The Honourable Peter C Heerey AM QC

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The Hon Peter Heerey AM QC graduated with degrees in Law (First Class Honours) and Arts from the University of Tasmania. 

After four years as a solicitor he commenced practice at the Victorian Bar in 1967. Mr Heerey was appointed Queen's Counsel in 1985 and a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia in 1990. He retired from the Court on 15 February 2009.

In 2000 he was appointed President of the Australian Defence Force Discipline Appeal Tribunal, in 2003 a Deputy President of the Australian Competition Tribunal and in 2005 a Presidential Member of the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

He has published papers in Australian and overseas professional and academic journals in the areas of corporations law, defamation, expert evidence, intellectual property, law and literature and Federation history, and a collection Excursions in the Law (Federation Press, 2014).

He has been Judge in Residence at Samford University, Birmingham Alabama (1993), McGill University, Montreal, Quebec (1996-97), University College Dublin (2001) and the University of Tasmania (2005). In 2007 he taught a course in Patent and Trade Mark Law at the Monash University campus in Prato, Italy. 

He chairs the Advisory Board for the Graduate Program in Intellectual Property Law at the University of Melbourne and is a member of the Advisory Board for the Competition Law Program at the University of Melbourne.

Mr Heerey has returned to practice at the Victorian Bar specialising in advice, arbitration and mediation.

On 26 January 2012, Mr Heerey was awarded a Member in the General Division of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to the judiciary through the Federal Court of Australia, to the development of legal principle in the areas of intellectual property, trade practices and military law, and to the community.

In 2013 he was appointed an Adjunct Professor of the University of Tasmania. From 2009 to 2015 he was Vice President of the Arts Law Centre of Australia.

He is a member of the Judicial Panel under the Constitution Act 1975 (Vic) and a fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under the Professional Standards Legislation.

Bar Practice

In earlier years Mr Heerey had a general practice, including criminal law. Cases included R v Mitchell (1969), a major fraud trial extending over five months, and a murder trial: R v Webster [1974] VR 457. Later his practice became a general commercial one, with special interest in defamation, insurance, professional negligence and planning. He took Silk in 1985.

He has appeared in the Privy Council, High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia and Supreme Court of Victoria.

Judicial Experience

Mr. Heerey's work while a judge of the Federal Court of Australia between 1990 and 2009 particularly involved intellectual property, competition law, administrative law and taxation.

He was the Convener of the Intellectual Property Panel of the Federal Court in Melbourne.

Some Cases

Alstergren v Owners of the ''Territory Pearl' (1992) 112 ALR 133, maritime collision

Service Station Association Ltd v Trade Practices Commission (1992) 109 ALR 465, affirmed by Full Court (1993) 116 ALR 643, price fixing

Henderson v Amadio Pty Ltd (1995) 140 ALR 391, affirmed by Full Court (1998) 81 FCR 149, failed property investment scheme, misrepresentation, prospectus breach, solicitors' and valuers' negligence, professional indemnity insurance, 5 month trial, 8 defendants, 20 counsel

Melway Publishing Pty Ltd v Robert Hicks (1999) 90 FCR 128, dissent affirmed by High Court (2001) 205 CLR 1, abuse of market power

Boral Besser Masonry Pty Ltd v ACCC (1999) 166 ALR 410, affirmed by High Court (2003) 215 CLR 374 abuse of market power

News Ltd v South Sydney Rugby League Club Ltd (2000) 111 FCR 456, dissent affirmed by High Court (2003) 215 CLR 563, exclusionary provisions

AMP Financial Planning v CGU Insurance (2004) 139 FCR 223, affirmed by the High Court (2007) 235 CLR 1, insurance, good faith, estoppel

Apco Service Stations Pty Ltd v ACCC (2005) ATPR 42-078, price fixing

Eli Lilly & Co v Pfizer Overseas Pharmaceutical (2005) 218 ALR 408, affirmed by Full Court 920050 225 ALR 416, the Viagra patent

Transport Tyre Sales Pty Ltd v Montana Rims & Tyres Pty Ltd (1999) 93 FCR 421, trade marks

APF Pty Ltd v Kestrel Holdings Pty Ltd (2007) 260 ALR 418, affirmed by Full Court [2009] FCAFC 144, sale of land, misrepresentation, valuers' negligence

ACCC v Visy Industries Holdings Pty Ltd (No 3) (2007) 244 ALR 673, price fixing, penalty

Post Judicial Governmental Appointments

Chair, Australian Electoral Commission, 2009-2015

Chair, Independent Review of the Prohibition of Human Cloning Act 2002 (Cth) and the Research Involving Human Embryos Act 2002 (Cth), 2009

Chair, Advisory Panel, Eastern Tuna and Billfish Fishery, 2009

Investigation of a complaint against Acting Commissioner Darren Hine of Tasmania Police, 2010

Investigation of complaints against the Honourable Vice President Michael Lawler at the Fair Work Commission, 2015-2016

Acting Judge, Supreme Court of Tasmania, 2016


Please click here to view my List G Barristers profile.

Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards legislation.

Formal Details 0

  • Admitted to Practice
    01 March 1963
  • First Signing Bar Roll
    10 May 1967
  • Date Appointed Silk
    26 November 1985
  • Qualifications
    BA, LLB (Hons)

Areas of Speciality

  • Arbitration & ADR
  • Corporations & Securities
  • Insolvency Law
  • Insurance & Professional Negligence
  • Intellectual Property & Trade Practices
  • Public Law