Rena Burton Barrister

Rena Burton


Dawson Chambers

Ground Floor

Room 02

405 Little Bourke Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

  • Victorian Bar Profile
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Rena moved to Melbourne in 2007 after fourteen years at the Sydney Bar. She has appeared in applications, trials and appeals in the Federal Court, the Supreme Courts of NSW and Victoria, and District and County Courts of New South Wales and Victoria and VCAT. She has appeared in some constitutional law cases in the High Court as junior to then Commonwealth Solicitor-General, David Bennett QC.

Rena's practice has principally comprised commercial and contract law disputes, corporate insolvency cases, property disputes, professional negligence, insurance and general equity matters. She has also appeared in confiscation of proceeds of crime and freedom of information applications on behalf of the Victorian DPP and the AFP. Rena was on the Commonwealth Bank of Australia’s panel of junior counsel in NSW and appeared in banking disputes, variously for borrowers and lenders. She has appeared in examinations and applications on behalf of ASIC.

From 2002 until 2006, Rena was junior counsel for British American Tobacco in a series of what were effectively test cases, both in the NSW Dust Diseases Tribunal and the Supreme Court of New South wales, regarding alleged liability of tobacco companies to smokers and, specifically, the scope of any alleged liability to pay contribution in asbestos exposure cases.

Rena has been a contributing author to Weaver & Craigie’s The Law Relating to Banker and Customer in Australia and to Federal Civil Litigation Precedents.

Rena was a member of the Bar Council of the New South Wales Bar Association for two terms, was a member of various NSW Bar committees and helped to organize the NSW Bar Readers' Course over a period of four years. In Victoria, Rena sat on the Bar Ethics Committee from 2009 to 2013.

In 2016, Rena was the inaugural Convenor and Lecturer in Torts at Swinburne University of Technology.

In 2017, Rena obtained a Master of Laws degree from the University of Melbourne, including studies in negligence, contractual interpretation, theories of judging and negotiation, health law and privacy and government regulation. 

Rena served in the RAAF Special Reserve as a Legal Officer from 1996-2001. She was a Board member of the Arts Law Centre from approximately 2001 to 2004.

Rena was National Director of the Episcopal Standards Commission for the Anglican Church from 2007 – 2008 and President of the Professional Standards Board of the Diocese of Melbourne in 2011. She was a committee member of the Anglican Board of Mission, Victorian Branch, from 2007 to 2008.

Outside of law, Rena holds a Master of Analytical Psychology with Distinction (UWS) and a Master of Arts (Theology) degree (University of Divinity – formerly Melbourne College of Divinity). She is currently undertaking a Diploma in Science from the University of New England.

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

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.