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Michelle
Sharpe

Dr Michelle Sharpe practices primarily in the area of general commercial and regulatory law specialising in contract and consumer protection law and disciplinary hearings. She regularly appears in all jurisdictions either led or on her own.

Michelle is the author of Unconscionable Conduct in Australian Commercial and Consumer Contracts published by LexisNexis in August 2018.

Michelle has also published numerous articles in peer-reviewed journals and book chapters in the areas of consumer protection and legal ethics. Recent articles include: "ASIC v Kobelt: a consumer protection blackout?" (2019) 27 Australian Journal of Competition and Consumer Law 283 and “More Than a Feeling: Finding Statutory Unconscionable Conduct” (2019) 27 Australian Journal of Competition and Consumer Law 108.

In November 2018 Michelle was named 'Barrister of the Year' in the Lawyers Weekly Women in Law Awards. 

Michelle has had 3 readers: Sally Whiteman, Anastasia Smietanka and Christie Jones.

Some recent cases  of note in which Michelle has appeared include:

  • Winau Aust Pty Ltd & Ors v LLC Property Development & Ors [2020] NSWSC 434 - appeared alone for mortgagor and was successful in arguing that a  mortgage, obtained by a fraudster, did not secure money given to fraudster.
  • I Cook Foods Pty Ltd v State of Victoria (Department of Health and Human Services) [2020] VSC 39 - appeared for food business in successful application for preliminary discovery by the Department.
  • Department of Health and Human Services v Capitol South Yarra (December 2019) - appeared alone for registered proprietor of property on which a large apartment building was being built. Registered proprietor was charged under the Public Health and Wellbeing Act 2008  for failing to register a coooling tower that was commissioned by the builder without its knowledge. Charges were found to be proven and were dismissed without conviction or a penalty or a costs order.
  • City of Greater Dandenong v  I Cook Foods (November 2019) - appeared alone for the food business and director each charged with 48 offences under the Food Act 1984 and was successful in persuading council to drop all charges. 
  • Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation & Financial Services Industry - provided advice to and assisted an industry association in the preparation of written submissions.
  • An international commercial arbitration under the UNICTRAL Arbitration Rules in respect of the sale of a large agricultural business (led by Michael Heaton QC)
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria v Hoskins (Maroondah) Pty Ltd & Peters [2019] FCA 1973 - sole counsel for regulator in Federal Court proceedings against real estate agency for false or misleading statements in underquoting properties and unconscionable conduct in all the circumstances in respect of incentive commission.
  • Legal Services Commissioner v Logan [2018] VCAT 375 - sole counsel for regulator in disciplinary proceedings against solicitor found guilty of misconduct for, among other things, acting without instructions.
  • ACCC v Medibank Private Limited [2017] FCA 1006 and appeal - led by Lachlan Armstrong QC in Federal Court proceedings against Medibank for mfalse or misleading statements made in respect of cover for in-hospital diagnostic services and unconscionable conduct .
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria v Melbourne South Eastern Real Estate trading as Barry Plant Mount Waverley [2018] FCA 1763 - sole counsel for regulator in Federal Court proceedings against a real estate agency for false or misleading statements in underquoting of properties.
  • Consumer Affairs Victoria v Melbourne South Eastern Real Estate Pty Ltd trading as Hocking Stuart Doncaster & Ors [2017] FCA 1448 - sole counsel for the regulator in Federal Court proceedings against a real estate agency for misleading and deceptive conduct in engaging in underquoting of properties and against two directors of the agency for being knowingly involved.
  • Legal Services Commissioner v O'Brien [2016] VCAT 1064 sole counsel for regulator in disciplinary proceedings against a solicitor who signed withdrawals of caveat without instructions. The Tribunal ordered the solicitor to pay a fine of $45,000, together with the Commissioner's costs fixed at $30,000, and a suspension of the solicitor's practicing certificate of 9 months (suspended for 2 years).
  • R v Witt [2016] VSC 19 - co-counsel in private prosecution of a solicitor for conetmpt of court
  • Body in Balance Chiropractic Pty Ltd v Jambere Pty Ltd & Ors [2016] VCC 1835 - sole counsel for plaintiff in a County Court claim for specific performance of a sale of business contract, alternatively damages. 

 

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 8722
Email [email protected]

Chambers: Room 1401
Castan Chambers
460 Lonsdale Street
Melbourne 3000

Practice Areas

Appellate
Commercial Law
Banking & Finance
Building Law & Construction Law
Competition Law & Consumer Law
Contractual Disputes
Corporations Law & Securities Law
Insurance Law & Professional Negligence Law
Property & Probate
Common Law
Class Actions
Intentional Torts
Judicial Review
Negligence
Competition Law & Consumer Law
Consumer Protections
Restraint of Trade
Equity & Trusts
Real Property
Wills & Probate
Inquests, Inquiries, Tribunals & Commissions
Disciplinary Tribunals
Royal Commissions
Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)
Negligence
Professional Negligence
Public Law & Administrative Law
Disciplinary Proceedings
Judicial Review
Merits Review

ADMISSIONS

Admitted to the Legal Profession:
12 Jul 2000
Signed Victorian Bar Roll:
21 Nov 2002

Qualifications

BA (juris) LLB (first class hons) PhD

Also Entitled to Practise in

All Australian States and Jurisdictions

Committee Memberships

Clerking System Review Working Group
Equality and Diversity Policy Working Group
Legal Aid Working Group