Biography

Janet is head of Gilbert + Tobin’s Disputes + Investigations practice in Melbourne.

Janet is one of the pre-eminent commercial litigators in Australia with extensive experience in the competition, corporate and regulatory areas of law. She has a reputation for excellence amongst clients and peers. Janet is highly regarded for providing strategic advice, detailed analysis and obtaining commercial solutions.

Janet has a proven ability to work with premiers, government ministers, boards, senior bureaucrats and senior executives. She has been involved in the corporate arena as a director throughout her professional career. As a result, she has an extensive appreciation of the issues that face business leaders, not only from a legal perspective but also having regard to the commercial, political and public imperatives that need to be considered when directing organisations. Janet also has extensive governance and probity experience through not only providing advice professionally but also wide spread experience in risk, finance and audit sub-committees of various organisations over 15 years.

Janet is consistently recognised as a leading dispute resolution lawyer in the Australian Financial Review, Chambers Global, Chambers Asia-Pacific and Best Lawyers.

Janet is the current President of the Council of Trustees of the National Gallery of Victoria, the first woman to hold the position in the Gallery’s 154 year history.  In 2015, Janet was made a Member of the Order of Australia for her significant service to the community through the arts, health and major events sectors and as a legal professional and was inducted onto the 2015 Victorian Honour Roll of Women by the Premier of Victoria.

Janet was named one of Australia’s 10 Most Influential Women in the Westpac and Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards 2015 and won the category for Culture. 

Janet was previously named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women in the Westpac Banking Corporation and Australian Financial Review ‘100 Women of Influence Awards 2012 in the category of Boards and Management.

Janet’s experience includes:

  • Lead Partner - Acting for the State of Victoria in its response to the Royal Commission into Management of Police Informants.
  • Representing Cargill Australia Limited and Cargill Inc in Supreme Court proceedings in a large claim for damages concerning allegations of false and misleading statements by Glencore and Viterra Limited during the sale of the JWM malting business.
  • Representing United Petroleum in Supreme Court litigation with their former lawyers Herbert Smith Freehills concerning allegations of negligence and breach of duties in relation to an abandoned IPO.
  • Advising and representing Bega Cheese Limited in Supreme court proceedings brought by Fonterra Brands Australia Pty Ltd.  The matter concerns a dispute arising out of rights under a Trademark license agreement and use of certain trademarks covered by that agreement.  Fonterra are represented by Arnold Bloch Leibler (ABL).
  • Acting for the 25% shareholder in the Grill’d healthy burger chain seeking relief from shareholder oppression in an eight day trial in the Federal Court of Australia in November 2016.  The trial occurred after Gilbert +Tobin successfully obtained orders to access the hard drives, laptops and back-ups of the Grill’d Companies and the trial attracted significant media attention relating to matters arising in cross examination of the defendants in respect of conduct discovered during the proceeding.

Janet is ranked for her skills in the Dispute Resolution.

Chambers Global 2019

Janet is recognised for Alternative Dispute Resolution and Litigation.

Best Lawyers 2020

Janet is ranked for her skills in the Dispute Resolution.

Chambers Asia-Pacific 2019

Member of the Order of Australia (AM) – Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015 for significant service to the community through contributions to the arts, health and major events sector, and as a legal professional.

Queen’s Birthday Honours List 2015

Inducted onto the Victorian Honour Roll of Women 2015.

Janet was named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women and won the category for Culture.

Westpac and Australian Financial Review 100 Women of Influence Awards 2015

Janet was named one of Australia’s 100 Most Influential Women and won the category for Boards and Management.

Westpac Banking Corporation and Australian Financial Review ‘100 Women of Influence Awards’ in 2012