Brett practises in commercial law, and has particular expertise in property law.
He is also a Lecturer in Property Law in the Master of Laws (Juris Doctor) at Monash University.
Before coming to the Bar, Brett was Associate to the Honourable Justices Emerton and Macaulay of the Supreme Court of Victoria, a legal researcher to the Judges of the Supreme Court, and a lawyer at Maddocks.
Brett primarily appears in the Supreme Court of Victoria in commercial and property law matters, and in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in retail and commercial leasing matters.
Brett's Supreme Court appearances include:
- contracts for the sale of land (eg. McHutchison v Asli  VSC 258 - application to enforce a contract of sale for land where there was a defective section 32 statement - unled);
- removal of caveat applications;
- modification and removal of restrictive covenant applications;
- enforcement of mortgages and guarantees over land;
- fraudulent land transfers;
- equitable priority disputes over land;
- appeals from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal;
- commercial contract disputes;
- freezing orders; and
- receivership, winding up, and statutory demand applications.
Brett's VCAT appearances include:
- Versus (Aus) Pty Ltd v ANH Nominees Pty Ltd  VCAT 859 - led by Robert Hay QC;
- Leonard Joel Pty Ltd v Australian Technical Approvals Pty Ltd  VCAT 1781 (whether an option to renew was effective - led by Robert Hay QC);
- William Buck (Vic) Pty Ltd v Motta Holdings Pty Ltd  VCAT 15 (whether GST is to be counted in calculating occupancy costs - led by Samuel Hopper);
- interlocutory injunctions for the possession of land; and
- applications under the Subdivision Act 1988 (Vic).
Brett has also advised on a range of matters, including:
- complex property law disputes;
- adverse possession claims;
- verification of identity provisions under s 87A of the Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic);
- sale and division of property proceedings in VCAT;
- compulsory acquisition of land under the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic);
- Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) applications;
- commercial trusts;
- insurance contracts; and
- contempt proceedings.
Brett has also advised and appeared in areas related to his practice, such as judicial review, planning, land acquisition and compensation, and owners' corporation matters.
While Brett worked for Justice Emerton, her Honour regularly heard judicial review applications, appeals on a question of law from lower courts and tribunals, and land valuation disputes. He also coordinated one of the Court’s specialist lists – the Valuation, Compensation and Planning List.
Brett has published significant papers in several prominent law journals, such as the Australian Property Law Journal and the global Property Law Review. Brett’s analysis was adopted in the leading property law textbook Sackville and Neave Australian Property Law and other major academic articles.
- Brett Harding, ‘Under the Indefeasibility Umbrella: The Covenant to Pay and the 'All-moneys' Mortgage’ (2011) 19 Australian Property Law Journal 231.
- Brett Harding, ‘The Mortgagee’s Power of Sale: The Duty Post MBF Investments Pty Ltd v Nolan’ (2012) 21 Australian Property Law Journal 77.
- Brett Harding, ‘Indefeasibility and the Forged All-Moneys Mortgage’ (2015) 4.3 Property Law Review 223.
- Brett Harding, ‘Another Case of the Forged ‘All-Moneys’ Mortgage’ (2015) 89(4) Australian Law Journal 289.
- Brett Harding, ‘Verification of Identity: As simple as it seems?’ (2017) 6.3 Property Law Review 195.
- Robert Hay QC and Brett Harding, 'The Use and Abuse of Caveats' (2018) 27 Australian Property Law Journal (forthcoming).
Brett graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) from Monash University.
He read with Hamish Redd. His senior mentor was Rowena Orr QC.
Commercial Bar Association - Banking and Finance