Full Name: Ms Emma M Swart
Fax: 03 9225 8480
Mobile: 0411 239 278
Chambers: Owen Dixon Chambers East
Room: 1105
Date of Admission: 5 Nov 1986
Called to the Bar: 19 Nov 1998
Nationally Accredited Mediator: 27 Jun 2013
Accredited as Mediator: 29 Apr 2004
Qualifications: BA, LLB, Grad Dip Family Dispute Resolution Practice
Previous Occupation: Solicitor


Emma Swart practices predominantly in family law and appears regularly in the Family Court and Federal Circuit Court. She also appears interstate and in the Family Court of Western Australia.

Emma is a Nationally Accredited Mediator and an Accredited Family Law Arbitrator member of the Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and Mediators (AIFLAM). She is available to conduct discounted mediations under the AIFLAM Fixed Fee Scheme and the Magistrates’ Court Civil Single List of External Mediators (SLEM). She is accredited by the Attorney-General (Cth) as a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) and is authorised to issue certificates under section 60I of the Family Law Act 1975.

Emma represents the Victorian Bar on the Law Council of Australia's Domestic and Family Violence Taskforce and the Law Institute and Victorian Bar Legal Aid Taskforce. She assisted with the Law Institute of Victoria's Submission to the 2015 Family Violence Royal Commission and the Victorian Bar Submission to the Legal Aid Family Law Review.  She is a member and former committee member of the Family Law Bar Association of Victoria. She is a member of the Family Law Practitioner's Association of Western Australia, the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the Health & Wellbeing Committee of the Victorian Bar and the Women Barristers' Association.

She has a continuing interest in issues around Sexually Transmitted Debt from her experience prior to joining the Bar as a solicitor at the Consumer Credit Legal Services in Victoria and Western Australia. She is familiar with issues around family law and bankruptcy, guarantees and equitable interests in property.

Recent papers and presentations include as moderator of the Latest Cases session for the LIV CPD Intensive March 2017 and 2016, "Costs: Orders, Offers and Risks" Legalwise Seminar March 2017, "On thin ice - are family lawyers at risk of committing family violence by agency?" Antarctica Cruise Conference January 2017, "Don't wait, Arbitrate! Evaluating the utility of arbitration in family law matters" for the Leo Cussen Family Law Conference September 2015, " What's happening at the Family Violence Royal Commission?" for Foley's Family Law Breakfast September 2015, "Relocation Cases in the Family Court of Western Australia" with Serina Thomson May 2015 Law on the Lounge; "Assessing Interests and Contributions in Family Law Property Cases" in November 2014  for the Bendigo Law Association, "Bevan & Marsh:Two cases on long separations" in June 2014 for the Victorian Family Law Bali Conference, "Latest and Greatest Cases" & "Caveats in Victoria" for the June 2014 WA Family Law Conference "Law on the Lounge" in Bali; “Family Law Case Preparation Workshop” Panellist, TECH-IP Legal Seminars Melbourne 5 March 2014; "Issues under the Umbrella of Parental Responsibility" at the June 2013 "Law on the Lounge"; "Arbitrations in Family Law" at the June 2012 "Law on the Lounge".

Some reported cases -

Callahan & Callahan [2016] FCCA 160 (12 February 2016) - Split of assets where long marriage and valuable defined benefit superannuation interest.

Hosking & Butcher [2015] FCCA 2019 (5 August 2015) - No contact due to unacceptable risk from father's mental health and family violence.

Jacob & Lawrence (No 2) [2013] FamCA 544 (23 July 2013) - Successful costs application for party/party costs of whole proceeding.

Jacob & Lawrence [2013] FamCA 188 – Defacto jurisdiction hearing, finding of no jurisdiction as relationship less than 2 years and no substantial contributions leading to serious injustice (and full costs for defendant).

Lackey & Mae [2013] FMCAfam 284 – Children to live with mother and spend supervised time with father after multiple unsubstantiated child protection notifications by paternal family against mother, referral for s121 investigation and prosecution re Facebook postings.

Toogood & Anor v Simpson & Anor [2012] VSC 258 - Obtained judgment for $3.5 million plus interest for breach of agreement between de facto partners. 

Lavery & Lavery [2012] FamCA 126 - Appeared for Independent Children's Lawyer where finding of unacceptable risk of sexual abuse. 

Knaus & Knaus [2010] FMCAfam 1370 - Confidentiality of counsellor’s notes. 

Bolton & Athol and Ors [2009] FamCA 10 - Successful in return of 4 year old to mother in Victoria after 18 months with grandparents and father in Tasmania.

Chappell & Chappell [2008] FamCAFC 143 - Successful appeal on Equal Shared Parental Responsibility. 

Richard & Briar (No. 4) [2008] FamCA 981- Appeared for Independent Children's Lawyer on change of residence after abduction of child. 

Bracewell & Southall [2008] FamCA 687 - Successful application to restrain solicitor from acting due to conflict of interest.

Warner & Warner [2008] FamCAFC 156 - Successful appeal of orders in small property pool and re-exercise of discretion by Full Court.

Davis & Spring [2007] FamCA 1149 - Successful return of child to Aboriginal mother from Anglo-Australian grandmother and relocation to Central Australia. 

Pallon & Pallon [2007] FamCA 808 - Appeared for Third Parties in settlement of family farm dispute.

D v SV [2003] FamCA 280 - Appeared for the successful appellant in the Full Court of the Family Court in a freedom of movement case.

Thorne v Northern Metropolitan College of TAFE (1999) EOC - Appeared for the Applicant in a complaint of discrimination against a union member.  

Arbitration Qualifications

  • AIFLAM (Member)

Areas of Practice

Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR)

  • Arbitration
  • Mediation


  • Civil Appeals

Commercial Law

  • Banking & Finance
  • Bankruptcy Law & Insolvency Law

Equity & Trusts

  • Real Property

Family Law

  • Care & Protection
  • Child Disputes
  • Children's Court
  • Parenting Orders
  • Property Disputes

Also Entitled to Practise in

  • All Australian States and Jurisdictions
  • Federal Courts

Committee Memberships

  • (Member) Law Council of Australia - Domestic and Family Violence Working Group
From 1 Jul 2013, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

« Back to search results