The Law Handbook can only be produced through the assistance of its many volunteer contributors, who ensure the text for each edition is as accurate and up-to-date as possible. We thank all of the following contributors to the 2017 edition for their dedication to the continued provision of accessible legal information, building on the work of their many predecessors over the lifetime of the book.
Executive Officer, Office of the Victorian Ombudsman.
Alexander, Dr Renata
Barrister and senior lecturer in law, Monash University. Admitted to the Supreme Court in 1979, Renata has been a senior lecturer since 2000. She worked as a family solicitor with Victoria Legal Aid before serving as deputy registrar for the Family Court. Renata went to the Victorian Bar in 2002. In recognition of her volunteer work for community legal centres since 1975, she was awarded a Centenary Medal from the Prime Minister in 2003. Renata has also won a PILCH award for similar services.
Attard, Mark J
Partner, Norton Rose Fulbright (insurance and litigation). Previously, he was a partner at Colin, Biggers & Paisley in the insurance team and the construction and engineering team. Mark was ranked for insurance law in the 2013, 2014 and 2015 editions of Best Lawyers Australia. In 2014 and 2015 he was named as a leading individual in insurance in the Asia Pacific Legal 500.
Senior lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid. Faisal completed a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) at the University of Melbourne. He has also completed a Postgraduate Diploma in Legal Practice (GDLP) and a Master of Laws (LLM) at Monash University. Currently, he is a senior lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid where he appears as an advocate in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal and in VictorianÂ Magistrates’ Courts where he provides legal representation to individuals charged with Commonwealth offences. Faisal has predominantly worked as a lawyer for the Commonwealth and state governments, and has a particular interest in administrative law, migration law and criminal law.
Solicitor, Bradley Lawyers. Previously, Lynne was the inaugural principal solicitor at Seniors Rights Victoria, and the principal solicitor at Fitzroy Legal Service. She has also taught law to social work students at RMIT University, and gives seminars to professional groups on the prevention of financial elder abuse. Lynne was awarded a Law Institute of Victoria President’s prize in 2011.
Solicitor. Joseph graduated from Law (LLB) at the University of Melbourne and completed a Master of Law at the same university. He has also completed a Bachelor of Economics. Joseph is an accredited commercial litigation specialist, and accredited administrative law specialist.
Consultant lawyer, Network Ten, and Special Counsel at Studio Legal. Elizabeth is a senior lawyer with extensive industry experience in media, entertainment, e-commerce and copyright law. She completed a Master of Laws (LLM), Media, Communications and Information Technology University in New South Wales 2004. Elizabeth has been the editorial legal counsel to News Corp, and a lawyer for the ABC. Currently, she is the director and principal solicitor at the Communications Law Centre, the supervising lawyer at the Arts Law Centre Australia (Sydney), and a lawyer for the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance.
Solicitor, Disability Discrimination Legal Service. Placido was admitted to legal practice in Victoria in 1998 after practising criminal law overseas. He worked at the Footscray Community Legal Centre in 1999 before becoming principal solicitor at the Disability Discrimination Legal Service in 2000.
Barrister. Paul has completed a BA (Hons) and a Masters of Law (LLM). He was admitted to the legal profession 1982 and signed the Victorian Bar Roll in 1991. Paul practices principally in commercial law, with extensive experience in credit, banking and finance and insurance law. He was a member of the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal. He has been a financial counsellor, solicitor, university lecturer and ministerial adviser.
CEO, Consumer Action Law Centre. Gerard completed a Masters in Public Policy and Management after graduating in Arts Law from the University of Melbourne. He began in consumer advocacy as a policy officer and solicitor with Consumer Law Centre Victoria and Consumer Action. After a period with the Brotherhood of St Laurence he returned to Consumer Action in 2011. He has represented consumers on national bodies such as the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission and Australian Securities and Investments Commission.
Senior lawyer, Australian Human Rights Commission. Bronwyn was the research and policy advisor at Amnesty international (UK) after spending two years specialising in employment discrimination at Fisher Meredith and at Allens. She earned first class honours after graduating in Law Science at the University of Queensland and completed a Master of Law at Cambridge University.
Partner, Clothier Anderson. Michael completed law at Adelaide University in 1973. Since 2003, he has been a partner of Clothier Anderson, a specialist immigration law firm in Melbourne. He is an accredited immigration law specialist and was named by Best Lawyers Australia as the 2011 Immigration Lawyer of the Year (Melbourne area).
