Matthew Townsend Portrait

Matthew Townsend

Bar roll 1997 Admitted 1994
  • Commercial Law Public Law
Read more
Matthew Townsend practises exclusively in planning and environment and property law

He has taught in the Trial Practice and Advocacy program at Monash University and teaches in the Property Law program at Melbourne University.

In 2000 Matthew was awarded the Public Interest Law Clearing House Pro Bono Award by the Governor of Victoria for his work in environmental litigation. He was Dux of International Environmental Law at Leiden University in Holland in 1992 and was the inaugural winner of the JF Kearney, QC prize in environmental law in 1991.

Matthew maintains Restrictive Covenants and Easements in Victoria, a website providing casenotes and resources about the modification and removal of restrictive covenants and easements in Victoria.

Matthew operates a paperless practice and welcomes electronic briefs.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under the Professional Standards Legislation


Chambers & Clerk

Owen Dixon Chambers West

525 Lonsdale Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

View map

Jane King

03 9225 8558


Commercial Law
  • Appellate
  • Energy & Resources
  • Equity & Trusts
  • Real Property
Public Law
  • Environment
  • Planning & Local Government



Bachelor of Laws (Hons)



Entitled to practise in

State and Territory Courts and Tribunals

Federal Court of Australia

High Court of Australia

Recent Cases

Recent Cases

For further information on Matthew's recent cases, please click here.


14 June 2022

Restrictive Covenants in Victoria - Theory and Practice

28 April 2020

Restrictive Covenants in Victoria – A Theoretical Overview

27 March 2020

Is the Court still processing s84 applications?

28 February 2020

Changes to Supreme Court Practice

20 February 2020

Property Law Update - Can you still establish an easement by prescription (or long use) in Victoria?

07 October 2019

Property Law Update - Court clarifies notice required to create a binding building scheme

16 September 2019

Property Law Update - Think carefully before applying for a planning permit to modify a restrictive covenant

29 April 2019

Property Law Update - Supreme Court accepts a rooming house is a legitimate ‘comparator’ when modifying a single dwelling covenant

26 March 2019

Property Law Update - Easements Frequently Asked Questions

25 March 2019

Property Law Update - Easements and Restrictive Covenants in Victoria

26 November 2018

Property Law Update - Do covenants prohibiting advertising hoardings prevent real estate signage?

12 September 2018

Property Law Update - Supreme Court modifies Urban Land Authority covenant

24 July 2018

Property Law Update - Recent developments in Supreme Court practice on restrictive covenants

13 July 2018

Property Law Update - Plaintiffs, prove your case

22 March 2018

Property Law Update - What’s Yours is Mine: Adverse Possession

12 October 2017

Property Law Update - Construction, the Community and Neighbours Panel Discussion

23 December 2016

Planning Law Update - Apartment building loses three floors to protect emergency helicopter flight path

18 November 2016

Property Law Update - The Court sounds a note of caution to ambitious developers

31 October 2016

Property Law Update - How to choose a lawyer to run your restrictive covenant case

01 August 2016

Property Law Update - Case database relevant to restrictive covenant advice and litigation

25 July 2016

Property Law Update - Supreme Court issues “Guide to Practitioners” appearing in covenant cases

12 July 2016

Property Law Update - Brick no longer means ‘double-brick’ in building materials covenants

04 January 2016

Property Law Update - Court approves ambitious modification

06 October 2015

Property Law Update - Building materials covenants still have work to do in Victoria

03 August 2015

Property Law Update - The importance of choosing the right town planner

23 June 2014

Property Law Update - The Court reaffirms defendants’ right to costs, notwithstanding Calderbank offers

28 April 2014

Property Law Update: Supreme Court keeps 'Substantial Injury' Applications Alive


Supreme Court of Victoria's Property List Users Group

Supreme Court of Victoria's Valuation, Compensation and Planning User Group