For more than 26 years I have appeared in the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Federal Court of Australia (throughout Australia), and from time to time in the Supreme Courts of New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory. I have also run commercial arbitrations and appeared on a number of occasions in the High Court of Australia.
Most recently I appeared for the successful respondents in the landmark decision in Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd (in liq’n) v Collins  HCA 44.
I am among the most experienced advocates at the Victorian and New South Wales Bars, both at trial and appellate level. This has given me broad exposure to all manner of commercial enterprise and a mastery of those areas of the law fundamental to commerce; tax, contracts, trusts, equity, corporate law and trade practices. This mastery is recognised by my peers who have selected me for entry in “Best Lawyers Australia” since 2014.
Clients seek me out for opinions, not only when they are dragged in to litigation, but critically well before litigation is on the horizon. When clients want to know what a judge is likely to decide they seek my opinion. And having spent so much time assisting judges at trial and on appeal, I am more than expert in advising clients as to the most likely outcome which the law will dictate.
I have been involved in providing advice across a broad spectrum of areas including more arcane matters of tax (such as the principle of mutuality), corporations law and trade practices. I was the architect of Cadbury’s very successful claim against Amcor for the loss caused to the packaging cartel with Visy, Australia’s first private damages claim for cartel conduct.
In addition to my work as a senior silk, I chair Barristers’ Chambers Limited, a thriving commercial enterprise with a turnover in excess of $35m, which provides accommodation to members of the Victorian Bar.
If you would like to retain me to assist you or your company telephone my assistant, Ms Jeannette Wolk on 9225 8495.
Playcorp Pty Ltd v. Shaw & Ors (1993) 10 ACSR 212;
Netet Pty Ltd v. Mott (1994) 13 ACSR 586;
Rialto Pty Ltd v. Handbags International  ANZ Conv R 87;
J & B Records v. Brashs Pty Ltd (vol admin apptd) (1994) 13 ACSR 680;
J & B Records v. Brashs (1994) 15 ACSR 702;
Triangle Corporation v. Carnsew (1994) 29 IPR 69;
Re Brashs Holdings (1994) 13 ACSR 793;
Re Brashs Pty Ltd (1994) 15 ACSR 477;
J & B Records Pty Ltd v. Brashs Pty Ltd (1995) 36 NSWLR 172.
Krakowski v. Trenorth Ltd (1996) Aust Torts Reports 81-401; (1996) V ConvR 54-551;
Hudson Conway Ltd v. Colliers Jardine (Vic) Pty Ltd  ANZ ConvR 523;
Brashs Holdings v. Katile  1 VR 24;
Farrow Finance Co Ltd (in liq) v. ANZ Executors and Trustee Co Ltd and Others (1997) 23 ACSR 521
Koumaros v. Perpetual Trustees Australia Ltd (1998) V ConvR 54-577;
Beatty v. Brashs Pty Ltd  2 VR 201;
Farrow Finance Company Ltd (in liq) v. ANZ Executors and Trustee Company Ltd  1 VR 50;
ST (2) Pty Ltd v. Lockwood (1998) 27 ACSR 667;
Southern Cross Petroleum Sales (SA) (in liq) v. Hirsch (1998) 70 SASR 527;
Leibler v. Air New Zealand  2 VR 525;
Leibler v. Air New Zealand (No. 2)  1 VR 1;
Rexlynne Nominees v. Last Frontier Picture Co (1999) 46 IPR 368;
Panasales Clearance Centre Pty Ltd v. J B Hi Fi Brighton Pty Ltd (1999) ASAL 55-030
Mallesons Stephen Jaques v. Trenorth Ltd  1 VR 727;
Re an Arbitration; Apriaden Pty Ltd v Seacrest Pty Ltd and Another (1999) V ConvR 54-598
Arthur Young v. Brunswick NL  1 VR 387;
Ampelite v. Alsynite (2000) 49 IPR 271;
AMIEU v. Peerless Holdings (2000) 103 FCR 577;
Tarkington Pty Ltd v. Kingrake Pty Ltd  ANZ ConvR 555
Harrison v. Lewis (2001) 19 ACLC 566;
Australian Competition & Consumer Commission v. Simply No-Knead (Franchising) Pty Ltd (2001) ATPR 41-744
Pacific Dunlop Ltd v. Swinbank (2001) 11 ANZ Ins Cas 61-496;
Ali v. Hartley Poynton Ltd (2002) 20 ACLC 1006;
ASIC v. Plymin & Ors (2002) 4 VR 168;
ASIC v. Plymin & Ors (No. 2) (2002) 42 ACSR 662;
ASIC v. Plymin & Ors (No. 3) (2002) 42 ACSR 670;
ASIC v. Plymin & Ors (2003) 46 ACSR 126;
Re Centaur Mining & Exploration Pty Ltd (in liq) (2003) 48 ACSR 1;
Gribbles Pathology (Vic) Pty Ltd v. Shandford Investments Pty Ltd (2004) 51 ACSR 578;
