Phoebe Knowles Barrister

Phoebe Knowles


Castan Chambers

Room 1308

460 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

  • Victorian Bar Profile
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Phoebe specialises in public and administrative law, including government, policy and regulatory matters.  She also accepts briefs in commercial and white collar/regulatory criminal matters. Her practice covers a range of administrative matters, including environment, planning, disciplinary, discrimination and human rights matters.  Phoebe is also regularly briefed by state and Commonwealth governments and government agencies to provide advice on a range of public policy and legislative matters, particularly in relation to human rights.

Royal Commissions 

Phoebe Knowles is currently junior to Claire Harris QC and ors on behalf of the counsel team acting for the whole of Victorian Government in the Royal Commissions into Victoria's Mental Health System and the federal Commission into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with a Disability and for Victorian service providers in the Aged Care Royal Commission.  

Phoebe is also junior to Saul Holt QC in the Victorian Royal Commission into Management of Police Informants. 

Phoebe is also acting for the Department of Health and Human Services in response to the Victorian Inquiry into the Hotel Quarantine Program (with Claire Harris QC and others). 

Other key matters

Phoebe acted for the CFMEU in various matters in relation to its dispute with Boral, including the ACCC competition law proceeding, the Supreme Court tort action for damages (which settled for a quarter of the amount claimed) and the criminal charge of blackmail (which was withdrawn following a ten-day contest).

Phoebe regularly advises the Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Education in relation to mental health, public health orders, policy, disputes and discrimination.  Her expertise includes advising on prison reform, youth justice and mental health. 

Phoebe has acted for the Environment Protection Authority in a number of disputes in VCAT in relation to landfill sites.

Phoebe has appeared in many employment and education discrimination proceedings, in relation to race and disability discrimination claims, for both independent and state schools, individuals and the Department of Education and Training.  

Prior to coming to the Bar

Human Rights Law Resource Centre and Homeless Persons' Legal Clinic, Solicitor, 2008.  Provided Charter of Human Rights and Responsibilities Act 2006 advice and instructed in test cases. Carried out policy work on equal opportunity, policing, prison conditions, mental health and the National Human Rights Consultation.

Minter Ellison, Solicitor, Competition & Regulatory, 2007. Seconded to a national retail franchisor to provide competition, franchise and commercial advice in late 2007.  Articles of Clerkship at Minter Ellison (2006-2007). Solicitor in the Insurance and Construction practice groups.

Trinity College, University of Melbourne, Residential Law Tutor (2006-2008).  Taught contracts, torts, dispute resolution, equity, trusts and public law.

Legal Assistant to Defence Counsel at the UN-backed Special Court for Sierra Leone, West Africa. She lived & worked in Sierra Leone over 2003-2004.

In 2003, Phoebe was a visiting student at Oxford University studying international law and philosophy at St. Catherine’s College.

Phoebe has a Masters of Law, graduating with Distinction from the London School of Economics in Public International Law (2006) on a full British Chevening Scholarship. 

Download Phoebe's CV

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

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.