Annette Hughes

Consultant. Melbourne.

+61 3 9672 3506 |   |  vCard
Annette Hughes

Annette is known for her practical strategic advice and cool head in high stakes, commercial litigation and disputes, as well as critical regulatory investigations and compliance matters. With 25 years’ experience managing complex and often multi-jurisdictional disputes and investigations, Annette is acknowledged as an expert in Litigation, Class Actions, Regulatory, and Product Liability practice. 

Her advice is sought after in relation to matters ranging from risk management and regulatory compliance - including regarding corruption and bribery, product liability, trade practices, through to complex and critical investigations, inquiries and commercial disputes. Her legal knowledge and commercial approach inspire the ultimate trust in her solutions and advice.

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Annette is known for her practical strategic advice and cool head in high stakes, commercial litigation and disputes, as well as critical regulatory investigations and compliance matters. With 25 years’ experience managing complex and often multi-jurisdictional disputes and investigations, Annette is acknowledged as an expert in Litigation, Class Actions, Regulatory, and Product Liability practice. 

Her advice is sought after in relation to matters ranging from risk management and regulatory compliance - including regarding corruption and bribery, product liability, trade practices, through to complex and critical investigations, inquiries and commercial disputes. Her legal knowledge and commercial approach inspire the ultimate trust in her solutions and advice.

She is well-recognised for her talents, including by Best Lawyers Peer Review and International Who's Who Legal, in Litigation, Class Actions, Regulatory/Investigations, and Product Liability (Product Liability Lawyer of the Year).  She is also the Lawyers’ Weekly Female Partner of the Year.

Annette is also a firm and community leader, as a member of Corrs’ ELT, Co-chair of its Diversity Council, Chair of the Women’s Circus, and office-holder and leader serving the legal community in multiple ways.

Annette’s client list regularly features many of Australia’s best known entities, as well as multi-national organisations including Amcor, Billabong, BHP Billiton, Coles Group, DuluxGroup, General Electric, Iluka, Plantronics, Rio Tinto and St Barbara.

“Thorough, reliable and genuinely dedicated to helping her clients” Tracey Wood, International General Counsel, Billabong
Annette Hughes

Annette's Expertise

  • Product liability Acted for Australian and multi-national entities on a full range of matters, from risk management and regulatory compliance to product recalls, commercial disputes and third party claims. Clients include Plantronics, Amcor, Coles Group, Kraft, Simplot, Clipsal/Schneider Electric, Cooper International, Commonwealth Serum Laboratories (CSL), DuluxGroup, GSKA, First Solar, Siemens, Mayborn Group, Daimler‐Chrysler, Billabong, Pilkington, ArvinMeritor, Sanofi Aventis, Biomet, Cognis, Millipore, Decor, Tupperware, Fujitsu, Sanbrook Brands, Acushnet, George Weston, WSAA, Philip Morris, Bristol- Myers Squibb, Chrysler Corporation, Hewlett-Packard and Synthes.
  • Commercial litigation and complex contractual or trade practices disputes Examples include acting for:
    • the State of Victoria in its successful defence of complex contractual dispute in the Federal Court of Australia (including appeal).
    • Coles Myer, Coal + Allied and Plantronics on complex litigation involving allegations of trade practices violations (market power, misleading and deceptive conduct, etc), business torts, and related claims.
    • Amcor in Federal Court proceedings and a High Court victory regarding claimed redundancy entitlements on the demerger of its paper business.
    • Rio Tinto regarding complex litigation in the United States regarding alleged breaches of international law in relation to operations in Bougainville.
    • Oil Basins Limited regarding commercial dispute and enforcement of ASX Listing Rules in Federal Court.
  • Regulatory compliance and investigations Acted for Australian and multi-national entities in relation to regulatory investigations, including regarding fraud, corruption and bribery, trade practices, import/export issues, directors’ and officers’ duties and other matters.

Annette's Leadership

  • National Product Liability Association President (current and 2009-2010)
    Executive Committee Member (1999-present)
    Editor, Brief (2003-present)
  • International Association of Defence Counsel Member (2003-present)
  • Defence Research Institute Member (1992-present)
  • Law Institute of Victoria Member (1999-present)
  • California Bar Association Member (1990-present)
  • Football Federation Victoria Director (2009-2011)
  • The Women’s Circus Chairman

What others say

  • “Best Lawyer - Corporate/Governance Practice” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2018
  • “Best Lawyer - Regulatory” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2015-2018
  • “Best Lawyer - Class Action Litigation” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2014-2018
  • “Best Lawyer - Litigation and Product Liability” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2013-2018
  • “Lawyer of the Year - Product Liability Litigation - Melbourne” Best Lawyers Peer Review, 2015-2016
  • “Annette has guided us successfully through various matters in a considered and commercial way. Annette's strengths include her client focussed attitude, her willingness to 'say it how it is', and her ability to strategically guide clients to desirable outcomes with authority and efficiency. ” Simon Black, General Counsel and Company Secretary, DuluxGroup Limited
  • “Annette is thorough, reliable and genuinely dedicated to helping her clients. She hits the nail on the head every time.” Tracey Wood, International General Counsel, Billabong
  • “Female Partner of the Year” Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards, 2014
  • “Featured Expert – Product Liability Defence” International Who’s Who Legal, 2011-2014

Annette's Thinking