Gunns Forest Products Ltd v. North Insurances (2004) 13 ANZ Ins Cas 61-606;
IMCA v. Pyle (2004) 20 BCL 293;
New Zealand Pelt Export Co Ltd v. Trade Indemnity New Zealand Ltd (2004) 13 ANZ Ins Cas 61-626;
Seven Network (Operations) Ltd v. MEAA (2004) 148 FCR 145;
Dwyer v. La Gender Pty Ltd (2005) 240 LSJS 308;
Hartley Poynton Ltd v. Ali (2005) 11 VR 568;
Beck v. Spalla (2005) 223 ALR 21;
Lion Nathan Australia Pty Ltd v. Coopers Brewery Ltd (2005) 55 ACSR 610;
QPSX Limited v. Ericsson Australia Ltd (No. 3) (2005) 66 IPR 277;
Lion Nathan Australia Pty Ltd v. Coopers Brewery Ltd) and others (2006) 56 ACSR 263;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd v. Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd (No. 4) (2006) 69 IPR 23;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd v. Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd (No. 3) (2006) 229 ALR 179;
Cadbury v. Darrell Lea (2006) 228 ALR 719;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd v. Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd (No. 5) (2006) 69 IPR 273;
Minister for Immigration and Citizenship v. SZCWF & Anor (2007) 244 ALR 291;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd) v. Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd (No 2) (2007) ATPR 42-175
On Q Group Ltd v. McDougall (2007) 25 ACLC 910;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd v. Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd (2007) 159 FCR 397;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd v. Darrell Lea (No. 8) (2008) 75 IPR 557;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty v. Amcor Ltd (2008) ATPR 42-224
Irving v. Smith (2008) 68 ACSR 14;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd v. Amcor Limited (2008) ATPR 42-224;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd v Amcor Ltd and others (2008) 246 ALR 137;
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission v Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd) and Others (2009) 174 FCR 547;
Cadbury Schweppes Pty Ltd v. Darrell Lea Chocolate Shops Pty Ltd (2009) 174 FCR 547
Comcare v. John Holland Rail Pty Ltd (2009) 185 IR 191;
John Holland Pty Ltd v. Comcare (2009) 260 ALR 106;
Talacko and Others v. Talacko (2010) 183 FCR 311;
John Holland Group Pty Ltd v Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union (2010) 198 IR 439;
Acconci and Others v Alpha Technologies Corporation Ltd (ACN 006 613 636) (in liq) and Others (2010) 79 ACSR 505;
Comcare v John Holland Rail Pty Ltd (ABN 61 009 252 653) and Another (2010) 189 FCR 173;
Comcare v. John Holland Rail Pty Ltd (2010) 272 ALR 532;
Comcare v John Holland Rail Pty Ltd (ABN 61 009 252 653) and Another (No 3) (2011) 119 ALD 565;
John Holland Rail Pty Ltd (ABN 61 009 252 653) and Another v Comcare (2011) 276 ALR 221;
Hanks v Admiralty Resources NL (2011) 85 ACSR 101;
La Trobe Capital and Mortgage Corporation Ltd v. Hay Property Consultants Pty Ltd (2011) 190 FCR 299;
Comcare v John Holland Rail Pty Ltd (No 4) (2011) 210 IR 65;
Comcare v John Holland Rail Pty Ltd (No 5) (2011) 283 ALR 111;
John Holland Group Pty Ltd v Automotive, Food, Metals, Engineering, Printing and Kindred Industries Union and Others (2011) 34 VR 635;
Saric v Tehan (2011) 33 VR 632;
Arhanghelschi and Another v Ussher and Others (2013) 94 ACSR 86;
Chan v Four C Reality Pty Ltd (ACN 130 269 909) (in liq) and Others (No 2) (2014) 95 ACSR 666;
Macarthur Cook Real Estate Funds Ltd v APN Funds Management Ltd (2013) 9 ASTLR 409;
Discovery Africa Ltd v Sunbreaker Holdings Pty Ltd and Others (2014) 98 ACSR 328;
Telstra Corporation Ltd v Phone Directories Co Pty Ltd (2014) 316 ALR 590;
Murphy v Victoria and Another (2014) 313 ALR 546;
Zwanenberg Australia Pty Ltd v Moira Mac’s Poultry and Fine Foods Pty Ltd (No 2) (2014) FCA 1401;
Nguyen v Phan  VSC 32;
Whirlpool (Australia) Pty Ltd v Castel Electronics Pty Ltd  FCA 906;
Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd v Collins  VSC 461;
Nguyen v Phan  VSC 634;
Good to Go Loans Pty Ltd v Australian Securities and Investment Commission  FCA 1350;
United Petroleum Pty Ltd v Pentaco Oil (Aust) Pty Ltd (No 2)  FCA 221;
Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd v Collins  VSCA 128.
