Christmas and New Year message from the president

Fri Dec 22 2017

I would like to extend to each of our members, the NSW judiciary and our staff at the Bar Association, my best wishes for Christmas and 2018. I hope each of you takes time to reflect and to rest with your family and friends during the holiday period after what has been a busy year. It is our family and friends who sustain us during stressful and busy times at the bar. Now is the time for us to reconnect with them. Keep safe and well.

Arthur Moses SC


RACS fast-track workshop

Thu Dec 21 2017

The Refugee Advice and Casework Service (RACS), in conjunction with the Law Institute of Victoria, Victoria Legal Aid and Lander & Rogers, will run a workshop in Sydney on 23 January 2018 regarding judicial review of fast-track asylum-seeker decisions. This is a great opportunity for members of the bar to become familiar with the work of Justice for Refugees. Participants in the workshop will need to prepare by obtaining reading materials and watching some videos. For more information, contact Nadine Darling at RACS.

New acting public defenders

Thu Dec 21 2017

Madeleine Avenell and Paul Coady, both from Maurice Byers Chambers, have been appointed as acting public defenders, commencing on 29 January 2018.

Skydiving barrister in another record-breaking jump

Wed Dec 20 2017

Mark Higgins, skydiving counsel, took part in an Australasian record-breaking skydive at Moruya on 24 November. For the technically-minded, it was a 3-point 32-way Australian and Oceanic sequential record (32 skydivers from two planes come together in a formation, and 50% of the group move to a second and third point). Mark is in the yellow and black jumpsuit. Watch the video here.

Commencement of Law Term 2018 Services

Wed Dec 20 2017

The various services for the commencement of the 2018 Law Year, listed chronologically, are as follows:

Red Mass

  • Time: 9.00am
  • Date: Monday, 29 January 2018
  • Venue: St Mary’s Cathedral, Sydney
  • Celebrant: Most Rev Archbishop Anthony Fisher OP
  • Further Details: Judges and counsel are invited to robe in the Crypt from 8:30 am. There will be a procession of judges and counsel into the Cathedral. Morning tea will be served in Cathedral House immediately after the ceremony for those wishing to attend.

Anglican Service

  • Time: 10:30 am
  • Date: Monday, 29 January 2018
  • Venue: St James’ Anglican Church, King Street, Sydney
  • Celebrants: The Most Rev Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, and the Rev Andrew Sempell, Rector of St James’ Church.
  • Further Details: Members of the NSW Judiciary, Bar and legal profession are invited to attend the Anglican 2018 Law Term Church Service.

Pan Orthodox Divine Liturgy

  • Time: 6:30 pm
  • Date: Tuesday, 6 February 2018
  • Venue: Greek Orthodox Cathedral of the Annunciation 242 Cleveland Street, Redfern
  • Celebrant: His Eminence Archbishop Stylianos, Primate of the Greek Orthodox Church of Australia
  • Further Details: A procession to the Cathedral will be led by His Eminence and by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of NSW, the Hon T F Bathurst AC. Those wishing to robe are invited to do so in the Rectory. At the conclusion of the service, a light buffet and refreshments will be served at the Reception Room the Archdiocese.

Jewish Service

  • Time: 5:30 pm
  • Date: Wednesday, 7 February 2018
  • Venue: The Great Synagogue, 166 Castlereagh Street, Sydney (Enter from Elizabeth Street, Sydney)
  • Further Details: A procession will be led by The Hon. T. F. Bathurst AC, Chief Justice. The service will be followed by a reception. To attend please see RSVP by using the following link:

Islamic Service

  • Time: 6:15 pm to 7:30 pm
  • Date: Thursday, 15 February 2018
  • Venue: Auburn Gallipoli Mosque Cnr Gelibolu Parade & Dartbrook Avenue, Auburn
  • Other Details: Guests are requested to arrive at 6 pm so that the service can commence on time. Light refreshments will be served. For all enquiries and to RSVP, please contact us via the following email address: Please note that the Auburn Mosque Committee has requested that attendees kindly observe a modest dress code for the event. For example, we would be grateful if shoulders and knees were covered and high neck shirts are worn.

Great Bar Boat Race

Wed Dec 20 2017
Bar sports

The Great Bar Boat Race (now in its 34th year) was a great success on Monday. Lovely winds at 12-15 knots took the competitors over the course from Point Piper to Store Beach. The Law Book Co Trophy was presented to Tony Baker (2 Wentworth Chambers) who skippered “Onaview” with 2nd place to Michael Blaxell (UTS Student Legal Services) on “Fiction” and 3rd place to John Turnbull (Windeyer Chambers) on “Reverie”. Proceeds from the day went to the David Martin Foundation for the Shop Front Youth Centre. Thanks to the Adrian Gruzman and the Wellbeing Committee for organising.

