Pat Mullins


Pat is a Partner in our Business team. He has 40 years in practice. He is Australia’s only canon lawyer who simultaneously practises as a common lawyer.

Pat has an understanding of Church which equips him to act for Roman Catholic authorities in matters involving both common law and canon law. He also advises on matters for other Christian churches, religious bodies, education authorities, ecclesial communities, religious and other independent schools and university colleges.

His unique qualifications and experience enable Pat to understand how clients in these sectors are structured (and why), and the decision making and governance mechanisms that must apply to them. His approach is as a practical problem solver who proactively recognises risk and assists clients to minimise risk in a cost-effective way. This applies to everything from day-to-day operations to the most difficult, sensitive and challenging issues relating to governance and structures, policy development, risk management and dispute resolution.

Motivated by a commitment to the Church and its Mission, Pat participates in Church governance through board chair roles in Catholic health and aged care. He is also actively engaged in ecumenical circles.

Pat’s current candidacy in the doctoral program in the Faculty of Canon Law at KU Leuven in Belgium demonstrates his continuing commitment to active engagement as a layperson in the Church.

His doctoral research involves the application of both rule of law theory and ecclesiological principles to the issue of the proper exercise of the power of governance in the Roman Catholic Church post Australia’s Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.


  • Bachelor of Arts (1989)
  • Master of Laws (1995)
  • Master of Theology (2009)
  • Master of Arts (in Society, Law and Religion) (2013)
  • Master of Canon Law (2015)
  • “Licenced” Roman Catholic canon lawyer (Juris Canonici Licentiatum) (2015)
  • QLS Accredited Specialist in Personal Injuries Law (2001)
  • QLS Accredited Specialist in Mediation Law (2007)


  • Best Lawyers™ in Australia
    Education Law (2018-2025)
  • Best Lawyers™ in Australia
    Lawyer of the Year – Education Law 2024

Industry Involvement

  • Canon Law Society of Australia and New Zealand – Member
  • Canon Law Society of America – Member
  • Canon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland – Member
  • Holy Spirit Northside Private Hospital Board – Chair
  • Holy Spirit Care Services Board – Chair

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