Tom Brennan - 13wentworthselbornechambers
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Bachelor of Arts, Australian National University

Bachelor of Laws, Australian National University

Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice, Australian National University

Professional experience

Partner, Corrs Chambers Westgarth

Senior Executive Service Officer, Commonwealth Department of Employment, Education & Training

Chief of Staff to Deputy Prime Minister


Law Council of Australia, Trade Practices Committee

Law Council of Australia, Civil Litigation Section

Law Council of Australia, International Law Section

Australian Institute of Administrative Law

Selected Cases

Administrative Law

Degning v Minister for Home Affairs [2019] FCAFC 67 – interpretation of legislation – presumption against retrospectivity – natural justice – appeared for appellant to set aside deportation order

Helicopter Resources Pty Ltd v Commonwealth of Australia [2019] FCAFC 25; [2018] FCA 595, [2018] FCA 991 – appeared for Helicopter Resources  – Judicial Review of decision by Coroner to require employee of company charged with offence to answer questions which may be relevant to the charges – scope of corporation’s right to an accusatory trial – powers of Coroner.

Hocking v Director-General, National Archives of Australia [2019] FCAFC 12; [2018] FCA 340, 255 FCR 1 – appeared for Professor Hocking – Constitutional and Administrative Law – are letters between the Governor-General in his official capacity and the Queen the property of the Commonwealth and subject to the Archives Act – nature and incidents of the office of Governor-General.

BSX15 v Minister of Immigration & Border Protection [2017] FCAFC 104; [2016] FCA 1432 – appeared for applicant at trial and on appeal – setting aside adverse security assessment for denial of procedural fairness

Jetstar Airways Pty Ltd v Civil Aviation Safety Authority [2018] AATA 2097 – appeared for Jetstar – obligations of decision maker under Freedom of Information Act to consult with affected third party – scope of third party’s right to oppose release of documents in proceedings in the AAT

Fitzgibbon v Prime Minister [2017] FCA 968, 72 AAR 431, [2017] AATA 502 – appeared for the Prime Minister – scope of application of provisions of the Freedom of Information Act and Administrative Appeals Tribunal Act when documents in the possession of the Prime Minister are claimed to be private documents of the Prime Minister

El Ossman v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] FCA 636, 248 FCR 491 – appeared for Mr El Ossman to obtain first ever writ quashing ASIO’s adverse security assessment.

Employment Law

Isaac v Dargan Financial Pty Ltd [2018] NSWCA 163 – appeared for Mr Isaac – restraint of trade in contract for conduct of mortgage broking business

Bartlett v Australian and New Zealand Banking Ltd [2016] NSWCA 30, (2016) 92 NSWLR 639 – appeared for Mr Bartlett on dispute concerning termination of employment – qualification of contractual powers and discretions by requirements of good faith and reasonableness- principles for resolving conflicts in expert evidence


Marketform Managing Agency Ltd ats Amashaw Pty Ltd [2018] NSWCA 70 – appeared for insured on claim for indemnity for rectification of service station petrol leak under environmental liability risks policy.

Lambert Leasing Inc v QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd [2016] NSWCA 254, 93 NSWLR 166 – appeared for QBE in double insurance dispute – scope and operation of s.45 Insurance Contracts Act.

Public and private international law

Work Health Authority v Outback Ballooning Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 2;  [2017] NTCA 7, 326 FLR 1 – appeared for Outback Ballooning – extent of operation of the Chicago Convention on Civil Aviation – effect on construction of the Civil Aviation Act and Regulations.

Parkes Shire Council v South West Helicopters Pty Ltd [2019] HCA 14; [2017] NSWCA 312, 356 ALR 63 – appeared for South West – scope and operation of the Warsaw Conventions on the liability of civil aviation carriers for nervous shock to third parties.

Mackellar Mining Equipment Pty Ltd v Thornton [2019] QCA 77 – appeal against refusal of anti-suit injunction – whether continuation of foreign proceeding becomes vexatious upon resolution of claims against foreign parties

Lambert Leasing Inc v QBE Insurance (Australia) Ltd [2016] NSWCA 254, 93 NSWLR 166 – appeared for QBE – double insurance – conflict of laws – Swedish policy and Australian policy – Australian double insurance clause effective

Trade Practices & Competition Law

PT Garuda Indonesia ats ACCC [2017] HCA 21; [2016] FCAFC 42, (2016) 244 FCR 190; [2014] FCA 1157; (2014) ATPR 42-490 – appeared for Garuda in air cargo cartel proceedings

Phoenix Institute of Australia v Australian Competition and Consumer Commission [2017] FCAFC 155; [2016]  FCA 190 – acting for Phoenix Institute in enforcement proceedings seeking recovery of VET FEE HELP on behalf of the Commonwealth

ACCC v Renegade Gas & Ors [2014] FCA 1135; (2014) ATPR 42-485 – appeared for ACCC in gas cartel proceeding


(02) 9238 0047


(02) 8028 6050

Called to the Bar