Papers to note: discussion paper for National Legal Services Ombudsman

Tue Nov 17 2009

The National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce has released a discussion paper on proposals for a new National Legal Services Ombudsman.

The first discussion paper outlines a range of functions for the proposed ombudsman including:

• receiving and investigating complaints; • making determinations in relation to complaints and unsatisfactory professional conduct; • conducting internal reviews of certain decisions; and • educating the public and the legal profession on ethical issues and the complaints process.

In the second paper, the taskforce sets out proposals to constrain overcharging and the exploitation of vulnerable legal services consumers. The proposals include:

• providing for law practices to make disclosures to clients regarding legal costs; • regulating the making of costs agreements in respect of legal services; • regulating the billing of costs for legal services; and • providing a mechanism for the assessment of legal costs and the setting aside of certain costs agreements.

The National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce has been charged with developing uniform legislation to regulate the legal profession across Australia and is due to report to the Council of Australian Governments in April 2010.

17 November 2009


Sackville J to launch UNSW Law Journal issue on class actions

Tue Nov 17 2009

Members are invited to the launch of UNSW Law Journal General Issue 32(3) and Forum 15(2) Class Actions, on Monday, 30 November 2009, starting at 6.30pm, at the Sydney office of� Allens Arthur Robinson (Level 28, Deutsche Bank Building, corner of Phillip and Hunter Streets, Sydney). The issue will be launched by the Hon Justice Ronald Sackville AO, who will deliver the keynote address on the topic of class actions.

This year marks the 10th anniversary since Australia’s first shareholder class action, King v GIO, was commenced and almost two decades since the new regime for representative proceedings was introduced through Part IVA of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 (Cth). Developments since then have raised a myriad of controversial legal and policy issues. What can be said of the state of affairs up until now? Where to from here? Forum 15(2) on class actions brings together perspectives from a broad range of contributors: judges, practitioners, academics and a litigation funder. It begins with discussions on procedural issues such as managing class actions, and then focuses on specific issues within securities, cartel and product liability and other mass tort class actions. Finally, proposals for reform are discussed in the context of the Victorian class actions regime.

Please RSVP to or 61 2 9385 2237 by Monday, 23 November if you plan to attend.

18 November 2009

12th International Criminal Law Congress

Tue Nov 17 2009

The 12th International Criminal Law Congress will be held at the Sheraton Noosa Heads, Sunshine Coast, Queensland 20-24 October 2010 on the theme "A World without Boundaries - Crime in the 21st Century". Learn more >

17 November 2009

Family Law Courts: December – January opening hours

Tue Nov 17 2009

The Family Law Courts will maintain limited services throughout the 2009/10 Christmas – New Year period.� The rural and regional registries of Albury, Alice Springs, Cairns, Dubbo, Launceston, Lismore, Rockhampton and Wollongong and the National Support Office will close on Friday, 25 December 2009 and will re-open on Monday, 4 January 2010.

During this time, phone calls from the above closed registries will be re-directed to the National Enquiry Centre which will have a small number of staff on duty to deal with urgent matters.

The majority of larger metropolitan registries, the National Enquiry Centre and the IT Helpdesk will maintain limited services throughout the period with the exception of the following days:

  • Friday, 25 December 2009 (national public holiday)

  • Monday, 28 December 2009 (national public holiday)

  • Tuesday, 29 December 2009 (public service holiday)

  • Friday, 1 January 2010 (national public holiday)

The after hours service will continue to operate as normal over this period. Contact details for the National Enquiry Centre are as follows:

National Enquiry Centre Phone: 1300 352 000 TTY Phone: 1300 720 980 Fax: 02 8892 8585 Email:

17 November 2009

Cases selected for reporting in NSWLR by the editor, Bret Walker SC

Tue Nov 17 2009

The following cases will be published in a forthcoming volume of NSWLR: Wings-Aus Holdings Pty Ltd trading as Hooters Restaurants Australia and New Zealand (In Liq) [2009] NSWSC 667 Gett v Tabet by her Tutor Ghassan Sheiban [2009] NSWCA 76 Dairy Farmers Milk Co-operative v Co-operatives Council [2009] NSWSC 862

Parkins v Lightning Ridge Miners’ Association Ltd [2009] NSWSC 621

For further information, please contact the Council of Law Reporting office:, phone 9266 0768.

