Fencing Disputes

It is common for, what would appear to be, a simple fencing dispute to subsequently turn into something much more serious.

In most cases, this arises where an owner engages a land surveyor to investigate the boundaries and determine that an encroachment has been long overlooked, and a fence line does not correspond with the title boundary. In such circumstances, an owner may have a right to title by possession (commonly known as adverse possession) – a legal concept that is not widely understood. An adverse possession may in fact be entitled to additional land on title to “fix” a longstanding boundary position.

Our lawyers have extensive experience in advising clients on their rights under this legal doctrine and, where necessary, making an application to either Land Use Victoria or one of our courts. Notably, we have successfully acted for owners in variety of situations in both claiming land and disputing such claims. We also recently acted for clients in the Supreme Court of Victoria where the concept of “excess land” was first considered in the jurisdiction and written into a judgment.

Where the legal requirements have not been met to succeed in an action for adverse possession, disputes may still arise in relation to the location and features of a boundary fence. In this situation, our lawyers are also experienced in assisting clients with rights and obligations under the Fences Act 1968 or the common law.

Robert McKay


Robert was admitted to practice by the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2009 and has since grown his general commercial litigation practice with a focus on property, leasing and general land law disputes. Robert brings sharp legal and strategic thinking to complex disputes, combined with a commercial outcomes-based approach to deliver outstanding results for his clients.

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