John Nunns Barrister

John Nunns



Greens List

  • Victorian Bar Profile
  • PDF download



Liability Limited by a Scheme approved Under the Professional Standards Legislation
John is an experienced trial advocate, mediator, arbitrator and adjudicator. He believes in mediation as the first and most appropriate way to resolve most disputes. He understands the pressures on personal clients in estate, property, small business (including farms) and construction litigation, the benefit to them of their participation in negotiations and their need to achieve economical, quick and fair or commercial outcomes according to their needs and interests as far as possible, before suffering the great cost in money, time and stress to obtain an unpredictable court, arbitral or tribunal decision imposed on them according to law, irrespective of their needs and interests.  However, if litigation, arbitration, expert determination, a reference out of court or adjudication is necessary, he has long experience of all those determinative dispute resolution processes, both as an advocate and binding decision maker himself.

Barrister and Mediator
His practice includes interlocutory and trial advocacy, advice and pleadings in Supreme and County Courts, arbitrations and VCAT Building and Property List, mediation and representation in mediations in Commercial law (including sale and lease of goods and insurance), property law (including sale of property and businesses, commercial leases including retail tenancies, and loan securities), equity and trusts, building construction, small companies and partnership disputes, probate (including testamentary capacity and undue influence and passing over and replacing executors), family provision (testators’ family maintenance) and professional liability of accountants, architects, engineers and lawyers in areas related to his areas of practice listed above.
He successfully represented the plaintiffs in Lei v Lei [2016] VSC 336 (validity of allotment, issue, transfer and beneficial ownership of shares and beneficial ownership of properties); Lei v Lei (Ruling No 1) [2016] VSC 121 (admissibility of Chinese company search), a 9 day Commercial Court trial, claiming the beneficial ownership and control of a small company and 3 small property developments (1 business + 2 residential), where the major issues were how and for whom the company was incorporated and funded, subsequent membership, and how each of the property purchases and redevelopments came about and who funded each of them, involving constructive and resulting trusts and expert accounting evidence.
Probate List matters have included passing over and replacement of executors and an application for an injunction to restrain an executor from breach of trust. Family provision matters have included applications for extension of time in Cox v Hammond (SC(Vic), Tadgell J. No.7641/91 27 June 1991, unrep LexisNexis BC103742) and Maher & Ors v Maher & Ors [2018] VSC 318
Professional experience
Barrister over 40 years
Mediator over 23 years in areas of practice listed above.

Alternative Dispute Resolution qualifications and experience
Victorian Bar Advanced Mediator (including accreditation under the Australian National Mediator Accreditation Standards), and accreditation as a mediator with the Resolution Institute (formerly the Institute of Arbitrators and Mediators Australia (“IAMA”) and LEADR Association of Dispute Resolvers), as a Grade 2 arbitrator and as an adjudicator under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 2002 as amended (Vic), with the Resolution Institute as the Authorised Nominating Authority. He is a current panel mediator for the Small Business and Family Enterprise Ombudsman and on the LEADR Motor Vehicle Insurance and Repair Industry mediator panel, and was on the previous Office of Franchising Mediation Adviser’s panel of franchising mediators.
Arbitrator – over 27 years, conducting both international (under the International Arbitration Act 1974 (C’Wealth) and the Uncitral Model Law and Rules), and domestic arbitrations (under the superseded Commercial Arbitration Act 1984 (Vic.) and the Commercial Arbitration Act 2011 (Vic.)), in commercial construction and other contract disputes (including misleading and deceptive conduct, rectification, and uncertainty and international trade) and lease, internet domain name registration and partnership dissolution disputes.
Adjudicator - 10 years adjudicating under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act (Vic) 2002, including claims for extras and variations.
Expert determinations – validity of a tenant’s termination (under a break clause for failure to achieve a town planning permit time goal) of an agreement for construction and lease of commercial premises (before the validity of his Law Institute of Victoria appointment was confirmed by the Court of Appeal in 1144 Nepean Highway v Abnote Australasia (2009) 26 VR 551; [2009] VSCA 308);
civil contractor’s claims for extras and variations under AS-2124/2125 contract conditions and alleged associated misleading representations.
Court Referee determining the amount of damages for breach of a partnership dissolution agreement, by his report which was adopted by the court for judgment.

Professional Memberships
The Victorian Bar, the Resolution Institute, associate membership of the Law Institute of Victoria, and the Building Disputes Practitioners’ Society.
Papers written and presented
He wrote and presented the following papers for the Leo Cussen Institute, Law Institute (including Business Law specialist practice groups), Greens List and commercial CPD providers –
Commercial Law
Remedies for the Oppressed Equity Holder, Business Partnerships – Disputes and Dissolution, Partnership, the High Court on Protective Contractual Terms (Restraint of Trade, Reservation of Title, Exclusion and Disclaimer Clauses) – Validity and Effectiveness, 
Practice and Procedure
Preliminary Discovery,
Mediation/Alternative Dispute Resolution
Representing Clients’ Best Interests in Mediation,
Wills & Probate
Leo Cussen Institute 2016 Update on Estate Litigation in the Supreme Court Trusts, Equity & Probate List,
Succession Law and Elder Law - Victorian Law Reform Commission Report on Guardianship.

The 2017 updated partnership papers and representation in mediation paper are available in the commercial section of the Greens List website library.

Download John's CV here

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

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.