Wayne Gordon Muddle SC is a specialist advocate with over 30 years’ experience in national and trans-national corporate and dispute work world-wide. Wayne has a vast depth and breadth of experience, with hundreds of reported cases in the highest Courts in Australia and Arbitrations in Singapore, Jakarta, London and New York. Prior to becoming a specialist advocate, he was an international transactions lawyer with Coudert Bros International Attorneys and Allens + Linklaters, giving him a deep understanding of commercial transactions at all levels.
Wayne's philosophy is that outstanding results for clients come from the combination of three ingredients: knowledge, strategy and experience.
Knowledge is the foundation stone. Wayne has degrees in Economics and Laws and a Masters degree in Laws from the University of Sydney. He is a Bar Association approved Arbitrator and has served as an adjunct lecturer and moot judge at multiple Universities. He is an author of several leading legal texts.
Strategy is the key active ingredient in dispute resolution. Courts, Arbitrators and decision makers only make decisions on what is put before them and based on the way it is put before them. The process is adversarial. The parties, with their expert representatives, control what is put forward and how. Strategy makes a profound difference. Strategy requires a rapid assessment of the best the client can achieve and how best to achieve that outcome, with the least cost and delay. Cases are won and lost in the characterisation of the dispute. Cases need to be conceived and shaped to make them fit as nearly as possible within favourable existing law, and most importantly, to make them intuitively attractive. A case which unfolds in a way that its central contentions appear inherently plausible and “right”, is a case most likely to succeed.
Dispute resolution is not a passive journey. It requires constant assessment of the current options and best choice to fit the strategy. How to formulate claims or defences to raise or avoid issues. How to confine or expand the scope of compellable documents. Which witnesses to put forward, what to include and how to ensure that their evidence is put admissibly but in a way which limits, rather than expands, effective cross examination.
Experience is the polish that gets you the prize. The conception and implementation of a great strategy requires the broadest experience – different areas of law, different industries, different places, different decision makers, across different cultures. During a hearing, there is no substitute for an encyclopaedic knowledge of the rules of evidence and procedure, which need to be drawn on in the split second available for effective intervention. Although most Arbitrations are not bound by strict rules of evidence, the same issues arise for determination. Knowledge of the rules in different legal systems and the approach to them in different cultural settings, is critical to formulating objections and submissions in a way which is familiar and attractive to decision makers across the world. Most disputes will ultimately involve oral testimony, where there is no substitute for an experienced and natural cross examiner. The right answer in cross examination can destroy the opponent’s case instantly. Minute changes in the question, the sequence of questions or the inflexion of voice, can produce different answers. It cannot be read from a script. The answers you want do not just fall out. The process involves hundreds of strategic decisions from before the start to the very last word. Not just in devising an overall strategy, but in dealing with the unforeseeable events along the way. An unfortunate document or answer in evidence, needs to be dealt with immediately and effectively. More than 30 years of running cases has taught Wayne what the choices are and how to make them effectively and strategically. The difference is palpable.