Don Ryan QC Barrister

Don Ryan QC



Castan Chambers

Room 1802

460 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

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The Hon D.M. Ryan QC practised at the Victorian Bar form 1965 until his elevation to the Federal Court in 1986. After a general practice as Junior Counsel, he took silk in 1980 and practised throughout Australia in industrial, commercial, constitutional and administrative law.

He was admitted to practise in New South Wales as well as Victoria and appeared at first instance and on appeals in the Supreme Courts of both States as well as the High Court, the Conciliation and Arbitration Commission, the NSW Industrial Commission and various specialist tribunals. He has served as an acting Chairman at the Victorian Liquor Control Commission and been Senior Counsel assisting the Hope Royal Commission into Australia’s Security Organisations.

As a judge of the Federal Court, he was a member of the corporations, industrial, maritime and taxation panels within the Victoria Registry and presided at first instance and on appeals across the whole range of the Court’s jurisdiction. He also oversaw the conduct of a pending native title claim by the Bidjara people centred on the Charleville in south-west Queensland. During his tenure on the Federal Court he served as an additional judge of the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory where he presided over criminal trials and civil litigation including claims for personal injuries and property and commercial disputes. As well, he sat regularly in the appellate jurisdiction of that Court.

Since returning to the Bar in 2011, he has held the office of Independent Assessor, Special Building Industry Powers.  He was also appointed to conduct between August 2014 and September 2015, an Independent Review of the “Melbourne Response” to allegations of sexual abuse against clerical and lay personnel of the Catholic Archdiocese of Melbourne.

Mr Ryan has also been Editor of the Federal Law Reports and a part-time Commissioner of the Australian Law Reform Commission and has published numerous papers on aspects of maritime, industrial and procedural law. He is a nationally accredited mediator, holding a lawyers Mediation Certificate and is available to be retained as an arbitrator or mediator or to advise in any area appropriate to his experience.

To get in touch with Don Ryan QC | or for more information please contact the Clerk on: +61 3 9225 7222 or