Martin Smith
Martin Smith

Prior to commencing at the Bar in 2011, Martin practised as a commercial litigation solicitor (including at Freehills) for four years and spent 18 months as associate to a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

Martin practises in corporate and commercial law, building and construction law, property law (particularly lease disputes), employment law (often including restraints of trade and confidential information issues) corporate insolvency/bankruptcy, trade practices (particularly involving misleading and deceptive conduct and passing off), insurance and administrative law.

Martin has appeared led and unled in commercial matters in all of the principal courts in New South Wales as well as the Federal Court. He often appears (usually as sole counsel) for Commonwealth departments in judicial review and related appeal proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court, the Federal Court and the High Court.

Martin has a substantial advice practice and is also regularly briefed to appear in urgent interlocutory applications in relation to property, restraint of trade and corporations law matters.

Recent significant or reported cases
• NSW Netball Association Ltd v Probuild Construction (Aust) Pty Ltd [2015] NSWSC 1339 – change of position under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW)

• Shrestha v Migration Review Tribunal (2015) 229 FCR 301 (Full Federal Court); SZWBH v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2015) 229 FCR 317 (Full Federal Court); AAV15 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2015) 230 FCR 454) – procedural fairness; scope of the Court’s summary dismissal power (all unled for the Minister)

• Lock v Australian Securities and Investments Commission [2016] FCA 31 – negligence; misfeasance in public office (for ASIC)

• SZTAL v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2016] FCAFC 69 – statutory construction; interaction between the Convention against Torture and the Migration Act 1958 (Cth)

• A three-week confidential information trial (judgment reserved)


  • Admitted as a Solicitor: 2005
  • Admitted to NSW Bar: 2011


  • BA (University of Newcastle)
  • LLB (Hons I) (University of Newcastle)


A liquidators power to disclaim property of the company

Bias and abuse of process Michael Wilson & Partners Limited v Robert Nicholls (2011) 244 CLR 427 [2012] NSWBarAssocNews 39; (2012 Autumn)

According to law and not humour Illogicality and administrative decision-making after SZMDS (2011) 19 AJ Admin L 33

“Judicial review and jurisdictional errors” (2011) 18 AJ Admin L 138

Contributor to “Australia’s Right to Know”, Report of the Independent Audit into the State of Free Speech in Australia