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Debra Osborn joined the Perth office as Special Counsel in 2018.  Prior to joining the firm, Debra was Special Counsel at King & Wood Mallesons, where she specialised in commercial litigation and dispute resolution.

Her practice includes all forms of dispute resolution including superior court litigation, domestic and international commercial arbitration, expert determination, adjudication and mediation.

Debra regularly acts in complex disputes involving major  projects and infrastructure and across sectors which include energy and resources (gas, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite/alumina, coal, nickel, gold, electricity, water), building and construction, real  property, agribusiness, trade practices and competition, professional negligence, intellectual property, state taxes, land access and native title.

She consistently works with Australia's pre-eminent Senior Counsel and has appeared and instructed in the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of Western Australia (including the Court of Appeal) and the State Administrative Tribunal, as well as in ICC, SIAC and UNCITRAL international commercial arbitrations.

Debra is also the author of a number of published academic papers and articles dealing with subjects such as illegally obtained evidence, director and officer liability for occupational health and safety incidents, and the nature and valuation of goodwill in the context of mining related property and taxation disputes.

Debra is a University Medallist and has taught a variety of subjects at both the University of Western Australia and Murdoch University law schools including Equity and Trusts, Property, Remedies and Commercial Transactions.

  • Alcoa
  • Alinta Gas
  • ANZ Bank
  • Baker Hughes (a GE company)
  • BGC Group
  • BHP Limited
  • British Vita Group
  • Buru Energy
  • Chevron
  • Commonwealth Bank
  • Minara Resources
  • Oil Search Limited
  • Perron Group
  • South32 Limited
  • Telstra
  • Woolworths
  • Acted in an ICC international arbitration in London in relation to a change of control and pre-emptive right joint venture dispute involving a substantial petroleum retention license in Papua and New Guinea.
  • Acted in Supreme Court of Western Australia proceedings on a dispute for BHP Limited/South32 Limited concerning a long term gas supply agreement and force majeure issues.
  • Acted in Supreme Court of Western Australia proceedings concerning high value iron ore royalty claims and related High Court proceedings.
  • Acted in Supreme Court of Western Australia involving disputes over substantial royalty interest held by the company in respect of mining tenements in the Pilbara region.
  • Acted in a SIAC arbitration for a substantial West Australian civil contractor, subcontracted to build civil works for a new iron ore project in Western Australia.
  • Acted in a domestic commercial arbitration to determine the market price of gas in Western Australia.
  • Advised a large civil works contractor in a dispute with the Cwth Department of Defence concerning a construction project in the Northern Territory.  The dispute involved an adjudication under the Construction Contracts (Security of Payments) Act 2014 (NT), and expert determination.
  • Advised a large civil works contractor in several high value disputes with Road and Maritime Services (NSW) involving the construction of a major highway and several bridges in New South Wales.
  • Advised a large Western Australian contractor in a dispute with the Water Corporation (WA) concerning the construction of water tanks for water supply in regional Western Australia.
  • Advised a large Western Australia contractor in a dispute with a State Government instrumentality in relation to the construction of Perth (RAC) Arena.
  • Acted in proceedings in the State Administrative  Tribunal (WA) in relation to a high value land rich stamp duty dispute.
  • Acted in proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia (Victoria) in relation to breaches of confidence and misuse of  trade secrets by former management and senior employees of an international manufacturing company
  • Acted in various proceedings in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in disputes involving the construction of substantial mining projects.
  • Acted for a number of banks in the defence of claims made in the Supreme Court of Western Australia arising from the construction and leasing of a Perth CBD office building. 
  • University of Western Australia
  • (LL.M., 2012)
  • Murdoch University
  • (LL.B., First Class Honours, 2002)
  • Supreme Court of Western Australia
  • High Court of Australia
  • Federal Court of Australia
  • King & Wood Mallesons (previously Mallesons Stephen Jaques):
    • Special Counsel, 2011-2017
  • Ashurst (previously Blake Dawson):
    • Solicitor/Senior Associate, 2003-2011
  • Supreme Court of Western Australia:
    • Associate to the Honorable Justice Christine Wheeler, 2003
  • Norton Rose (previously Deacons; Sly & Weigall; Warren Harrison):
    • Conveyancer/Settlement Manager, 1988-1998
  • Recognized in Best Lawyers in Australia 2021 for Litigation.
  • The Restoration methodology for Valuing Goodwill, Australian Accounting Review, Volume 24, Issue 3, September 26, 2014
  • Rethinking goodwill: the Murry Legacy, Journal of Applied Research in Accounting and Finance (JARAF), Vol. 7, No. 2, 2012
  • Nominee clauses in contracts for the sale of land, Lexology, 16 December 2010
  • Goodwill: much ado about something, conference paper delivered to National Resources Tax Conference, Perth, 26 October 2010
  • Extracting land value from business enterprise value for land rich purposes, the Tax Specialist, August 2009 (co-authored with Peter Collinson QC)
  • Personal Liability of Directors and Managers for Occupational Health & Safety Incidents, AMPLA Yearbook 2004
  • Suppressing the Truth: Exclusion of Illegally Obtained Evidence in the United States, Canada, England and Australia, ELaw, Volume 7, No 4, (December 2000)
  • Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb London)
  • Women Lawyers Association