Sam Roberts, Accredited Specialist (Commercial Litigation): Roberts Legal

Sam Roberts

Director, Accredited Specialist (Commercial Litigation)

Biography

Sam is the founder and Managing Director of Roberts Legal. He is the team leader for the Commercial Litigation, Building & Construction and Insolvency & Restructuring teams. His practice is focused on acting for companies, business owners and insolvency practitioners in relation to the resolution of disputes, recovery of monies and mitigation of commercial risks.

Sam was admitted as a Solicitor in 2001 and is now an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation, having acquired his accreditation in the area of Building & Construction Law.
He has a niche practice in relation to the resolution of disputes in the building and construction industry and an in-depth knowledge of the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999.

Sam also has extensive experience acting in relation to a range of corporate and commercial transactions, mergers and acquisitions and the provision of advanced estate planning advice for company directors and high net-worth individuals.

Because of his experience in dealing with contracts, disputes and insolvency law, Sam has expert knowledge in the ways in which businesses can avoid or minimise legal risks. He assists companies and business owners to negotiate commercial arrangements, make effective contracts, identify business and personal risks and implement asset protection and risk-mitigation strategies.

Who Sam works with

Sam works with a variety of corporate clients, individuals, insolvency practitioners and other professionals. His clients include professional service firms, property developers, contractors, subcontractors and a range of SME’s.

 

Interests

Sam is a keen guitarist, sailing enthusiast and amateur golfer. He is a dedicated father of two and has an amazing and beautiful wife, and entrepreneurial flair for business.

Approach

I solve problems and help people to avoid them in the future.

I firmly believe that a Lawyer’s role is to help people identify causes of potential problems before they arise, not just to find the best solution once a problem has manifested.

I have an excellent track record for resolving large disputes by negotiation and avoiding drawn- out and expensive litigation. This is because I take the time to fully evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of a client’s claim from the outset and draft detailed initial letters of demand that typically result in early settlement negotiations.

Qualifications

Sam has Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce degrees from the University of Newcastle. He holds a Diploma of Legal Practice and is an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation.

Sam is admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales and the High Court of Australia.

Achievements

In 2013 Sam was recognised by the Law Society of New South Wales as being a specialist in Commercial Litigation. His answers to the Specialist Accreditation assessment were of such a high standard that they are now used by the Law Society’s Specialist Accreditation Scheme as an example for future candidates to gauge the standard expected of Solicitors who specialise in Commercial Litigation.

Sam is the author of our popular Security of Payment Guide with over 2,000 downloads since the first edition was released in 2012. He has also published numerous articles including:

  • ‘Security of Payments: Dates, Deadlines & Traps’
  • ‘Unintended Consequences for Building Subcontractors Construction Contracts made after 21 April 2014’
  • ‘Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act’

Sam is also a co-author of our most recent publication; Advanced Estate Planning: Simple Legal Solutions.

Memberships

Articles by Sam

Business & Company
27/03/2018 by Sam Roberts

Safe Harbour & Directors’ Liability for Insolvent Trading

On 19 September 2017 amendments, to the Corporations Act 2001 commenced which create a “safe harbour” for Directors to protect them from personal liability for debts incurred by an insolvent company in certain circumstances. Why the need for Safe Harbour Prior to the amendments, the provisions of the Corporations Act governing corporate insolvency focused on the need […]

Business & Company
13/02/2018 by Sam Roberts

Statutory Demands and Proving Insolvency when Winding Up a Company

The appointment of a Liquidator to wind up a Company that is unable to pay its debts is a significant enforcement option and equivalent with Bankruptcy for individuals. The appointment of a Liquidator means that all assets of the Company come under the control of the Liquidator including any loans owing from Directors or Shareholders […]

Home Building Law
13/02/2018 by Sam Roberts

Do all residential building disputes have to be determined by the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT”)?

Generally, a builder or home owner may commence proceedings in relation to a residential building dispute in a Court of competent jurisdiction (subject to relevant limitation periods), or in the NSW Civil & Administrative Tribunal (“NCAT”) provided that: The amount claimed does not exceed $500,000.00 (Section 48K(1)), and Proceedings are commenced within three (3) years […]

Business & Company
25/10/2017 by Sam Roberts

Private Sale of Industry Leading Holiday Rentals Booking Management Software Business to Public Listed Company a Breeze.

