Doug did Articles with Minter Ellison. He is a qualified economist and company director and has worked in senior roles for the ACCC.

Doug has a diverse commercial practice, accepting briefs to appear and advise in commercial disputes in all jurisdictions. He also appears in appellate matters.

Doug is an accredited mediator under the NMAS. He is highly regarded due to his extensive commercial experience and reputation for cutting through complex legal arguments to the real issues in dispute. He has a particular interest in farming and agribusiness cases of all types (including Estate matters) due to his background as a farm economist, his knowledge of agriculture and water and his ongoing connections with the land. He has a rural base north east of Melbourne and gladly attends country clients on site or at their local solicitors.

He also conducts mediations in commercial and partnership disputes of all types and in relation to governance matters such as companies and incorporated associations.

Doug has recognised specialisations as counsel in franchising law, competition, consumer and regulatory law, and agricultural matters.

He acts for both Franchisees and Franchisors and he mediates disputes under the Franchising Code of Conduct.

Doug has acted for and against many well-known national franchise groups and is highly regarded for a practical and commercial approach as well as his technical knowledge of and expertise in franchising law.

Doug regularly acts as counsel for parties who are investigated or prosecuted by the ACCC and the Director of Consumer Affairs (DCAV) for:

  • anti-competitive conduct including price fixing, cartel conduct and alleged misuse of market power;
  • allegations of misleading conduct; and
  • alleged breaches of statutory warranties.

He advises clients on product safety issues including the application of mandatory codes and in relation to compulsory and voluntary recalls. He negotiates settlements and undertakings with the ACCC and DCAV and designs compliance programs and undertakings as part of settlements. He is available as an independent compliance program auditor.

Doug appears for clients in government inquiries.

Doug is a past Chairman of South East Water Limited, Chairman of the Victorian Water Industry Association and a Commissioner of the Taxi Services Commission. 

Doug was appointed to the Administrative Appeals Tribunal in December 2018.

Doug is joint sub-editor of the 'Snapshots' section of the Australia Competition and Consumer Law Journal.

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

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.