Charles practises in commercial law and constitutional law.
He has particular experience in class actions, including variously the Timbercorp class action and the Black Saturday bushfires class action (the largest class action in Australia and longest civil trial in Victoria), and appeals, notably to the High Court of Australia.
He has also acted as counsel assisting the Scrutiny of Acts and Regulations Committee of the Victorian Parliament on its Report on the Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 (2011).
Prior to coming to the Bar, Charles variously: was Associate to the Hon KM Hayne AC, then a justice of the High Court of Australia; practised as a solicitor in the litigation group at Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills); lectured at the Melbourne Law School; and was junior dean at Trinity College, Oxford. He has published widely and is the author of Sir William Stawell and the Victorian Constitution (Australian Scholarly Publishing, 2004) and Bills of Rights and Decolonization (Oxford University Press, 2007). His published work has been cited in decisions of the High Court of Australia.
Charles studied law and history at the University of Melbourne, attended Kings College London on a Menzies Studentship, and completed a doctorate at the University of Oxford on a Commonwealth Scholarship.
He is a member of the Victorian Bar’s Art and Collections Committee and is the duty chair of the Bar History Committee
Flight Centre Travel Group Limited v ACCC  FCAFC - appeal on penalty (led by Bret Walker SC and Michael Borsky SC)
CellOS Software Ltd v Wong  FCA 95 - validity of a company’s general meeting
Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd v Collins  VSC 776;  VSC 65 - test cases on loan recoverability (led by David Batt QC)
Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd v Collins  HCA 44;  VSCA 128;  VSC 461 - operation of preclusion in group proceedings (led variously by Alan Archibald QC, Phillip Solomon QC, and David Batt QC)
DC Payments Pty Ltd v Next Payments Pty Ltd  VSC 315 - application to restrain lawyers (led by Philip Solomon QC)
Eureka Operations Pty Ltd v Viva Energy Australia Ltd  VSCA 95;  VSC 648 - contract dispute (led by Philip Solomon QC and David Batt QC, respectively)
Adnow Pty Ltd v Greenwells Wollert Pty Ltd  VSCA 282;  VSC 153 - setting aside expert determination (led by Jim Delany QC)
Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd v Tomes  VSCA 322 - security for costs (led by David Batt QC)
Timbercorp Finance Pty Ltd v FTM Nominees (2015) 108 ACSR 531 - proper party where debt assigned (led by David Batt QC)
Port of Melbourne Corporation v Melbourne City Council  VSC 714 - land valuation (led by Jim Delany QC)
Cameron Australasia Pty Ltd v AED Oil Limited  VSC 163 - setting aside an arbitral award (led by Philip Solomon QC)
Rowe v AusNet Services Pty Ltd [2014-2015] VSC - class action concerning Murrindindi bushfire (led by Philip Solomon QC and Bernie Quinn QC)
Matthews v SP Australia Networks (Distribution) Pty Ltd [2013-2014] VSC - class action concerning Kilmore East bushfire (a 208 day trial) (led by Jonathan Beach QC, Philip Solomon SC and Bernie Quinn SC)
CFMEU v Mammoet Australia Pty Ltd (2013) 248 CLR 619 - appeal on construction of Fair Work Act 2009 (Cth) (led by Stuart Wood SC)
Woodcroft-Brown v Timbercorp Securities Ltd  VSCA 284; (2013) 96 ACSR 307 – appeal on class action by investors in managed investment schemes (led by Alan Archibald QC)
Office of the Premier v Herald and Weekly Times Pty Ltd (2013) 38 VR 684 – appeal on construction of the FOI Act (led by Gavan Griffith QC)
Aldi v Brimbank City Council  VSC 294 - appeal from VCAT on land valuation
Barber v State of Victoria  VSC 554;  VSC 71 – powers of the Legislative Council (led by Stephen McLeish SC, S-G)
Pathway Investments Pty Ltd v National Australian Bank Ltd (No 2)  VSC 495 - application for an anti-suit injunction (led by Philip Solomon SC)
JT International SA v Commonwealth of Australia (2012) 250 CLR 1 – challenge to constitutional validity of Tobacco Plain Packaging Act 2011 (Cth) (led by Gavan Griffith QC)
Chalmers v Liang  VSCA 439 – leave to appeal against award of crimes compensation (led by Caroline Kenny SC)
Port of Portland Pty Ltd v State of Victoria (No 2)  VSC 337 - assessment of damages (led by Caroline Kenny SC)
Kirby v Centro Properties Limited (No 2) (2011) FCR 439 - application to recuse judge (led by Jonathan Beach QC)
Woodcroft-Brown v Timbercorp Securities Ltd (2011) 253 FLR 240 and  VSC 526 - class action by investors in managed investment schemes (led by Jonathan Beach QC)
Challenger Property Asset Management Pty Ltd v Stonnington City Council (2011) 34 VR 445 and  VSC 67 - land valuation (led by David Batt SC)
Wheelahan v City of Casey  VSC 62 - class action by home owners in relation to the migration of gas from a landfill (led by Jim Delany SC)
Orica Australia Pty Ltd v Limit (No 2) Ltd  VSC 65 - maritime insurance (led by Michael Thompson SC)
Port of Portland Pty Ltd v State of Victoria (2010) 242 CLR 348 - whether a contract term is invalid on constitutional grounds (led by Peter Hanks QC and Caroline Kenny SC)
Kirk v Industrial Relations Commission of New South Wales (2010) 239 CLR 531 - meaning of s 73(ii) of the Constitution (led by Stephen McLeish SC)
Popal v Accounts Control Management Services Pty Ltd  VSC 412 - application for leave to appeal out of time from Magistrates' Court
American International Assurance Co (Australia) Ltd v Skewes  28 VR 211 - appeal from VCAT on meaning of "personal injury"
Re Healthscope Ltd  VSC 367 - scheme of arrangement (led by Jonathan Beach QC)
Re Great Southern Managers Australia Ltd (Receivers and Managers appointed) (in Liq) (2009) 76 ACSR 146 and  VSC 627 - scheme of arrangement (led by Leslie Glick SC)