Midac Technologies Pty Limited (“Midac”) started up in 1981 in Sydney and pioneered early “smart building” direct digital control technology. In 1994 Midac made an early start developing online software and solutions. The then Dungog based business was instrumental in encouraging and assisting many organizations to make their online debut, including large corporate entities like […]

Property & Estates
11/08/2016 by Sam Roberts

How to Bulletproof a Will from Family Provision Claims

Recently SBS Insight addressed the topic of “Making a Will”.  The programme explored how the family provision laws under the Succession Act 2006 (NSW) enables a Court to effectively rewrite a person’s Will where it is found that an inadequate provision has been made for an eligible person. Two (2) of the guests that were […]

Business & Company
27/07/2016 by Sam Roberts

Is your business ready for sale?

Early Legal Considerations To ensure that a Business Sale Contract can be promptly submitted to your eventual buyer following negotiation of a price and sale terms, you should consider the following and provide us with early instructions to address any matters and/or to prepare a draft Business Sale Contract, when you have decided to sell […]

Business & Company
14/06/2016 by Sam Roberts

Why ignorance of loan balances can lead to tax nightmares.

Do you own a private company? Have you received payments not accounted for as wages or salaries this financial year? As 30 June approaches it is time to ensure your business affairs are in order. This includes ensuring you have Division 7A Loan Agreements in place, where necessary. What is Division 7A? Division 7A of […]

Disputes & Litigation
25/05/2016 by Sam Roberts

Defamation & Anonymous Gmail Accounts.

What is Defamation? In this day and age people need to be wary about what they post on social media when they are attacking or criticising individuals or small business. A momentary lapse or ‘what the hell‘ can cause significant damage to someone’s reputation and lead to you being involved in defamation proceedings. Even if […]

Building & Construction Law
21/01/2016 by Sam Roberts

Introduction: Contracting Requirements under the Home Building Act

Among other things, the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) (“the Act“) regulates the contracting requirements for any person making a contract to undertake ‘residential building work‘. Importantly, these requirements apply equally to any contract variations. The contracting requirements set out below apply to contracts entered into on or after 1 March 2015. Consequences of Non-Compliance […]

Building & Construction Law
8/02/2016 by Sam Roberts

Requirements Applicable to All Residential Building Contracts

The following contracting requirements apply to all contracts for residential building work under the Home Building Act 1989 (NSW) (subject to applicable exemptions). Deposit The maximum amount of a deposit that may be demanded or lawfully received for residential building work is 10% of the contract price (Section 8). Statutory Warranties The following warranties are […]

Building & Construction Law
8/02/2016 by Sam Roberts

Residential Building Contracts where the Price Exceeds $20,000.00 (incl. GST)

The following contracting requirements apply to contracts to do “residential building work“where the contract price or (if the contract price is not known) the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved exceeds $20,000.00 (inclusive of GST) by virtue of the Home Building Act 1989(NSW). Consumer Building Guide Before entering into a contract the […]

Building & Construction Law
10/02/2016 by Sam Roberts

Residential Building Contracts where the Price Exceeds $5,000.00 but not $20,000.00

The following contracting requirements apply to contracts to do “residential building work” where the contract price or (if the contract price is not known) the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved exceeds $5,000.00 (inclusive of GST) but not $20,000.00 (inclusive of GST) by virtue of the Home Building Act 1989(NSW). Contracting Requirements […]

Building & Construction Law
10/02/2016 by Sam Roberts

Residential Building Contracts for Works less than $5,000.00

There is no prescribed contracting requirements where the contract price or the reasonable market cost of the labour and materials involved is less than $5,000.00 (inclusive of GST). However, it should be noted that: The maximum deposit that may be claimed remains 10% (Section 8). The statutory warranties will still be implied into the contract […]

Building & Construction Law
20/10/2015 by Sam Roberts

Security of Payments: Dates, Deadlines & Traps

The Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) (“the Act“) is unlike any other law in the country (apart from its interstate equivalents).  The purpose of the Act is to improve cash flow for contractors, suppliers and professionals in the building industry (“contractors“). It applies to contracts for the carrying out of […]

