Lionel Wirth Barrister

Lionel Wirth



Castan Chambers

Room 1615

460 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

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Lionel has a broad commercial practice, including in insolvency, building and construction disputes and property disputes. Other general matters in which he has been briefed include contract disputes, professional negligence claims, banking and finance disputes, partnership disputes and claims of oppressive conduct in corporate affairs.


In addition to his commercial practice, Lionel also has an interest in and has advised and appeared in disciplinary, licensing and regulatory prosecutions, including matters brought by the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner.


Lionel has also appeared several times in the Court of Appeal (led and unled) and conducted appeals on questions of law in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court.


Lionel graduated with first-class honours in law from Monash University. He received the Peter Twining Prize for the Best Honours Thesis in Common Law, the topic of which concerned the law of restitution. He maintains a blog at


Court of Appeal


  • Chan v Liu [2020] VSCA 28 (removal of caveat)
  • Reliance Franchise Partners Pty Ltd v Ford Kinter & Associates Pty Ltd [2018] VSCA 106 (sale of business)
  • Bisognin v Hera Project Pty Ltd [2018] VSCA 93 (sale of land)
  • Fraser v Sperling [2017] VSCA 53 (domestic building contract)
  • Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd (No 2) (2015) 48 VR 558; [2015] VSCA 185 (professional negligence; building permits; damages)
  • P'Auer AG v Polybuild Technologies International Pty Ltd [2015] VSCA 42 (sale of business)
  • Defteros v Scott [2014] VSCA 154 (costs consultant’s services)


Supreme Court


  • Re JSSP Holdings Pty Ltd; Lee v Liang [2021] VSC 33 (winding-up on just and equitable grounds)
  • Alpine Valley Flour Mill Pty Ltd v Grainlink (NSW) Pty Ltd [2020] VSC 85 (statutory demand; genuine offsetting claim)
  • Ezy Global Ltd v Miller Crescent Pty Ltd [2019] VSC 815 (lapsing caveat; land development)
  • Rowe v Crisp [2019] VSC (caveat lodged by liquidator; Barnes v Addy claims)
  • Count on Us Enterprises Pty Ltd v Hume Machinery Pty Ltd [2018] VSC 787 (application for summary dismissal; sale of land)
  • Kahan v Strauss [2017] VSC 8 (pro bono amicus curiae; question of law under the Private Security Act 2004)
  • HRF Nominees Pty Ltd (in liq) v MAN Civil Constructions Pty Ltd (preference claim; directors’ liability; phoenixing conduct; professional negligence of pre-insolvency advisers; settled prior to trial)
  • WP (Noble Park) Pty Ltd v Issak [2016] VSC 205 (restraint of trade)
  • Golden Taste Investment Pty Ltd v Laurence [2016] VSC 250 (directors’ liability)
  • L & H New Developments Pty Ltd v MYR Investments Pty Ltd [2013] VSC 689 (partnership)
  • Crisp v Fairfax Media Ltd [2012] VSC 615 (defamation; injunction)
  • Perpetual Trustees Victoria Ltd v Miller (unconscionable lending in relation to Storm Financial; professional negligence; settled prior to trial)
  • Rubytime Nominees Pty Ltd v Bottiglieri [2011] VSC 678 (caveat)


Federal Court


  • Zhao v Ausin Group Pty Ltd (share reduction; fair and reasonable; ongoing)
  • Modscape Holdings Pty Ltd v Caspaney [2019] FCA 2137 (meeting of creditors; interlocutory orders)
  • Hoskin v Robert Balzola & Associates (Legal) Pty Ltd [2019] FCA 1353 (bankruptcy; appeal against sequestration order)
  • Donaldson v Natural Springs Australia Ltd [2015] FCA 498 (oppressive conduct; interference with contractual relations)
  • Francis v Eggleston Mitchell Lawyers Pty Ltd [2013] FCA 564 (bankruptcy annulment; assignment of debt)
  • Feiglin v National Australia Bank Ltd (bankruptcy annulment; unconscionable conduct; discontinued prior to trial)


Federal Circuit Court


  • Fair Work Ombudsman v C & H Entertainment Pty Ltd (defended civil prosecution under Fair Work Act 2009; ongoing)
  • AHA Pacific Pty Ltd v Gu (contested creditor’s petition; solvency; settled prior to trial)


County Court


  • Ezy Global Ltd v Basil Street Property Pty Ltd [2020] VCC 1778 (summary judgment application on loan agreement and defence of sham and partnership)
  • Ezy Global Ltd v Basil Street Property Pty Ltd [No 2] [2020] VCC 2007 (security for costs)
  • Sacco v Huynh [2020] VCC 1452 (subpoena of documents relevant to credibility)
  • Fisher v Fisher (2017-18) (family farming; water rights; unconscionable conduct and estoppel; settled prior to trial)
  • Sportzcom Australia Pty Ltd v Ekera Dental Pty Ltd [2018] VCC 398 (employment)
  • MW Accounting Pty Ltd v Tenni [2014] VCC 1541 (sale of business)
  • Brown v De Saram [2014] VCC 47 (security for costs)
  • Horne (as liquidator of Unikon Pty Ltd (in liq)) v Southeast Investment Holdings Pty Ltd (preference claim; complex transaction; accessorial and Barnes v Addy liability; settled prior to trial)




  • RG Concrete & Polish Pty Ltd v Smart [2019] VCAT 722 (ACL claims for concreting services; payments of debt)
  • Lewis v Volkswagen Group Australia Pty Ltd (2019) (consumer guarantees; major failure; settled prior to hearing)
  • Victorian Legal Services Commissioner v Joseph [2018] VCAT 864 (professional discipline; trust money; breach of undertaking)
  • Meadsview Pty Ltd v Fenton [2018] VCAT 1249 (retail lease)
  • Charterarm Investments Pty Ltd v Roberts (Remitted Hearing) [2015] VCAT 527 (domestic building; liability under a cost-plus contract)
  • Victorian Legal Services Commissioner v Johansson [2015] VCAT 2034 (professional discipline; costs agreements)
  • S R & R S Wales Pty Ltd v Hydro Vegie Pty Ltd [2014] VCAT 858 (earthmoving works)
  • Ross v Planet Platinum Limited [2012] VCAT 1670 (liquor licensing)
  • Sirenes Pty Ltd v Inarc Architects [2012] VCAT 1901 (domestic building; freezing order)
  • Westside Real Estate Investments Pty Ltd v Nguyen [2011] VCAT 1830 (retail lease; right to renew)

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

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.