Please click here for the curriculum vitae of Mr Wyles Q.C..
A brief overview
Since coming to the Bar in 1990 I have been retained to appear predominantly in the Supreme Court of Victoria, and in the Federal Court of Australia (throughout Australia), both at trial and on appeal. I am also briefed in the Supreme Courts of New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania, and the Australian Capital Territory and in commercial arbitrations.
My practice is a broad commercial and civil practice (which also extends to civil penalties). I have particular experience in corporate and company law, competition law, commercial arbitrations, equity, trusts and economic torts. I have studied accounting, economics, marketing and organisational behaviour units at an MBA level, which I have found of great assistance in the presentation of commercial cases.
Over the last 25 years I have appeared as counsel or Queen’s Counsel in more than 200 decided matters and various private arbitrations, of which at least 84 decisions have been reported. My experience of presenting cases is thus substantial, and I am well equipped to provide not only the highest standard of written and oral advocacy, but also the formulation of a well conceived litigation strategy. In my experience the most effective advocacy requires a detailed understanding of the client’s business and its commercial interests.
My legal practice is complemented by my role as the Chairman of Barristers’ Chambers Limited (BCL), a $200m company with a turnover of some $35m per annum and growing. BCL’s core business is the provision of quality CBD accommodation and ancillary services to more than 1800 barristers practicing at the Victorian Bar.
I have been a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors since 1996. This has assisted my ability to better understand matters from the client’s point of view, and significantly, the ability to assist clients to find the optimum commercial outcome of any dispute.
I am also a pro bono consultant to the CEO of Anglicare (Mr Paul McDonald) and, at his invitation, assisted Anglicare, Berry Street, the Salvation Army, MacKillop Family Services, the Victorian Aboriginal Child Care Association and the Centre for Excellence in Child and Family Welfare on a pro bono basis in developing and making submissions to the Victorian Parliamentary Inquiry into Protecting Victoria’s Vulnerable Children.
Dated: June 2016
Michael Damian Wyles Q.C.
Telephone: + 61 (03) 9225 8868
Mobile: + 61 (0) 417 583 011
Career in the law
1986 – 1987: Gillotts (merged in 1987 with Minter Simpson and Ellison Hewison Whitehead to form Minter Ellison)
30 March 1997: Admitted to Practice
1987 - 1990: Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks (now Allens Linklaters)
31 May 1990 Member of the Victorian Bar Inc.
to date: Interstate Member of: New South Wales Bar Association
Queensland Bar Association
South Australia Bar Association
Western Australia Bar Association
2007 – 2011: Member Equality of Opportunity Committee of the Victorian Bar
2009 - 2012: Member Pro Bono Committee of the Victorian Bar
24 November 2009: Appointed Senior Counsel in and for the State of Victoria
(On 15 April 2014 the Victorian Government issued to me Letters Patent as One of Her Majesty’s Counsel for the State of Victoria)
2010 – 2012: Member Finance and Audit committee of the Victorian Bar Inc.
2011 – 2014: Member Foley’s List Committee (appointed Chairman 2012)
2012 – present: Associate Member 7 Wentworth Selborne Chambers Sydney
2012 – present: Editorial Committee: “Australian Civil Liability”
2012 – 2013: Member Ethics Committee of the Victorian Bar Inc.
2012 – 2013: Chairman Health & Wellbeing Committee of the Victorian Bar Inc.
2014 – present: Selected by peers to be included in Best Lawyers Australia
Outside the law
1980: Australian Stock Exchange – Post Clerk (“Chalkey”)
1992 - 1993: Fine Merino Sheep farm at Warrenmang Victoria
1996 – to date: Member Australian Institute of Company Directors (membership not renewed 2007-2011)
2001 - 2002: Business Development Executive Nufarm Ltd (reporting directly to CEO as part of the Executive Management Team).
2002 - 2004: Operator of Charlotte’s Vineyard (self-owned)
2008 - 2010: President Mt Buller Race Club
2008 - 2012: Member Finance committee of the Council of St Catherine’s School
2010 – present: Director Barristers’ Chambers Ltd
2010 – present: Consultant to CEO of Anglicare Victoria
2011 – present: Chair BCL Audit and Risk Committee
2012 – present: Chairman Barristers’ Chambers Ltd
2014 – present: Chair BCL Nominations and Remuneration Committee