As indicated in the Notice of Meeting dated 2 August 2013, a general meeting of the Association will be held in the New South Wales Bar Association Common Room, commencing at 5.15pm, on Tuesday 17 September to consider and vote on the issue of incorporation of barristersâ practices. To assist in the smooth running of the meeting, set out below are procedural matters relating to the General Meeting.
I have been notified by Mr Hyde Page, the proposer of the motion included in the notice of meeting, that it is proposed to modify the motion in the following terms:
âThis meeting expresses its support for changes that would permit barristers who choose to do so to practise through single member, sole director companies, and the meeting further requests that the Bar Council seek the necessary changesâ.
Any amendment to that modified motion or any other motion that is sought to be considered by the meeting will have to be one that can be put validly to the meeting, having regard to requirements of notice, and established meeting practice and procedure.
As indicated previously, I have also received notice that it is likely that a vote by ballot (rather than show of hands) will be demanded at the meeting in accordance with the Constitution.
The Bar Association will be making arrangements for the conduct of a vote on the modified motion by ballot, which will necessitate each member registering their attendance on arrival, and being issued with a form of ballot. As part of this process, each member will be required to provide a form of photographic identification. It is anticipated that the registration process will take some time. Accordingly, members are requested to arrive at 4.30pm for registration so that we can start the meeting on time. Please note that the meeting will start as soon as a quorum is present at or after 5.15pm.
The Bar Council has resolved to appoint the Executive Director as the Returning Officer for the ballot, and the Association's auditors as scrutineers.
It is proposed to allow one hour for debate before members cast their ballots. I propose to put the matter to a vote at 6.15 pm, as some members who wish to attend the meeting and vote have family commitments etc.
The mover and seconder of the substantive (modified) motion will be allowed to speak for a maximum of 5 minutes each. The mover will also be allowed three minutes at the end of the debate to sum up.
During the debate on the motion, other speakers will be allowed a maximum of three minutes each. I intend to enforce strictly these time limits. I will endeavour to ensure that the views of those in favour and those against the motion are represented equally in the debate.
I intend to give preference to those wishing to speak who are eligible to vote.
As indicated previously, only NSW Practising Certificate holders who are also members of the Association or Life Members have the right to vote at the General Meeting or to appoint a proxy, although Class B members are, of course, welcome to attend the meeting.
If members who have lodged a proxy form now wish to attend and vote at the meeting in person, it would be greatly appreciated if they could withdraw their proxy appointment in advance by contacting the Certification Officer at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 9229 5740. Any withdrawal must be in writing.
Members should be aware that, pursuant to Clause 9.5.7(a) of the Associationâs Constitution, an instrument purporting to appoint a proxy is not effective unless it is received by the Bar Association at least 48 hours before the General Meeting.
Phillip Boulten SC
12 September 2013