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Christopher
McDermott

Christopher has a general public law and civil law practice. He accepts briefs in matters involving administrative law (judicial review and merits review), public inquiries, major torts, personal injuries, professional liability, disciplinary proceedings, and class actions.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Christopher had an extensive public law practice, regularly representing clients in proceedings in the Federal Court, the Victorian Supreme Court and the High Court. Christopher was a Senior Lawyer with the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS), representing clients such as the Minister for Immigration & Border Protection, the Chief Executive Officer of the Australian Sports Anti-Doping Authority (ASADA), the Australian Communications & Media Authority, the Departments of Foreign Affairs & Trade, Prime Minister & Cabinet, and Health & Human Services. Christopher has acted for Government clients in relation to legal professional privilege and public interest immunity disputes, and is qualified to act in matters involving highly confidential, sensitive and protected information.

In his role at the AGS, Christopher worked on significant litigation. This included acting for:

  • the Commonwealth of Australia in the Victorian Supreme Court class action concerning false imprisonment at the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre (Kamasaee v Commonwealth of Australia & Ors).
  • the Chief Executive Officer of ASADA in the Federal Court judicial review proceedings brought by Essendon Football Club and James Hird, arising from the joint investigation conducted by ASADA and the Australian Football League into the 2012 'Doping Scandal'.
  • the Chief Executive Officer of ASADA in Supreme Court proceedings for subpoena to issue to key witnesses under the Commercial Arbitration Act 2011 (Vic).
  • 'Officer E' in the Investigation into the Death of Ahmad Numan Haider in the Coroners Court of Victoria.

While at the AGS, Christopher was also seconded to act as in-house counsel for Medibank Private, providing advice on the regulatory impact of the Private Health Insurance Act 2007 (Cth) and the Australian Consumer Law on Medibank Private's operations.  

Prior to joining the AGS, Christopher was Senior Associate to the Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia, the Hon John Faulks. He assisted his Honour in relation to both trials and appeals in complex parenting and property disputes, including matters involving international child abduction, family violence, special medical procedures and complicated commercial arrangements.

Christopher has also had roles as a Legal Officer within the Civil Justice Group of the Commonwealth Attorney-General's Department, and as an External Appeals and Litigation Officer at ComSuper.

Christopher is an Alumnus of both the Australian National University and the University of Melbourne. In 2018, he was appointed an Honorary Fellow of the University of Melbourne, teaching Administrative Law in the JD Program. He is also a Reporter for the Administrative Law Decisions and the Australian Law Reports. 

Christopher read with Catherine Symons. His Senior Mentor was Melinda Richards SC, Victorian Crown Counsel (now Justice Richards of the Supreme Court of Victoria).

Christopher also has extensive experience in the not-for-profit sector, and is the Vice President and a Board Member of the Victorian AIDS Council. He is also a member of the Victorian Bar's Equality and Diversity Committee. 

From 5 May 2017, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation. The information referred to above has been supplied by the barrister concerned. Neither Victorian Bar Inc nor the barrister's clerk have independently verified the accuracy or completeness of the information and neither accepts any responsibility in that regard.

Contact

PH +61 3 +61 3 9225 7489
Email chris.mcdermott@vicbar.com.au

Chambers: Room 1626
Owen Dixon Chambers West
525 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne 3000

Practice Areas

Appellate
Commercial Law
Sports
Class Actions
Civil Procedure Law
Common Law
Intentional Torts
Class Actions
Negligence
Government
Inquests, Inquiries, Tribunals & Commissions
Royal Commissions
Disciplinary Tribunals
Coronial Inquests
Public Law & Administrative Law
Merits Review
Migration Law
Judicial Review
Information Privacy
Immigration
Compliance & Investigations
Disciplinary Proceedings
Discrimination & Equal Opportunity
Freedom of Information (FOI)
Human Rights Law
Sports
Disciplinary Tribunals
Liability of Medical Practitioners
Doping / Drugs in Sport

ADMISSIONS

Admitted to the Legal Profession:
04 Dec 2008
Signed Victorian Bar Roll:
04 May 2017

Qualifications

LLB (Hons), GDLP (Merit) ANU

Also Entitled to Practise in

Federal Courts

Committee Memberships

Equality & Diversity Committee