Seven New District Court Judges Appointed

Thu Dec 06 2018

Attorney General Mark Speakman announced this morning the appointment of seven of the state’s top barristers, including five senior counsel, will become judges of the NSW District Court in February next year as part of the NSW Government’s $150 million package to deliver swifter justice and reduce pressure on the court.

The new additions to the bench are Ian Bourke SC, Sean Grant, Jonathon Priestley SC, Kara Shead SC, Robert Weber SC, Richard Weinstein SC and Nanette Williams.

A copy of the full media release is available here. Biographies of the new judges are available here.

InBrief in the Christmas-New Year season

Thu Dec 06 2018

InBrief will be winding down its daily distribution over the Christmas-New Year period. Beginning Monday, 10 December 2018, bulletins will be distributed once or twice per week. Normal service will resume on Monday, 21 January 2019. If you have any suggestions as to stories that should be covered by InBrief or how we can improve the service it provides to members, please let us know via

2019 Anglican Law Term Service

Thu Dec 06 2018

The Most Reverend Dr Glenn Davies, Archbishop of Sydney, and Reverend Andrew Sempell, invite members of the judiciary, bar and legal profession to attend the 2019 Opening of Law Term Church Service at St James' Church, 173 King Street, on Tuesday, 29 January 2019 commencing at 10.30am followed by morning tea.

Room for sale or Licence - Maurice Byers Chambers

Thu Dec 06 2018

One large full sized external room is available now for purchase or licence in Maurice Byers Chambers at Level 60, MLC Centre. It has plenty of natural light in well-established, recently renovated, busy chambers. The room is about 36 square metres and has large windows with panoramic views of the North and South Heads and the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

The room has an extensive new fit-out with large built-in cupboards, shelving and robing space. The room is suited to Senior Counsel or a senior junior. The chambers comprise 52 barristers including 8 Silks, with broad areas of practice, specialising in Medical Negligence, Criminal Law¸ Coronial Inquiries and Inquests as well as Commissions of Inquiry and Personal Injury.

For more information and to see photos click here.

Family Law Amendment (Costs) Rules 2018

Wed Dec 05 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Family Law Amendment (Costs) Rules 2018 have been signed by a majority of judicial officers and were registered on 4 December. A full copy is available here.

New Supreme Court and Court of Appeal Judges

Wed Dec 05 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Hon Mark Speakman SC MP has today announced Justice Lucy McCallum will be elevated to the Court of Appeal and Sydney solicitor Trish Henry will be appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court. A full copy of the media release is available here.

Sentencing of repeat traffic offenders

Wed Dec 05 2018

The NSW Attorney General has asked for a review of the sentencing of repeat traffic offenders who may pose an ongoing risk to the community.

Having received preliminary submissions, the Department of Justice has now produced a consultation paper to seek further input on the issue.

The consultation paper is available on their website, click here, together with information about how to respond to the questions and make a submission to the Sentencing Council.

The deadline for submissions is Friday, 22 March 2019

Tonight - 2018 Maurice Byers Annual Lecture

Wed Dec 05 2018

The 2018 Maurice Byers Annual Lecture will be delivered by Professor Adrienne Stone, Redmond Barry Distinguished Professor, Kathleen Fitzpatrick Australian Laureate Fellow, Director, Centre of Comparative Constitutional Studies, Melbourne Law School this evening, beginning at 5.15 pm in the New South Wales Bar Association Common Room. The title of the lecture is 'Proportionality in Australian Constitutional Law'.

All are welcome to attend.

The 2018 Maurice Byers Annual Lecture is convened by The NSW Bar Association. For more information about the Maurice Byers Annual Lecture please click here or contact the NSW Bar Association on 02 9232 4055.

The 35th Great Bar Boat Race - Get your entries in!

Wed Dec 05 2018
Bar sports

The 35th Great Bar Boat Race will be held on Monday, 17 December 2018 beginning in the vicinity of Shark Island at 11.00am and finishing at Store Beach. All barristers, judges and solicitors, practising or retired are welcome to take part. Please get your entry documentation into race organisers as soon as possible. All enquiries should be addressed to Adrian Gruzman on 0400 22-2211 or The Notice of Race is available here.

Barristers Classifieds

Wed Dec 05 2018
Member services and benefits

The online Barristers' Classifieds enables every member of the Bar Association to buy or sell chambers, wigs, gowns, law reports and more. Simply login to your member dashboard via the Bar Association's home page. Standard posts are free of charge, but can be upgraded to premium with the addition of photos and a credit card payment of $25.

If you have any questions or difficulties using the system, contact the publications and promotions co-ordinator, Michelle Nisbet.

