation skills and court strategies are essential in this area of law. Providing tailored advice early keeps costs of a dispute and reputational damage to a minimum.”
Heading up the firm’s Motor Dealer Industry Group, Stefanie has extensive experience in the automotive industry and a solid real estate following. She has spearheaded Macpherson Kelley’s Women in Business program and is proud to be a role model for junior female lawyers.
Stefanie’s clients were two farming families who entered into contracts with a developer to sell their farms ten years prior. Upon the first rezoning event, the clients could elect to sell and settle the land or wait for the second rezoning event, to try and maximise their earning potential.
As the end of the contracts were approaching, the developer failed to have the land rezoned residential (second rezoning event). The clients came to Macpherson Kelley for advice and were advised to rescind the contracts as the value in the land had significantly increased in that time.
The developer issued Supreme Court proceedings seeking specific performance, arguing that the parties were operating under a mistaken mutual assumption in that both rezoning events under the contract had already occurred. The developer wanted to enforce the contracts to maximise their profits.
Stefanie’s team aggressively defended their clients’ position, ensured the clients achieved optimal results by not having to endure the stress and cost of a Supreme Court trial.
The farming clients are not bound by the contract and can sell their land to the highest bidder maximising their own earning potential.
Stefanie acted for a father and son who had entered into a Development Agreement for the sale of their land. Under the Agreement the developer had 18 months to either obtain a recommendation from Council to the Minister of Planning to re-zone the client’s land or to have the land included in an amendment to the planning scheme.
After the developer failed to achieve either of these conditions within the required period, Stefanie’s client entered into a separate agreement with a different developer and sold the land for significant value.
The original developer sued for breach of contract and Stefanie’s clients found themselves in a Supreme Court proceeding with claimed damages of $70 million.
Stefanie and her team left no stone unturned and successfully obtained security for Costs against the Plaintiff.
Looking down the barrel of having to contribute further funds into security and incur significant expert costs if the matter did not settle at mediation, Stefanie and her team were able to resolve the matter after extensive negotiations which resulted in very happy clients.