Brett practises in commercial law, and has particular expertise in property, and banking and finance 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, property, and banking and finance matters, and in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) in retail and commercial leasing matters.
Brett's Supreme Court matters include:
- enforcement of mortgages and guarantees over land;
- mortgagee sales under s 77 of the Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic);
- fraudulent land transfers;
- equitable priority disputes over land;
- 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 (eg. Pollard v Pollard  VSC 21; Karan v Nicholas  VSC 35);
- compulsory acquisition of land under the Land Acquisition and Compensation Act 1986 (Vic);
- verification of identity provisions under s 87A of the Transfer of Land Act 1958 (Vic);
- modification and removal of restrictive covenant applications;
- adverse possession claims;
- appeals from the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal;
- commercial contract disputes;
- freezing orders; and
- receivership, winding up, and statutory demand applications.
Brett's VCAT matters include:
- landlord's maintenance and repair obligations under s 52 of the Retail Leases Act 2003 (Vic) (eg. Versus (Aus) Pty Ltd v ANH Nominees Pty Ltd  VCAT 859 - led by Robert Hay QC);
- options to renew under s 28 of the Retail Leases Act (eg. Leonard Joel Pty Ltd v Australian Technical Approvals Pty Ltd  VCAT 1781 - led by Robert Hay QC);
- occupancy costs under the Retail Leases Act (eg. William Buck (Vic) Pty Ltd v Motta Holdings Pty Ltd  VCAT 15 - led by Samuel Hopper);
- whether a retail lease was surrendered or abandoned (eg. Chantelle Enterprises Aust Pty Ltd v Sangster-Greenwood  VCAT 961);
- sale and division of property proceedings under the Property Law Act 1958 (Vic);
- interlocutory injunctions for the possession of land; and
- applications under the Subdivision Act 1988 (Vic).
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 international 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 1.
- Brett Harding, 'Notices of Action: The new de facto caveats clogging up Victoria's land titles' (2018) 92 Australian Law Journal 864.
- Brett Harding, 'Too Little Too Late: When to a claim a constructive trust over land' (2019) 28 Australian Property Law Journal 101.
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