Commissions + Inquiries

Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry are complex, long running matters, often involving intense media scrutiny and intricate stakeholder management.

    Our Approach

    Our Disputes + Investigations team are specialists in Royal Commissions and Inquiries. We have unparalleled experience acting on both sides of Royal Commissions, which equips us with the insight, scale and expertise to support your business.

    We are strategic in our advice. We know Royal Commissions must proceed expeditiously and efficiently and are well versed in navigating the complex subject matter within tight timeframes. We have the depth of experience to be able to read a Commission, and the skills to be able to respond nimbly as changes and developments occur.

    Our services

    • Advise on large-scale investigations and provide support for lengthy public hearings across multiple locations.
    • Provide extensive project management experience and the ability to deal with complex legal issues, organising information, setting up teams, systems and processes.
    • Understand the procedures and processes involved, including aspects of hearings, subpoenas, witnesses and evidence as well as complex privilege and confidentiality issues.
    • Provide innovative technology to efficiently process and protect the large number of documents involved with a Commission or Inquiry.
    • Work with professional advisers on a communications strategy that will help clients manage the public nature of the hearings process.
    • Deal with Royal Commissions constituted under an array of Commonwealth and State Acts.

    Our highly skilled litigation lawyers support our specialist Commissions team by conducting interviews, helping to gather and prepare evidence, reviewing material, preparing submissions and drafting summaries and reports.

    Our experience includes:  

    • Acting for Telstra in responding to the 2020 Bushfires Royal Commission. 
    • Acting for the Commonwealth and its departments and agencies in their response to the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability. 
    • Acting as Solicitors Assisting the State of Victoria in the Royal Commission into Management of Police Informants.
    • Acting as Solicitors Assisting the Commonwealth and its Departments and Agencies in the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety.
    • Acting for Westpac in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.
    • Acting as Solicitors Assisting the Royal Commission into the Protection and Detention of Children in the Northern Territory.
    • Acting for the Catholic Church’s Truth, Justice and Healing Council in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.
    • Acting for a high-profile director at the HIH Royal Commission.
    • Acting for Mirvac on all aspects of the Trade Union Royal Commission.
    • Janet Whiting led the team advising the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission.
    • Acting for various companies involved in the James Hardie Special Commission of Inquiry.
    • A member of our team acted for state-owned enterprises in the Special Commissions for Inquiry into the Glenbrook Rail Inquiry, the Waterfall Rail Inquiry, Sydney Ferries Corporation and the Electricity Transactions Inquiry.
    • Acting for a foreign corporation in the AWB Oil for Food Inquiry.
    • Acting for the Cross City Tunnel operators in a Parliamentary Inquiry.

    In addition to these high-profile Commissions and Inquiries, Gilbert + Tobin has acted for various individuals and corporations in regulatory investigations and examination proceedings brought by regulators such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) and the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC).

    “The team has proven market-leading strength acting on high-profile mandates relating to inquiries by Royal Commissions as well as class actions.  Also of a note is the team members’ project management skills together with the firm’s use of advanced technology in approaching dispute resolution.”


    Gilbert + Tobin awarded Dispute Resolution Team of the Year

    Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards 2019

    "Active on class actions, regulatory investigations and other official inquiries... Noted for strategic insight and rapid, proactive issue assessment, often enhanced by the labour-saving use of technology."

    Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019

    Gilbert + Tobin named National Law Firm of the Year (Australia)