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Christopher
McDermott

Christopher has a broad general civil law practice, with particular expertise in:

  • Administrative law (judicial review and merits review)
  • Employment and industrial law, anti-discrimination law (particularly sexual harassment) and human rights
  • Privacy, freedom of information, confidentiality, public interest immunity, the law of privilege, and general civil procedure (such as dealing with subpoena and discovery)
  • Disciplinary proceedings (professional, university, sports) 
  • Royal Commissions and public inquiries
  • Intentional torts (malicious prosecution, false imprisonment, assault/battery)
  • Class actions
  • Directors’ duties, and the law of associations (particularly for Not-for-Profit charitable organisations)

Christopher regularly advises, and appears for, Federal and State Government departments and agencies.

Since coming to the Bar, Christopher has been briefed in significant litigation, including:

  • Counsel for the Fair Work Ombudsman in civil penalty proceedings brought against Woolworths Group for alleged underpayments of Retail Award-covered salaried managers (led by Justin Bourke QC and Robyn Sweet) (2021, ongoing) 
  • Counsel for the Australian Conservation Foundation in merits review proceedings in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal challenging a Freedom of Information decision of the Secretary of the Commonwealth Department of the Environment concerning a significant development at Toondah Harbour, Queensland (led by Sarah Porritt) (2020, ongoing) 
  • Consultant Counsel to the Board of Inquiry into the COVID-19 Hotel Quarantine Inquiry (instructed by the Office of Solicitors Assisting) (2020)
  • Counsel for the Commonwealth of Australia in Fair Work Act ‘general protections’ proceedings in the Federal Court of Australia (Messengers v Commonwealth of Australia & Senator Jacquiline Lambie) (led by Jenny Firkin QC) (2019, ongoing)
  • Counsel for the State of Victoria in the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants (2019-2020)
  • Counsel for Yooralla in the Royal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability (led by Jenny Firkin QC) (2019)
  • Counsel Assisting an Investigating Panel into a formal complaint made against the former State Coroner of Victoria (led by Elizabeth Bennett) (2019)
  • Counsel for the Commonwealth of Australia in an action in tort involving allegations of negligence in immigration detention facilities (Adel Aleshjeravi v Commonwealth of Australia) (led by Ron Williams QC) (2018, settled)
  • Counsel for the Commonwealth of Australia in the Victorian Supreme Court class action concerning the Manus Island Regional Processing Centre (led by Christopher Blanden QC) (2017)

Prior to coming to the Bar, Christopher was a Senior Lawyer at the Australian Government Solicitor (AGS), representing a diverse array of Commonwealth departments and agencies in superior courts and tribunals.  Prior to joining the AGS, Christopher was Senior Associate to the Hon John Faulks, Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia. 

Christopher is the Co-Chair of the Victorian Bar’s LGTBIQ Working Group, is the Secretary of the Victorian Bar’s Equality & Diversity Committee, and is a member of the Australian Bar Association's Diversity & Inclusion Committee.

Christopher is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and has extensive experience as a Board Director in the Not-for-Profit sector, including as a director with:

  • Relationship Matters Counselling and Mediation (since 2021)
  • Mental Health Victoria Ltd (2019 to present; Deputy Chair since 2021)
  • Advocacy & Rights Centre Ltd (Loddon Campaspe and Goulburn Valley Community Legal Centres and Housing Justice) (2019 to 2021)
  • Vice President of the Victorian AIDS Council / Gay Men’s Health Centre (trading as Thorne Harbour Health) (2013 to 2019)

Christopher read with Catherine Symons, and his senior mentor is Jenny Firkin QC.

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 [email protected]

Chambers: Room 1602
Aickin Chambers
200 Queen Street
Melbourne 3000

Practice Areas

Appellate
Civil Appeals
Merit Appeals
Commercial Law
Civil Procedure Law
Class Actions
Property & Probate
Sports
Common Law
Class Actions
Intentional Torts
Judicial Review
Negligence
Criminal Law
Environmental Law & Planning Law
Animal Welfare
Civil Enforcement
Planning Offences
Equity & Trusts
Wills & Probate
Government
Local Government
Health & Medical
Aged Care
Mental Health
Prosecutions
Industrial Relations Law & Employment Law
Discrimination
Employment Contracts
Industrial Disputes
Industrial Tribunals
Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S)
Public Sector Appeals
Restraint of Trade
Statutory Employment Rights
Unfair Dismissal
Industry Regulations
Gaming Industry
Inquests, Inquiries, Tribunals & Commissions
Coronial Inquests
Disciplinary Tribunals
Fair Work Commission
Military Tribunals
Royal Commissions
Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (VOCAT)
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
Negligence
Medical Negligence
Professional Negligence
Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S)
WorkSafe / Comcare
Property & Probate
Wills & Estates
Public Law & Administrative Law
Compliance & Investigations
Customs
Disciplinary Proceedings
Discrimination & Equal Opportunity
Extradition
Freedom of Information (FOI)
Health & Medical
Human Rights Law
Immigration
Industry Regulations
Information Privacy
Judicial Review
Liquor Licensing
Merits Review
Migration Law
Veterans' Entitlements
Sports
Disciplinary Tribunals
Doping / Drugs in Sport
Liability of Medical Practitioners
Racing Appeals
The Court of Arbitration for Sport

ADMISSIONS

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

Qualifications

LLB (Hons), GDLP (Merit) (ANU); LLM (Melbourne); GAICD

Also Entitled to Practise in

All Australian States and Jurisdictions
Federal Courts

Committee Memberships

Equality & Diversity Committee