17 November 2009

Swearing in ceremony for Albert Sbrizzi

Thu Nov 12 2009

A ceremonial sitting of the Local Court will be held on Monday, 16 November 2009 at 9.00am in courtroom 5.2 of the Downing Centre to mark the swearing in of Albert Sbrizzi as a magistrate. Richard Lancaster SC will speak on behalf of the bar.

12 November 2009�

Law Council opposes blanket ban on personal injury advertising

Thu Nov 12 2009

The Law Council of Australia announced today that it is opposed to any blanket ban on advertising by personal injury lawyers. As the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General (SCAG) asks the National Legal Profession Reform Taskforce to consider the content and manner of advertising for personal injury legal services, the Law Council says that careful regulation of advertising by lawyers is the most appropriate way to deal with this issue. Law Council President John Corcoran said, "Bans on legitimate advertising by legal professionals are unnecessary and amount to little more than an attack on a victim’s right to information." Learn more >

12 November 2009

Religious Challenges to Human Rights

Wed Nov 11 2009

The Australian Human Rights Centre invites members to its 2009 lecture: "Religious Challenges to Human Rights - Can Secularism Contribute to Peace-Making in the Middle East?", to be delivered by Professor Frances Raday on Tuesday, 17 November, 2009 between 6.15pm and 7.45pm (followed by a reception). The lecture is free of charge. To reserve your seat, RSVP: to by Friday 13 November 2009. Learn more >

12 November 2009

Family law seminar: The Voices of Children in Family Law Disputes (ADVERTISEMENT)

Wed Nov 11 2009

Members are invited to a Sydney Law School seminar on "The Voices of Children in Family Law Disputes", which will take place on Friday, 20 November 2009. Using the latest research on these issues, drawing on interviews with parents, children, lawyers and mediators, this seminar will examine whether and how children should be involved in the process of resolving family law disputes, and how lawyers represent children in child protection matters. Learn more>

12 November 2009

Reminder: 2010 Bar Council election and annual general meeting

Wed Nov 11 2009

Voting for the 2010 Bar Council closes at 1pm on this Friday, 13 November 2009. If you have not voted please return your ballot papers as soon as possible. The annual general meeting will be held in the Bar Association's Common Room this Friday, 13 November 2009 at 1.00pm. Learn more >

12 November 2009

Legal Aid NSW changes affecting care and protection practitioners

Mon Nov 09 2009

Legal Aid NSW has made two changes to the way practitioners apply for grants in care and protection matters. These changes involve splitting the Stage 3 ('establishment' stage) grant into two parts, as well as changes to the way in which practitioners apply for and claim fees for the preparation of court documents. For further details, please visit the "Info Centre" on the homepage of the Legal Aid NSW website:

9 November 2009

Under Sixes Cocktail Party: today is the last chance to reserve a seat

Mon Nov 09 2009

The New Barristers Committee request the pleasure of your company at the Under Sixes Cocktail Party to take place on Thursday, 26 November 2009. The party begins at 5.30pm in the Attic Bar. The cost is $20 p/person (GST inclusive) which includes canap�s, with drinks available at the venue’s normal prices. For further information please contact Jennifer English on 8224 3085 or Jo Shepard on 9232 7222. Numbers are limited so please return your RSVP Form and payment to Katie Hall at the Bar Association by Wednesday, 18 November.

24 November 2009

New chair of Legal Aid NSW

Fri Nov 06 2009

Attorney General John Hatzistergos has announced the appointment of former Liberal attorney general, the Hon Peter Collins AM QC as the chair of the board of Legal Aid NSW. Learn more>

6 November 2009

2010 Bench and Bar Dinner

Fri Nov 06 2009

The 2010 Bench and Bar Dinner will take place on Friday, 14 May with the Hon Justice Virginia Bell the Guest of Honour, Angela Bowne SC as Ms Senior and Jeremy Kirk as Mr Junior. Invitations will be sent out via In Brief at the end of March. RSVPs will only be taken after the invitations have been sent out. For further information please contact Katie Hall on ph: (02) 9229 1720.

