Phoebe Knowles

  • Barrister - victorian bar
  • Castan Chambers, Room 1308, 460 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000
  • BAR ROLL: 2009 | ADMITTED: 2007
  • +61 3 9225 8231 | 0412 139 130
Phoebe Knowles Barrister


Phoebe has experience in public and commercial law.

Experience at the Bar 

Administrative law (general administrative law, freedom of information & discrimination)

Advising and appearing in a number of matters, including:

  • Environment East Gippsland v Department of Environment & Primary Industries & VicForests (current). Junior counsel to Richard Niall QC for EEG.
  • Durney v Victoria University [2014] VSC 161; [2013] VSC 280. Appearing alone. Judicial review of University decision.
  • Haile-Michael v Konstantinidis & Ors, 2013 (resolved). Federal Court racial discrimination case against Victoria and Police Chief Commissioner. Junior to Rapke QC for the applicants.
  • Ejueyisti v Deakin University [2013] FCA 1272; [2013] FCCA 1034. Appearing alone. Judicial review of University decision.
  • Eatock v Andrew Bolt & News Ltd, [2011] FCA 1103 and [2011] FCA 1180. Junior counsel to Merkel QC, Borenstein SC and Harris for the applicant in a racial discrimination complaint. 10-day trial. Drafted all court documents, submissions & substantial witness statements.
  • Julian Knight v Corrections Victoria; Department of Justice [2010] VSC 338 and [2011] VCAT 1708. Successfully defended freedom of information application on all arguments raised.
  • Fusca v Australian Federal Police, Federal Magistrates’ Court of Australia. Briefed for the applicant in a disability discrimination complaint (on foot).
  • Environment East Gippsland Inc v VicForests [2010] VSC 335 & [2010] VSC 416. Junior counsel for the applicant to Mortimer SC and Niall SC successfully bringing environmental claim against state logging company for destruction of habitat.
  • Gunns Ltd v Burling & Ors Victorian Supreme Court, 2009. Junior Counsel to Burnside QC for defendant against claim in tort for inference with contractual relations. Settled.
  • Islam v Minister for Immigration and Citizenship [2009] FCA 1526, Federal Court of Australia. Junior Counsel for the Minister defending judicial review & declaratory relief application.
  •  Alcock v Commonwealth of Australia [2009] FCA 1478 (constitutional law).

Commercial, employment and equity

Appearances and provision of merits advice and drafting in commercial disputes, trade practices and claims in equity. 

General advice to companies on their competition obligations & to officers on their fiduciary duties. ·

Appearances include:


  • Australian Securities and Investments Commission v Pennicott, Victorian County Court jury trial. 2010 and re-trial in 2011. Junior counsel for the accused charged with fraud charges relating to investment schemes.  Took 21 witnesses and drafted legal submissions.
  • R v Zaydan Victorian County Court jury trial, 2009.  Junior counsel to Julian McMahon for the accused charged with fraud charges relating to selling stolen vehicles. Took 9 witnesses and drafted legal submissions successfully excluding evidence.  Case resolved following order for re-trial.
  • Contested criminal appeals, hearings, pleas, intervention orders and bail applications.
  • County Court criminal appeals against sentence and conviction appearing alone.
  • Magistrates’ Court debt arbitrations, trade practices disputes, contested criminal hearings, pleas, intervention orders and bail applications.

Committees: LIV Human Rights Committee, Victorian  Bar New Barristers' Standing Committee

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 (coordinated the Australian Human Rights Group).
  • 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). Rotations 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. Lived & worked in Sierra Leone over 2003-4. 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.

publications - presentations - seminars

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