Welcome to James D. Catlin Barrister

James D. Catlin is a Barrister at the Victorian Bar with over 21 years experience.

James Catlin is a specialist fraud, defamation and whistleblowing Barrister in Melbourne at the Victorian Bar with 21 years experience specialising in commercial litigation. Immediately prior to joining the Bar, James was Associate to a County Court Judge for a year and a half. In addition to working as a solicitor, he has worked as a finance journalist for the Herald and Weekly Times and Fairfax publishers, giving him an excellent understanding of the language and needs of commercial clients. He has been Counsel in a number of high profile cases.

He was a Press Secretary and Advisor on Premier Kennett’s staff. This experience gives him a unique insight into media law and litigation involving government. His range of experience gives him the ability to comprehend a wide variety of factual and tactical issues.

James is an nationally accredited mediator. James is Chairman of Blueprint for Freespeech, a not for profit research organisation which conducts research and publishes best practice legislation in areas such as whistleblowing and freedom of speech.

James interviewed 12 high profile whistleblowers in the UK during July 2013 as part of Blueprint’s empirical research and co-wrote Blueprint’s submissions to the UK House of Commons review of the Public Interest Disclosure Act 1998: see Blue Print For Free Speech. He recently was the lead writer on the Victorian Parliamentary IBAC committee’s review of the Victorian Protected Disclosure Act.

He appears in all courts in all States of Australia.

Qualifications - LL. B., B. Ec., Grad. Dip. Media Comms. Law

Admission to Bar Roll - 05 December 1988

Fraud Barrister Melbourne Jmaes Catlin at Vicbar
James Catlin commercial litigation

Commercial Litigation

Breach of contract, guarantees, defamation ...

James Catlin Barrister Alleged Fraud-Search and Freezing orders

Fraud Representation

Alleged Fraud, Search and Freezing orders ...

James Catlin Whistleblowing – Protected Disclosures – Public Interest Disclosurese

Whistleblowing Protected Disclosures

Protected, Public Interest Disclosures ...

James Catlin Corporations Act

Corporations Act.

Corporations Act ...

James Catlin Barrister Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy Specialist

Liquidation, Insolvency and Bankruptcy ...

James Catlin Barrister Defamation Injurious Falsehood vs Misrepresentation

Defamation Misrepresentation

Defamation, Injurious Falsehood vs ...

James Catlin Barrister Unfair Trade Practices

Unfair Trade Practices

Trade practices and misrepresentation ...

James Catlin Barrister Mediation

Mediation Specialist

Nationally accredited experienced mediator ...

James Catlin Barrister Family Provision – Wills and Probate

Family Provision Wills and Probate

Wills, Family Provision, Intestacy, ....

James Catlin employment law industrial law

Employment Law Industrial Law

Employment contracts, unfair dismissal, sexual harassment ...

James Catlin Barrister heavy vehicle transport

Heavy Vehicle Transport

Experienced in legal issues related to trucking ...

James Catlin Barrister crime prosecutions and coronial inquests

Crime, Prosecutions Coronial Inquests

Experienced judges associate ....

Recent Cases

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James has been involved in many high profile hard fought cases and knows the role of a Barrister in periods of pressure and stress and potentially existential danger to your client.

My Working Process

Has been created over nearly 20 years of trial and error and observation of my peers in appearances in Queensland, New South Wales, South Australia, Western Australia and my home state of Victoria.



I Read The Brief And I Listen.

This is my first chance to add value by spotting points that have been points of missed and wrong emphasis.



I Frame The Justice Of The Case. I Think Laterally And Creatively.

Why the law should help your client. I think laterally and creatively about forensic approaches to getting the best evidence to win and maintain ongoing contact with the client to discover everything that might assist.



My Instructor And I Are A Team.

Informal testing of ideas and strategies through regular phone calls (with the meter off) are encouraged, not just occasional formal update conferences. Phone calls are returned quickly. That flash of inspiration can’t be left to wait!



I Stay With You To The End.

In litigation you can have good quarters and bad quarters. It can can have a bumpy progression over years. Becoming 'jammed' at critical moments is not an option. To me the outcome is everything.

  • James was willing to work as hard as I was - very hard to win the case. He carefully and thoroughly cross examined my opponent resulting in the judge disbelieving my opponent. He brought humour to the task lightening the emotional load I had to bear from a difficult dispute.  Everything that was in our control was handled with the utmost professionalism, effort and dedication. Thank you James!

    Dragan Jevtic Director Playmaker Football Management

  • Emily Carter - CEO & Founder
    I had established a small business online but found myself being monstered by a competitor and a small army of her supporters who commenced systematically vilifying me in social media. More than mere abuse, the campaign also tried to nonsensically assert that patents and trade mark rights were being infringed or stolen by me. James quickly drafted a letter that told the competitor to put up, shut up or face legal consequences. I haven’t been attacked since!