Senior solicitor, Consumer Action Law Centre. Gerald was admitted as a lawyer in the Supreme Court of South Africa in June 1990. During 1991 he appeared in Court-Martials as a prosecutor and was appointed as a commissioner of the Small Claims Court, South Africa in January 2002. He worked in private practice as a partner and as a sole practitioner until 2006. He was admitted as an Australian legal practitioner in November 2007. He joined the Consumer Action Law Centre in September 2007 where he specialises in Australian consumer law and credit law. Gerald studied at the University of the Free State and Deakin University.
Magistrate since 2007. After completing Commerce Law at The University of Melbourne (1980) he spent four years farming and six years working with Koori and other young people before commencing legal practice. A former Victorian Council for Civil Liberties vice-president and president, he was also a founding board member of the National Children’s and Youth Legal Centre, the Public Interest Law Clearing House, and the Human Rights Law Resource Centre.
Senior lawyer, Tenants Union of Victoria
Solicitor, Fitzroy Legal Service. Completed Arts Law at The University of Melbourne in 1995. Peter has also attained a graduate diploma in Information Science from RMIT University.
Davies, Dr Grant
Health Services Commissioner. Grant has over 25 years experience in the health sector. He has worked in Queensland as a registered nurse, assisted in the development of palliative care policies and helped establish guardianship legislation. He moved to Melbourne in 1999 to take up a position with the Victorian Department of Human Services undertaking similar work. Grant has worked for the federal office of the Commissioner for Complaints and the Aged Care Commissioner. He holds a Bachelor of Nursing (ACU), a Master of Arts (Research) (QUT) in applied ethics, a PhD (Melbourne) in applied ethics, and is a nationally accredited mediator. Grant has a particular interest in bioethics and health law.
Barrister. Richard has completed Law (LLB) (Hons), Arts and a Diploma of Criminology at the University of Melbourne. He was admitted to legal practice in 1997. He served as a criminal lawyer for the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service before taking up a senior lectureship in law at Deakin University. Richard is co-author of Australian Sentencing: Principles and Practice (2007) and has published widely in the areas of sentencing, evidence and criminal procedure.
Solicitor, Consumer Action Law Centre. Lachlan has completed a Bachelor of Laws, a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice, and a Bachelor or Media Studies majoring in journalism at La Trobe University. He was admitted to the legal profession in 2011. Lachlan has also worked as a journalist both in Australia and overseas. He has regularly volunteered at community legal centres, and has contributed to a range of legal publications including the Lawyers Practice Manual of Victoria (published by Spingvale Monash Legal Service), and What’s the Law? (published by VLA).
Barrister. Noah was admitted to the legal profession in 1981 and signed the Victorian Bar Roll in 1995. He practices in the area of family law and guardianship.
Barrister. LLB (Hons), BA, Post-graduate Certificate in Biostatistics and Epidemiology. Admitted to the legal profession in 1999, she signed the Bar Roll in 2010. Deborah has practiced as counsel for a large metropolitan public health service. She was the legal member on the Dental Practice Board of Victoria from 2005 to 2009. Deborah practises in all aspects of health law and has appeared in the Magistrates’, County and Supreme Courts and VCAT on a range of matters.
Barrister. Since 1995 Angus has practised largely in native title law. Along with a Masters in Environmental Science, he has also completed a PhD on the governance of Aboriginal corporations and managing native title rights. He has practised in native title law in Victoria, Western Australia and Queensland and has advised in administrative, property and environmental law matters.
Lawyer, Consumer Action Law Centre; financial counsellor with MoneyHelp
Lawyer, St Kilda Legal Service.
Principal Legal officer, Office of the Public Advocate (OPA). Philip was ordained a Jesuit priest in 1993 and left in 1997 when he started working as the executive officer of Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service. He has been the principal legal officer at the OPA since 2002. He held an executive position at Corpus Christi, a home for men addicted to alcohol, from 1994 to 2009.
Principal solicitor and executive officer, Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service. Villamanta is a community legal centre that works on disability related legal and justice issues for people who have a disability with priority given to people who have an intellectual disability. Deidre studied law at The University of Melbourne; she is also a graduate of the Australian National University.
Lawyer, Peninsula Community Legal Centre. Chris was first admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of Sri Lanka; he was admitted to practice in Victoria in 1986.
Having worked in four private firms — primarily in family law — he was employed by the Victoria Legal Aid Family Law Division from 1991 to 1997. Thereafter, Chris carried on a private practice in Melbourne as a sole practitioner and a registered migration agent. Since 2007, he has worked as a family law practitioner at the Peninsula Community Legal Centre — where he had volunteered since 1998. Chris also works as a duty lawyer at the Federal Circuit Court, Dandenong.
