About Me

Michael Kats, Barrister practising in Victoria and Tasmania. I have over 20 years of experience working as a legal practitioner all over Victoria. I have appeared extensively in criminal jury trials, pleas and appeals in the County Court (both Prosecution and Defence), contests, pleas and committals in the Magistrates Court, hearings in the Children’s Court (Family and Criminal Jurisdiction), discrimination cases in the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) and civil cases in the Magistrates’ Court.

I was selected to participate in and completed the Trial Counsel Development Program in 2013.

My career has taken me to many interesting places. Including Restorative Justice Conferences at Jesuit Social Services, In-House Counsel at the Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service, the Northern Territory, and I’ve travelled to most regional courts around Victoria. I have appeared in Football Federation Victoria disciplinary hearings, numerous VCAT (Guardianship and Administration and Equal Opportunity cases), and prosecuted in complex conspiracy trials. I often present at the Leo Cussen PLT in Advocacy, Criminal Law, Bail, and Criminal Procedure and am a sessional teacher in Justice Studies. I have also recently Mentored many memorable, talented and highly capable Law Graduates completing their Practical Legal Training at Leo Cussen Centre for Law.

I am currently undertaking my Masters in Law at Monash University. 

My other interests include playing ice hockey and soccer, and I also enjoy curing my own salmon.

I was born in the former Soviet Union so naturally I’m also a fluent Russian speaker.

I am on Meldrum’s list and can be booked through my clerk: https://meldrumslist.com.au/contact-us/ or on (03) 9225 7444.

Some of the cases I’ve appeared in:



Raising the bar… Michael Kats 

Date: 03 Nov 2011 

Raising the bar aims to raise the profile of barristers who are doing great work. This fortnight’s nominee is Michael Kats – nominated by David Benady, Deputy Managing Lawyer, Youth Legal Services.

Youth Legal Service discovered Michael soon after he was called to the bar in 2007, and he previously worked in Criminal Law Melbourne at VLA.

David was particularly pleased with Michael’s wide range of skills.

‘Since he left VLA we have been grooming Michael in youth crime and the specialist  child protection jurisdiction of the Children’s Court.

‘The combining of these two practices is vital in properly representing the most vulnerable young clients of VLA in the criminal jurisdiction, and Michael has impressed in his handling of complex technical cases and his thorough approach,’ said David.

These skills were highlighted in two cases:

  • a drugs matter relating to trafficking a drug of dependence and introducing a prohibited substance into Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre
  • a sibling incest case.

In the first case the prosecution were convinced that the weight of their telephone transcripts alone would provide an overwhelming case against our client for introducing narcotics into Malmsbury.

However, over the course of three contest mentions and a contest hearing, Michael made a number of strong and compelling technical arguments. Ultimately the Crown conceded and withdrew the conspiracy and trafficking charges, and the 17-year-old client received a non-accountable undertaking for use of a drug of dependence.

Michael also recorded a win in an incest case. After two days of spirited litigating all charges against our client were dropped, and the Chief Commissioner of Police was ordered to pay legal costs, as well as loss of wages for our witness.

Michael specialises in the criminal jurisdiction and speaks fluent Russian – he awaits a rush of Eastern European mafia cases. His precision, thoroughness and success rate make him one of the most sought after members of the bar used by Youth Legal Service. In addition, his detailed memos are a valuable educational resource for solicitors learning the more technical aspects of their case.

Michael has experience appearing in the Magistrates’ Court, Children’s Court (family and criminal jurisdiction), Victims of Crime Assistance Tribunal and the County Court.

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