Joel Fetter Portrait

Joel Fetter

Bar roll 2012 Admitted 2004
  • Commercial Law Employment & Industrial
  • Tort Law Public Law
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Joel Fetter practises principally in employment and industrial law and administrative law

Joel won the Supreme Court prize at Melbourne Law School. Before coming to the Bar he worked as a solicitor at Minter Ellison, as associate to Black CJ of the Federal Court, as in-house counsel for the ACTU, and as an ILO consultant. He has a Masters degree from the London School of Economics.

Joel practises mainly in employment/industrial law, class actions law, administrative law and commercial law. He is listed as a "leading" employment/industrial law junior barrister in Doyle's Guide. He has experience running trials alone in the Federal Court, Supreme Court, Federal Circuit Court, Fair Work Commission and VCAT. He has appeared in appeals before the High Court, Full Federal Court, Victorian Court of Appeal and the FWC Full Bench.

In employment/industrial law, Joel has a wide range of experience, including in employment contract disputes, underpayment claims, bullying and discrimination claims, restraint of trade cases, Fair Work Act claims, General Protections ("adverse action") claims, industrial disputes and trade union matters.

Joel has been involved in a number of class actions. He has experience advising and appearing in relation to the range of special procedures which arise in representative proceedings, including the formulation of pleadings and common questions, declassing applications, opt out, settlement, and so forth.

In administrative law matters, Joel has experience in statutory construction cases, judicial review matters, human rights cases, extradition challenges, and challenges to Workcover premiums.

In commercial law, Joel has particular experience in contractual disputes, partnership disputes, misleading & deceptive conduct claims, and nuisance claims.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation


Chambers & Clerk

Owen Dixon Chambers West

525 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

View map

Jane King

03 9225 8558


Commercial Law
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Class Actions
Employment & Industrial
  • Appellate
  • Discrimination
  • Employment Contracts
  • Industrial Disputes
  • Public Sector Appeals
  • Restraint of Trade
  • Statutory Employment Rights
Tort Law
  • Common Law
Public Law
  • Administrative Law
  • Civil & Human Rights
  • Extradition Law
  • Freedom of Information
  • Judicial Review
  • Privacy



Master of Laws (LSE)

Bachelor of Laws (Hons)

Bachelor of Arts



Entitled to practise in

State and Territory Courts and Tribunals

Federal Court of Australia

High Court of Australia

Recent Cases

Discrimination and adverse action matters

Collison v Brighton Road Enterprises (2015-, FCCA): alleged sexual harassment and unlawful dismissal. Appearing alone.

Savige v University of Melbourne (2014-15, FCA): alleged unlawful redundancy of an academic.

Slattery v Manningham City Council (2013, VCAT): disability discrimination case. 3 days. Appeared alone for Victorian human rights commission, intervening.

NTEU (Judith Bessant) v RMIT University (2013, FCA): unlawful dismissal of an academic. 12 day trial. Appeared alone.

Sagona v Piccoli Investments Pty Ltd (2013, FCCA): pregnancy discrimination case. 3 days. Appeared alone.

Entitlements disputes

Lardner Real Estate v Morton (2015-, CCV): alleged breach of contract. 8 days. Appearing alone.

Macfarlane v Bishop (2014, FCA): alleged underpayment of church organist.

Marmara v Toyota (2013-14, FCA & FCAFC): breach of enterprise agreement (trial & appeal). Led by Herman Borenstein SC.

FWO v Coles Supermarkets (2013-14, FCA): alleged underpayment of trolley collectors by Coles' subcontractors. Led by Greg Lyon QC and Steven Moore.

Industrial relations disputes

Paper Australia v AMWU (2013-15, FCA): alleged unlawful picket. Appeared alone to resist injunction. To be led at trial by Herman Borenstein QC (4 weeks).

MUA v Patrick Stevedores (2014, FWC, FCA): dispute over closure of Webb Dock. Appeared alone in FWC (6 days) and led by Craig Dowling in the Federal Court.

Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v CFMEU (2014, FCA and SCV): alleged unlawful picket at the Mirvac Tower 8 building site. 3 day trial. Led by Robert Reitano.

John Holland & Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v CFMEU (2013-14, FCA): alleged unlawful strike & picket at the new Perth Children's Hospital site. To be led by John Gurr.

Grocon/Fair Work Building Industry Inspectorate v CFMEU (2013-14, FCA & SCV): alleged unlawful blockade at the Myer Emporium and other building sites. Combined trials estimated at 6-8 weeks. Led by Rachel Doyle SC and John Gurr.

NUW v Toll Holdings (2012, FWC & FWCFB): application to stop industrial action at the Coles Somerton distribution centre (trial + appeal). Led by Herman Borenstein SC.

Hay Point Services Pty Ltd v CFMEU (2012, FWAFB): appeal against FWC decision. 1 day. Appeared alone. Heard in Brisbane.

CEPU v MI&E Holdings Pty Ltd (2012, FWAFB): appeal against FWC decision. 1 day. Appeared alone. Heard in Perth.

Public law and governance matters

General Mgr, FWC v Thomson (2012-14, FCA): alleged misuse of position by Craig Thomson (former HSU secretary). Led by Stephen Donaghue QC.

Snedden v Minister for Justice (2013-14, FCA & FCAFC): judicial review of extradition decision. 3 day trial + appeal. Led by Julian Burnside QC, Lisa de Ferrari & Richard Knowles.

Advice to a superannuation fund on the construction of fund rules. With Ron Merkel QC.

Advice to a government agency on privacy obligations.