Bar Roll – 3 May 2012
Admitted – 3 April 1975

Phone – 9225 6271
Email – steven.stern@vicbar.com.au
Chamber – Room 811, Owen Dixon Chambers West, 525 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000


Bar Roll – 3 May 2012
Admitted – 3 April 1975

Phone – 9225 6271
Email – steven.stern@vicbar.com.au
Chamber – Room 811, Owen Dixon Chambers West, 525 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Admitted to practice in

  • Victoria
  • High & Federal Courts
  • ACT
  • NSW

Area of Law

  • Administrative Law
  • Commercial Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Corporations (Company) Law
  • Employment Law
  • Equity and Trusts
  • Industrial Law
  • Intellectual Property
  • Securities
  • Taxation (Including Revenue, Customs & Excise)


Steven welcomes briefs to appear, advise and draw up documents in all court and tribunal matters. He has appeared as a solicitor advocate in the Federal Court, Supreme Court, County Court, Commonwealth Administrative Appeals Tribunal, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal, and Fair Work Australia. He briefly read at the Bar in 1975 with Mr J G Larkins (subsequently QC) assisting in Supreme Court trials before moving to Canberra to work:

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• as a Commonwealth legislative drafter;

• on business and trade law policy; and

• on constitutional and statutory interpretation, particularly advising on financial law matters involving the Commonwealth, such as domestic and overseas borrowings, and bond issues.


He has now returned to the Bar reading with Mr Andrew Phillips. Mr B J Hess SC is his Senior Mentor.


Steven specializes in advocacy, including preparing court documents; and, in particular, advising clients about their prospects of success in litigation and their legal problems generally. In addition to his positions with the Commonwealth Government, Steven has held a diverse range of legal positions including:

• in a suburban practice, CBA Lobb & Associates, in Mt Waverley;

• as a Senior Associate at Mallesons;

• a 2009 placement from his position as University General Counsel and University Secretary at Victoria University to Stephen Lawyers & Consultants, a specialist boutique practice recognized as a leader in intellectual property;

• Director, Legal Advice and Review Branch of the National Companies and Securities Commission;

• General Counsel-designate to the Australian Securities Commission;

• Corporation Secretary/Principal Legal Officer at the Australian Wool Corporation; and

• the first University Solicitor at Victoria University.


Some important cases in which Steven has been involved are:

(a) as junior counsel to Mr B J Hess (now SC) in litigation which established that taxpayers had the capacity to use the Freedom of Information Act 1982 (Cth) to challenge decisions on their income tax assessments by the Australian Taxation Office (Murtagh v Federal Commissioner of Taxation (1984) 33 ALR 33);
(b) as instructing solicitor to Mr Alex Chernov QC and Ms Susan Crennan [as they then were] for the Respondent in TNT Australia Pty Ltd v National Companies and Securities Commission (1986) 10 ACLR 719, proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria which established that dissident shareholders could not prevent the compulsory acquisition of shares after the takeover of significant listed public companies, such as Ansett Airlines Limited;
(c) as Solicitor on the record in the Federal Court of Australia for the successful Respondent in National Tertiary Education Union v Victoria University [2008] FCA 1630 (3 November 2008) which upheld the management prerogatives of Chief Executive Officers of trading and financial corporations regulated by Commonwealth industrial law; and
(d) constitutional and financial law cases before the High Court of Australia while preparing advice on constitutional and statutory interpretation for Mr D J Rose QC, later the first Chief General Counsel of the Commonwealth of Australia.


His doctorate of philosophy at the University of Melbourne on the influence of financial law on monetary economics received the highest possible grading by the external examiners.

Steven’s master of laws at the University of Melbourne included a major thesis on the protection of computer software which was published in an abridged form as a major article in (1986) 60 Australian Law Journal 333.

He has a basic knowledge of classical and modern literary (but not spoken or colloquial) Arabic and of Hebrew. He has lectured on Islamic law at the International Islamic University in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.


Steven’s publications in refereed journals (and a chapter in a book) are:

• Steven Stern, “Computer Software Protection After the 1984 Copyright Amendments” (1986) 60 Australian Law Journal 333-344, an abridgment of his Master of Laws thesis at the University of Melbourne.

• Dr Arthur J McHugh and Steven Stern, “Investigatory Powers of the National Companies and Securities Commission and the Australian Securities Commission” (1991) 3 Current Issues in Criminal Justice 63-103.

• Steven Stern, “The courts and foreign currency obligations” [1995] Lloyd’s Maritime and Commercial Law Quarterly 494-518.

• Steven Stern, “Judgments in Foreign Currencies: A Comparative Analysis” [1997] Journal of Business Law 266-288.

• Dr Steven Stern, “Electronic Money” (1998) 2 The Company Financial and Insolvency Law Review 217-234.

• Dr Steven Stern, “Establishment of interests in money” (2000) 12 Australian Journal of Corporate Law 45-84.

• Dr Steven Stern, “Shari’ah – A Suitable Model for a Changing Business Environment?” (2004) 2 Journal of International Commercial Law 287-313.

• Dr Steven Stern, “Legal Professional Privilege in a Regulatory Environment” (2009) in P L Jayanthi Reddy, Attorney and Client (2009) Amicus Books, India 1-35


Steven is a Registered Tax Agent and a Registered Trade Mark Attorney.


“From 3/05/2012: Professional Standards Act 2003 [Vic] “Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.”

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