Chris has been a member of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Migration Committee.
Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid. Studied at Monash University and Southern Cross University (NSW). Robyn has worked as a lawyer for the last 15 years, specialising in family and children’s law in private practice and community legal centres. Currently, she is the in-house counsel for family and children’s law at Victoria Legal Aid. She is an accredited specialist in children’s law.
Senior legal officer, Commonwealth Ombudsman. Elisa has been a senior legal officer with the Ombudsman’s office for five years. During her time with the Ombudsman, she has also worked as a senior investigation officer and has led the public interest disclosure team. Prior to working with the Ombudsman, Elisa worked in courts administration as a registrar of the High Court for 10 years, and as a mediator in the Family Court for four years. Before embarking on a career in courts administration, Elisa was in private legal practice and completed a short stint with the Legal Aid Office in Queensland. Elisa has a Bachelor of Arts Law from the University of Queensland. As well as being a valued contributor to The Law Handbook, Elisa has also contributed to the Oxford Companion to the High Court.
James, Douglas J
Barrister. Douglas was admitted to practice in 1999 and signed the Bar Roll in 2007. Douglas’ practice consists of a broad range of commercial advocacy work, with particular emphasis in contractual and general commercial matters, property, equity and trust disputes as well as corporations and insolvency matters. He regularly teaches corporations law at the Leo Cussen Institute.
Accredited Children’s Law Specialist, Victoria Legal Aid. Kamalini graduated with a Bachelor of Economics and Law (LLB) from Monash University in 1994. After a brief stint in the banking industry, she commenced working at Victoria Legal Aid (VLA) as a grants officer in 1996. Since 2004, Kamalini has worked exclusively with VLA’s Child Support Legal Service. She has extensive experience in cases such as parentage, adult child maintenance, changes of assessments, departure applications, lump sum child support, appeals and enforcement of child support arrears. Kamalini is regularly involved in preparing complex litigation cases before the Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Family Court and Federal Circuit Court.
Principal, Mental Health Legal Centre
Senior legal adviser, Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission. From 2009 to 2012, Jennifer worked in the employment, workplace relations and safety team at Herbert Geer (Melbourne). She specialised in employment relations at Minter Ellison Rudd Watts (Wellington, NZ) from 2007 to 2009. Jennifer is also the volunteer trustee and deputy chair with New Horizons for Women Trust. Previously, she held the position of national women’s rights officer at the New Zealand Union of Students’ Associations (NZUSA).
Barrister. David was admitted to the legal profession in 2006 and signed the Victorian Bar Roll in 2013. He has degrees in Law (Hons) and Science from La Trobe University, and is currently completing a Master of Public and International Law at the University of Melbourne. David practises in commercial, consumer and public law. Before coming to the Bar, David was a senior lawyer at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission where he worked exclusively on the Storm Financial litigation. Prior to that, David was an associate at Maurice Blackburn. His legal writing has been published in, among others, the Australian Law Journal and the Law Institute Journal.
Legal adviser. Ian is a recently retired experienced senior lawyer who worked in the public sector for over 30 years. Offices held include general counsel to the Department of Premier and Cabinet, general counsel to Office of Police Integrity, and general counsel to the Victorian Ombudsman. In those offices his tasks included providing legal and legal policy advice to premiers, ministers, senior officers and heads of integrity agencies, developing significant legislation and presiding over confidential integrity agency hearings. He is also the author of Australia’s text on constitutional conventions, Constitutional Conventions in Australia. Currently, he is a PhD student and sessional lecturer at Victoria University.
Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid
Lindner, W Benjamin
Barrister. Completed Arts Law (Hons) at The University of Melbourne in 1982. Completed a Diploma of Criminology at the University of Melbourne in 1985 and a Master of Laws at Monash University in 1998. Experienced in all aspects of the criminal jurisdiction. Benjamin has taught advocacy with the Australian Advocacy Institute since 1998 including to members of the Bangladesh Bar Association and the legal profession in Papua New Guinea and Samoa.
Deputy President and Director of Alternative Dispute Resolution, VCAT (Civil Claims List). Ian is the head of the Civil Claims List and the ADR Member, with oversight of VCAT’s Alternative Dispute Resolution program.
Ian graduated from The University of Melbourne in 1979 and obtained a Master of Commercial Law from the same university 2007.
