Briefing Victoria Legal Aid Chambers

Briefing Victoria Legal Aid Chambers

Our Chambers advocates provide high-quality representation for clients with a grant of legal assistance in criminal law, civil law, child protection and family law. They appear in all Victorian courts and tribunals, the Federal Court, the Family Court and the High Court of Australia.

Chambers advocates can be briefed to appear for clients by Victoria Legal Aid lawyers and private practitioners on our panels.

To engage the services of our advocates, contact Victoria Legal Aid Chambers on:

Chief Counsel

Senior public defenders

Public defenders

Associate public defenders

Family and Children's law

In-house Counsel, Family and Children's Law

Associate In-house Counsel, Family Law

  • TBC

Civil law

Public Defender, Civil Law

Associate Public Defender, Civil Law

Chief Counsel

Julia Munster

Admitted to the legal profession: 1993

Available to be briefed in:

  • Supreme and County Court trials, pleas, appeals and bail applications
  • Court of Appeal
  • Judicial Review proceedings
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals
  • complex Children's Court matters (criminal division).

Professional memberships and accreditation:

  • accredited criminal law specialist.
  • Senior public defenders

Amy Brennan

Admitted to the legal profession: 2005

Signed Victorian Bar Roll: 2008

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals and bail applications
  • Supreme Court pleas and bail applications
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals
  • appear as junior in Supreme Court trials
  • complex Children's Court matters (criminal division).
  • Professional memberships and accreditation:
  • Equality and Diversity Committee, Victorian Bar
  • French Australian Lawyers Society.

Other information:

Author of Criminal Law chapter in Droit de l’Aust – a French publication on the laws of Australia.

Andrew Waters

Admitted to the legal profession:1996

Signed Victorian Bar Roll: 2001

Available to be briefed in:

  • Supreme Court and County Court trials, pleas, appeals and bail applications
  • Court of Appeal
  • Judicial Review proceedings
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals
  • complex Children’s Court matters (Criminal Division).

David Gibson

Admitted to the legal profession: 1985

Signed Victorian Bar Roll: 2009

Available to be briefed in:

  • Court of Appeal
  • Judicial Review proceedings
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals
  • Supreme Court and County Court trials, pleas, appeals and bail applications
  • complex Children’s Court matters (Criminal Division).

Other information:

  • member of the Child Witness Service Advisory Board, which provides advice and guidance to the Child Witness Service that supports child witnesses in the criminal justice system.

James Fitzgerald

Admitted to the legal profession: Queensland in 1995 and Victoria in 1998.

Available to be briefed in:

  • Supreme and County Court trials, pleas, appeals and bail applications
  • Court of Appeal
  • Judicial Review proceedings
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Fitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offender (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals
  • Coronial inquests
  • Australian Crime Commission matters.

Other information:

  • James has practised in both Queensland and in Victoria and has been involved in regional circuit court matters for a number of years. He has developed a great reputation as a fair and conscientious barrister who strives for the best results for his clients.

John McLoughlin (Appeals)

Admitted to the Legal Profession: 1987

Available to be briefed in:

  • High Court
  • Court of Appeal
  • Supreme Court pleas
  • County Court pleas
  • Administrative law (judicial review)
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009.

Naomi Smith

Admitted to the Legal Profession: 2004

Signed Victorian Bar Roll: 2008

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals and bail applications
  • Supreme Court pleas and bail applications
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals
  • appear as junior in Supreme Court trials
  • complex Children's Court matters (criminal division).

Other information:

  • accredited criminal law specialist
  • accredited advocacy instructor with the Australian Advocacy Institute
  • instructor with the Leo Cussen Centre for Law.

Zoe Broughton (On Leave)

Admitted to the Legal Profession: 2006

Signed Victorian Bar Roll: 2009

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals and bail applications
  • Supreme Court pleas and bail applications
  • Court of Appeal
  • judicial review
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals
  • and to appear as junior in Supreme Court trials.
  • Professional memberships and accreditation:
  • accredited criminal law specialist
  • accredited advocacy instructor with the Australian Advocacy Institute
  • instructor with the Leo Cussen Centre for Law.

Public defenders

Danielle Lamovie

Admitted to the legal profession: 1993

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals and bail applications
  • Supreme Court pleas and bail applications
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals
  • appear as junior in Supreme Court trials
  • complex Children's Court matters (criminal division).
  • Professional memberships and accreditation:
  • accredited criminal law specialist.

Darcy Dempsey (On Leave)

Admitted to the legal profession: 2007

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals, breach proceedings and bail applications
  • Supreme Court bail applications
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • complex Magistrates’ Court matters – contested committals, contests, pleas, bail applications
  • contested committals
  • complex Children’s Court matters (Criminal Division).

