Justin Mereine came to the Bar after practising commercial litigation as a solicitor for 10 years where his work was highly regarded. He has been ranked by:
Justin specialises in complex commercial litigation and advice. His client list comprises both Australian and locally based multinationals, including companies listed on the ASX 200, companies listed on foreign exchanges and Australia's four largest banks.
He also represents privately-owned companies, directors, shareholders, unit holders, beneficiaries, trustees, administrators, receivers and managers, liquidators as well as creditors. Justin has a thorough knowledge of the law in relation to directors' duties, fiduciary duties, civil penalties, and the insolvency regime.
The core of his practice centres on matters relating to banking and finance law, corporations, insolvency, trade practices, contract, torts, negligence, equity, trusts, property and regulatory provisions. Justin is respected for his sharp analytical skills. His ability to grasp the core issues in highly complicated commercial arrangements is well documented. A list of recent appearances is provided below.
Justin is regarded as a tenacious litigator who combines strategic thinking, experience and a sound understanding of the law to achieve the desired objectives.
He has a comprehensive knowledge of the litigation process and dispute resolution mechanisms. As an astute negotiator, Justin has successfully represented a range of clients in private and court-ordered mediations.
Prior to the Bar, Justin worked as a Senior Associate at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons) (2006-2009) and Minter Ellison (2009-2011), both tier one law firms.
Justin has been published in numerous legal journals. Most recently, his article on automatic set-off in insolvency was published by the Commercial Bar Association of Victoria and on Lexology. His articles on the decision of the Victorian Court of Appeal in Jetaway Logistics Pty Ltd v Deputy Commissioner of Taxation were published in the Australian Insolvency Journal and on the International Law Office website. In addition, his article on the decision of the High Court of Australia in Aussie Vic Plant Pty Ltd v Esanda Finance Corporation was published in the Australian Insolvency Journal and he co-authored Chapter 23 (Directors’ Duties to Creditors) of Australian Finance Law, 6th Edition.
Chambers and Partners 2020
Justin Mereine (Owen Dixon Chambers West) is highlighted by one solicitor as a barrister whose "highly committed and determined dedication to his client's cause," combined with "passionate advocacy and a fair amount of measured aggression," makes him a particularly good choice for especially "difficult and protracted" cases. Other sources emphasise his "meticulous preparation and highly honed research skills" and ability to "come up with a strategy and execute it with a high level of success – even against silks." He is especially experienced in the handling of cases involving complex financial documentation.
Chambers and Partners 2019
Justin Mereine (Owen Dixon Chambers West) stands out for his handling of particularly intricate commercial cases, notably those entailing analysis of the performance of directors' and officers' duties or incorporating complex forensic accounting issues. He is also noted as a barrister who is "very good at getting his head around the framework of rules, terms and principles involved in a new area" and applying that knowledge in a "smart, capable and very effective way."
Chambers and Partners 2018
Justin Mereine (Owen Dixon Chambers West) acts prominently on complex commercial cases, often involving issues of banking and finance, corporate or insolvency law, winning the respect of commentators for his exceptionally thorough analysis and tenacious courtroom performance. He acted successfully for the administrators of the Koko Black Group in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings brought to secure and sustain ex parte freezing orders against the company's former financial controller.
Chambers and Partners 2017
Justin Mereine (Owen Dixon Chambers West) is noted, sources report, for being "uncompromising when it comes to conducting a thorough analysis of the facts," and his "robust knowledge of the law – coupled with his analytical skills – means that we benefit from first-class advice and first-class methodologies every time." Known for his highly capable handling of complex banking and finance, insolvency and trade practices cases, he recently represented former Gunns executive John Gay in Supreme Court of Tasmania proceedings concerning his alleged participation in insider trading.
Chambers and Partners 2016
Justin Mereine of Owen Dixon Chambers West is developing a reputation as a "very, very good" practitioner at the Melbourne Bar, maintaining a broad complex commercial litigation practice with niche strengths in the areas of insolvency and property law. He represented the National Australia Bank in Supreme Court of Victoria proceedings, successfully disarming an attempt to prevent the bank selling a property, the whole process from instruction to conclusion taking place within a 24-hour period.
Chambers and Partners 2015
Justin Mereine of Owen Dixon Chambers West (Foley's List) impresses interviewees as a "tenacious, thorough and methodical advocate" with particularly notable cross-examination skills, and a pragmatic grasp of commercial necessities. He handles a wide range of commercial cases, and recently played a notable role in the successful representation of the Bob Jane Corporation in a Victorian Supreme Court action brought by its founder.