4.5KM ocean swim for the Women's and Girls' Emergency Centre

Wed Dec 05 2018

This Saturday, 8 December 2018, David Rayment will be participating in the 4.5km “5 Beaches” ocean swim from Coogee to Bondi in order to raise funds for the Sydney based Women's and Girls' Emergency Centre. It is a gruelling distance to swim but his motivation to stay afloat will be very much assisted by any donations to this cause.

The Women’s and Girls’ Emergency Centre (WAGEC) is a non-government, not-for-profit charitable organisation that delivers a range of crisis and early intervention accommodation and support services to women, children and young people, and families who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness and/or domestic and family violence. More detail on what the centre does can be found here:

To donate please visit his “Every Day Hero” page for this event:

Donations of any amount are welcome, and all donations over $2 are tax deductible (just be sure to click the box for your receipt to be emailed to you).

Every Day Hero takes a percentage of every donation. If you wish to avoid that from happening, you can always donate to the charity directly by going to the following webpage:

Please spread the word by sharing the link above with anyone you think might be willing to support the centre.

Thank you for your consideration and for your support.

NSWBA Submission to Senate Inquiry into the proposed restructure of the family law system

Tue Dec 04 2018

The New South Wales Bar Association has made a submission to the Senate Legal and Constitutional Affairs Committee’s Inquiry into two bills which are currently before the Parliament to restructure the Federal Courts and in effect abolish the Family Court of Australia. The Association’s submission on the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia Bill 2018 and the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia (Consequential Amendments and Transitional Provisions) Bill 2018 is available here.

The Association does not dispute that reform of Australia’s family law system is required to address the chronic and sustained underfunding and under-resourcing of the Courts and legal aid, mismanagement of existing resources and provide a consistent internal case management approach. However, it is critical not to attempt to rush through proposals without informed consideration of viable alternatives. Many of the Bills’ purported goals, such as the reduction of delays and improved efficiencies, could be achieved without legislation through the creation of consistent court rules using existing rule-making powers, and through a significant resource commitment from government.

The Association does not support the passage of these Bills and recommends that debate should not occur in the Senate until after the ALRC has reported on its root and branch inquiry into the family law system. Further information about the Bills and the Inquiry is available here.

NSWBA and AAI Train the Trainer Workshop

Tue Dec 04 2018
Call for Expressions of Interest

The NSW Bar Associations Professional Development Department is looking for Advocacy Coaches to assist twice yearly with the Bar Practice Course. The coaching is undertaken between 4.30pm and 6pm on selected weeknights (over a two week period) when the course is being conducted. To encourage barristers to participate we will be running a ‘Train the Trainer’ workshop in conjunction with the Australian Advocacy Institute in February 2019. The workshop aims to improve the standards of advocacy throughout Australia. It provides a forum in which ideas and experience in advocacy and advocacy training maybe shared and developed.


The NSW Bar Practice Course is the entry point to our profession and forms the basis of Readers first year of practice, and indeed for the whole of their careers at the Bar. It gives Readers an opportunity that they will have only once in their professional careers: senior members of our profession will dedicate their time over a period of one month to teach, share knowledge and experience, and act as peers and mentors in the pursuit of professional excellence.

The role of the advocacy coach is an integral part of the Bar Practice Course. The coaches can, and do, have a huge impact on these new members of the Bar. Advocacy coaches inspire, motivate and encourage Readers in a respectful, supportive, professional and shared endeavour. Coaches provide insight and feedback to both the Readers and the Course Director. Equally importantly, coaches are required to practically demonstrate what they are teaching. Through this, Readers are able to see their coaches as highly competent and genuinely interested in assisting them to improve. It is a mutual relationship of professional respect and trust. Participating in the Bar Practice Course as an Advocacy Coach is a perfect opportunity to give back. It is an important contribution to the profession and the personal benefit of instructing is the improvements of one’s own advocacy skills. Equally, it is an excellent opportunity to remind oneself of best practice at the Bar as an advocate.


All Barristers with a reasonable amount of experience in whatever jurisdiction, are encouraged to complete the expression of interest form. Ideal candidates will:

  • Have continuously held a New South Wales barristers’ practising certificate or a practising certificate of another Australian jurisdiction for not less than seven years
  • Be a full-time practising New South Wales barrister
  • Be able to commit to a minimum of two evening advocacy sessions (4.30 pm – 6 pm) per Bar Practice Course (May and September)

Successful applicants will be invited to attend, free of charge, the Train the Trainer workshop on Saturday 16 February 2019, 9.00am – 5.00pm, Family Court of Australia, 97-99 Goulburn Street, Sydney. Please note, an Introductory Session will also be held on Friday 15 February 2019, 5.00pm – 7.00pm, NSW Bar Association Common Room.


