2015 Sir Maurice Byers Lecture

Fri Feb 27 2015

The 2015 Sir Maurice Byers Lecture will be held in the Common Room at 5:15pm on Thursday, 23 April. The lecture titled "The Australian Constitution and international law" will be presented by Solicitor-General Justin Gleeson SC and chaired by Jane Needham SC.

Certainty in sitting hours in the District Court

Fri Feb 27 2015

On 10 November 2014 President Jane Needham SC wrote to Justice D Price AM, chief judge of the District Court, in relation to predictability of sitting hours for those with carer's responsibilities.

Justice Price responded that:

  • The parties be notified at the earliest possible time of a proposal to commence proceedings any time before 9.30am or to sit beyond 4.30pm.

  • If possible, 24 hours notice be given of a proposal for an early start date and notice of extended sitting hours be given no later than prior to the luncheon adjournment on the day it is proposed to sit the extended hours.

  • In considering whether or not to set extended hours, it is relevant to consider the family or other carer responsibilities of the practitioner.

  • The suggestions listed above are for guidance only, and are not binding on the judges.

Next week in CPD

Fri Feb 27 2015

A seminar will be held in the Common Room on Tuesday, 3 March at 5.15pm: "Broadly framed powers and the Constitution". It will be presented by Bret Walker SC and David Hume and chaired by Neil Williams. For full details please download a flyer here

Mentoring Program 2015

Thu Feb 26 2015

In 2015 the Bar Association, in conjunction with McCarthy Mentoring, will offer junior members of the bar the opportunity to receive guidance and support from leaders in the profession who, in turn, can develop their leadership skills.

If you wish to nominate yourself as a mentor for a barrister in their second year of practice please download and complete the information and registration form.

Commercial & Corporations National Practice Area

Thu Feb 26 2015

Members are invited to attend a consultation forum regarding the Federal Court's new National Court Framework and the Commercial & Corporations National Practice Area (NPA), which commenced on 16 February 2015. The forum will be presented by Chief Justice Allsop on 10 March 2015 from 5.30pm to 6.30pm in Courtroom 1, Level 21, Queens Square. RSVP to Megan O’Brien by 6 March 2015. For more information about the NPA, visit the Federal Court's website.

Wanted: judges for national moot at UNSW

Thu Feb 26 2015

The UNSW Private Law Moot is a new national mooting competition, now in its second year, being held at UNSW from 10 – 12 April 2015. The problem question is aimed at students in the latter stages of their degree who have a strong interest in advocacy, and this year's problem focuses on issues in equity. The conveners are grateful to barristers that acted as judges in the competition in 2014 and hope they enjoyed the competition. They are once again requesting the assistance of barristers to act as judges in the preliminary rounds on 10 – 11 April and the semi-final round on 12 April. Moots typically run for about 90 minutes, and a detailed judging guide will be provided to assist you. The grand final will be judged by members of the NSW Court of Appeal. Your time would be greatly appreciated. If you are interested, please contact Lyndon Goddard and Rohit Sud

Commencement of the Commercial and Corporations National Practice Area

Thu Feb 26 2015
A notice from the Federal Court of Australia

The Federal Court of Australia is in the process of reinvigorating its case management approach through the National Court Framework (NCF). The Court has commenced the implementation of the NCF with the Commercial and Corporations National Practice Area (NPA) from 16 February 2015.

The operation of the Commercial and Corporations NPA will be consistent across the Court nationally. This includes the following key features:

  • Dedicated Commercial and Corporations Judges - with expertise in Commercial and Corporations matters.

  • Specialised Corporations List - with dedicated Corporations Judges in all Registries.

  • Duty Arrangements – enabling practitioners direct access to the Chambers of Duty Judges and special assistance for self-represented litigants.

  • Simplified Practice Notes – which clarify new and streamlined Court practices.

The new practice documents for this NPA are: the Interim Practice Note: National Court Framework and the National Administrative Notice: Commercial and Corporations National Practice Area.

Further information about the NCF and the Commercial and Corporation NPA is available on the Court’s website.

