Full Name: Ms Shivani Pillai
Phone: +61 3 9225 7777
Chambers: Owen Dixon Chambers East
Room: 0919
Date of Admission: 5 Nov 1997
Called to the Bar: 23 Nov 2000
Qualifications: BA, LLB (Monash)


Shivani Pillai (B.A., L.L.B.) was admitted to practice in 1997 and signed the bar roll in November 2000.

Shivani practices predominantly in criminal law as both Defence and Prosecuting Counsel. She also specialises in intervention orders. She is a dedicated advocate who regularly appears in criminal trials and pleas including murder, sex offences, fraud and crimes mental impairment. She also appears in the Magistrates' court in matters ranging from diversion orders to contested committals.

Shivani has a particular interest in cases involving those who may be particularly vulnerable or require special assistance due to their disability, age or cultural background.  

Her criminal practice includes crimes family violence, crimes compensation, confiscation, road safety offences and occupational health and safety.  

She has appeared in the Federal Court, Supreme Court of Appeal, Supreme Court, County Court, Magistrates’ Court, Children’s Court and Victorian Civil and Administrative Appeals Tribunal.

Shivani was an Associate in the Supreme Court of Victoria, a lawyer with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions and a Legal Liability Consultant/Investigator working in personal injuries. Her commitment to advocacy and social justice issues began at the Legal Aid Commission of Victoria (Victoria Legal Aid) when she volunteered on a part time basis as a solicitors' assistant, instructing in murder trials and interviewing prisoners in gaol. 

Shivani was recently served as a Board Member for the Department of Justice and played a pivotal role in the implementation of parole legal reforms in Victoria. 

She is a lecturer in trial practice and advocacy at Monash University and is a criminal law, evidence and advocacy instructor with the Leo Cussen Institute. She has also been an advocacy instructor for Victoria Legal Aid (2017, the Australan Federal Police, the Australian Advocacy Institutea and the Victorian Bar. 



2000 – present: Member International Humanitarian Law Advisory Committee (formerly chaired by the Honourable Justice Harper) & Community Speaker, Australian Red Cross of Victoria.

Australian Advocacy Institute Teacher Training Course.

Crimes Family Violence Committee, Victorian Bar Legal Assistance Scheme (VBLAS).

Foley’s List Advocacy Award 1997 (inaugural recipient)  

Areas of Practice

Criminal Law

  • Appellate
  • Corporate / White Collar Crime
  • Crimes Against the Person
  • Drugs
  • Environmental
  • Extradition
  • Fraud
  • Health & Safety
  • Juvenile / Children's Court
  • Mental Illness
  • Proceeds of Crime
  • Property
  • Sexual Assault
  • Traffic / Motor Vehicle

Environmental Law & Planning Law

  • Planning Offences

Industrial Relations Law & Employment Law

  • Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S)

Inquests, Inquiries, Tribunals & Commissions

Public Law & Administrative Law

  • Extradition
  • Immigration
  • Social Security

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