Christopher Shanahan SC

ChambersFrancis Burt Chambers
Street AddressLevel 16, Allendale Square, 77 St George's Terrace, Perth Western Australia 6000
Postal AddressGPO Box C122 , Perth Western Australia 6839
DX AddressDX 182, Perth
Telephone(08) 9220 0444
Mobile0434 184 774
Fax(08) 9325 5216
Year Admitted to Practice 1984
Year Elected to WABA1984 and 1993
Year Appointed QC/SC2004
QualificationsBJuris (UWA), LLB (UWA), LLM (Hons) (Syd)

Chris has a broad practice that focuses on commercial, administrative and civil matters with an emphasis on appeals.  Whilst he no longer practices crime at first instance he occasionally argues criminal appeals.  Chris appeared in Smith v. The State of Western Australia [2014] HCA 3 in which the High Court unanimously upheld the Appellant’s argument that the rule against admitting evidence of jurors’ deliberations does not apply to criminal conduct amongst jurors.  In 2006 Chris argued Klein v. Minister of Education in the High Court a case dealing with workers’ compensation.  He was successful in a long running matter concerning the justiciability of disputes within political parties, Aust. Dem. WA Div. Inc & Anor v. Aust. Dem. Vic Inc & Ors (2002) 19 Leg. Rep. SL. 1.  Chris appeared in Jones v. Bartlett (2000) 205 CLR 166, a case regarding occupiers’ liability in WA, and has obtained special leave to appeal to the High Court on several occasions.  His practice also includes equitable remedies and trusts.

Chris currently serves as an Acting Commissioner in the Corruption and Crime Commission of WA ('CCC') in a strictly part-time role.  He was re-appointed in April 2014.

Chris was appointed silk on 1 December 2004.  He has previously served as A/g Commissioner of the CCC (part-time) between 2005-2010, and served as an A/g Information Commissioner in 2007.  Chris was Vice-President of the WA Bar Association between 2005-2007, and has been a member of the ABA’s Advocacy Training Council since 2007; he remains heavily involved in advocacy training both in Australia and overseas. He taught in the South-Eastern Circuit’s Advanced Advocacy Course at Keble College, Oxford in 2005 and 2010.  In 2012 Chris coordinated the ABA's first appellate advocacy course.  His most recent publication is Shanahan, C.P., ‘Persuading a hostile court to shift its position’ (2013) 38 Australian Bar Review 76. Inquiries should be directed to Ms Faith Choularton on 9220 0444. CV is available on request.

Chris also has Chambers in Adelaide where he is an Associate Member of Bar Chambers, and South Australian inquiries may be directed there.


  • Administrative & Constitutional
  • Commercial Law
  • Competition Law
  • Consumer Protection
  • Corporations
  • Criminal Law
  • Disciplinary Tribunals
  • Discrimination Law
  • Environment
  • Equity
  • Local Government
  • Mining Law
  • Native Title
  • Planning and Development
  • Professional Negligence
  • Property Law
  • Trade Practices
  • Wills & Estates
  • Workers Compensation

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under the Professional Standards Legislation