John Bird

John Bird

John has a diverse practice built on more than 15 years’ experience in global and national law firms. He is listed in Best Lawyers of Australia (2022, 2021 editions) for Government Practice. He is recommended in Doyles Guide 2019-2021 for commercial litigation.

Relevant experience

John’s practice focuses on commercial litigation and public law (Commonwealth and Australian Capital Territory).

In the Commonwealth sphere, he has acted for a wide variety of Ministers and agencies under multiple statutory schemes canvassing both merits and judicial review of administrative action, complex commercial disputes, and civil claims (including Comcover and Dust Disease Tribunal matters).

In the Territory, he has acted in planning matters, property (including strata and commercial leasing) disputes, contract and equitable claims, and building and construction litigation (including Security of Payment legislation and the statutory warranties in the ACT Building Act).

Called to the Bar

Masters of Government and Commercial Law (with merit) (ANU)

Admitted as a legal practitioner

Bachelor of Laws and Asian Studies (Japanese) (ANU)

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02 6181 2097


Practice areas

Anti-dumping / trade
Building and construction
Building rectifications orders
Commercial law
Commercial leasing
Commissions and Inquiries
FOI disputes
Human Rights Law
International Law
Migration Law
Planning and Development
Public / Administrative law


  • Quanton Pty Ltd v ACT Planning and Land Authority [2021] ACTSC 139 (led by Walker SC). Successfully appealed decision of ACAT to issue controlled-activity order
  • Scentre Management Limited v ACT Planning and Land Authority [2021] ACTSC 171
  • Bolaram v Australian Capital Territory (Appeal) [2021] ACAT 64 (appeared for the Territory and successfully resisted appeal)
  • LFRS and Minister for Foreign Affairs [2021] AATA 79(appeared for the Minister in connection with Passports Act matter)
  • Rosa & the Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela (Residential Tenancies) [2019] ACAT 33
  • Morozow v ACTPLA & Ors (Administrative Review) [2017] ACAT 79 (acted for developer in planning dispute)
  • Kersten and Secretary, Department of Employment [2016] AATA 1052 (Acted for the Secretary)
  • Jones and Australian Federal Police [2016] AATA 329(acted for AFP)
  • Gracie v The Owners Units Plan 3411 & ors (Unit Titles) [2016] ACAT 3 (acted for developer in case involving application to appoint administrator to Owners Corporation)
  • Archerfield  Airport and Minister for Infrastructure & Regional Development [2015] AATA 489
  • Manny v Sims, Parberry, O’Keefe and Smith [2014] ACTSC 183
  • Wagdy Hanna v National Library [2013] ACTCA 24 (acted for the National Library of Australia on a security for costs application in the ACT Court of Appeal)
  • Australia and New Zealand Banking Group Limited v Manny (No.6) [2013] ACTSC 261
  • Red Bull (Australia) Pty Ltd and Department of Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry [2011] AATA 157
  • Mourikis, Comcare v Patrick Operations Pty Ltd [2010] NSWDDT 6 (acted for Comcare).
  • SZGRL v Minister for Immigration & Anor [2006] FMCA 632 (acted for the Minister)