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Matthew Selley

Matthew Selley is a graduate of the University of Adelaide and was admitted to practice in South Australia and in the High Court in 1989.

Matt commenced practice in 1989 in Piper Alderman’s Adelaide office. From 1990 he worked exclusively in the commercial litigation section of that firm until 1995 when he was recruited by the then boutique Sydney firm, Tress Cocks & Maddox, as a Senior Associate. Shortly after returning to Adelaide, he was admitted to partnership at Piper Alderman in 1998.

Matt is acknowledged as a consummate, pragmatic litigator, possessing a thorough grasp of strategy and a keen eye on how best to maximise his client’s objectives. His work as an instructing solicitor is widely respected, as is his skill in crafting argument and submissions.

Whilst possessing a strong insurance background, with broad based experience in professional indemnity, directors & officers liability and general insurance, Matt has equally strong credentials in credit management and insolvency. In the latter capacity, he is often called upon to act for leading liquidators, accepting instructions in a number of significant administrations, company liquidations and receiverships, voluntary administrations and bankruptcies. He often acts in prosecuting recoveries on behalf of liquidators and trustees.

In recent years, Matt has developed a significant profile in corporate fraud and other white-collar criminal matters. Between 2001 and 2004, he was the principal solicitor in the defence of one of the largest Commonwealth prosecutions ever conducted in Australia, acting for fishing interests out of Port Lincoln in South Australia.

Matt has advised parties in litigation over managed investment schemes, development projects and various viticultural joint ventures. Although much in demand in major criminal matters, he maintains a broad based commercial litigation practice in all of the key areas identified.

He also has extensive experience in building and construction litigation, industrial and employment disputes and defamation.

Matt’s experience includes:

  • acting for the former non-executive directors of the State Bank of South Australia and Beneficial Finance Corporation Limited in the State Bank Royal Commission and related Auditor-General’s Inquiry;
  • acting for the former non-executive directors of the State Bank of South Australia in defending the much-publicised Oceanic litigation – an $83m fraud claim;
  • acting for a range of leading insurance companies whilst at Tress Cocks & Maddox in professional indemnity matters, including claims against valuers, engineers, builders, investment advisers, solicitors and accountants;
  • co-ordinating and being the responsible partner for critical aspects of the due diligence associated with an international bid for South Australian electricity infrastructure assets;
  • advising leading corporates on their insurance programs;
  • having the conduct or a key role in significant South Australian litigation including the Duke Group litigation, the Bond Group litigation, the Emanuel Group litigation, Auspine v Australian Newsprint Mills in the Federal Court, the Southern Cross Group litigation, the SA Ships Administration litigation, Panoz Motorsports’ claim against the South Australian Government in respect of the Le Mans race contract and the Newport Quays Development litigation in the Federal Court;
  • successfully challenging restraining orders obtained by the Australian Federal Police over property valued at $3 million in connection with an alleged international money laundering scam;
  • successfully defending fraud and Corporations Act charges arising out of an alleged illegal Trans-Tasman fund raising scheme;
  • successfully representing the accused in the high profile “Mountford”, “Easling” and “Mother Goose” prosecutions;
  • representing Kym Richardson, the former Federal Member for Kingston, in his successful defence of attempting to pervert the course of justice;
  • representing her Honour Judge Shaw in her defamation action against Dennis Hood MLC;
  • representing the former Premier of South Australia, the Honourable Mike Rann MP, in his defamation proceedings against Martin Hamilton-Smith MP (“the fake emails affair”) and the Seven Network (“the Chantelois allegations”); and
  • representing former members of the Burnside Council in their successful Supreme Court challenge to the MacPherson Investigation.

Matt’s clients have included Australia’s largest bank and investment group, a major South Australian financial institution, a major South Australian property developer, a major Australian airline, a statutory insurance fund, a number of official liquidators, major fishing companies, stockbrokers and publicly listed companies. He also regularly receives referrals from, or is asked to act for, some of South Australia’s leading lawyers, including leaders of the Bar and prominent Adelaide law firms.

In his spare time, Matt is a keen rally driver. He won the South Australian State Rally Championship in 2007, 2008 and 2009.