Elle Couch

Elle Nikou Madalin

Bar roll 2014 Admitted 2012
  • Commercial Law Tort Law
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Elle Nikou Madalin specialises in commercial and corporations law.

She also has considerable expertise in defamation (including business reputation cases), media and suppression proceedings, and all aspects of sports law.

Elle is easy to work with, timely and pragmatic, and is experienced in dealing with the particular concerns of her clients in high-profile, scandalous and sensitive matters. She is sought after for her thorough approach; strategic thinking; and emphasis on forming collaborative, long-term relationships in the teams in which she works.

Elle has advised and appeared in complex litigation and arbitral proceedings for multi-national and domestic corporations; major banks and financial services providers based in both Australia and overseas; family offices; insolvency practitioners and private individuals in a diverse range of industries. She also has a firm grasp of model litigant guidelines and principles, having repeatedly represented the State of Victoria, regulators, government departments and agencies.

Other experience

Elle is an arbitrator for the Court of Arbitration for Sport - the peak international body for dispute resolution in sports globally, seated in Lausanne, Switzerland.

Elle is also an arbitrator and Deputy Chair of Football Australia’s National Dispute Resolution Chamber; an arbitrator for the AFLPA; and an experienced independent investigator.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.


Chambers & Clerk

Owen Dixon Chambers West
Level 23 Room 13

525 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

View map

Jane King

+61 3 9225 8558


Commercial Law
  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy
  • Competition
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Consumer Law
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Corporations & Securities
  • Insurance
  • Sports Law
  • Private International Law
Tort Law
  • Class Actions
  • Negligence
  • Defamation



Master of Laws (First Class Honours)
University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Laws
University of Melbourne

Bachelor of Arts
University of Melbourne
Member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators



Entitled to practise in

State and Territory Courts and Tribunals

Federal Court of Australia

High Court of Australia

Recent Cases


Epic Games, Inc & Ors v Google LLC & Ors (FCA): Multiple proceedings heard together (including with related class actions, and related litigation against Apple) alleging anti-competitive conduct in respect of Google Play; mobile application developer seeking injunctive relief in respect of contracts, arrangements or understandings, misuse of market power, exclusive dealing and unconconscionable conduct (leading A. Hanna in respect of confidentiality issues, and otherwise with C. Moore S.C., R. Yezerski S.C., C. Trahanas, P. Strickland and W. Liu).

Heartland Bank Ltd ats Internet Business Systems Australia Pty Ltd (VSC): Alleged breach of contract and misleading and deceptive conduct in development of bank lending software; trans-Tasman proceedings (unled).

Adam Cartwright Investments Pty Ltd v Hannah McTier Investments Pty Ltd (QSC):Existence of alleged partnership in relation to various pharmacy businesses (unled).

Bassi v Sikh Cultural Society of Victoria Inc (VSC): Claims against an incorporated association and its committee members alleging breach of fiduciary duties and other matters (unled).

Mainland Property Holdings Pty Ltd (recs and mgrs apptd) & Ors v Naplend Pty Ltd & Ors (FCA):Allegations that default interest and loan management fees charged by lender constituted a penalty; allegations that receivers appointed by lender breached various statutory provisions in sales of real estate; director's competency to cause companies in receivership to issue proceedings where second set of receivers also appointed following collapse of Mayfair 101 group of companies (with S.J. Maiden KC).

Bianco & anor v Haast Pty Ltd & ors (pseudonyms) (FCA):Disclaimer of an unprofitable contract by trustees in bankruptcy (with S.J. Maiden KC).

Jess & Jess (No 7) [2023] FedCFamC1F 291: Application to summarily dismiss cross-claim brought by trustees in bankruptcy for want of jurisdiction and on other grounds (with H.G. Austin KC).

Re the Bankrupt Estate of Jones Snr (deceased) (a pseudonym) [2022] FCA 1470:Application to approve entry and implementation of a funding agreement by trusees in bankruptcy (with S.J. Maiden KC).

Chen v Blockchain Global Limited & anor (VSC):Cryptocurrency and cryptocurrency exchange platforms; breach of contract; misleading and deceptive conduct (with S.R. Horgan KC).

Abel & Ors v Blockchain Global Limited & ors (VSC):Collapse of cryptocurrency exchange and claims for allegedly misappropriated funds (with S.R. Horgan KC).

Expert determination on construction of commercial lease, acting for the State of Victoria (with S.D. Hay KC).

