Zoë Brereton


Areas of Practice

  • Criminal Law
  • Appellate
  • Public/administrative and constitutional law
  • Human rights
Zoe Brereton

Professional History

Zoë was called to the bar in April 2021.

She holds a Masters Degree (LLM) with first class honours from the University of Cambridge, and undergraduate degrees in Law and Arts (majoring in Spanish) from the University of Queensland. Zoë received the highest overall GPA for both of her undergraduate degrees and, on graduating, was awarded the University Medal in Law, the John Wilkinson Memorial Prize in Law, the Minter Ellison Prize in Law, and the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland’s Una Prentice Award.

Currently based in London, Zoë has limited availability, but is taking on briefs as junior counsel in appellate and public law matters.

Zoë’s recent appellate work (as junior counsel) includes appearances before the High Court of Australia in the successful appeal against conviction in R v BDO [2023] HCA 16, as well as in oral hearings for applications for special leave to appeal (see R v Smith; R v Horne). Zoë has also appeared as junior counsel before the Queensland Court of Appeal in appeals against conviction and sentence.

As junior counsel, Zoë has defended clients charged with serious offences including white collar crime, drug trafficking, drug importation and serious sexual offences. Unled, Zoë has been briefed in matters concerning drug-related offences, traffic offences and violent crime.

Zoë often takes on pro bono briefs in administrative law and human rights law, in particular, challenges to migration decisions, or decisions of the Parole Board.

Qualifications, Appointments and Admissions

  • Master of Laws (First class), University of Cambridge (2023)
  • Admitted as Barrister, Supreme Court of Queensland (2021)
  • Admitted as Legal Practitioner, Supreme Court of Queensland (2019)
  • Bachelor of Laws (First class Honours), University of Queensland – Awarded the University Medal (2018)
  • Bachelor of Arts (extended major in Spanish), University of Queensland (2018)


  • Seduction, Lies and the Limits of Rape Law, TEDxUQ, July 2018 Policing Consent Seduction Lies and the Limits of Rape Law
  • ‘Rethinking the Role of Corruption in West Papua: A Precursor to Crimes Against Humanity?’ (2018) LawAsia
  • Perpetuating myths of women as false complainants in rape cases in India (2016) 41 (1) International Journal of Comparative and Applied Criminal Justice.