Business & Company
28/01/2015 by Sam Roberts

Consequences of not making Effective Business Contracts

As an Accredited Specialist in Commercial Litigation I have dealt with all kinds of business disputes. By far the most common cause of commercial disputes is the failure of the parties to adequately record the terms of their agreement in writing. This is particularly common in the building and construction industry. When there is an […]

Building & Construction Law
23/04/2014 by Sam Roberts

Why the SOP Act is so Significant

The Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW) is significant because it provides for the following consequences: Where a Subcontractor serves a Payment Claim (similar to a tax invoice) on a the other party and the other party does not provide a Payment Schedule (a response) within the relevant time, the other […]

Building & Construction Law
23/04/2014 by Sam Roberts

How to serve valid Payment Claims.

As a result of the severe consequences of failing to provide a Payment Schedule in response to a valid Payment Claim a lot of the case law that has developed in relation to the Building & Construction Industry Security of Payment Act relates to when a Payment Claim is valid. This is because there can […]

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Success Stories

Private Equity deal goes sour after years of trading. Complex misleading and deceptive conduct case settled before Court action necessary.

The directors sold the majority of their holding in the service company to a venture capital firm, on the understanding that the firm would develop and grow the business and substantially increase the value of the client’s remaining shares. Following the acquisition however, the service company experienced a significant drop in revenue which had the effect of devaluing the company.

Medical Fit Out claim under Security of Payment Law and major defects litigation avoided. Injunction and Supreme Court Declaration that no reference date meant Adjudication Determination was void.

The client was a medical professional who had engaged a builder to complete a commercial fit out of his new premises. The builder’s form of contract was poor. In addition, the builder had made pre-contractual representations to the effect that it had significant experience, would take care of everything and that the client didn’t need to worry about anything.

Failure to document Contract Variations lead to suspension and termination dispute. Unlicenced builder defeats $370,000.00 damages claim for cost to complete. Judgement for builder with indemnity costs.

The client was a residential builder who had contracted to build a large residential premises for approximately $695,000. Shortly after the the works commenced the owner instructed the builder to perform a number of significant variation that meant that the cost of the works would increase by approximately $280,000.00.

First home buyers gets the better of builder involved in house and land package promotion. Misrepresentations and hand amendment to building contract lead to substantial cost saving.

The clients were looking at new house and land packages with the view to purchase for their own residence. They met with a selling agent for a project home builder who showed them a site within a new subdivision and provided a promotional brochure showing a split level home that they were told could be built on the site for a cost of $230,000.00. The vacant land was for sale by the project home builder for $160,000.00.

Long term shopping centre owners set to enjoy retirement.

One of Roberts Legal’s longest standing clients were the owners of a multi-suite shopping complex with commercial offices, that was a retail centre under the Retail Lease Act 1994 (NSW). Roberts Legal acted on behalf of the clients over a number of years negotiating and preparing, or providing advice in relation to, all retail and commercial Leases for the premises.

View all success stories

Testimonials

I have worked with many ….  you “stand above the rest” in your profession.

It has been a great  pleasure working with you as an ultimate professional on this matter. There are very few that can measure up to your professionalism. I have worked with many ….  you “stand above the rest” in your profession.

Geoff Page, Chartered & Forensic Accountant

Leonard & Page Pty Limited

 


You amazed us with your energy and knowledge, you are a champion.

I would like to thank you and your team for assisting myself and Andrew with the restructure.  You amazed us with your energy and knowledge, you are a champion.

After working with others it is refreshing to have you on our side.  Thanks also from all our staff for assisting in securing their future.

Paul Barwick, Director.

MCA Engineering


I certainly would recommend Sam and the Roberts Legal team for this kind of work and would be pleased to speak with any prospective clients about the time we worked together.

Midac Technologies Pty Limited (“Midac”) started up in 1981 in Sydney and pioneered early “smart building” direct digital control technology. In 1994 Midac made an early start developing online software and solutions. The then Dungog based business was instrumental in encouraging and assisting many organizations to make their online debut, including large corporate entities like Boral and James Hardie. From about 1995 Midac focused on developing solutions for the tourism and real estate sectors and developed early online or “cloud based” applications.