2015 Personal Injury/Common Law Conference program

Thu Feb 26 2015

Registrations are open for the 2015 Personal Injury and Common Law Conference, which will be held at the Hilton Sydney on Saturday, 21 March. The conference offers 6.5 CPD points. For the program brochure please click here

For more details about the conference and the costs involved please click here

The conference is run by registration only and places in the conference are strictly limited. To register and pay to secure your place please click here

For any questions about CPD requirements, conferences or the general CPD program, please contact Bali Kaur, Professional Development Coordinator (9229 1722 or

Operation Prospect

Wed Feb 25 2015

The NSW Legislative Council's Select Committee on the Conduct and Progress of the Ombudsman's Inquiry "Operation Prospect" has tabled its final report. The select committee found, among other things, that there is "a compelling case to make a specific apology to Mr Kaldas" and called on the NSW Government to do so. The report recommends that the NSW Government establish an open and independent inquiry to review the current system for granting surveillance device warrants,and that the NSW Government establish "a single, well-resourced police oversight body that deals with complaints quickly, fairly and independently". View the report here.

Life Membership and 15 Bobber

Wed Feb 25 2015

The 15 Bobber to celebrate the appointment of His Hon Judge Street SC to the Federal Circuit Court of Australia will be held on Friday, 20 March 2015. Speaking for His Honour will be Geoffrey Watson SC.

The 15 Bobber will commence at 5.15pm with the speeches beginning at 5.30pm. Online registration for the 15 bobber is open now and costs $15. Online registration closes on Thursday 19 March. Registration on the day is $25 cash at the door.

Preceding the 15 bobber a certificate of life membership to the New South Wales Bar Association will be presented to Ian Temby AO QC. For further information and to RSVP click here

Be spoilt for choice with American Express

Wed Feb 25 2015

Did you know that American Express offers members of the New South Wales Bar Association a range of prestigious credit cards, offering special rewards like three points for every dollar spent, reduced annual card fees, travel insurance and AMEX's worldwide personal service. Choose a card that's right for you from the range of ABA Platinum cards.

Spacious room for sale or lease on Third Floor Wentworth

Wed Feb 25 2015

A double sized room (easily converted into two standard rooms) is now available for purchase or lease on the Third Floor, Wentworth Chambers. The room has a traditional fit-out with large built-in cupboards, shelving and robing space, as well as a new split-system air conditioner. It would suit a silk or two junior barristers perfectly as it is one of the largest spaces in the building.

The floor has been operating for 58 years and has 14 busy senior junior barristers, and one silk. Floor fees are modest and the floor has the benefit of fast CCL broadband internet, telephony and secure wireless throughout the building. It has recently been renovated by CCL with brand new wide windows in brushed chrome that provide an abundance of natural light.

The room faces the western side of Lockhart chambers, Beenbah chambers and the Law Courts building.

For more information visit

Price: $400,000 (or $200,000 per room).

For all confidential inquiries such as inspection appointments, please contact the clerk, Katelyn Sawyer on ph: (02) 9232 3937 or

Women of the Law! The 2015 Salvos Legal Lecture Series

Tue Feb 24 2015

The 2015 Salvos Legal Lecture Series will be held on Saturday, 14 March 2015, between 9.30am and 4.00pm at 140 Elizabeth Street (opposite the Downing Centre). Entitled "Women of the Law!", the conference will be opened by President Jane Needham SC and features many eminent speakers, such as the Hon Justice Ruth McColl AO, the Hon Justice Melissa Perry, the Hon Justice Patricia Bergin, Judge Elizabeth Olsson SC and others. For more information, or to register, visit the Salvos Legal website.

Tonight in CPD

Tue Feb 24 2015

A seminar will be held in the Common Room tonight:"Regulation 176 and Best Practice Guidelines". Presented by Penny Thew and chaired by Trish McDonald SC. For full details please download a flyer here.

Quote of the day

Tue Feb 24 2015

From the Sunday Times Magazine, a "Life in the Day of Baroness Hale of Richmond", Britain's most senior female judge: "My bookshelves are lined with law reports, which allow me to look up a case quickly, instead of fiddling around on the Internet."

One External Room Available with Hyde Park and Sydney Harbour Views

Tue Feb 24 2015

The busy Chambers has a senior counsel and 11 junior members. The main practice areas comprise common and commercial law.

The well-sized room has excellent natural lighting from large panoramic windows with views over Hyde Park and Sydney Harbour to the Pacific Ocean.

Parking is available at very competitive rates under the building with single elevator access to and from the car park to chambers.


The Chambers are located in a blue-ribbon precinct of Elizabeth Street, adjacent to Tattersalls Club and the Sheraton on the Park. In the last year there has been a steady flow of big tier law firms to the immediate area, such as Freehills.