Hon Christian Porter MP appointed as new Commonwealth Attorney-General

Tue Dec 19 2017

The Prime Minister has today announced new Ministerial arrangements, including the appointment of the Hon Christian Porter MP as the new Commonwealth Attorney-General, replacing Senator the Hon George Brandis QC, who will be recommended for appointment as Australia’s new High Commissioner to the United Kingdom. President Arthur Moses SC has written to Mr Porter to congratulate him on his appointment.

Appointments to the Federal Courts

Mon Dec 18 2017

The Federal Attorney-General Senator the Hon George Brandis QC has announced a number of appointments to the Federal Courts as follows.

Federal Court of Australia

  • Mr Thomas Thawley SC will commence in the Sydney Registry on 14 February 2018;
  • The Hon Justice Katrina Banks-Smith and Mr Craig Colvin SC will commence in the Perth Registry on 12 and 13 February 2018, respectively.

Family Court of Australia

  • The Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Hon William Alstergren, has also been appointed Deputy Chief Justice of the Family Court. He will continue to hold a dual commission as Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court;
  • Judge Michael Baumann, who is currently a Judge of the Federal Circuit Court, has been promoted to the position of Judge at the Family Court, based in Brisbane.

Federal Circuit Court of Australia

  • Ms Julia Baird SC will commence in the Sydney Registry on 20 February 2018;
  • Dr Christopher Kendall will commence in the Perth Registry on 29 January 2018;
  • Ms Caroline Kirton QC will commence in the Melbourne Registry on 29 January 2018;
  • Mr Gregory Egan will commence in the Brisbane Registry on 18 December 2017.

The Attorney-General has also announced the appointment of Ms Philippa Lynch PSM as the Chief Executive and Principal Registrar of the High Court of Australia, who will commence a five year term on 10 February 2018.

Jonathan Hyde appointed as part-time judge advocate

Mon Dec 18 2017

President Arthur Moses SC has welcomed the appointment of Jonathan Hyde from New Chambers as a part-time judge advocate and Defence Force Magistrate. He was appointed by the chief of the Australian Defence Force on Friday, 15 December.

"The military justice system will be served well by the appointment of Jonathan to this important role", said Mr Moses.

Walker SC appointed SA royal commissioner

Mon Dec 18 2017
Appointments to note

Premier Jay Weatherill has announced on the weekend that Bret Walker SC will be recommended to the South Australian governor to be appointed as royal commissioner to lead the Murray-Darling Basin Royal Commission. Walker SC is eminently qualified to be appointed as Royal Commissioner. Learn more here.

New practice note commences on 1 January 2018

Fri Dec 15 2017
Practice and procedure

Chief Justice the Hon T F Bathurst AC has re-issued Practice Note SC CA 1 – Court of Appeal, which commences operation 1 January 2018, and replaces the previous practice note issued on 27 March 2009. Learn more here.

Fiduciary Duties in a Corporate and Commercial Context

Fri Dec 15 2017
Papers to note

The papers for the Supreme Court Corporate and Commercial Law Conference, 2017: Fiduciary Duties in a Corporate and Commercial Context, held in the Bar Association Common Room on 15 November 2017, are now available on the Supreme Court of New South Wales website. Papers were presented by the Honourable Justice Fabian Gleeson, the Honourable Justice Ashley Black, Ms Rebecca Maslen-Stannage of Herbert Smith Freehills, and Professor Pamela Hanrahan of the University of New South Wales.

Thawley SC appointed to the Federal Court of Australia

Fri Dec 15 2017

President Arthur Moses SC has welcomed the announcement that Tom Thawley SC has been appointed as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

"Tom Thawley was called to the New South Wales Bar in February 1998 and took silk in 2012. He will make a significant contribution to the important work of the Federal Court in the administration of justice", said Mr Moses.

Thawley SC will be sworn-in at a ceremonial sitting on 14 February 2018.

Julia Baird SC appointed to the Federal Circuit Court

Fri Dec 15 2017

President Arthur Moses SC has welcomed the appointment of Julia Baird SC as a judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia.

"Julia was called to the New South Wales Bar in 1992 and took silk in 2008. She will make an important contribution to the court and to the administration of justice", Mr Moses said.

View the attorney general's announcement here.

Message from the President re Barrister Select

Thu Dec 14 2017

Barrister Select and Lawyers Weekly have recently published and distributed material bearing the heading “Are you aware the way to brief Sydney barristers has changed?”

