Don Grieve QC

Admission Year: 1973

Year taken Silk: 1983

Contact Details

Now at Sir Anthony Mason Chambers
Tel: (+61 2) 9373 7447
Fax: (+61 2) 9373 7422

Areas of Practice

Family Law
Personal Injury

Clerk Details

Kristen Sproule

Don Grieve QC

Professional Career

Don Grieve has maintained a diverse practice at the bar both before taking silk in 1983 and in the years since. His versatility is demonstrated by his appearance as leading counsel in the following High Court appeals: Repatriation Commissioner v O'Brien 155 CLR 422 (a case involving statutory construction); Trident General Insurance Co Ltd v McNiece Bros Pty Ltd 165 CLR 436 (a significant case concerning privity of contract); Advance (NSW) Insurance Agencies Pty Ltd v Matthews 166 CLR 606 (insurance law); Commmonwealth v Amann Aviation 174 CLR 64 (contractual damages); Re Wakim ex p McNally 199 CLR 36 (constitutional law); Batterham v QSR Ltd 225 CLR 237 (industrial law).

Although his predominant areas of practice relate to the fields mentioned above, he has appeared in a number of criminal trials (in some as prosecutor and in others as counsel for the accused) and in matters involving revenue law, intellectual property and other issues.

Examples of Recent Cases

In Asim v Penrose [2010] NSWCA 366, Don appeared for the defendant-appellant both at first instance and on appeal. The essential issue was whether or not the plaintiff's very substantial injuries were caused by the negligence of the driver of Don's client's taxi or by the driver of an unidentified vehicle, in which case, of course, the Nominal Defendant would be bound to meet the verdict to which the plaintiff was undoubtedly entitled. The plaintiff's case rested entirely on circumstantial evidence. The hearing occupied many days. The primary judge concluded in the plaintiff's favour. That decision was reversed on appeal.

Neil v Jacovou [2011] NSWSC 87 involved a claim by the plaintiff-widow and her infant daughter for provision under the Family Provision Act 1982. Don appeared for the plaintiffs. The case was rather unusual in the sense that by his will the deceased left his estate (worth in the vicinity of $25 million) to his widow (Julie), as to approximately $8 million, and as to the balance to his siblings. He wrote that will on the day on which he was diagnosed as suffering from a major brain tumour with a life expectancy of three months (at most). At that time the deceased and the plaintiff had only been married for some 5-6 years and had no children. But, contrary to the initial prognosis, and under the plaintiff's care, he survived for more than three years. During that time, by the IVF process, they conceived the infant daughter. Slattery J upheld the plaintiffs' claims by increasing the legacy to the widow by some $2 million and by making a provision for the daughter in the order of $5 million. It is one of the larger cases to have been determined under the FP Act.

Educational Background

Bachelor of Laws conferred by the University of Adelaide in 1968