Problem Solved

Partner in Charge, Sydney

Key Practice Fields

  • Arbitration
  • Commercial Property Disputes
  • Corporate Governance
  • Corporate and Business Disputes
  • Corporations Law
  • Energy, Mining and Resources Disputes
  • Financial Services
  • Government and Administrative Law
  • Insurance and Risk Management
  • Media Law
  • Partnership and Shareholder Disputes
  • Professional Negligence

Paul McCann is recognised as one of Sydney’s most effective litigation lawyers in superior court jurisdictions, with a reputation for exceptional commitment to client service.

With over 30 years experience in the area of commercial litigation, various Federal and State Commissions of Inquiry and the defence of corporate prosecutions, Paul’s skills are in the strategic management of the whole of the litigation process, particularly involving complex issues.  Paul’s intention is at all times to secure the right client outcome, whether through a commercial settlement, mediation, arbitration or a court proceeding, at the earliest opportunity.

In addition, Paul has played a pivotal role in the management of a leading law firm as a member of various senior executive teams charged with enhancing the firm’s service standards, maintaining its reputation for professional excellence and optimising its operational performance and efficiency.

Commissions of Inquiry

RSL (NSW Branch)

Appointed by the NSW Branch of the RSL to convene a Board of Enquiry to be chaired by a retired High Court Judge to enquire into serious allegations of widespread financial abuse in the workings of the State Branch over several years. Proceedings were subsequently assumed by the NSW Government exercising its powers under the Charities Act.

Destination NSW

Acted for Destination NSW, the lead government agency for the New South Wales tourism and major events sector, in a coronial inquiry surrounding the death of a tourist attending the Vivid Sydney 2014 event.

Rio Tinto Limited

Acted for Rio Tinto Limited as the owner of Northparkes Mines in a lengthy coronial inquest and associated prosecution arising out of the collapse of a massive ore body in an underground mine at Northparkes, NSW.

Cardinal Pell

Acted for Cardinal Pell, Head of the Roman Catholic Church in Australia, in respect of issues before a Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry and before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Examples of Major Litigation

Gina Rinehart

Acted for Gina Rinehart, Australia’s richest person, over control of a multi-billion dollar trust maintained by two of her four children.

British American Tobacco

Acted for British American Tobacco in proceedings to restrain the use of confidential information and involving allegations of perversion of the course of justice and conspiracy.

Lucent Technologies Australia Ltd

Acted for Lucent Technologies Australia Ltd

in a dispute involving complex issues surrounding supply installation agreements, title to Australia wide infrastructure and the interaction of insolvency and receivership laws, on that title.

Downer EDI Rail

Acted for Downer EDI Rail in relation to disputes arising from the $1.9 billion contract to deliver 78 train sets, the equivalent of about 626 carriages.  This was the largest rolling stock order in Australia’s history.  The Waratah train project ranks amongst the largest public-private partnerships in New South Wales’ history.

Downer EDI/Yokogawa Australia Pty Ltd

Acted for the joint venture Downer EDI/ Yokogawa Australia Pty Ltd on the resolution of multi million dollar claims arising out of the Playford Power Station, SA.

David Lombe

Acted for the Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu partner, David Lombe, the inspector appointed by the Australian Prudential Regulation Authority

in relation to the collapse of HIH.


  • Bachelor of Laws, University of Sydney, 1973

Professional Admissions

  • Admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales, 1974
  • Admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Victoria, 1988
  • Admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of Western Australia, 1998
  • Admitted to practice in the High Court of Australia, 1976

Professional Recognition

  • Leading Lawyer in Dispute Resolution, Chambers and Partners Global Guide 2010–2018
  • Chambers and Partners Asia-Pacific 2018, Australia, Dispute Resolution (Ranked Lawyer – Band 4)
  • Leading Individual in Dispute Resolution, The Asia Pacific Legal 500 2013–2017
  • Leading Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Lawyer – New South Wales, Doyles Guide 2018
  • Recognised in Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation, Best Lawyers 2010–2018 (Australia)
  • Expert Guides, Litigation and Product Liability 2016 12th Ed
  • Leading Lawyer, AsiaLaw 2014

Professional Experience

  • Partner, Russells, 1 July, 2015 to present
  • Senior Litigation Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, 2007–30 June 2015
  • Partner and National Head of Litigation and member of the National Operating Committee and Executive Team, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, 2001–07
  • Partner in Charge, Sydney Office, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, 2001–06
  • Partner and Head of Litigation, Sydney Practice and member of the Sydney Practice Executive Team, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, 1987–97
  • Partner, Sydney Litigation Practice, Corrs Chambers Westgarth, 1985–87