    Emily Carter,

    CEO & Founder

  • Matt Arnott - Managing Director
    Our deceased father's solicitor decided to act for his de facto in overturning our father's will.  James confidently advised us that the Judge would order the solicitor to disqualify himself for reasons of conflict of interest which was exactly how this resulted.  We took a great deal of comfort from the fact that James' experience would achieve a satisfactory and just outcome. 

    Matt Arnott,

    Managing Director

  • Wikifrauds -
    Our defense of this matter was most ably represented in court by our barrister, James Catlin of Melbourne. James specialises in defamation, fraud and whislte-blowing, and was the architect of our win.

  • Selene Wong | 翁氏家族 -
    为了一个投资项目我们家族被诈骗了一笔可观的资金。 不良房产开发商无视契约,以隐瞒的手段将我们的投资转移它用。情况错综复杂,眼看血本无归。有缘认识了Catlin先生,他很快就掌握繁杂环节的核心,谋略了一套灵活的方案,迅速到位的写了一状强而有力的契据。还在他在休假和周末的期间一直心系本案,及时与我们沟通以及积极与对方律师谈判,最终让我们成功的拿回了本金和利息。我们十分感激和敬佩Catlin先生敏锐智慧的才能和他权威级的震慑力。.

    Selene Wong | 翁氏家族

  • Rachel -
    After being terminated from an executive role while on maternity leave James succinctly outlined my legal rights and methodology involved in pursuing a legal claim. Throughout the process James always considered my financial and emotional well being, ensured that I owned the process and was always fully informed when making decisions. James acutely understood every detail of my case which prompted a favourable pre trial settlement, mitigating further costs and emotional strain on a professional career women and mother.


  • Ziyi Ji -
    James是一位非常有经验的律师!作为一名中国商家,对澳洲雇佣关系的法律法规并不是十分了解,感谢James在第二次调解中发挥了举足轻重的作用,面对unfair dismissal的控诉和对方的无理敲诈,把我们的赔偿额度和损失降到了最低!他是一个很聪明且有趣的人,喜欢把自己独特想法分享给其他人!同时,他的专业水平和法律知识也是毋庸置疑的?

    Ziyi J

  • Michael Rullo -
    We were up against two insurance companies who were clearly trying to financially exhaust us and seemed to be trying every trick in the book including delaying matters and belatedly disclosing important documents. We are small farmers. Their strategy was to crush us. I knew our case was good and James stood by me. The trial ran for 12 days. James’ cross examination sliced through their smugly hostile witnesses like hot butter and restored my faith in the legal system. We won !

    Michael Rullo

  • Hellen Elle -
    James recently represented us in a matter that involved the union to which could have changed the course of our industry had we lost. His strategic approach and ability to summarize our case over night was outstanding. He has relentless determination when cross examining, particularly when he knows that he is about to bring the case home. Most importantly he has an excellent understanding of the law and he is a non-nonsense man. Pressure brings the brilliance out in James and he is definitely a Barrister who only plays to win. Thank you for everything .

    Hellen Elle

  • Anna Sanvinenti -
    We have no hesitation in recommending Mr. Catlin

    Dopo quattro anni di  avere combattuto senza risultati e speso centinaia di dollari, chi e stato consigliato Il Signore James Catlin, avvocato.  Noi abbiamo trovato Il sig. Catlin molto riconosibile, onesto e accessibile con un cuore di leone.  Entro poce conferenze, Con lui,  con la sua competenza e stato abile di organizzare una mediazone. La sua esperienza e modo di pensare come una volpe, abbiamo ottenuto risultati favorevoli in breve tempo.  Se non fosse per lui, dovremmo comunque affrontare una battaglia legale,  estiamo a raccomandare Il sig.Catlin. Anna Sanvinenti

    After a four year struggle with no resolution and having spent hundreds of dollars, we were recommended Mr. James Caitlin, Barrister.  we found James Catlin  to be very knowledgeable, approachable and honest, with the heart of a lion.  Within only a couple of meetings with his expertise he was able to organise mediation, found him to be as cunning as a fox when needed, and the matter was resolved in a short amount of time, in our favour. If not for him we would still be fighting a legal battle.  We have no hesitation in recommending Mr. Catlin.

Latest News

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Owen Dixon West Chambers,
Level 10, Room 23, 
525 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne VIC 3000

(03) 9225 8141

(03) 9225 8584 (Fax)

(03) 9225 7666 (Clerk)

Monday - Friday: 09.00 to 18.00
Saturday, Sunday Closed