Full Name: Sarah J Varney
Phone:+61 3 9225 6429
Phone:+61 3 9225 7777
Fax:+61 3 9225 8480
Chambers: Owen Dixon Chambers East
Room: 0419A
Date of Admission: 22 Mar 1999
Called to the Bar: 25 Oct 2012
Qualifications: LLB (Hons), BA (Hons)
Previous Occupation: Senior Associate, Clayton Utz; Senior Solicitor, Department of Health (Victoria)


Sarah has a broad practice, working primarily in commercial law.

Since coming to the bar, Sarah has been involved in matters including commercial disputes, professional negligence claims and defamation claims.

She has acted in relation to disputes regarding:

  • commercial agreements such as loans, purchase agreements and franchises;
  • financial assets (shares and MIS interests);
  • breach of professional duties;
  • breach of directors’ duties; and
  • services regulated or provided by the State (public housing and supported residential services).

Recent matters include:

  • Vakras & Anor v Cripps & Anor [2015] VSCA 193 (defamation) (led by D Gilbertson QC);
  • acting for the auditors of Bill Express Limited (in liq) in relation to a professional negligence claim (as part of a team led by PD Crutchfield QC);
  • Kambouris v Tahmazis (No 2) [2015] VSC 174 (professional negligence) (led by R Cook);
  • Devon v Capital Finance Australia Ltd [2014] VSCA 73  (hire purchase agreement) (led by A P Rodbard-Bean);
  • acting for Willmott Forests (in liq) in relation to claims by investors in managed investment schemes (as part of a team led by PD Crutchfield QC);
  • In the matter of an application for extended leave by CGA [2013] VSC 638R (an application under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be TriedAct 1997), and numerous other appearances under the Act, for the Department of Health and Human Services) (unled); and
  • various interlocutory applications and hearings in the Supreme, County and Federal Courts, and VCAT.

Sarah was previously a senior associate at Clayton Utz in banking and finance.  Her main area of practice was public private partnership projects including hospitals, toll roads and water treatment plants.  She also advised in relation to bond issues, refinancings and operating and finance leases.  She was seconded to Jeantet Associés in Paris, to the energy, mining and infrastructure team (2006).

Immediately prior to coming to the bar, she was a senior solicitor in the Department of Health, involved in contracting, legislation and advice in a variety of areas including IT/IP, health information and hospital projects.

Sarah participates in the Court of Appeal pro bono scheme, and the duty barrister scheme.  

Sarah read with Greg Harris QC.

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Other Languages Spoken

  • French

Areas of Practice


  • Banking
  • Bankruptcy
  • Contractual Disputes
  • Corporate Insolvency
  • Professional Liability


  • Trusts


Also Entitled to Practise in

  • Federal Court of Australia
  • High Court of Australia

Committee Memberships

  • Monitor - Commercial Bar Association - Equity
From 15 Nov 2012, liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation.

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