For many years Ian was a sessional member of VCAT and a partner in a city law firm. In his capacity as a legal practitioner, Ian specialised in commercial litigation, and had a significant practice in Alternative Dispute Resolution as both a mediator and arbitrator. Ian was also appointed as a ‘neutral third party’ in other processes, such as supervising solicitor in the execution of “Mareva” injunctions and in internal disciplinary tribunals of some professions. For several years Ian was the Chair of the Law Institute’s ADR Committee, and a member of the Law Institute’s Advisory Committee on Specialisation in ADR.
Ian has been a registered mediator under the Australian National Mediator Standards since May 2009, and before that scheme was created he was a Law Institute Accredited Specialist in mediation.
Solicitor. Completed Arts Law at Monash University. Peter spent several years practicing in specialist city law firms as well as being in-house counsel for a number of corporates in both Melbourne and Sydney. Presently Peter is director and principal solicitor of Northcote Lawyers dealing with wills and disputes, planning development law and conveyancing.
Victorian Legal Services Commissioner and CEO of the Victorian Legal Services Board. These two bodies are responsible for regulating the legal profession in Victoria. As Commissioner, Michael receives and handles complaints about lawyers. He also performs important educative functions: teaching lawyers about issues of concern to the legal profession and clients, and informing the community more broadly about legal issues and the rights and obligations that flow from the client-lawyer relationship. The Board is responsible for issuing practising certificates, ensuring the effective regulation of the legal profession and the maintenance of professional standards.
McNab, Stewart A
Barrister. Stewart was admitted to practice in 1970 and was a partner of McNab, McNab & Starke before he joined the Bar in 2002. During his time as a solicitor, Stewart practised extensively in wills and probate, as well as conducting a general practice. He is an accredited specialist with the Law Institute of Victoria in wills and estates and alternative dispute resolution. Stewart is a member of the International Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners. Since 1974 he has instructed in wills and probate and related litigation at Leo Cussen Institute. He is the co-author, with John Kaufman QC, of the Essential Guide to Will Making published by the Leo Cussen Institute in 2001.
Secondee, Not-for-profit Law, Justice Connect
Director at Law Ink, and Property Investment Services. Norman is also a licensed real estate agent and practises in owners’ corporation law and commercial leasing. He is a REIV accredited owners corporation specialist, and has studied property valuation at RMIT.
Secretary, Appeal Costs Board
Barrister. Sandip was admitted to the legal profession in 2005 and signed the Victorian Bar Roll in 2012. He has a degree in Arts and Law (Hons). Before going to the Bar, Sandip was a senior associate at Minter Ellison Lawyers. In 2014 and 2015, he was recognised by his peers in the AFR’s annual Best Lawyers list for his expertise in defamation and media law. Sandip also has specific expertise in Australian sports; notably he has acted for the Racing Stewards in the prosecution of jockey Danny Nikolic; and acted for Mark ‘Bomber’ Thompson in the Essendon Football Club supplements prosecution.
Solicitor, Consumer Action Law Centre
Legal counsel, Financial Ombudsman Service. Prior to joining FOS, David held senior legal positions with the Office of Fair Trading and Business Affair (Victoria) where he was involved in legislative reform, including the development and implementation of the Credit Act 1984, Chattel Securities Act 1997, Motor Car Traders Act 1986 and EFT Code of Conduct. He has subsequently held the positions of Registrar of the Credit Licensing Authority and Director of Consumer Credit Legal Service (Victoria). More recently, he was a senior consultant at Maurice Blackburn Cashman where he successfully ran a series of consumer and shareholder class actions including the Aristocrat and Multiplex class actions — at the time the two largest damages awards in class actions in Australia. David has also held a variety of appointments on Boards and Committees including Chair of the AFCCRA, the financial counselling peak organisation, and Chair of the National Investment Centre for Retirement Investments. He was also a volunteer night session coordinator at Springvale Legal Service for 15 years.
Principal legislation officer, WorkSafe
Legal and Policy Officer, Office of the Health Services Commissioner
Member Support Coordinator, VCAT
Director, Not-for-profit Law, Justice Connect
Solicitor, Victoria Legal Aid. Jessica completed a Bachelor of Arts and Law in 2006. She worked at the Victorian native title representative body, Native Title Services, before moving to Victoria Legal Aid (VLA). At VLA she is a duty lawyer in the Assessment and Referral Court list, a pilot program within Melbourne Magistrates’ Court dealing with criminal cases where the clients have an intellectual disability, acquired brain injury, mental illness, autism spectrum disorder or neurological impairment.
