John Heard practices in all areas of commercial litigation with a focus on insolvency / restructuring and banking and finance.

He is regularly briefed in appearance and advice work and to draw and settle pleadings and applications (see representative matters below). 

John is also a member of the NSW Bar and is available to accept briefs Australia-wide (please check with Young’s List for any in-person availability required).

Select matters: 

  • Hall v Arnold Bloch Leibler (a firm) (Federal Court of Australia, unled, shareholder class action – confidentiality and privilege aspects).
  • Jing Chen v One Funds Management Ltd & Ors (Federal Court of Australia, led by Paul Vout QC, multiparty proceedings in relation to managed investment schemes and breach of trust, including leave to commence against / join company in liquidation).
  • Hastie Group Limited (in liq) & Ors v Multiplex Constructions Pty Ltd & Ors (Federal Court of Australia, led by Philip Crutchfield QC and Fiona Cameron, acting for the lead Multiplex defendants in multiparty proceedings commenced by the liquidators of the Hastie Group). 
  • Smart Plastics Pty Ltd v Watts & Freshpac Pty Ltd (Supreme Court of Victoria, unled, proceedings for declaration of a trust, an account of profits, compensation for breach of director's duties, and damages arising out of the alleged misuse of confidential commercial information, including application for security for costs).
  • Street v State of Western Australia (Federal Court of Australia - Western Australia Registry, led by William A. D. Edwards and Joshua Creamer, acting for the applicants in the "WA Stolen Wages" class action, including claims for / relating to statutory relief, taking of accounts, declaratory relief, complex trusts, fiduciary duties, equitable compensation, restitution, quantum meruit, and damages arising out of allegations of unlawful racial discrimination relating to work for no or inadequate wages). 
  • Advising a candidate for election to the board of a high profile elite sporting club constituted as a company limited by guarantee, including the company constitution as statutory contract and obtaining relief without the need for litigation to delay ballots being mailed to members (led by Matthew J Hooper).
  • Greenwich Capital Advisory Pty Ltd v Go People Pty Ltd & Ors (Supreme Court of NSW, unled, shareholder oppression claim).
  • Advising on PPSR registration and enforcement of security issues (unled, liquidation scenario).
  • IMO Sheep Station Pty Ltd v The Community Association of Lot 1 DP 270076 & IMO Pasadena 221 Pty Ltd v The Community Association of Lot 1 DP 270076 (Supreme Court of Victoria, unled, proceedings to set aside statutory demands).
  • Westpac Banking Corporation v JRC Future Pty Ltd & Ors (Supreme Court of Victoria, led by Michael Pearce S.C., proceedings for declarations and to recover possession of land subject to a lease to a developer and a licence to a third party).
  • Advising on some structural / legal aspects of large non-bank financier transactions, including documenting bills of exchange / bill facilities (led by Andrew R Kirby).
  • CSA Specialised Services Pty Ltd v MRI PSO Pty Ltd (Supreme Court of Victoria, unled, breach of contract, debt, and quantum meruit claims arising out of environmental clean up works / EPA Notices).
  • WA Skills Training Malaysia SDN BHD v Cooke (Supreme Court of Victoria, unled, application to enforce foreign judgment under common law principles).
  • Complex / high value recoveries (unled, pre-litigation contexts through to enforcement of judgment, including in the Expedited Cases List in the County Court of Victoria and a first-of-its-kind Magistrates’ Court Arbitration award for a major toll road entity).

Prior to coming to the Bar, John was Senior Associate to a Judge in the trial division of the Supreme Court of Victoria (Commercial Court) and Senior Associate at Dentons 大成 the world’s largest law firm. 

John is the updating author of The Laws of Australia commentary subtitle “Company Reorganisation” (update forthcoming, Thomson Reuters / Westlaw). He completed a Master of Laws degree at Melbourne Law School (first class honours average).

John sat on the Australian Bar Association’s Indigenous Issues Committee, sits on the Victorian Bar's Indigenous Justice Committee, and he helped lead the team of private practice lawyers that set up and ran Australia's first free trans and gender diverse legal clinic (with the Inner City Legal Centre).

John read with Dr Paul Vout QC and his senior mentor is Christopher Caleo QC.

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.


PH +61 3 +61392256777
Email [email protected]

Chambers: Room 41
Dawson Chambers
405 Little Bourke Street
Melbourne 3000

Practice Areas

Alternative Dispute Resolution
Neutral Evaluation
Expert Determination
Banking & Finance
Commercial Lending
Complex Transactions
Managed Investment Schemes
Mistaken / Fraudulent Transactions
Structured Finance
Trade Finance
Bankruptcy Law & Insolvency Law
Corporate Insolvency
Public Examinations
Building Law & Construction Law
Commercial Building Disputes
Commercial Law
Property & Probate
International Commercial Law
Banking & Finance
Bankruptcy Law & Insolvency Law
Building Law & Construction Law
Civil Procedure Law
Class Actions
Competition Law & Consumer Law
Contractual Disputes
Corporations Law & Securities Law
Common Law
Class Actions
Competition Law & Consumer Law
Consumer Protections
Product Liability
Corporations Law & Securities Law
ASIC Investigations
ASIC Prosecutions
Directors' Liabilities
Financial Products Regulation
Managed Investment Schemes
Partnership Disputes
Shareholder Disputes
Equity & Trusts
International Commercial Law
Status of Foreign Judgements
Property & Probate
Mortgage Law
Joint Ventures


Admitted to the Legal Profession:
15 Feb 2012
Signed Victorian Bar Roll:
07 May 2020


BA (Hons) LLB (Hons) LLM (Melb)

Also Entitled to Practise in

Federal Court of Australia
High Court of Australia

Committee Memberships

Indigenous Barristers
Indigenous Justice Committee