Based on the information that is presently available to the Association, it appears that this material was distributed by email, via a Lawyers Weekly email address (, on Friday 8 December 2017. The email was received by a large number of our members and, presumably, also by solicitors, corporate and government legal departments and members of the public generally. The email, which was distributed on Friday, has generated a number of complaints by our members and clerks. The Association is presently unaware whether similar material has been published or distributed via other means. In the opinion of the Association, the heading is highly misleading to consumers of legal services and has the potential to cause confusion. The words “the way to brief” may well be understood to suggest that the only way to brief Sydney barristers is now through Barrister Select. Plainly, that is not the case. Such an erroneous suggestion made to solicitors, corporate and government legal departments, members of the public is potentially highly damaging to barristers and chambers who are have not agreed to have any involvement with Barrister Select. The publication therefore presents a false picture of the briefing options which exist in relation to “Sydney barristers”.

In the circumstances, the Association has yesterday requested that each of Barrister Select and Lawyers Weekly take steps to inter alia publish a correction or retraction of the material that was published on Friday and to make clear that Barrister Select is not the only way of briefing Sydney barristers and in no way limits the ways in which Sydney barristers may be briefed.

Members may be aware that Barrister Select approached at least some chambers and individual barristers to agree to list on the site. Some agreed to do so. Some did not. Members should be aware that the Barrister Select website lists chambers and barristers who have not agreed to participate. This has caused a number of chambers to require Barrister Select to remove their chambers and their members from the site. Chambers and members may wish to conduct their own enquiries in this regard.

Members and clerks will be kept informed of developments.

The Sword of Damocles

Thu Dec 14 2017
Save the date

On 16 March 2018 the Bar Association will host an all-day CPD at the Federal Court. Titled "The Sword of Damocles" it will analyse and discuss regulators’ powers to determine the forum for judicial regulation of particular conduct, the different regimes engaged and the different outcomes that then follow.

It will be open to the professional generally to examine the unique world of regulatory litigation and in particular decisions made by regulators to pursue matters on a civil, criminal or administrative basis, the different regimes engaged and a consideration of the different outcomes that follow from those decisions.

Speakers include: Tim Game SC, the Honourable Justice Payne of the Court of Appeal, Neil Williams SC, Elizabeth Cheeseman SC and Ray McGuinness (solicitor at Webb Henderson). A panel in the afternoon will include: the Chief Justice of the Federal Court, the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, Sarah McNaughton SC, Wendy Peter of the ACCC, Chris Savundra of ASIC and from the Sydney Bar: Bret Walker SC, Tim Game SC and Kristina Stern SC.

The event is by registration only. Registrations will open in January.

Bench & Bar Tennis Day Update

Wed Dec 13 2017
Bar sports

There is one last playing position available for the tennis day on the magnificent grass courts of the Royal Sydney Golf Club next Tuesday, 19 December at 9.00am. Please express your interest by email to Richard Lancaster and Jennifer Campbell.

The final playing position will be allocated to the first person to reply – and if you would like to be placed on a reserves list, please indicate that and we will be in touch if anyone else needs to withdraw.

2018 Personal Injury/Common Law Conference

Tue Dec 12 2017

Registrations are OPEN for the 2018 Personal Injury and Common Law Conference, which will be held at the Hilton Sydney on Saturday 3 March.

The conference offers 5 CPD points.

The conference runs from 9:00am to 3.00pm. Morning tea and a stand-up buffet lunch will be provided. For more details about the conference and the costs involved please click here

Registrations are open to NSW barristers that currently hold a practising certificate and places in the conference are strictly limited. To register and pay to secure your place please click here

A detailed program will be made available over the coming weeks. The program will be advertised in In Brief as well as on the NSW Bar Association Website.

For any questions about CPD requirements, conferences or the general CPD program, please contact the Professional Development Department (9223 4919 or

2018 Regional CPD Conference Series - Programs

Tue Dec 12 2017

We are pleased to announce the release of the draft programs for 2018 Regional CPD Conference Series.

  • Saturday, 17 February 2018 - North Coast - Program
  • Saturday, 24 February 2018 - Parramatta - Program
  • Saturday, 10 March 2018 - Newcastle - Program
  • Saturday, 17 & Sunday, 18 March 2018 - Orange - Program
  • Saturday, 24 March 2018 – Sydney - Program

Registrations are OPEN. For more details about each venue, speakers and the costs involved please click here

The conferences are run by registration only and places in each 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 the Professional Development Department on 02 9232 4919 or via e-mail