Mr Ian Stewart

Contact Details




Ian Stewart is a leading commercial law barrister and an international arbitrator (FCIArb).  He specializes in competition law, commercial disputes, mining and resources, complex taxation disputes, infrastructure projects (including contractual, taxation and antitrust disputes) and international commercial arbitration.

Ian graduated from the University of Melbourne with First Class Honours Degrees in Law and Commerce. Before being called to the Bar he was a solicitor in commercial litigation at Allens Linklaters.

Ian is a member of the Competition and Consumer Committee of the Law Council of Australia, and represented it in Senate Inquiries into Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act, and at the Federal Court Cartels Workshop in 2014. In 2014-15 he led the Law Council’s working group on cartels in its submission to the Harper Review. He is a member of the Antitrust Committee of the International Bar Association, the Victorian Bar’s Health and Wellbeing Committee, and Art and Collections Committee.

Ian is a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators in International Commercial Arbitration, and a Fellow of Trinity College London.

In competition law he has appeared in numerous cases including:

•      Boral Besser Masonry v ACCC (2003) 215 CLR 374 - the leading case on misuse of market power and predatory pricing

•      BHP Billiton Iron Ore Pty Ltd v National Competition Council and Fortescue Metals Group Limited  (2008) 236 CLR 145 - access to railways used for mining

•      Rio Tinto Ltd v Australian Competition Tribunal [2008] FCAFC 6 - jurisdiction of Australian Competition Tribunal

•      BHP Billiton Iron Ore v National Competition Council [2007] FCAFC 157- access under Part IIIA of the CCA.

His experience in commercial contractual disputes is wide, and includes mining disputes such as Anaconda Nickel v Centaur Mining [2004] VSCA 167 (breach of contract and breach of confidence issues) and complex contractual construction disputes such as ACN 074 971 109 v AXA Australia [2008] VSCA 247 involving construction of prosperity bond contracts, management duties of statutory funds under Life Insurance Act.

In taxation, Ian advises on and appears in complex tax litigation. Examples include:

•      Esso Australia Resources Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation [2012] FCAFC 5 - the leading case on deductibility of service fees paid by joint venture partners under the Petroleum Resource Rent Tax Act and deductibility of mutualised research expenditure for use of intellectual property 

•      Taxation of infrastructure projects, including Commissioner of Taxation v Citylink Melbourne (2006) 228 CLR 1- whether concession fees payable by toll road operator to State Government were incurred as deductible expenditure.  

Ian has published many articles on competition law and contractual disputes in Australia’s leading law journals, including:

•      Contrary to Fact: The Use And Abuse Of The Counterfactual Test in Section 46 Of The Competition And Consumer Act, (2015) 43 ABLR 6.

•      Extraterritorial Application of Part IV of the Competition and Consumer Act, (2014) 42 ABLR 90.

•      The Economics and Law of section 46 of the Trade Practices Act (1998) 26 ABLR 111;

•      Good Faith in Contractual Performance and In Negotiation (1998) 72 ALJ 370;

•      Why Place Trust In a Promise: Privity of Contract and Enforcement of Contracts By Third Party Beneficiaries (1999) 73 ALJ 354;

•      Mergers and Competition: An Analysis of Section 50 of the Trade Practices Act (2000) 74 ALJ 533;

•      Taking Advantage of Market Power in Section 46 of the Trade Practices Act (2005) 33 ABLR 343;

•      When should competitors give their rivals access to services provided by facilities or telecommunications services? An examination of the rationale and means of access under Part IIIA and Part XIC of the Trade Practices Act and the potential role of section 46 (2006) 34 ABLR 322.

Ian has presented papers including at the University of Melbourne Law School in March 2015 on the issue of market definition in cartel cases.

Ian's ebook, Misuse of Market Power In Australia, is a major text on s 46 of the Competition and Consumer Act, and examines market definition, market power and its use, along with extraterritorial aspects of competition law. It is available at this link: 



Liability Limited under scheme approved under professional standards legislation


Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.

Formal Details 0

  • Admitted to Practice
    23 April 1992
  • First Signing Bar Roll
    24 November 1994
  • Qualifications
    LLB(Hons)(First Class), B.Comm (Hons) (First Class) Uni of Melb, MCIArb,

Areas of Speciality

  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Asia Practice
  • Competition & Consumer Law
  • Energy
  • Intellectual Property & Trade Practices
  • International Law
  • Superannuation

Areas of Mediation

  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Asia Practice
  • Competition & Consumer Law
  • Energy
  • Intellectual Property & Trade Practices
  • International Law
  • Superannuation