Michael Whitten WC Portrait

Michael Whitten QC

Bar roll 1996 Silk 2015
  • Commercial Law
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Michael Whitten QC has practised in the law for over 25 years, predominantly in civil and commercial litigation

Michael has appeared in all courts and many tribunals in Victoria, particularly VCAT, as well as special leave applications before the High Court. Over the last 10 years or more, Michael has sought to specialise in all aspects of building and construction disputes.  Alternate dispute resolution is an important part of Michael's practice. He is a nationally accredited mediator and has served on the Victorian Bar's Alternate Dispute Resolution Committee. He has appeared at and conducted numerous mediations, expert determinations and other dispute resolution procedures in a wide range of commercial disputes. 

Michael commenced practice in 1986 in the Public Defenders Office (as it then was) in Brisbane. In 1998, he was appointed as clerk to Judge Kimmins of the Queensland District Court where he served for two years. He then worked at Blake Dawson Waldron in Brisbane in commercial litigation before first signing the Bar Roll in May 1990.  Michael spent the next 5 years at the private Bar in Brisbane and Mackay appearing in courts and tribunals on a range of matters including, criminal law, personal injuries, family law and commercial disputes. In 1996, after migrating to Melbourne, he spent a year at Kliger Partners in commercial litigation before signing the Victorian Bar Roll in 1997.  

Michael is a founding and continuing executive member of Melbourne TEC (Technology, Engineering and Construction) Chambers. MTECC comprises a group of construction law specialist barristers, arbitrators and mediators aimed at promoting and developing opportunities for its members in construction disputes both throughout Australia, South East Asia and the Middle East.

Michael has been recognised by Worldwide Who’s Who for Excellence in Commercial Law (2015), recommended in Doyle's Guide Leading Construction & Infrastructure Barristers - Victoria (2019) and included in the The Best Lawyers in Australia 2020 Edition for work in Construction and Infrastructure Law. 

Liability limited by a scheme approved under the Professional Standards Legislation


Chambers & Clerk

Chancery Chambers
Level 26

200 Queen Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

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Jane King

03 9225 8558


Commercial Law
  • Appellate
  • Banking & Finance
  • Building & Construction
  • Class Actions
  • Commercial Arbitration
  • Consumer Law
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Energy & Resources
  • Insurance
  • Residential & Retail Tenancies



Bachelor of Commerce

Bachelor of Laws





Entitled to practise in

State and Territory Courts and Tribunals

Federal Court of Australia

High Court of Australia

Recent Cases

Commercial Law

WTE Co-Generation & Anor V RCR Energy Pty Ltd & Anor [2013] VSC 314

Brirek Industries Pty Ltd v McKenzie Group Consulting (Vic) Pty Ltd [2014] VSCA 165

Austman Pty Ltd v Mount Gibson Mining Ltd [2012] WASC 202- a contract formation case

Thiess Degremont v CFMEU, 2011/12 Supreme Court litigation

Marshall v Berndt [2011] VCC 384

Wheelahan & Anor v City of Casey & Ors [2011] VSC 215 - a contamination case and class action involving claims in excess of $100 million

Noonan v Owners Corporation No 2 PS 409115E and Anor [2011] VCAT 1934- an owners corporation case

SMEC Australia Pty Ltd & Anor v McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd & Ors (No 2) [2011] VSC 492 - South Australia desalination plant project

Noonan v Owners Corporation No 2 PS 409115E and Anor [2011] VCAT 1934, presently on appeal to the Supreme Court

Solid Investments Australia Pty Ltd v Clifford & Anor [2010] VSCA 59

Structural Systems (Constructions) v Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd[2010] FCA 1358

Kelleon Pty Ltd v Port of Portland Pty Ltd [2010] VCAT 129- a retail tenancy case

1144 Nepean Highway Pty Ltd v Leigh Mardon Australasia Pty Ltd[2009] VSC 317 and on appeal - 1144 Nepean Highway Pty Ltd v Abnote Australasia Pty Ltd [2009] VSCA 308

Munnich, Darren & Byron 14 Pty Ltd v Corsello Byron Bay Pty Ltd & Levin Byron Bay Pty Ltd [2009] VCC 556

Salta Constructions Pty Ltd v Solid Investments Australia Pty Ltd & Anor [2009] VCAT 464 - a multi million dollar complex in Geelong

McInnes Developments Pty Ltd v Detering [2009] VCAT 1185

A J Lucas Drilling Pty Ltd v McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd [2008] VSC 275 - involving the undersea Minerva gas pipeline project off Port Campbell in Victoria and innovative horizontal directional drilling engineering issues, which went to the High Court on a special leave application - AJ Lucas Drilling Pty Ltd v McConnell Dowell Constructors (Aust) Pty Ltd [2010] HCATrans 230

Collie Planning & Development Pty Ltd v. Premier Building & Consulting Pty Ltd [2008] VSCA 146

Premier Building & Consulting Pty Ltd v Spotless Group Limited & Ors (No 14) [2008] VSC - a contamination case, which went on appeal to the court of appeal - Collie Planning & Development Pty Ltd v Premier Building & Consulting Pty Ltd [2008] VSCA 146

Godfrey Spowers (Victoria) Pty Ltd v Lincolne Scott Australia Pty Ltd & Ors [2008] VSC 90 - involving cutting edge commercial building 'green' technology

Kane Constructions Pty Ltd v. Sopov (No. 2) [2005] VSC 492

Australian International Insurance Ltd v. Graham [2005] VSC 183

Rejan Constructions Pty Ltd v. Manningham Medical Centre Pty Ltd [2002] VSC 579

Rofin v Permasteelisa, an arbitration in Hong Kong concerning in 2004 involving a 130,000-metre, 12,000-points of light, feature lighting system installed in the Cheung Kong Centre

Age Old Builders Pty Ltd v Swintons Pty Ltd [2001] VCAT 1967



Victorian Bar - Deputy Chair - International Arbitration Committee

Victorian Bar - Sustainability Committee

Building Dispute Practitioners Society

Australian Society of Construction Law