Dever's List is headquartered in Melbourne's Owen Dixon Chambers and is the oldest of the Victorian Bar's lists, with a history extending back some 160 years and a large stable of barristers, offering expertise across more than 60 practice areas. Among them are to be found some of Australia's leading appellate advocates as well as eminent practitioners in the employment, insolvency, intellectual property, native title and taxation spheres. Several, including a number of retired judges, are also experienced arbitrators and mediators. Interviewees are quick to place this list "in the top cohort" of those on offer, one remarking: "I have the list on speed-dial." John Dever is the chief barristers' clerk and is frequently identified by name as one of the list's key assets, one source reporting: "I particularly appreciate being able to call John Dever directly and ask him for a recommendation. He's never let me down, and he's the only clerk who has ever persuaded me to try someone new without my regretting it."
Philip Crutchfield KC maintains a highly versatile practice in which insolvency cases feature particularly prominently, but which also covers a broad commercial range. Commentators identify him as "the leading KC in Melbourne," with "a great reputation" in the insolvency space, while others point out that he is "busy in everything and always does a good job." In addition to his general commercial and insolvency work, he also handles insurance, intellectual property and taxation-related briefs.
Matthew Follett acts for employers across the full range of general employment and industrial relations issues, offering particularly notable experience handling issues arising in the construction, engineering, resources and transportation sectors. Interviewees who recommend him as a particularly impressive junior employment barrister make a point of emphasising how busy he is, one noting: "He's increasingly less available because he's involved in so many matters."
Sturt Glacken KC is generally acclaimed as a pre-eminent practitioner on the traditional owner side at the native title Bar. Interviewees regularly testify to his unrivalled experience in the space, technical excellence and outstanding performance at the appellate level.
David Shavin KC enjoys both a national and a regional reputation for his work in the IP space. Best known for his work on patent cases - though also an experienced handler of trade mark issues - he offers particularly focused expertise on pharmaceutical matters and questions of what materials can legitimately be regarded as patentable. He commands immense market respect, not only as one of the "most experienced" players in his field, but also for the significance of the cases he has handled. He is further identified as one of the Melbourne Bar's most impressive courtroom performers, an interviewee who notes his "almost theatrical" style of presentation adding: "Judges find him effective."
Richard Dalton KC offers over 25 years of experience in the representation of both private and public sector employers and of regulators in the workplace law field, winning particular praise for his technical excellence and skilful handling of appellate cases. One interviewee says: "He's pre-eminent in his field, his advocacy is unbelievably good and he's much sought after."
Kathleen Foley SC handles both complex commercial and significant public law matters, her experience in the latter sphere including numerous High Court appearances. In the commercial space, she is especially noted for her involvement - on both plaintiff and defendant sides - in cases concerning the conduct of individual executives. In addition to praising her "very strong government practice" and noting that she is "strong in both public and commercial law," interviewees characterise her as "an intelligent, intuitive barrister who runs her trials confidently, doesn't take a backward step and will be a leader of the Bar."
Eugene Wheelahan KC is identified by more than one source as one of the most prominent of those "coming through the ranks of junior silks" at the Melbourne tax Bar, one interviewee maintaining: "He's still junior but has the judgement of a top silk." His expertise when it comes to the handling of anti-avoidance or transfer pricing disputes receives particularly strong recommendation.
Christopher Caleo KC wins high praise from both instructing solicitors and fellow barristers, one of the former reporting: "Chris has a powerful intellect and a thorough and measured approach, is incredibly persuasive both on his feet and with his advice work, and brings a commercial and real-world perspective that clients appreciate." One of the latter adds: "Some may have higher profiles, but not necessarily a safer pair of hands. There are few better choices than he to steer one through a difficult challenge." His broad practice covers not only general commercial, competition and professional negligence issues, but also questions of administrative law.
Philip Solomon KC makes regular Supreme Court of Victoria, Federal Court and High Court appearances, handling matters across a broad spectrum which includes matters of administrative, commercial and corporations law and also embraces insurance, negligence and taxation issues. Interviewees characterise him as a "formidable, consistently well-prepared opponent and good advocate" who "cuts straight to the point - which judges appreciate - and distils complex issues into real contentions."
Robert Craig SC maintains a highly versatile practice, taking in, among other things, significant contractual and consumer law cases, high-profile securities class actions and tough regulatory disputes involving alleged instances of professional negligence or breaches of directors' duties, plus regular instruction on construction matters. An interviewee who acclaims him as "one of the best barristers at the Victorian Bar," praising his "wonderful manner and excellent courtcraft," adds: "Clients and courts love him." Another notes that within the context of "a wide range of commercial litigation," he is especially "good at understanding the impact of the financial aspect of his cases."
James Peters KC has extensive experience across a broad range of disciplines, including consumer law, insolvency and regulatory issues as well as general commercial cases. He appears on more than one solicitor's list of their most favoured barristers and is characterised by an interviewee as a "very good, solid advocate" who is "one of the mainstays of the Bar."
Patrick Wheelahan KC maintains a versatile employment practice, covering not only general employment but also industrial relations and discrimination issues, across an impressively varied range of business sectors. Interviewees regularly cite his vast fund of experience as one of his key attributes.