Since 1996, he has developed a diverse commercial practice, both in trial and appellate work. He has significant expertise in corporations law and corporate insolvency, insurance, contracts, trusts and equity, transport and trade, and arbitration.
Matthew is regularly recognised in the leading legal directories, including Best Lawyers, Doyle’s Guide, Chambers & Partners, and Who’s Who Legal. He is described as "excellent at getting to the heart of a complex matter and determining the key issues that will decide the case", "extremely good on his feet in court" and "confident and convincing when presenting an argument". His "experience acting in major commercial disputes" is well recognised.
Matthew appears in the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of Victoria and in arbitrations (international and domestic). He is often briefed in proceedings before the superior courts in other States.
Matthew also conducts domestic and international arbitrations and has delivered numerous awards. Information about his work as an arbitrator is found here: www.matthewharveykc.com
Matthew also lectures in mergers and acquisitions law in the Juris Doctor program at the RMIT Law School.
Liability limited by a scheme approved by Professional Standards Legislation
- Admiralty & Maritime
- Banking & Finance
- Building & Construction
- Commercial Arbitration
- Contractual Disputes
- Corporate Insolvency
- Corporations & Securities
- Equity & Trusts
- Private International Law
- Confidential Information
- Restraint of Trade
- Commissions & Inquiries
- Constitutional Law
- Customs Law
Bachelor of Arts (Hons)
Bachelor of Laws
Master of Laws
Professional Certificate in Arbitration
State and Territory Courts and Tribunals
Federal Court of Australia
High Court of Australia
In the matter of Vasco Trustees Ltd (VSC): currently acting for responsible entity in various proceedings as to disputes within a managed investment scheme;
Re Ausun Property CBD Pty Ltd (in liq)  VSC 541: briefed for liquidator and for receiver and manager in relation to sale of corporate property;
Re NWEL Pty Ltd (in liq)  VSC 634: briefed for creditor in preference action;
Re Mamounia Pty Ltd (in liquidation) (No. 3)  VSC 65: briefed for liquidators seeking the Court’s advice whether funds held in solicitor’s trust account were subject to a lien and should be applied to payment of legal fees;
Equal 54 Pty Ltd v Galimberti  VSC 588: briefed for the plaintiff in a claim in professional negligence against a solicitor;
Cato Brand Partners Pty Ltd v Air India Ltd  VSC 28: briefed for the respondent in an application to wind up a foreign corporation, under Part 5.7 of the Corporations Act;
Babcock & Brown DIF III Global v Babcock & Brown International Pty Ltd & Ors  VSC 453: briefed for a law firm in an application to enjoin it from acting for the plaintiffs.
PTD Nominees Pty Ltd v Deacon  VSC 245: briefed for trustee seeking judicial advice to amend Trust Deed to remove appointor;
Macedonian Orthodox Church disputes: briefed in the Supreme Court in a dispute about property held on charitable trust;
Serbian Orthodox Church disputes: briefed in numerous, long running proceedings in the Supreme Court. Proceedings resolved by cy-près scheme under the Charities Act 1978;
Kelsall v Evans  VSC 724: briefed for the executors in a dispute as to testamentary capacity and an informal codicil;
Daunt v Daunt  VSCA 58: briefed for the appellant in proceeding involving constructive trust and fiduciary duties;
In Re Timbercorp Securities Pty Ltd  VSC 590: briefed for the trustees seeking the Court’s approval to enter into a compromise in complex and protracted insolvency proceedings.
UIL (Singapore) Pte Ltd v Wollongong Coal Ltd (FCA): currently acting for applicant in commodities agreement dispute;
CSL Australia Pty Ltd v Tasmanian Ports Corporation (FCA): currently acting for TasPorts in various proceedings, including application to establish a limitation fund under the Convention on Limitation of Liability for Maritime Claims 1976;
Karis v Digital CC Management Pty Ltd  FCA 685: briefed in application for anti-suit injunctions as to proceedings in United States;
The “APL England” (FCA): acted for and advised freight forwarders as to legal claims brought for containers lost overboard in heavy seas;
The MV “Royal Knight” (FCA): acted for and advised shipowners as to severe damage to ship by shiploader;
Manassen Foods Australia Pty Ltd v Seaway Logistics Pty Ltd  VSC 835: briefed for importer in a claim for damage to cargo;
Williams v TT-Line Company Pty Ltd  VSC 55: briefed to oppose application to cross-vest proceeding to Supreme Court of Tasmania;
Toll Holdings Ltd v Stewart (2016) 338 ALR 602: briefed for the carrier in a dispute over ownership of goods and stoppage in transitu;
Geraldton Port Authority v The Ship “Kim Heng 1888” (2012) 291 ALR 471: briefed for the port authority in a dispute over the interpretation of the Admiralty Act 1988.
