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John Middleton

The Hon. John E Middleton AM KC

Senior Advisor
Your judgments were always written with style and simplicity. You were a peerless commercial lawyer at the Bar and on the Bench in all aspects of commercial law.
Allsop J, Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, December 2022
The Hon. John Eric Middleton AM KC has recently joined DLA Piper as a Senior Advisor.

The renowned former judge will advise large public and private sector clients on investigations, class actions and inquiries.  He is able to provide unparalleled insight and strategic review at critical junctures of major litigation and will provide the highest degree of scrutiny to all of the key considerations, recommendations and process design throughout the project and will add gravitas to the clients’ ultimate decision. 

His extensive experience also includes highly complex litigation such as commercial and civil litigation, inquiries and investigations, class actions, regulatory reviews including with Commonwealth bodies such as ASIC and the ACCC. 

John’s direct experience will provide boards with assurance on the merits of proposed complex litigation and confidence in allocating sufficient budget to proceed with litigation.
Professional QualificationsBarrister and Solicitor of the High Court of Australia, 1976Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria, 1976


  • Advising the Victorian Gambling and Casino Control Commission (VGCCC) on its engagement with Crown and on investigations relevant to the VGCCC’s ultimate determinations of Crown’s suitability.
  • LLB (Hons) from the University of Melbourne
  • Bachelor of Civil Law (Honours) from the University of Oxford
  • Winter Williams Scholar (University of Oxford (1976))


  • Awarded the Centenary Medal in 2003 for services as a former Chairman, Bar Council, to the community and to education.
  • Conferred the award of Member of the Order of Australia for significant service to the judiciary and to the law, and to professional associations.

Prior Experience

Important past judgments include:

  • Essendon v ASADA litigation
  • Virgin Australia administration
  • ASIC v Healey
  • GetSwift
  • Pacific National
  • Vodafone

John was a Federal Court Judge for the past 16 years until his retirement in December 2022.

Earlier in his career, he served as Associate to Sir Ninian Stephen. He later practised as a Barrister, predominantly in Constitutional and Administrative Law, Resources Law and Commercial Law. 

He is a former:

  • Council Member of The University of Melbourne
  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law
  • Member of the Editorial Board of The Journal of the Intellectual Property Society of Australia and New Zealand
  • Member of the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration Advisory Board and Judicial Liaison Committee
  • President of the Oxford Society in Victoria.

Additional qualifications

Appointed Queen’s Counsel for Victoria (1991)

Memberships and Affiliations

  • Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law
  • American Law Institute