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Odette McDonald

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Class Actions and Commercial Litigation, Practice Group Leader

03 9602 6888 03 9600 0290
Melbourne, Victoria

Odette is a Practice Group Leader in Slater and Gordon’s Commercial Litigation and Class Actions practice. She leads a large team that specialises in class actions and other large-scale litigation.

Odette’s is one of Australia’s most experienced class action litigators. She has represented thousands of people in a number of high-profile and successful class actions, which have collectively delivered settlements in excess of $350 million. Her experience includes shareholder class actions against Billabong, GPT, Sigma Pharmaceuticals, Centro, and Nufarm, debenture class actions against the trustees of Fincorp, ACR and Provident, claims arising from bushfires in Parkerville and Margaret River, and other consumer class actions.

She has acted in a number of other large and complex proceedings, including multi-party proceedings in respect of a property development built on contaminated land, first-instance proceedings by an individual shareholder to recover damages for contravention of continuous disclosure rules, and Australia’s first private market manipulation case.

Odette has extensive experience in obtaining compensation for the victims of professional negligence, including individuals who lost money following the failure of investment products (including Basis Capital, Westpoint, Storm, CDOs and managed investment schemes), and others who have received inappropriate financial or legal advice. Her general commercial law and litigation experience is broad and extends to contract advice and disputes (with particular focus on small business, shareholders and franchising) and insolvency claims.

Odette strongly believes that legal services should be accessible and affordable. She has pursued this ideal by working actively in the development of new models for funding litigation, and incorporating pro bono work into her practice. Her recent pro bono experience includes acting for a refugee in High Court proceedings for unlawful imprisonment and negligence, and providing not-for-profit organisations with contractual and litigious advice.

Odette began working at Slater and Gordon in 2004 while completing her studies. She graduated from Melbourne University, receiving the 2005 Australian Psychological Society (APS) prize for best psychology honours student and the 2005 RG Wilson Scholarship for best Arts honours student. Odette was admitted to the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2007. She is currently undertaking a Master of Laws (LLM). 

Odette is currently working on secondment in Slater and Gordon’s Group Litigation practice in London.


  • Class Actions and Large Scale Litigation
  • Commercial Litigation
  • Shareholder and Financial Services Litigation
  • Professional Negligence
  • Competition and Consumer Disputes
  • Commercial Advice

Career History

  • 2015, Slater and Gordon (Practice Group Leader)
  • 2014, Slater and Gordon (Principal Lawyer)
  • 2012, Slater and Gordon (Senior Associate)
  • 2009, Slater and Gordon (Associate)
  • 2007, Slater and Gordon (Lawyer)
  • 2006, Slater and Gordon (Articled Clerk)
  • 2004, Slater and Gordon (New Client Services)

Professional Qualifications and Admissions

  • 2012 – present, Master of Laws, University of Melbourne
  • 2007 Admitted, Supreme Court of Victoria
  • 2006 Bachelor of Laws/Arts (Honours), University of Melbourne

Memberships and Associations

  • Law Institute of Victoria