David was born in Melbourne, grew up in Eltham and attended Ivanhoe Grammar School, winning studies prizes in English, Politics and Geography. He graduated in Arts and Law at Monash University. David completed his articles at Rennick & Gaynor solicitors, and was admitted as a legal practitioner in 1993.
Over the next 6 years he worked as a solicitor at Rennick & Gaynor, primarily conducting plaintiff personal injury, TAC, Workcover, product liability, professional negligence, intellectual property and building cases. David also acted in many wills and probate matters, summary and indictable criminal proceedings, and social security, mental health and migration cases. During this time, David appeared regularly at the Mental Health Review Board, Guardianship and Administration Board and VCAT. His work in the area of Mental Health was significant, and included both VCAT and Supreme Court appeals.
David signed the roll of counsel in 1998, reading with Jonathan Brett QC. He has appeared as counsel in a broad range of matters, over a wide range of jurisdictions. Examples include:
Commercial and personal injury litigation – trials in the Magistrates, County and Supreme Courts both alone and as junior counsel.
Federal Court of Australia/Federal Circuit Court of Australia – various trials in disability discrimination, human rights and family law matters, both alone and as junior counsel.
Criminal law – Trials of indictable matters in the County Court, contested hearings in the Magistrates’ Court and Childrens’ Court, Committal Proceedings, County Court Appeals on conviction and sentence, pleas in mitigation in all jurisdictions, judicial review and appeals from Magistrates Court to the Supreme Court, appeals to the Victorian Court of Appeal, and applications for special leave to the High Court of Australia.
VCAT – Contested hearings in building, retail leases, guardianship and administration, civil claims, FOI and other regulatory matters. Various appeals from the Mental Health Review Board/MHT and Crimes Compensation Tribunal.
David has a particular interest in human rights/discrimination law and the law relating to disability. He has mentored several students, has acted as a Moot Judge at Monash University Law School, and is a long-standing member of the Law Institute of Victoria.
In his spare time David enjoys travel, writing fiction, and has a passion for playing and writing music, and restoring classic cars and motorbikes. He also enjoys athletics, running and surfing.
Some of the reported cases David has appeared in are:
Grant and Grant v Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (General)  VCAT 2022 (21 December 2010) (crimes compensation – “act of violence”, quantum of award)
RBA v Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (General)  VCAT 2225 (26 October 2009) (“act of violence”)
B R v Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal  VSC 152 (23 April 2009) (Supreme Court appeal, with John Lavery)
Jafaro v Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal (General)  VCAT 2372 (10 November 2009) (“act of violence”, loss of earnings)
Intervention/Personal Safety Orders
AB & Anor v Magistrates' Court of Victoria at Heidelberg & Ors  VSC 61 (7 March 2011) (intervention order – judicial review)
YY v ZZ & Anor  VSC 743 (24 December 2013) (intervention order – judicial review, with John Lavery)
RS  VMHRB 12 (1 December 1995)
98-053  VMHRB 19 (29 October 1997)
MH6 v Mental Health Review Board (General)  VCAT 846 (7 May 2008)
OFL (Guardianship)  VCAT 684 (3 May 2016) (guardianship, “access to services”)
WXE (Guardianship)  VCAT 1023 (22 June 2016) (Instruments Act, revocation of Power of Attorney)
Hothnyang v The Queen  VSCA 64 (11 April 2014) (criminal law – appeal – with David Grace QC)
DPP v Sarosi  VSCA 216 (26 November 2001) (with Chris Maxwell, QC).
DPP v Katsabis  VCC 1101 (9 July 2014) (criminal plea)
Bannister v State of Victoria  FCA 1341 (27 November 2012)
Modra v State of Victoria  FCA 240 (19 March 2012)
Hickey v Public Advocate (Victoria)  FCA 1203 (24 October 2012)
Benic v State of Victoria  FCA 1263 (11 October 2011) (appeared in the substantive matter with Jeremy Rapke QC)
Abela v State of Victoria  FCA 832 (16 August 2013)
Devers v Kindilan Society  FCA 1392 (27 November 2009)
Devers v Kindilan Society (ACN 004 947 782)  FCAFC 72 (21 June 2010)
Scandolera v State of Victoria  FCA 1451 (17 December 2015)
Wade v State of Victoria  FCA 400 (19 April 2012)
Sievwright v State of Victoria  FCA 118 (21 February 2012)
Abela v State of Victoria  FCA 1323 (14 November 2011)
Kiefel v State of Victoria  FCA 1301 (27 September 2011)
Woodward v State of Victoria  FCA 1122 (1 October 2009)
Goldsmith v Yeshivah & Beth Rivkah Colleges Inc  FCA 996 (5 September 2014)
Modra v State of Victoria (Department of Human Services Victoria & Department of Education and Early Childhood Development)  FCA 1041 (11 October 2013)
Lambert v State of Victoria  FCA 1064 (3 October 2014)
Miscellaneous Civil and Administrative Proceedings
Clark v Tieman Industries Pty Ltd  VSC 500 (4 October 2011) (personal injury – with Terry Casey QC)
Cold Rock Management Pty Ltd v Pickering Miles Services Pty Ltd & Ors  VCC 1610 (19 October 2012) (franchising)
Future Entertainment Pty Ltd v Cold Rock Management Pty Ltd  FCA 922 (30 August 2013) (trademarks)
Towie v State of Victoria  VSC 177 (28 May 2008) (judicial review, with Gerry Nash QC)
Aegean Food Import Export Pty Ltd v R & C Mazzei Nominees Pty Ltd  VSC 515 (14 December 2004) (retail leases, appeal from VCAT, with Gerry Nash QC)
Torney v Victoria Legal Aid & Anor  VSC 631 (23 December 2010) (judicial review, with Nick Pappas SC)
Kuek v Victoria Legal Aid & Anor  VSCA 131 (25 July 2008) (judicial review, discovery)
Kuek v Victoria Legal Aid & Anor  VSC 43 (18 February 2009) (judicial review, with Gerry Nash QC)
Victoria Legal Aid v Kuek & Anor  VSCA 29 (26 February 2010) (judicial review)
Duong v Ho & Pham  VCC 718 (29 May 2008) (commercial agreement, unjust enrichment)
Duong v Ho & Anor  VCC 1145 (30 June 2008) (commercial agreement, costs)
Todarello Consolidated Investments Pty Ltd v Finch & Magistrates' Court of Victoria  VSC 492 (30 November 2007) (civil procedure, security for costs, self-executing order)
Exton, Arnold Patrick & Ors v State of Victoria; Phosphate Co-Operative Company of Australia Ltd; Shell Chemical (Australia) P/L &Kemikals P/L  VicSC 422 (27 August 1991) (product liability/negligent advice – acted as solicitor in class action)
Carrigans Agricultural Repairs Pty Ltd v Viticulture Technologies (AUST) Pty Ltd  VCAT 2036 (3 December 2003) (“appropriate forum” application)
Priestly v Sadlier's Plumbing Pty Ltd (Domestic Building)  VCAT 1905 (12 October 2007) (domestic building)
Walsh and OMeara Builders Pty Ltd v Vero Insurance Ltd (Domestic Building)  VCAT 548 (18 March 2005) (domestic building)
Green Advantage Pty Ltd v Marino Sussich & Anor (Civil)  VMC 9 (13 April 2015) (sale of shares)