4 March 2010

2009 Great Bar Boat Race

Fri Nov 06 2009

**Preparations are underway for the 2009 Great Bar Boat Race which, again, is kindly sponsored by Thomson Reuters. The race will take place on Monday, 21 December. **The registration process is now open, so please get a copy of the insurance information for the boat you are entering. Download a registration form. For further information please contact Katie Hall on ph: (02) 9229 1720.

7 December 2009

Proposed amendments to the Bar Association’s Constitution

Thu Nov 05 2009

The Bar Council has again considered proposals to further amend paragraph 8.1.3 of the Constitution of the Bar Association concerning resolutions to be put at an annual general meeting. The proposals are to be considered at the AGM on 13 November 2009.

Download a memo to the bar from Senior Vice-President Tom Bathurst QC>

5 November 2009

Bar Library hours over Christmas

Thu Nov 05 2009

The Bar Library will be closed from 12.00pm Wednesday, 23 December 2009 to Tuesday, 26 January 2010 inclusive. It will resume normal opening hours (8:00am to 6:00pm) on 27 January 2010. Please return all items on loan to the library by Wednesday, 23 December 2009.

During the break, the Law Society library will be open from 11 January 2010. The Law Society librarian will kindly allow access to barristers to undertake their own research, although you cannot borrow items. Please follow the rules of their library.

The Law Courts Library will be closed from Friday, 25 December 2009 to Friday 8 January 2010 inclusive. As in previous years, external clients with a current library card may have access to the collection from 11 January. Full library services will resume on Monday, 1 February 2010.

21 December 2009

Transitional relief from regulation for funded class actions

Thu Nov 05 2009

ASIC yesterday announced its intention to grant transitional relief to lawyers and litigation funders involved in legal proceedings structured as funded class actions. The relief, which will apply until 30 June 2010, is from the requirements that would otherwise apply to funded class actions as "‘managed investment schemes" under Chapter 5C and Chapter 7 of the Corporations Act 2001. Learn more>

5 November 2009

Election for the Bar Council of 2010

Thu Nov 05 2009

The ballot for the election of the 2010 Bar Council closes at 1.00pm on Friday 13 November 2009. Members are reminded of the need to _complete the ballot paper in accordance with the instructions provided.

_Learn more>

5 November 2009

Ceremonial sitting to farewell Ipp JA

Wed Nov 04 2009

There will be a ceremonial sitting of the Supreme Court on Friday, 13 November 2009 at 9.30am in the Banco Court to mark the retirement of� the Hon Justice Ipp AO as a judge of appeal.

4 November 2009

Swearing in ceremony for Anna Katzmann SC

Wed Nov 04 2009

Members are reminded that a ceremonial sitting of the Federal Court for the swearing-in of Anna Katzmann SC will be held in Courtroom 18D at 4.30pm tomorrow Tuesday, 2 February 2010. Barristers should be robed, but wigs are not to be worn.

1 February 2010

WLA Golden Girls Lunch

Wed Nov 04 2009

Members are invited to the Women Lawyers' Golden Girls Annual Lunch at the Law Society of NSW, Level 2, 170 Phillip St on Friday, **13 November between 12:30-2:00pm**. It's a golden opportunity to catch up, talk about years gone by and to meet with other members and colleagues.

Attendees pay for their own lunch. Please register your attendance: to ensure adequate seating. If any "golden girls" require assistance with transport, please contact the WLA office.

4 November 2009

Cripps QC appointed as chair of the Sentencing Council

Tue Nov 03 2009

Attorney General John Hatzistergos today announced the appointment of the Hon Jerrold Cripps QC as chairperson of the NSW Sentencing Council for the next three years. Mr Cripps will begin as the chair of the NSW Sentencing Council on November 14. Learn more >

3 November 2009