Jess Swanwick

Lead Counsel
LLB (Honours)
Area of law:
Commercial litigation, Civil litigation and dispute resolution (including personal injury), Policing and emergency management, Coronial inquests and investigations

Jess is an experienced litigator who advises and represents a range of government clients in relation to litigation, inquests, inquiries and dispute resolution. Her clients include Victoria Police, Corrections Victoria, the Department of Justice & Community Safety, the Attorney-General, the Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning and the Department of Health and Human Services. Jess's practice encompasses coronial inquests and IBAC investigations together with claims arising in the County Court, the Supreme Court's trial and appellate divisions and the High Court. Jess has particular expertise in intentional torts, negligence claims (including novel duties of care), personal injury, damages and coronial inquests. Jess also has significant experience in relation to public interest immunity claims.

Jess has also been involved in many quasi-criminal matters, particularly in respect of the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997 and subpoena objections.

During her time at the VGSO, Jess has acted on behalf of government clients in various high-profile and complex civil proceedings and inquests. Some examples include:

  • Inquest into the deaths of the Bourke Street Victims (acting on behalf of the Department of Justice and Community Safety)
  • Hodson & Anor v State of Victoria (acting on behalf of Victoria Police)
  • Royal Commission into National Natural Disaster Arrangements (acting on behalf of the former Chief Fire Officer of the CFA)
  • IBAC's Operation Gloucester investigation (acting on behalf of the Chief Commissioner of Police)

Jess came to the VGSO after almost a decade at the Victorian Bar where she gained considerable experience in all aspects of civil litigation across all Victorian jurisdictions. As a barrister she developed substantial expertise in managing complex and large-scale litigation on behalf of government clients.

Phone: 03 8684 0794
Mobile: 0409 321 928
LinkedIn: Jess Swanwick