Senior Lawyer, Victoria Legal Aid
Barrister. Completed Arts Law (Hons) and a Master of Laws at The University of Melbourne. Admitted to the legal profession in 1988, he signed the Bar Roll in 1998. Peter is regularly briefed in occupational health and safety cases. He has been a consultant to the International Labour Organisation as well as to state, territory and Commonwealth governments in the field of occupational health and safety law. Peter is a fellow of the Centre for Employment and Labour Relations Law at the University of Melbourne where he teaches Workplace Health and Safety Law.
Partner, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick Lawyers. Annette completed a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) at Monash University in 1979 and a Bachelor of Law (Hons) at the same university in 1987. Currently, she is head of the Phillips Ormond Fitzpatrick Lawyers’ commercial practice group. She has worked in the Legal Policy and Research Department of the Victorian Attorney-General’s Department and practised at the Victorian Bar in the general commercial area.
Real Estate Institute of Australia president and chairperson of the REIV owners corporation chapter committee. Neville is also a REIV accredited owners corporation specialist and a qualified valuer. He was educated at RMIT.
Principal, Sladen Legal. Accredited specialist in tax law. Daniel holds a Master of Taxation from the University of NSW. Daniel is chair of the Law Institute of Victoria’s Taxation and Revenue Law Committee and serves on the program committee for The Tax Institute’s National Convention.
Senior lawyer, Justice Connect Homeless Law. Prior to joining Homeless Law, Samantha worked as a senior lawyer at the Homeless Person’s Legal Service in Sydney (at the Public Interest Advocacy Centre). Before joining the Justice Connect team, Samantha spent 10 years working as a civil lawyer at organisations including the Mental Health Legal Centre, Victoria Legal Aid, and the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. She has a Bachelor of Arts Law from the University of Melbourne and a Masters in Political Science and Sociology from the UVSQ in Paris.
Former Victorian Privacy Commissioner. Helen has recently been appointed the Deputy Chairperson of the Victorian Commission for Gambling and Liquor Regulation. She holds a combined honours degree in Law and Sociology from Exeter University (UK).
Helen worked in private practice as a litigation lawyer and advocate prior to joining the Western Australia Equal Opportunity Commission. In 2001, Helen joined the Office of the Victorian Privacy Commissioner as Deputy Commissioner. She was Victoria’s second Privacy Commissioner from 2007 to 2012.
Since retiring as Privacy Commissioner, Helen has worked as principal solicitor for the Mental Health Legal Centre. She was then appointed as a sessional legal member with the Mental Health Tribunal and non-accountant member of the Chartered Accountants Disciplinary Tribunal.
Barrister. Thracy was admitted to the legal profession in 1983 and signed the Victorian Bar Roll in 1987. He practices in the areas of common, commercial and criminal law.
Lawyer, Justice Connect Homeless Law. Prior to joining Homeless Law in 2014, Patrick worked as a generalist lawyer at West Heidelberg Community Legal Centre, criminal and civil lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid, and an outreach rooming house worker at the Tenant’s Union Victoria. Since joining Homeless Law, Patrick has enjoyed using Victoria’s Charter of Human Rights to help prevent homelessness for vulnerable Victorians. Patrick has a Bachelor of Arts Law from The University of Melbourne.
Partner, Phillips Ormonde Fitzpatrick Lawyers
Barrister. Greg was admitted to the legal profession in 1983 and signed the Victorian Bar Roll in 1985. He has been a nationally accredited mediator since 2008. Greg holds degrees in Arts and Law (LLB), and has completed a Diploma of Education.
Senior Solicitor, Consumer Action Law Centre
Solicitor, Consumer Action Law Centre
Solicitor. Stan is the principal coordinator of legal programs at RMIT University’s Centre for Innovative Justice. He is chair of the Mental Health Legal Centre and a member of the Victoria Police ‘Taser’ Review Panel. Stan was managing principal solicitor, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office (2011 to 2013), senior legal advisor, Victorian Attorney General Office (2007 to 2010), and principal lawyer/legal projects officer, Fitzroy Legal Service (2004 to 2007).
Solicitor, Victoria Legal Aid
Magistrate. Brian completed Law (LLB) at Monash University in 1974 and a Master of Laws (LLM) at The University of Melbourne in 1977. He was appointed as a magistrate in Victoria in 2004 and looks after the Magistrates’ Court’s WorkCover jurisdiction. He also regularly sits as a member of the Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal. For many years, Brian has been keenly involved in the work of Fitzroy Legal Service.