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List A Barristers

Dispute Resolution

20 ranked barristersBand 1AustraliaGlobal 2021 View ranking table

Chambers Review

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This Melbourne list, run from offices in Owen Dixon Chambers, is highlighted for taking on hardcore, high-level commercial litigation and is regularly reported by interviewees to be one of the most prestigious in Victoria, one interviewee describing it as "clearly dominant." This judgement is supported by the list's standout position in these rankings, it having more barristers ranked - and mostly in the higher bands - than any competitor. Its more than 140 members, who advise and advocate on issues arising in Australian and many foreign jurisdictions, include two stars of the Victorian Bar and many other highly regarded advocates offering cutting-edge expertise in, among others, the competition, construction, insolvency and intellectual property arenas. Senior clerk David Andrews is a key contact.

Alice Muhlebach is a "very bright, hard-working and much in demand" junior who has "very quickly become a go-to person for the ACCC or those opposed to them" in major competition cases, one source going so far as to identify her as "one of the future leaders of the competition Bar." An experienced handler of cases considered by the Australian Competition Tribunal, Federal Court and High Court, she also advises clients on merger clearance issues.

Allan Myers QC continues to be acclaimed as "one of Australia's leading appellate advocates," interviewees stressing his "consistently brilliant performance" in the courtroom and the fact that "he definitely has the gravitas that means judges will listen to him." In addition to his appearances on high-profile domestic litigation mandates, he is gaining increasing prominence on the international arbitration scene.

Bruce Caine QC "absolutely deserves" his "very strong reputation" as one of Australia's leading IP barristers. Sources particularly emphasise his ability to "get across a lot of detail" and then present it in an easily digestible form, an attribute that makes him a particularly sought-after choice for trial work. He operates across the full IP spectrum, handling copyright and trade mark mandates in addition to the patent work for which he is especially well known.

Carl Möller is identified by more than one source as one of the few true insolvency specialists at the junior Bar, one of whom emphatically states that "he certainly knows a lot about insolvency law," while another interviewee notes: "You see him a lot in this space."

Daniel McInerney QC is a highly respected junior silk tax specialist noted for the "good briefs - especially from accountancy firms" that he secures. Dedicated to taxation issues in both the public and private sectors throughout his career, he offers particularly noted expertise on complex structuring, transfer pricing and Part IVA issues.

Herman Borenstein QC offers long-established expertise covering the full spectrum of Australian employment, industrial relations and discrimination law and is an experienced handler of cases at Federal and High Court level. Market sources widely acknowledge his position near the summit of employment practice, one calling him an "excellent, amazing practitioner."

Jeffrey Gleeson QC commands immense respect in his field, one source identifying him as "the best in Australia as far as construction is concerned," while another, who similarly puts him "head and shoulders" above his peers, goes on to note: "His ability to distil the facts into a compelling argument is frankly superhuman, and he always does the right thing by his client and instructing solicitor - even if it means an argument with the court or tribunal." In addition to his litigation work, he is also an accomplished arbitration counsel and arbitrator.

Jennifer Batrouney QC has practised at the Bar for some 30 years, accumulating in that time experience across the full spectrum of tax work and focusing particularly strongly on income tax, GST and superannuation issues. Active on behalf of both corporate and public sector bodies - the latter at both state and Commonwealth level - she also specialises in advising charitable bodies on their own taxation concerns.

John de Wijn QC is a "very seasoned practitioner," widely regarded as "the go-to on big, difficult tax cases." More than one interviewee lays particular emphasis on his "very impressive record" when it comes to the handling of transfer pricing cases. One source notes: "He's very authoritative and a strong name in the market, so people listen to him."

Kate Beattie is cited for a variety of capabilities by interviewees, sources not only identifying her as a leading junior for patent cases in general, but also stressing that her "very good science background" makes her "very good to use in science-related matters" in particular. Contributors who have seen her in action also speak highly of her, one calling her an "extremely good, very hard-working, impressive barrister doing very impressive work," while another, speaking from outside Victoria, says: "If I needed to pass things on to someone in Melbourne, she'd be on the list."

Marc Felman SC maintains a specialisation in employment, industrial relations and discrimination law which he developed during his days as a solicitor, and applies his expertise on behalf of employers, employees and a variety of state and Commonwealth government bodies.

Matthew Collins QC is characterised by one interviewee as a "mountain of energy," notable for his impressive ability to manage numerous cases simultaneously, the same source going on to note that this workload includes "a huge defamation component" and that he is "one of the country's leaders in that area." He also acts prominently on financial services, media and information technology related issues.

Michael Borsky QC maintains a varied and versatile practice, handling both first instance and appellate matters up to and including High Court level and representing both government agencies and parties under investigation in regulatory proceedings. He is complimented particularly frequently for his work in the competition sphere.

Neil Young QC continues to command widespread endorsement of his status as "a leader among leaders" at the Australian commercial Bar. Sources note his "extraordinarily meticulous preparation," complemented by an "impressive capability for getting across material in a short space of time," and a will to win that means "he doesn't give up until the court rises." A "deeply impressed" client calls him "definitely a safe choice for any very important litigation."

Although Nicholas Hopkins QC maintains a broad commercial practice, it is pointed out by one interviewee that he is "regarded by many in Victoria to be a leading construction silk," the same source going on to note that he "has been a counsel in a number of the largest arbitrations conducted in Australia" in that field. He also offers extensive state and Commonwealth superior court experience.

Nicholas Pane QC attracts extensive feedback acknowledging him as a barrister who is "very good in construction." One source goes so far as to put him "second on the cab rank," just behind Jeffrey Gleeson, while another calls him "a very diligent, thoughtful, detail-oriented counsel." He is particularly experienced in the handling of disputes arising from energy and resources or transport infrastructure projects and thoroughly conversant with a variety of alternative dispute resolution methods.

Oren Bigos SC is identified by sources as a barrister whose "broad-ranging practice" has not prevented him establishing himself as one of the "real specialists" on the insolvency scene, one source describing him as a well-known, "smart and technical" player in the market. Experienced in handling matters arising from some of Australia's largest corporate collapses, he often appears in state Supreme, Federal and High Court proceedings.

Raini Zambelli wins praise as a "technically excellent" insolvency practitioner whose prominence in the space is increasing. Her domestic caseload is informed by extensive experience of insolvency-related litigation in numerous foreign jurisdictions and of time spent as an in-house counsel in the financial services sector.

Terry Murphy QC acts on behalf of both taxpayers and tax authorities, bringing more than 30 years' experience to his work. Sources particularly appreciate his empathetic manner, one noting that he is "very generous with his time," while another says: "He's very relatable, very transparent and also very commercial in his views. I like using him for those reasons."

Wendy Harris QC is an "excellent general commercial litigator," particularly well known for her handling of matters in the banking and finance and insurance spaces. Sources variously describe her as "a well-respected barrister with a very busy practice who has proved very effective in the Covid-19 period" and as a "very good, very impressive advocate in court."

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Ranked Barristers

Chambers Research is conducted by 200 Research Analysts, across 200 jurisdictions and provides nearly 6,000 rankings tables. Annually we collect hundreds of thousands of responses from clients, the majority via in-depth interview. Learn more about our methodology.

Silks (QC)


Construction & Infrastructure: The Bar

Jeffrey J Gleeson QC
Band 1
Nicholas Hopkins QC
Band 2
Nicholas Pane QC
Band 2

Dispute Resolution: The Bar

Allan Myers QC
Star Individuals
Matthew Collins QC
Band 3
Michael Borsky QC
Band 4

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