Erin Ramsay (On Leave)

Admitted to the legal profession: 2006

Signed the Bar Roll: 2009

Areas available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals, breach proceedings and bail applications
  • Court of Appeal
  • Judicial review proceedings
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • contested committals.
  • Recent research and publication:
  • Crime and Defence (a Foley’s List publication) – contributing author

Jarrod Van Ark​adie (On Leave)

Admitted to the legal profession: 2013

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals, breach proceedings and bail applications
  • Supreme Court bail applications
  • Court of Appeal
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • complex Magistrates’ Court matters – contested committals, contested hearings, pleas, bail applications
  • complex Children's Court matters (Criminal Division).

Michael Reardon​​

Admitted to the legal profession: 2011

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals, breach proceedings and bail applications
  • complex Magistrates’ Court matters – contested committals, contests, pleas, bail applications
  • complex Children's Court matters (Criminal Division).

Zubin Menon

Admitted to the legal profession: 2009

Signed the Bar Roll: 2013

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals, breach proceedings and bail applications
  • Supreme Court bail applications
  • Court of Appeal
  • matters involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • complex Magistrates’ Court matters – contested committals, contested hearings, pleas, bail applications
  • complex Children's Court matters (Criminal Division).
  • Coronial inquests
  • Judicial review and administrative law

Other information:

  • Cultural Diversity Working Group at the Victorian Bar (2019 - Feb 2021)
  • Co-chair, Student Engagement Committee of the Victorian Bar (2019 – Feb 2021)
  • Criminal Bar Association member (since 2013)Admitted to the legal profession: 2011

Associate public defenders

Angie Wong (On Leave)

Admitted to the legal profession: 2010

Year signed the Bar Roll: 2013

Areas to be briefed in:

  • County Court pleas, appeals, breach proceedings and bail applications
  • Supreme Court bail applications
  • County Court trials (as junior)
  • complex Magistrates’ Court matters – contested committals, contests, pleas, bail applications
  • matters under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997
  • complex Children’s Court matters (Criminal Division)
  • judicial review and administrative law
  • social security
  • mental health.

Other information:

  • Angie joined Chambers in 2018 from the Bar, where she practised in criminal and civil law. She previously worked as a civil solicitor at Victoria Legal Aid and prior to that as a criminal solicitor at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency.

Eleanor Millar

Admitted to the legal profession: 2008

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals, breach proceedings and bail applications
  • complex Magistrates’ Court matters – contested committals, contested hearings, pleas, bail applications
  • complex Children's Court matters (criminal division).

Glenn Cooper

Admitted to the legal profession: 2015

Available to be briefed in:

  • County Court trials, pleas, appeals, breach proceedings and bail applications
  • complex Magistrates’ Court matters – contested committals, contested hearings, pleas, bail applications
  • complex Children's Court matters (criminal division).
  • Senior In-house Counsel, Family and Children's Law
  • In-house Counsel, Family and Children's Law

Matthew Strong

Admitted to the legal profession: 2006

Available to be briefed in:

  • independent children's lawyer trials and hearings
  • Family Court and Federal Circuit Court of Australia trials, interim and final hearings, contraventions and mentions
  • Children's Court matters (Family Division) – interim and final hearings, conciliation conferences
  • contested intervention violence orders
  • Family Dispute Resolution Service conferences.

Other information:

  • Matthew joined VLA Chambers in 2015 from the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency in Darwin practising as a senior solicitor/advocate in family law and child protection.

Associate In-house Counsel, Family Law

Gorica Care

Admitted to the Legal Profession: 2009

Available to be briefed in:

  • Independent Children's Lawyer interim, mentions and directions hearings 
  • Family and Federal Circuit Court of Australia interim hearings, contraventions and mentions
  • Children's Court matters (Family Division) – interim hearings, conciliation conferences, mentions
  • contested intervention violence orders
  • Family Dispute Resolution Service conferences

Public Defender, Civil

Eric Myles​

Admitted to the Legal Profession: 2013

Available to be briefed in:

  • Federal Circuit Court of Australia trials, interim and final hearings, contraventions and mentions
  • Children's Court matters (Family Division) – interim hearings, conciliation conferences, mentions
  • contested intervention violence orders
  • Family Dispute Resolution Service conferences
  • VCAT case planning decision review matters

Sheeana Dhanji (On Secondment)

Admitted to legal profession: 2010

Available to be briefed in:

  • reviews and applications involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • VCAT – residential tenancies, review and regulation, and guardianship and administration lists
  • Commonwealth entitlements
  • judicial review and administrative law
  • mental health
  • infringements
  • suppression orders.

Other information:

  • Sheeana joined VLA Chambers from the County Court of Victoria, where she was the Senior Researcher to the Civil Division’s Judges. She advised on matters of policy, procedure, risk, and substantive law in commercial, common law, and criminal applications and trials. Prior to that, she practised as a commercial litigator.

Olivia Ridley

Available to be briefed in:

  • reviews and applications involving the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act 2009
  • VCAT – residential tenancies, review and regulation, and guardianship and administration lists
  • Commonwealth entitlements
  • judicial review and administrative law
  • migration
  • mental health
  • infringements

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