By 2012 the Midac owners were ready to take a break from their business of some 30 years. By that time their online holiday rentals bookings management and reservation system, “YesBookit” was respected as the leader in the industry, providing an online application to booking agents around Australia, and some overseas. YesBookit also connected with and distributed an online bookable accommodation product to most leading accommodation portals; including Wotif, Home Away, Take a Break, Rent a Home and Stayz (a Fairfax Media division).

For a small business sale, the process was relatively complex and involved the sale of the business, intellectual property, transfer of staff, application and hosting servers, online application client service relationships and a myriad of provider contracts.

Initially we thought Sydney Solicitors would be the way to go, but we found the answer just down the road in Newcastle.  Roberts Legal did a fantastic job with the entire process.

They expertly assisted us with every stage from, the preparation of an Information Memorandum, consideration of Expressions of Interest, negotiation of an Exclusivity Agreement, purchaser due diligence, the novation of key provider contracts and licences and the execution and performance at an exhaustive Business Sale Agreement including post-completion Fixed Term Consulting Agreements.

 I couldn’t have been more pleased with my decision to engage Sam [Roberts] and his team for this assignment.  They were more than capable and worked well with both in-house and external legal teams of the purchaser and other concerned parties to see the sale through to a successful outcome.

 I certainly would recommend Sam and the Roberts Legal team for this kind of work and would be pleased to speak with any prospective clients about the time we worked together.”

Yours sincerely

Kevin Johnson-Bade


Sam has an ability to achieve a great result for his client without becoming confrontational with the transactional parties.

“Sam is personable whilst remaining extremely professional. He has an ability to achieve a great result for his client without becoming confrontational with the transactional parties. He focuses clearly on what is needed to finalise the matter in an effective and efficient manner.

It is a pleasure to work with Sam”

Lindsey Karathanassis, Linkara Capital


No nonsense commercial approach to getting the right result.

“No nonsense commercial approach to getting the right result.”

Bradd Morelli, Jirsch Sutherland & Co


Tenacious approach that serves his clients well.

Sam and I have worked together on commercial disputes including those relating to the enforcement of contracts, breaches of contract, misleading and deceptive conduct, breaches of confidentiality and breaches of intellectual property rights. I have found Sam Roberts to be a competent and diligent legal practitioner with a tenacious approach that serves his clients well in legal disputation.”

Peter E Cullen, Barrister-at-Law, Sydney.


As a direct result of Samuel’s advice and negotiating skills my businesses have performed at a higher than expected level.

“I have undertaken 3 separate franchise ventures and on each occasion I asked Samuel Roberts to provide his expert legal opinion and advice regarding the franchise documentation, the business being conducted and various leasing arrangements and finance options.

Samuel displayed a great depth of knowledge in all of these areas and has been instrumental in securing favourable agreements in negotiations with both franchisors and landlords.

As a direct result of Samuel’s advice and negotiating skills my businesses have performed at a higher than expected level.

Samuel also maintains a high level of communication which has been of particular benefit to me and I would have absolutely no reservation in recommending the services of Roberts Legal to anyone considering entering into any form of Franchise operation”

Darren MacClure, Director,
Dazmak Pty Limited


Sam asks the right questions

“Sam asks the right questions to get the process underway in an incredibly efficient manner.”


Sam is a diligent legal practitioner with a tenacious approach.

“Sam Roberts is a competent and diligent legal practitioner with a tenacious approach that serves his clients well in legal disputation.”


Sam is sharp and confident.

“Sam is sharp and confident. He was adept at understanding the issues pertinent to my matter in relation to Equity Law and Contract Law. His talents expedited the outcome of my matter. I sincerely appreciated having him in my corner.”


Sam is personable whilst remaining extremely professional.

“Sam is personable whilst remaining extremely professional. He has an ability to achieve a great result for his clients without becoming confrontational with the transactional parties. He focuses clearly on what is needed to finalise the matter in an effective and efficient manner. “


Sam is pleasant, extremely thorough, professional and very knowledgeable.

“Sam is pleasant, extremely thorough, professional and very knowledgeable.”


Justice prevailed

“Justice prevailed and the outcome was enormous for me. You managed it without the matter going to Court, which saved a lot of time and unnecessary stress for me. Your commercial knowledge and the professionalism shown was fantastic and the way you dealt with the other side achieved the result I was looking for”.