Sarah’s practice has a particular focus on professional negligence, disciplinary matters and costs disputes.
She is also regularly briefed in general commercial matters and particularly insurance disputes.
She also appears in guardianship, administration and Part IV proceedings, and in the Children’s Court.
Sarah appears in interlocutory applications, trials (in Melbourne, regional Victoria and interstate) and on appeals, as well as in mediations. She is regularly briefed to advise in costs disputes, potential disciplinary proceedings and general commercial matters. Her advice is practical and solution-focussed.
Before coming to the bar in 2005, Sarah was a solicitor for 9 years in Australia and the UK. She was the inaugural head of the Ethics Department at the Law Institute of Victoria and has lectured regularly on professional standards issues.
She is a former member of the panel of examiners for Monash University, an occasional tutor at the Leo Cussen institute, and a regular speaker by invitation at law practices and conferences.
Recent decisions include -
Costs disputes and appeals arising from costs proceedings
Russels v McCardel  VSC 287 (instructed by the Australian Legal Costing Group before Bell J), successfully defending an appeal from the Costs Court involving provisions of the Electronic Transactions (Victoria) Act 2000 and Part 3.4 Legal Profession Act 2004.
GLS v Goodman Group Pty Ltd (2015) VSC 627 (instructed by Debra Paver Costs Lawyer before Macaulay J), successfully defending an appeal from the Costs Court involving complex arguments on the law of accord and satisfaction in the context of legal costs under the Victorian statutory regime and the right to review under Division 7 Legal Profession Act 2004.
Eagle Lawyers v Career Education Consultants Australia Pty Ltd & Anor  VCC 1263 (before Anderson J), successfully obtaining judgment against the first defendant in an action for recovery of legal costs and a dispute as to the basis of charging.
Numerous costs disputes in VCAT, the Magistrates’ Court and the Supreme Court.
Disciplinary hearings and appeals
Tuferu v Legal Services Commissioner  VSC 645 (instructed by the Office of the LSC before Zammit AsJ), successfully defending a judicial review and appeal as to sanction following findings of professional misconduct.
Numerous disciplinary proceedings since 2009. See most recently for example LSC v Rhoden (Legal Practice)  VCAT 1546, LSC v Tuferu (Legal Practice)  VCAT 1438, LSC v Khan (Legal Practice)  VCAT 651.
Cross Country Realty Victoria Pty Ltd & Anor v Ubertas 350 William Street Pty Ltd  VCC 1012 (with T North SC instructed by Brand Partners before Lacava J), successfully striking out the plaintiffs’ claim and obtaining summary judgment on a counterclaim relating to payment and retention of commission in breach of mandatory disclosure obligations under the Estate Agents Act 1980, and opposing a subsequent successful application for leave to appeal with D Collins SC.
Solari v CGY Insurance Ltd (No.1)  VCC 207 (before Misso J), considering the construction of contractual terms in a claim against a deemed manufacturer and brought directly against the insurer pursuant to s601AG Corporations Act 2001.
Probate, administration and Part IV
Matthews v Matthews  VSC 308 (Osborn J) - successfully applying to remove an executor on grounds of serious misconduct.
Re will and estate of Angelo Marotta (dec’d)  VSC 324 (Zammit AsJ) - successfully defending a claim for summary dismissal under Part 4.4 of the Civil Procedure Act 2010; the implications of “no real prospect of success” in the context of a Part IV claim.
From 19th July 2012, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.
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Excellent facilities in a bright and roomy environment. The McPhee Mediation Centre has been designed to create an environment conducive to obtaining successful mediation results. Its configuration allows you to bring parties together for mediation and then separate them from private consultation as required.