LL.B (Hons), B. Ec
Advanced Insolvency Law and Practice (IPAA)
Banking and Finance
JSTC Pty Ltd & Ors v Benalla Road Pty Ltd & Ors (Supreme Court of Victoria, 2015) – Acting for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in relation to a claim for moneys retained pursuant to its securities. Attempt by a unit holder to bring the proceeding on behalf of the unit trust (settled)
A Saraya Nominees Pty Ltd v National Australia Bank Ltd  VSC 524 – Acting for the National Australia Bank in defence of an injunction to prevent the sale of property
Commonwealth Bank of Australia v Davies and Anor  VSC 666 – Acting for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in relation to the enforcement of its securities. Issue estoppel, cause of action estoppel, res judicata
Nicholson v Hilldove Pty Ltd & Ors  VSC 598 - Contract, property law, specific performance, damages, misleading and deceptive conduct and negligence (with Ted Woodward SC)
Nicholson v Hilldove Pty Ltd & Ors  VSC 231 – Application to reopen case on liability (with Ted Woodward SC)
Nicholson v Hilldove Pty Ltd & Ors (No 3)  VSC 500 and Nicholson v Hilldove Pty Ltd & Ors (No 4)  VSC 578 –No damage established for alleged loss of opportunity, only nominal damages of $100 awarded for repudiation of contract (with Ted Woodward SC)
Nicholson v Hilldove Pty Ltd & Ors  VSCA 158 – Appeal in relation to contractual damages awarded at first instance (with Ted Woodward SC)
Corporations/Insider trading/Pecuniary Penalty Order
Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions v Gay (Supreme Court of Tasmania, 2015) – Application by the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions for a pecuniary penalty order based on an alleged benefit obtained from insider trading (with Neil Clelland QC) (settled mid trial)
Re Calder Park Promotions (In Liquidation)  VSC 285 – Liquidators’ examinations, failure by the director to produce documents specified in the summons, orders made for the production of documents, some documents subsequently produced, director ordered to pay the liquidators’ costs on an indemnity basis
Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd v Last Lap Pty Ltd & Ors (Supreme Court of Victoria, 2015) – Application to remove liquidator appointed to Last Lap Pty Ltd (with Ian Waller QC)
IMO Calder Park Promotions Pty Ltd (In Liquidation)  VSC 254 – Liquidators’ examinations pursuant to sections 596A and 596B of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth), application to set-aside examination summonses and to remove counsel for an alleged conflict of interest (with Jonathon Moore SC)
MK Builders Pty Ltd v 36 Warrigal Road Pty Ltd & Ors  VSC 149 – Appeal from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, operation of the set-off provisions in section 553C of the Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)
In the Matter of Australia Zhongfu Oil Gas Resources Pty Ltd  NSWSC 1208 - Application to set aside a statutory demand
Haulotte Australia Pty Ltd v All Area Rentals Pty Ltd (in liq) & Anor  FCA 615;  90 ACSR 177 - Removal of liquidator appointed to All Area Rentals Pty Ltd (in liq)
Georges v Seaborn International (Trustee), in the matter of Sonray Capital Markets Pty Ltd (in liq)  FCA 75;  288 ALR 240 - Liquidation, method of distribution, issues in relation to trust assets (with Ian Hardingham QC)
Integrated Global Partners Pty Ltd v Hyde & Ors  VSC 45 – Alleged breaches of employment contracts, breaches of fiduciary duties and accessorial liability for knowing participation in the breaches of fiduciary duties. Defending an interlocutory application made by the defendants for orders preventing the use of confidential information and restraining the plaintiff’s lawyers from continuing to act (with Ian Waller QC)
ACN 005 490 540 Pty Ltd v Robert Frederick Jane Pty Ltd  VSC 219 – Trusts, declaration that the purported removal of two trustees was invalid (with Ian Waller QC)
Liu & Ors v Guan & Ors; Guan & Ors ats Liu & Ors (Supreme Court of Victoria, 2013-2015) – Alleged breach of fiduciary duties, accessorial liability for knowing receipt, secret commissions, misappropriation of moneys, acknowledgement of debt, moneys had and received, promissory estoppel, deceit, debt and breach of contract (settled mid trial)
Deutsch v Deutsch (Victorian Court of Appeal, 2015) – Alleged error made by expert appointed by the Supreme Court of Victoria, unit trusts and accounting issues (with Ian Waller QC) (settled prior to hearing)