AXF Group Pty Ltd (in liq) & anor v AXF Holdings Pty Ltd, Richard Gu & ors (VSC):Indemnification of insolvent former trustee; liabilities exceeding $200M; multiple applications and proceedings (with S.D. Hay KC).

Jess & Jess [2021] FedCFamC1F 24: Acting for trustees in bankruptcy; statutory restriction on publication of court proceedings where trustees sought to initiate separate proceeding for approval of complex litigation funding (with S.J. Maiden KC).

Michos Family Super Company Pty Ltd & anor v LSA Partners Pty Ltd (VSC):Financial and investment advice; alleged professional negligence and breach of contract; concurrent wrongdoers (unled).

Russel & ors v Macquarie Bank Ltd (FCA):Appeal on relevance of confidential documents to construction of employment contracts (unled).

Director of Consumer Affairs Victoria v Belle Gibson (FCA): Public examination; pecuniary penalties imposed following unconscionable conduct under s 21 of the Australian Consumer Law (Vic); forensic examination of bank accounts, cryptocurrency holdings, and futures and options trading (unled).

Burrows & anor v Lightspeed Finance Pty Ltd & anor (VSC):Alleged breaches of tripartite collateral contract and fiduciary duty by mortgage broker; alleged contraventions of Australian Securities and Investments Act 2001 (Cth) (with A.T. Strahan KC).

Sox Holdings Pty Ltd & ors v Spiral Developments Pty Ltd (VSCA):Appeal on proper construction of suite of agreements and alleged termination in bad faith (with A.T. Strahan KC).

Gouvas v Amanatidis & Ors (VSC):Claims against individual and corporate defendants for breaches of partnership agreement, fiduciary duties and trust arising out of alleged joint venture (with R. Heath KC).

Fortune Holding Developments Pty Ltd & ors v V Properties (VIC) Pty Ltd & ors (VSC):Shareholder's derivative action; alleged breach of director and fiduciary duties and breach of partnership agreement (with M. Goldblatt).

Defamation & reputational harm

Google LLC & anor ats Clifftop at Hepburn Pty Ltd (FCA): Representing Google in successfully resisting an application for preliminary discovery to identify various users of its reviewing platform (unled).

Rayner v Seven Network (Operations) Ltd & anor (FCA): Defamation; television publication; US-based plaintiff with professional and personal reputation in Australia (with G.L. Schoff KC).

Lennon v Herald & Weekly Times Pty Limited & ors (VSC): Defamation; online publications; hyperlinked material (with D.P. Gilbertson KC).

Wellington v Metcalf  (VSC): Defamation; multiple social media publications in the course of a political campaign (with D.P. Gilbertson KC). 

Duffy & anor v Marr & anor (VSC): Defamation; injurious falsehood; misleading and deceptive conduct (with M. Goldblatt).

Hardie v Herald & Weekly Times Ltd & Rule [2016] VSCA 103: Defamation; online and print publications; appeal and cross-appeal (with S.K. Wilson KC).

Hardie v Herald & Weekly Times Ltd & Rule [2015] VSC 364: Defamation; online and print publications (with S.K. Wilson KC).

Advising a well-known Victorian institution in respect of public statements during the course of scandal and intense media scrutiny (unled).


Michael Zerafa & Ors ats Labruna (VSC): Correct construction, breach and repudiation of managerial agreement (with B.M. Ihle KC).

Football Federation Australia v Atkinson & ors: Disciplinary investigation and proceedings following Australian team international sex scandal (unled).

Racing Victoria Ltd v Darren Weir (RAD Board): Charges pursuant to the Rules of Racing (with P. Wheelahan).

Danny Nikolic v Racing Victoria Ltd (VCAT): Review of jockey licence application; acting for key witness (with P. Wheelahan).

Advice concerning judicial review of decisions made in the administration of Australia's National Anti-Doping Scheme.

Numerous doping and selection proceedings, and general arbitral proceedings concerning employment contracts, salary disputes and other matters.

Conduct of multiple independent investigations concerning allegations of historical and recent sexual assault, sexual harassment, bullying, discrimination, team selection and other matters.


Assistant Honorary Secretary, Victorian Bar

Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)

Australian Restructuring, Insolvency and Turnaround Association (ARITA)

Australian and New Zealand Sports Law Association (ANZSLA)

Former member of the Executive, Commercial Bar Association (CommBar)