Lionel Wirth Barrister

Lionel Wirth



Castan Chambers

Room 1615

460 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

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Lionel has a broad, general commercial and public law practice.

His commercial practice has a focus on property disputes, corporations and insolvency matters and building and construction disputes, with a particular interest where these types of disputes overlap or give rise to complex issues. Other matters in which he has been briefed include contract disputes, professional negligence claims and banking and finance disputes.

His public law practice includes both advice and appearances in in disciplinary, licensing and regulatory prosecutions, including matters brought by the Victorian Legal Services Commissioner. He also accepts briefs in matters of merits and judicial review of government decision-makers.

Lionel has appeared 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.

Court of Appeal

  • Chan v Liu [2020] VSCA 28 (removal of caveat)
  • 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)
  • Supreme CourtRe 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)
  • 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)
  • Perpetual Trustees Victoria Ltd v Miller (unconscionable lending in relation to Storm Financial; professional negligence; settled prior to trial)

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)

County Court

  • 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)
  • 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)


  • 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)
  • Victorian Legal Services Commissioner v Johansson [2015] VCAT 2034 (professional discipline; costs agreements)
  • Ross v Planet Platinum Limited [2012] VCAT 1670 (liquor licensing)
  • 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.