Kirk & Ors v PBP Accounting Solutions Pty Ltd & Anor  VSC 173 – Breach of fiduciary duties, accessorial liability of corporate defendant for knowing receipt and knowing assistance, compound interest of 5% with yearly rests, equitable compensation, judgment of more than $5 million
Bendav Investments Pty Ltd & Anor v Bendel Holdings Pty Ltd & Ors (Supreme Court of Victoria, 2014) – Trusts, declaration sought as to the valid appointment of trustee and delivery up of trust property (settled)
Jane v Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd & Anor  VSC 406 - Settled account, estoppel, limitation of actions (with Ian Waller SC)
Jane v Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd & Anor  VSC 85 - Taking of an account, application for discovery (with Ian Waller SC)
Wales v Wales  VSC 409 - Action by trustees for settling accounts of trusts, claim by beneficiaries for discovery
General Commercial Litigation / Practice and Procedure
ACN 005 490 540 Pty Ltd v Robert Frederick Jane Pty Ltd (unreported, 28 April 2016) – Application to restrain the plaintiffs’ solicitors from acting (with Ian Waller QC)
Knorr v CSIRO & Ors  VSCA 84 – Appeal against the decision of Beach J refusing leave to file a further Statement of Claim, refusing leave to join a corporation to the proceeding and dismissing the proceeding for want of prosecution
Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd & Anor v Robert Frederick Jane & Anor  VSC 27 – Application to transfer proceeding from the Supreme Court of Victoria to the Family Court of Australia
Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd & Anor v Robert Frederick Jane & Anor (Supreme Court of Victoria, 2013 - ongoing) – Freezing orders obtained against Robert Jane and Laree Jane (unreported)
Jane v Jane & Ors  VCC 807 – Pleadings, striking out of a Statement of Claim (with Ian Waller SC)
Knorr v Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) & Ors  VSC 83; Knorr v Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) & Ors (No 2)  VSC 268 (No 2)  VSC 268; Knorr v CSIRO & Ors (No 3)  VSC 529 - Pleadings - strike out of Statements of Claim and dismissal of proceeding for want of prosecution
Rich Mark Development (Group) Pty Ltd v St Barbara Ltd (20 December 2012, Supreme Court of Victoria) - Interim injunction to prevent sale of assets (with Philip Solomon QC)
Deague v Chen – Contact to purchase property, claim for unpaid deposit (Supreme Court of Victoria, 2015) (settled just prior to opening of the trial)
Bob Jane Corporation Pty Ltd & Anor v Robert Frederick Jane & Anor – Application pursuant to section 172 of the Property by Law Act 1958 (Vic) in relation to property transferred by Robert Jane to Laree Jane (unreported)
Owners Corporation PS326519P v May (Owners Corporations)  VCAT 933 - Operation of the Owners Corporation Rules and section 12(2) of the Subdivision Act 1988 (Vic)
Asian Pacific Building Corporation Pty Ltd v Sharon-Lee Holdings Pty Ltd  VSC 11 - Appeal from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, effect of the abolition of distress for rent on a possessory lien contained in a retail tenancy lease
Owners Corporation PS326519P v May (8-9 January 2013, VCAT, unreported) - Interim injunction to prevent the use of air-conditioning, operation of the Owners Corporation Rules and section 12(2) of the Subdivision Act 1988 (Vic)
Sharon-Lee Holdings Pty Ltd v Asian Pacific Building Corporation Pty Ltd  VCAT 546 – Property law, distress for rent, possessory lien
2014: Commercial Bar Association of Victoria and Lexology “Automatic set-off is not that automatic”
2010: Australian Insolvency Journal 2010, Volume 22, Number 1 "Set-off: Notice of facts disclosing insolvency"
2010: International Law Office Online Publication "Set-off rights at risk only if party has actual notice of facts which disclose insolvency"
2008: Co-author of Chapter 23, Australian Finance Law, 6th Edition, "Directors' Duties to Creditors"
2008: Australian Insolvency Journal 2008, Volume 20, Number 2 "Statutory demands: Time for compliance cannot be extended once expired"
2006: Co-author of the Mallesons’ publication "Document destruction: widening of court sanctions"
2003: Australian Insolvency Journal 2003, Volume 15, Number 2 "What Protection from the Court for Commercial Decisions Under Part 5.3A"
2002: International Finance Law Review, January 2002 "Why Australian law threatens airline financiers"
ALSO ENTITLED TO PRACTISE IN
Federal Court of Australia
High Court of Australia
From 20 May 2011, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.