Greens List Barristers

Joel Harris Bar : 2012| Admitted : 2007

Joel practices in the areas of common law and commercial law. 

Phone : +61 3 9225 7222

Mobile : 0499 857 623

Email :

Chambers : Owen Dixon Chambers West


Joel maintains a broad commercial, common, and regulatory law practice. He focuses on three principal areas:

  • Insurance and reinsurance coverage, liability and subrogation disputes
  • Professional liability and regulatory claims.
  • Common law claims, including personal injury, workers’ compensation, and property damage claims.
  • International trade and transport disputes, including shipping, marine and aviation claims.

Joel is an experienced advocate. He provides commercially sensible advice to his instructing solicitors and their insurance clients. His advice practice focuses on issues of insurance coverage, liability, quantum, evidence, procedure, and drafting pleadings. His work as a barrister is informed by a significant period working in-house as an insurance claims manager in Singapore and London.

Insurance Law

Joel’s insurance law work frequently involves advice and litigation relating to policy coverage and the construction of policy wording. He has experience across a broad range of insurance wordings and policies, including cargo, crime, cyber, directors and officers, energy, life science, management liability, private equity/venture capital, professional indemnity, property damage/business interruption, product liability and recall, public liability, specie, trade credit, and warranty & indemnity. He also has experience advising on coverage under life insurance policies, including total and permanent disability, income protection, accident, and trauma cover.  

Professional Liability and Medical Negligence

Joel represents a wide range of professionals in civil and regulatory disputes, including allied health, architects, auditors/accountants, building professionals, doctors, financial advisers, insurance brokers, lawyers, valuers, and veterinarians. He is regularly instructed in a broad range of medical negligence claims, including delayed treatment, misdiagnosis, surgical errors, and failure to warn brought against hospitals, general practitioners, surgeons, and consultants.  

General Liability

Joel has experience in personal injury and property damage litigation. He has acted for plaintiffs and defendants in road traffic accidents, employer’s liability, product and public liability, and property damage claims. He has been instructed in serious and catastrophic cases involving psychiatric injury, chronic pain, brain and spinal injuries. Joel has a particular interest in life science claims. He has advised on product recall and liability for medical devices and clinical trial compensation claims. Joel has experience with both the Victorian and Commonwealth workers’ compensation schemes. 

Maritime and Aviation

Joel has experience in insurance and non-insurance maritime and aviation disputes. He has advised on coverage and subrogation recoveries disputes arising under cargo, specie, aviation and marine hull contracts. He also has experience in international personal injury claims involving injuries on aeroplanes and cruise ships. He has experience with disputes arising from charter parties and bills of lading, including fraud claims. He has advised on admiralty matters, including the arrest of ships.


Joel regularly appears in a range of Courts, including the County Supreme and Federal Court. He appears at VCAT in the Building and Property, Review and Regulation, Legal Practice and Civil Claims Lists. He regularly appears in the Compensation Division of the AAT. He has experience drafting submissions in disputes before the Australian Financial Complaints Authority. He has experience in all forms of ADR, especially mediation and arbitration.

International Arbitration

Joel has experience with arbitrations administered by the International Chamber of Commerce and the Singapore International Arbitration Centre rules. He is an Associate Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators and a member of the Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitrators. Joel also accepts appointments as tribunal secretary, having completed the ICC's training for tribunal secretaries and is on the HKIAC panel for tribunal secretaries.

Selected cases


  • Ford v Comcare [2018] FCAFC 127 (led by Tom Howe QC)
  • Herald & Weekly Times Ltd and Victorian WorkCover Authority v Jessop [2014] VSCA 292 (led by P Jewell QC).

Statutory Insurance

  • Ford and Comcare [2018] AATA 648
  • Banwell and Comcare [2016] AATA 30
  • Fernandez and Australian Postal Corporation [2014] AATA 703
  • FVNH and Comcare [2013] AATA 832 
  • Midfield Meat Processing Pty Ltd v Fish & Ors [2015] VSC 195, (led by A Keogh SC (as his Honour then was)

Personal Injury/Serious Injury Applications

  • Ebejer v Hobsons Bay City Council & Anor [2014] VCC 795 (unlead)
  • Mentha v Naddvick Holdings Pty Ltd and Ors (2013) (jury trial led by K Judd QC)
  • Botte v TAC [2013] VCC 1036 (led by D Hore-Lacy SC)
  • Holovka v VWA [2013] VCC 1918 (unled)
  • Brennan v Swire Cold Storage Pty Ltd & Anor [2012] VCC 2005 (unled)

Previous Experience

In 2022, Joel returned to practice at the Victorian Bar after five years living in Singapore and two years in London. In Singapore, he worked as a qualified foreign lawyer for Clyde & Co in the firm's Coverage, Speciality and Reinsurance department. He also worked as a claims manager for the Newline Group, a leading Lloyd’s of London syndicate on the Lloyd's Singapore platform. In London, he worked as an in-house lawyer and claims manager for the Medical Protection Society, a leading international medical defence mutual.

In November 2016, Joel was called to the Bar of England and Wales and is a member of The Honourable Society of Middle Temple. 

Joel signed the Bar roll in May 2012. Before coming to the Bar, Joel worked as a solicitor at Sparke Helmore Lawyers and Meridian Lawyers. Before working as a solicitor, Joel was an Associate to Her Honour Judge Davis of the County Court of Victoria.

Joel has a BA and LLB(Hons) from the Australian National University and a Master of Laws from the University of Melbourne.


Memberships & Committees

Victorian Bar

To get in touch with Joel Harris | or for more information please contact the Clerk on:

+61 3 9225

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.