It is conveniently located equidistant between the Supreme & Federal Courts in Queens Square and the Family, District & Local Courts downtown and across the road from NCAT.


The Chambers has recently secured a new long-term lease, with a competitive rent. This is an opportunity to secure a room in a much sought after building.

In 2014 the Chambers underwent a cutting edge architectural renovation. It features two conference rooms, one of which has views over Hyde Park and the harbour, a comprehensive electronic library and an eastern balcony uniquely spanning the entire length of the building. The balcony offers impressive views over Hyde Park, St Mary’s Cathedral and Sydney Harbour to the Pacific Ocean. Chambers also feature a high spec kitchen, an executive shower room and modern art collection with artists in residence.

The room may be inspected by appointment.

Please direct enquiries to the Clerk, Janine Todd: Telephone (02) 9373 7447 or email All requests for information will be dealt with in strictest confidence.

Cash injection not a long term fix for legal aid

Tue Feb 24 2015

Bar Association President Jane Needham SC has warned that the injection of Commonwealth legal aid funding, announced yesterday by Attorney General George Brandis, was "not enough to enable long-term access to justice to the people of NSW". Speaking to Lawyers Weekly, Ms Needham argued that it was a "false economy" to cut legal aid on one end while covering the costs of longer trials in civil cases and longer incarcerations when bail is not granted in criminal cases. Learn more here.

PLT Work experience Placements for College of Law Students

Tue Feb 24 2015

College of Law students are available throughout the year for PLT work experience placements. A placement can be as short as 10 days, and students can complete their requirements in either 25 or 75 days. A placement is an opportunity for a student to complete their qualification, gain insights into the workings of the bar, and be a useful resource for you or your chambers. You can find more information here or contact Greg Dwyer via email or ph: (02) 99657122”

Bar Council business for 11 December 2014

Tue Feb 24 2015

Bar Council met on 11 December 2014 in the boardroom of the New South Wales Bar Association. Matters reported elsewhere in In Brief are omitted from this summary of Bar Council business. Bar Council regularly considers requests by the attorney general, the courts and other agencies for advice on proposed legislation. Because that advice is sought on a confidential basis, it is not noted in this summary. Any member interested in a particular matter should contact the executive director. View the minutes for 11 December 2014.

Commonwealth makes emergency injection of legal aid funding

Mon Feb 23 2015

The Australian Government has announced an emergency injection of $5.2 million of legal aid funding for Commonwealth criminal cases for the remainder of this financial year. This comes after the Bar Association and other legal bodies called for increased legal aid funding, warning that a single criminal trial involving a Commonwealth indictable matter exceeding 10 hearing days would exhaust the funding allocated by Legal Aid NSW.

Concerning and unnecessary: Bar Association rejects premier's call for more changes to bail

Mon Feb 23 2015

The Australian Government and the Government of New South Wales have released the Martin Place Siege Joint Commonwealth - New South Wales Review. During the press conference announcing the report, Premier Mike Baird foreshadowed further changes to the Bail Act. He said: "If someone is identified as a terror suspect and ... they are charged with a serious offence, I have a view they should not be provided with bail in that circumstance".

The Bar Association responded yesterday when President Jane Needham SC told The Australian's Nicola Berkovic that the proposal "undermines basic principles of our justice system by removing the ability of the courts to consider all the circumstances of a particular case when considering bail". Stephen Odgers SC, chair of the Criminal Law Committee, also dismissed them as unnecessary.

Part-time employment opportunities wanted for Indigenous law students

Mon Feb 23 2015

Do you need some clerical, administrative or research assistance to run your practice? If the answer is yes - why not employ an Indigenous law student? There are a number of students currently looking for this opportunity.

As part of the Bar Association's Indigenous Barristers Strategy, all barristers, clerks and chambers are encouraged to identify part-time employment opportunities for 2015 for Indigenous law students. Ideally, this would be for a day or half day a week on a regular basis doing loose-leaf filing, administrative or clerical tasks or research and includes some mentoring and guidance for the student.

Contact us

This initiative has been highly successful for a number of Indigenous law students and needs the ongoing support of more members of the bar to ensure its continued success. Contact with the bar as well as some financial security significantly contributes to the success of the student at their law studies. Please contact Chris Ronalds SC on or (02) 9229 7378 if you have any openings.

PA Selth
Executive Director