Full Name: Ms Eliza M Bergin
Phone: +61 3 9225 7827
Fax: +61 3 9225 8480
Mobile: 0430 011 038
Chambers: Owen Dixon Chambers East
Room: 1316
Date of Admission: 2 Oct 2000
Called to the Bar: 27 Jul 2018
Qualifications: LLM (Environmental Law); LLB (Hons); BSc
Previous Occupation: Senior Associate, King & Wood Mallesons, Principal Solicitor, Victorian Government Solicitor's Office


Every client is different.  Eliza applies a practical approach and identifies early exactly what the client wants from the existing or proposed litigation.  She works closely with clients to determine their objectives and to develop a litigation strategy. 

Eliza practises in the areas of public and commercial law.  Prior to coming to the Bar, Eliza practised as a solicitor for 17 years including senior roles as a Principal Solicitor at VGSO (2010-2017) and Senior Associate at King & Wood Mallesons (2004-2010).  She was Associate to Justice Peter RA Gray AM of the Federal Court of Australia (2001-2002).

Eliza appears regularly in the Federal Court, the Federal Circuit Court, the Supreme Court, Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT), Planning Panels Victoria (PPV) and the Magistrates Court. 

Land Acquisition, Planning and Environment Law

Eliza advises corporations, individuals, government and institutional clients on use and development of land.  Developments she has advised on include urban renewal projects, state-significant infrastructure projects, commercial and retail facilities, telecommunications facilities, apartment and residential developments, correction facilities, landfills, port expansion, rail and roads. 

Eliza has run high profile, long running and often complex cases for clients regarding issues such as environment, planning, water, waste, climate change, ESD, urban renewal, contamination of land, native vegetation, protected species and protected habitat, contaminants such as PFAS, industrial land use, flooding, fires, natural resources, fisheries, mining, lightspill, traffic and noise.

Public and Administrative Law

Eliza holds a Negative Vetting 2 (Top Secret) security clearance.  She accepts briefs in security-related matters, including counter-terrorism.

Since coming to the Bar, Eliza has appeared before courts and tribunals in judicial review, FOI, migration law, civil appeals and public law.  Eliza represents clients in civil enforcement and disciplinary proceedings.  Eliza also has considerable experience in IBAC, Royal Commissions and Boards of Inquiry.

Civil and Commercial Litigation

Eliza’s experience as an advocate includes building and construction litigation and arbitration, leasing disputes, commercial tenancies, civil appeals and insolvency.

Recent significant cases:

Land Acquisition, Planning and Environment Law

  • Urban renewal - Advisory Committee –  Fishermans Bend (2018, Led by J Forsyth SC, Instructed by City of Melbourne) Advisory Committee into proposed Planning Scheme Amendment GC81 to Melbourne and Port Phillip Planning Schemes including 45 hearing days and 253 submitters Fishermans Bend Planning Review Panel (AC) [2018] PPV 71
  • Planning - Convenience retail - Appearing for permit applicant before VCAT regarding proposed service station ‘On The Run’ in Horsham (2018, unled)  OTR 129 Pty Ltd & OTR 130 Pty Ltd v Horsham Rural City Council  [2018] VCAT 1778
  • Planning - Convenience retail - Appearing for permit applicant before VCAT regarding proposed service station ‘On The Run’ in Mildura (2018, unled) OTR 168 Pty Ltd & OTR 169 Pty Ltd v Mildura Rural City Council [2018] (reserved)
  • Planning - Residential subdivision - Objector appeal before VCAT against conditions of permit (2018, unled) Thuc Tran Mok Lao v Maroondah City Council [2018] VCAT (13 August 2018)

Public and Administrative Law

  • FCA - Migration appeals (2018) Appearing in the Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia in appeals from decisions of the Immigration Assessment Authority and the Administrative Appeals Tribunal.  Fati v Minister for Home Affairs [2018] FCA (reserved); EOD17 v Minister for Home Affairs [2018] FCCA 3323 (interlocutory judgment on reinstatement); BUB17 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2018] FCCA with E Rutherford (reserved)
  • AAT - Freedom of Information (2018) Appearing for and advising a Federal Senator in applications under FOI including an appeal before Justice Kenny in her capacity as a Presidential Member of the AAT regarding defence of the Commonwealth and international relations.  Xenophon v Secretary, Department of Defence [2018] AAT (reserved)

General Commercial and Civil Litigation

  • Anti-money Laundering (2018) Advising on the anti-money laundering provisions of the Commonwealth (confidential)
  • Commercial transactions (2018, Led by P O'Sullivan QC) Advising on a large commercial dispute including claims of oppressive conduct, breach of contracts and misrepresentations in the Supreme Court (confidential)
  • Civil appeals (2017, unled) Appeal against the refusal of a stay to a Judge of the Supreme Court from an interlocutory decision of a Magistrate (Unled, 2017) Aqua Max Water Filtration Solutions v Hurtado [2017] SASC 165

Royal Commissions and Boards of Inquiry

  • IBAC (2015) Lead Solicitor acting for the State of Victoria before Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission in Operation Fitzroy regarding corruption in the public transport (bus) sector. 
  • IBAC (2016) Solicitor acting for the State of Victoria before Independent Broad-based Anti-Corruption Commission in Operation Ord regarding corruption in the education (IT) sector. 
  • Inquiry (2014) Solicitor instructing senior and junior counsel before the Inquiry into the Hazelwood Coal Mine Fire on behalf of the State of Victoria while a Principal Solicitor at VGSO.  
  • Royal Commission (2009) Acting for the Municipal Association of Victoria and 77 Local Councils in the 2009 Bushfires Royal Commission while a Senior Associate at King & Wood Mallesons.  
  • Board of Inquiry (2017) Solicitor assisting the Building Practitioners Board on secondment for 6 months for VGSO while a Principal Solicitor. 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation 

Areas of Practice


  • Civil Appeals
  • Merit Appeals

Commercial Law

  • Property & Probate

Environmental Law & Planning Law

  • Agricultural Law
  • Animal Welfare
  • Civil Enforcement
  • Maritime Environmental Law
  • Merit Appeals
  • Mining
  • Planning Offences
  • Restrictive Covenants
  • Sewage & Drainage
  • Town Planning
  • Water


  • Local Government

Inquests, Inquiries, Tribunals & Commissions

  • Coronial Inquests
  • Royal Commissions
  • Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT)

Public Law & Administrative Law

  • Civil Liberties
  • Compliance & Investigations
  • Constitutional Law
  • Disciplinary Proceedings
  • Freedom of Information (FOI)
  • Health & Medical
  • Immigration
  • Judicial Review
  • Merits Review
  • Migration Law

Also Entitled to Practise in

  • Federal Court of Australia
  • High Court of Australia

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