Degroma Trading Inc v Viva Energy Australia Pty Ltd  FCA 649: application to stay proceeding under s 7 of the International Arbitration Act 1974;
Emerald Grain Australia Pty Ltd v Agrocorp International Pte Ltd (2014) 314 ALR 299: application to set aside award on the basis that natural justice had been denied.
The breakdown of a ship loader which led to claims for damages (including lost profits and demurrage) and reliance on force majeure provisions in a services contract.
Disputes arising out of the winding up of a commercial partnership.
Disputes arising out of a contract for the supply of coal to a power station.
Disputes arising out of contracts for the sale of iron ore and related contracts of affreightment.
A contract for the provision of international shipping services which led to claims for payment for those services.
Dispute arising out of a charterparty.
Dispute arising out of a salvage agreement.
Dispute arising out of infrastructure agreement.
Dispute between a lender and a borrower arising out of a finance agreement for the acquisition of commodities.
Dispute between shipowners and charterers arising out of the grounding of two vessels in foreign waters.
Dispute between partners arising out of the operation and dissolution of a commercial partnership, involving real property interests, contract, and intellectual property.
Dispute between an employer and employee arising out of termination and a restraint of trade clause.
Dispute arising out of a stevedoring agreement.
Arresting a ‘ship’: Boats, bunkers and barometer (2012) 86 Australian Law Journal 189.12 May 2021
Salvors’ Rights to Treasure under Australian Law: MLAANZ webinar – 12 May 2021.11 March 2021
Corporations Law Annual Review: with John Heard of counsel, Leo Cussen Centre for Law, 11 March 2021.24 November 2020
Frustration and Force Majeure in a Time of Covid: Victorian Bar CLE Programme, 24 November 2020.23 September 2020
Does a Defective Passenger Plan Render a Ship Unseaworthy?: MLAANZ webinar – 23 September 2020.16 September 2020
Is an Arbitration Clause in a Draft Bill of Lading Effective? MLAANZ Webinar, 16 September 2020.31 July 2020
Meetings of Creditors and Execution of Company Documents during COVID-19: with John Heard, Leo Cussen Centre for Law, 31 July 2020.27 February 2020
Homing in on Good Grounds of Appeal: with Dr Kylie Weston-Scheuber of counsel, Victorian Bar CLE Programme, 27 February 2020.20 February 2019
Corporate Insolvency: Updates and Developments 2018: Leo Cussen Centre for Law, 20 February 2019.12 October 2018
Package Limitations under the Hague Visby Rules: Is El Greco wrong: MLAANZ 45th International Conference, Katoomba, 12 October 2018.12 September 2018
The Anti-arbitration Injunction: Thinking the Unthinkable? AMTAC Seminar, HFW Lawyers, Melbourne, 201805 October 2017
Current Issues in Admiralty Law in Australi: MLAANZ 44th International Conference: Melbourne, 5 October 2017.31 August 2017
Insolvency Law Reform Act 2016 – The Second Tranche of Amendments: Leo Cussen Centre for Law, 31 August 2017.16 March 2016
Is a Claim In Rem a Secured Claim: Federal Court, Maritime and Admiralty Law Seminar, Melbourne, 16 March 2016.
Commercial Bar Association
Tax Bar Association
Titulary Member of the Comité Maritime International
Law Programs Advisory Board, RMIT University
Victorian Legal Admissions Committee
Victorian Bar Arbitration Committee
Victorian Bar Pro Bono Committee (Chair)
Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb)
Fellow/panel arbitrator of: Singapore International Arbitration Centre (SIAC), Singapore Chamber of Maritime Arbitration (SCMA), Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA), Australian Maritime and Transport Arbitration Commission (AMTAC), and Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ)