Elisabeth Peden S.C.

Senior Counsel, Arbitrator, Mediator and Expert Determiner


Elisabeth was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1994 and commenced practicing as an academic barrister in 1999 and as a fulltime barrister in 2007.

She has a general commercial practice at the bar, regularly appearing in the Federal and Supreme Courts around Australia. She also appears in the High Court and various tribunals. Her practice areas for litigation, arbitration and advice include appellate, commercial/contract, corporate and banking, construction, equity, property including strata, succession/family provision, medical/professional negligence.

She has provided advice on drafting, planning and strategy and litigation to government bodies, including NSW government departments, the New Zealand government, large and small corporations and individuals. Some cases Elisabeth has run to judgment are listed below, but she has assisted many clients resolve disputes on favorable terms without the cost and stress of litigation through a commercial approach. Her ability to do so is strengthened by her qualification as a nationally accredited mediator (LEADR).

She has been an expert witness on Australian and New South Wales contract law in Singapore and New Zealand litigation. She is the editor of the New South Wales Law Reports, the Commercial Law Quarterly and on the editorial board of the Journal of Contract Law. She has been elected as a fellow of the Australian Academy of Law (http://www.academyoflaw.org.au/)

She was a Professor at the University of Sydney until March 2021 and continues to have an international reputation in contract, commercial law and evidence law. Various publications may be found at elisabethpeden.com.au. She is an examiner and lecturer for the Legal Practitioners Admissions Board in contract law and evidence and examiner in the NSW Bar exams.

She provides legal training to law firms and national corporations and is a regular invited speaker at national and international conferences on aspects of contract, commercial, evidence and procedure, and medical negligence law.

She completed her BA (1st Class Hons) and LLB (1stClass Hons; University Medal) at the University of Sydney. She was the associate to Justice Lockhart in the Federal Court and Justice McHugh in the High Court of Australia. She was a Tapp Scholar and Ivan Roberts Scholar at Gonville and Caius College, University of Cambridge, where she completed her PhD on implied terms in contract law.

She was appointed Senior Counsel in 2019.


Examples of some recent cases


General equity and commercial 

Great Northern Developments Pty Ltd v Lane [2021] NSWCA 150 (contract; restitution).

Darzi Group Pty Ltd v Nolde Pty Ltd [2021] NSWSC774 (specific performance of a lease).

Hardi Australia Pty Ltd v Good; Greenshades Pastoral Co Pty Ltd v Hardi Australia Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 730

Darzi Holdings Pty Ltd v Nolde Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 335 (lease; formation of contract).

Lawrence v Sammut [2019] NSWSC 464 (Home Building Act; construction of contract).

Puddick v Dyamond Developments Pty Ltd [2019] NSWSC 431(freezing orders; misapplication of funds; tracing).

Rose v Tunstall [2018] NSWCA 241 (unincorporated association).

Curran v Almond Investors Land Pty Ltd [2018] VCC 722 (proper construction of lease and option agreement; mistaken payments of money).

Dunphy v Russell [2018] NSWSC 721 (oral agreement; provision of funds towards purchase of property; trust).

Benjamin Nichols & BNE Pty Limited v NFS Agribusiness Pty Limited [2018] NSWCA 84 (costs after no dispute).

Campaigntrack Victoria Pty Ltd v Gary William Gannon & [2017] QCAT 272 (procedure; notice to produce dispute).

Hillam v JPSF Pty Ltd [2017] NSWSC 1510

Lee v Kwak [2017] NSWDC 202 (joint venture; loan agreement).

WIN Corporation Pty Limited v Nine Network Australia Pty Limited [2016] NSWSC 205; [2016] NSWSC 153; [2016] NSWSC 523; [2016] NSWCA 36 (with Hutley SC) (contract dispute).

In the matter of Scahill & Co Pty Limited [2016] NSWSC 566; [2016] NSWSC 712 (contract dispute, statutory demand).

McKeith v Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC [2016] NSWCA 36; McKeith v Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC; Royal Bank of Scotland Group PLC v James (No 2) [2016] NSWCA 260 (with Sheehan SC) (employment and contract dispute).

International Petroleum Investment Company v Independent Public Business Corporation of Papua New Guinea [2015] NSWCA 363 (with Moore SC) (joint venture).

Russo v Desiatnik [2015] NSWCA 291 (contract dispute).

Campbell v Crane [2013] NSWCA 43 (with Sirtes SC) (easements).

Steele v Marshan [2012] NSWCA 141; Steele v Marshan [2012] HCASP 198 (contract dispute, solicitor retainer) Baker v Paul [2012] NSWSC 392; 83 NSWLR 364; Baker v Paul (No 3) [2012] NSWSC 1174 (contract dispute and contempt).

Ryde City Council v Pedras [2009] NSWCCA 248.


Strata title

EB 9 & 10 Pty Ltd v Owners SP934 [2018] NSWSC 464 (strata; entitlement of lot owner to access to lot).

Owners Corporation of Strata Plan 71623 v Waldorf Apartments Hotel, the Entrance Pty Ltd [2015] NSWSC 1658 The Owners – Strata Plan 74602 v Eastmark Holdings Pty Ltd; Eastmark Holdings Pty Ltd v The Owners – Strata Plan 74602 [2015] NSWSC 1981 (with Corsaro SC).

The Owners SP 78102 v The Owners – SP 78101 [2010] NSWSC 973 (with Sirtes SC).

Waldorf Apartment Hotel v Owners Corporation SP 71623 [2009] NSWSC 882; Waldorf Apartment Hotel, The Entrance Pty Ltd v Owners Corp SP 71623 [2010] NSWCA 226 (with Sirtes SC).


Medical negligence

Parratt by his tutor Parratt v AME Properties Pty Ltd trading as St George Private Hospital [2016] NSWSC 798 (with Higgs SC).

Waller v James [2015] NSWCA 232 (with Higgs SC).

Wallace v Kam (2013) 250 CLR 375 (with Higgs SC).

Almario v Varipatis [2012] NSWSC 1557; Varipatis v Almario [2013] NSWCA 76; Almario v Varipatis [2013] HCATrans 193 (with Higgs SC).


Civil penalties

Gooley v Senior Constable Chad Stewart [2018] NSWSC 1738

Roads and Maritime Services v Addario [2012] NSWCA 412.


Land and Environment Court

Environment Protection Authority v Mistring Pty Ltd [2013] NSWLEC 9


Federal Court

ACCC v Ultratune Australia Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 12; [2019] FCAFC 164 (led by Sharpe SC) 


Elisabeth Tel: (+612) 8915 2820 Fax: (+612) 9223 3941 epeden@elisabethpeden.com.au elisabethpeden.com.au
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