Practice as Barrister
Claire practices broadly in general commercial law and in public law matters at the trial and appellate levels. Her commercial experience has a strong focus on insurance and professional negligence and also encompasses contract disputes, insolvency related matters, and class actions. She also has experience in the application of equitable principles in the commercial context, in particular breach of confidence.
Claire's broad public law practice is primarily in judicial review and includes discrimination and human rights matters. She has also represented government and institutional clients in coronial inquests. Claire has appeared led and unled in trials and appellate and interlocutory matters in the High Court, Federal Court, Supreme Court and VCAT.
Claire completed articles at Arthur Robinson & Hedderwicks and was then Associate to Justice Merkel of the Federal Court. She worked for the United Nations International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia, as lawyer assisting Judge David Hunt and as a prosecution lawyer on the Milosevic Trial. She also worked in commercial public international law at London firm Tite & Lewis (affiliated to Ernst & Young).
Claire was awarded the Supreme Court Exhibition at Monash University, and has a Masters from Cambridge as WM Tapp Scholar.
Select recent cases (represented party in bold)
Australian Gourmet Pastes v Endeavour Packaging and IAG New Zealand (stay of action against insurer under Trans-Tasman Proceedings Act 2010; interaction with Insurance Contracts Act)  VSCA 155 (led by Jeremy Ruskin QC);  VCC 455 (Unled).
Lloyds Syndicate 4040 v Tasman Group & ors (2015, VSC) (non-disclosure by insured, with Michael Thompson QC)
Kyriackou v ACE Insurance Ltd  VSCA 150;  VSC 214 (exclusion clauses in professional indemnity policy; with Michael Thompson QC)
HIH Claims Support Ltd v Insurance Australia Ltd (2011) 244 CLR 72;  VSCA 255; (2009) 15 ANZ Ins Cas (equitable contribution; double insurance; with David Jackson QC and Michael Thompson QC)
Professional / public liability
AS v Commonwealth; IHMS (class action, negligence; led by Paul Anastassiou QC, appearances both led and unled: AS v Cth (2015) 307 FLR 122;  VSC 642;  VSC 351)
Regent Holdings v Victoria and Southern Ocean Mariculture (2012) 36 VR 424 (class action; with Michael Thompson QC and Charles Scerri QC) Commercial, corporations law
Commercial / corporations
ASIC v Flugge (No 2) (2017) 342 ALR 478 (Penalty phase with Michael Colbran QC and Cam Truong)
Lewski v ASIC and APCH  FCAFC 171 (directors' duties, led by JP Moore QC)
Australian Property Custodian Holdings v Wooldridge & Ors (2015-2016, led by JP Moore QC)
Paradise Enterprises v Kakavas  VSC 25 (equity, unconscionable conduct; foreign law; with Sam Horgan QC)
We-do-IT Pty Ltd v Stolz (VSC, 2012 restraint of breach of confidence, unled)
Claire has also appeared in public interest immunity and confidential information cases which are unreported for confidentiality reasons
Colonial Range v CES-Queen (Vic) Pty Ltd & BAB  VSC 317 (judicial review, statutory construction)
Weisheit v State of Victoria  VSC 64 (judicial review re seizure of animals; resisting injunction)
Colonial Range v CES Queen (Vic) Pty Ltd and Building Appeals Board  VSCA 356 (judicial review of Board decision)
Knight v Thomas (Governor Port Phillip Prison)  VSC 283 (judicial review; unjust enrichment)
CES-Queen Pty Ltd v Thomas (Building Appeals Board)  VSC 120 (with Richard Niall QC: statutory construction and construction of Board determination)
Knight v Shuard  VSC 475 (judicial review; constitutional freedom of political communication)
Human rights, Charter and Discrimination law
Ingram v QBE Insurance Ltd  VCAT 1936 (insurance, discrimination on grounds of mental health)
A v Children's Court of Victoria  VSC 589 (Charter; right to representation. For Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commission, intervening.)
Eatock v Bolt (No 1) (2011) 197 FCR 261; (No 2) (2011) 284 ALR 114 (race discrimination )
BMF 16 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection  FCA 1530 (citizenship delays, with Chris Horan QC)
Other public law including statutory construction
BSA Ltd v Victorian Workcover Authority  VSC 435 (construction of appeal right; with N Robinson QC);  VSC 46 (status of contractor, with P Solomon QC)
Attorney-General (Vic) v Garrett  VSC 75
United Firefighters Union v Easy  FCA 763 (adverse action, with Frank Parry QC)
Australian Education Union v State of Victoria  FCA 1196 (with Rachel Doyle QC)
Other languages: French
For more information on Claire Harris please click here.