Please complete the ‘expression of interest form

**Please note, completion of the form does not imply that a place on the course is guaranteed.

National defamation reform moves ahead

Tue Dec 04 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Hon Mark Speakman SC MP has today issued a media release detailing terms of reference approved by the Council of the Attorneys-General (CAG) to guide the national defamation reform process. Click here for a full copy of the media release. The Terms of Reference are available here.

Obligations of counsel to clients and duties to the Court

Tue Dec 04 2018
Message from President Tim Game SC

In the recent judgment of AB (a pseudonym) v CD (a pseudonym) and Ors; EF (a pseudonym v CD (a pseudonym) and Ors [2018] HCA 58, the High Court condemned the conduct of a barrister in Victoria, who acted as an informant on her clients, as involving “appalling breaches of EF’s obligations as counsel to her clients and of EF’s duties to the court”.

In light of the revelations regarding this conduct, I remind all barristers that their paramount duty is to the administration of justice. The Legal Profession Uniform Conduct (Barristers) Rules 2015 (‘the Rules’), and professional rules that were in place long before the current Rules, have always maintained this position. Barristers must maintain high standards of professional conduct and this includes high standards of professional conduct in the maintenance of their duty to their clients, the court and colleagues within the Rules.

The Rules provide that “A barrister must promote and protect fearlessly and by all proper and lawful means the client’s best interests to the best of the barrister’s skill and diligence, and do so without regard to his or her own interest or to any consequences to the barrister or to any other person”. The inclusion of the words “by all proper and lawful means” was deliberate, reflecting the obligations which Barristers have under the law and as emphasised throughout the Rules.

The Rules do not provide any means by which barristers could ever be complicit in criminal conduct. To the contrary their ethical responsibilities, and compliance with the law (including the criminal laws such as s 316 of the Crimes Act), will always preclude this situation. This is a matter often not understood by the wider community.

The President will be calling a meeting with the NSW Police Commissioner, the Commissioner of the New South Wales Crime Commission and the NSW Director of Public Prosecutions to ensure that the administration of justice in NSW has not been compromised in any like manner to that which the High Court has condemned. Should any barrister have any knowledge that, in accordance with their ethical responsibilities, should be drawn to the attention of the NSW Bar Association this should be done as a matter of utmost urgency.

All barristers are invited to contact the Association should they ever require ethical guidance in relation to their duties and responsibilities.

Convergence 11-12 July 2019 - Singapore

Tue Dec 04 2018

Australian Bar Association's 2019 international conference - 'Convergence: the world-class conference for litigators' - will be hosted in Singapore from 11-12 July. Singapore Airlines has partnered with the ABA for Convergence and is delighted to provide special delegate and family airfares to Singapore and beyond - perfect for your mid-year break. Registration will open in early 2019 but for now, visit to register your interest and take advantage of the Singapore Airlines promotional airfares by emailing

Click here to download a printable flyer.

2019 Regional Conference Series

Tue Dec 04 2018

Registrations are now OPEN for the New South Wales Bar Association 2019 Regional CPD Conferences. For more details about each venue, speakers and the costs involved please click here.

  • Saturday, 23 February 2019 - Newcastle
  • Saturday, 2 March 2019 - North Coast Ballina
  • Saturday, 9 March 2019 – Orange
  • Saturday, 23 March 2019 - Parramatta
  • Saturday, 30 March 2019 – Sydney

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 on any of the "Register Now" buttons located on the dedicated 2019 Regional Conference Series website.

Further speaker details will be made available over the coming weeks. These 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 on 02 9232 4919 or via e-mail

2019 Personal Injury/Common Law Conference

Tue Dec 04 2018

Registrations are OPEN for the 2019 Personal Injury and Common Law Conference, which will be held at the Sheraton Grand Sydney Hyde Park on Saturday 16 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 on any of the "Register Now" buttons located on the dedicated 2019 Personal Injury & Common Law Conference website.

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

Encryption access laws require proper scrutiny

Mon Dec 03 2018
Law reform and public affairs

The Law Council has today called on the Australian Parliament to not rush consideration of complex and unprecedented encryption access laws. President-elect Arthur Moses SC warned that legislation impacting on the privacy and rights of Australians should be scrutinised carefully and called for parliament to act with "caution, moderation and restraint". View the media release here.

Bench and Bar v Solicitors Golf Day

Mon Dec 03 2018
Bar sports

The annual Bar and Bench v Solicitors Golf Day returns to Manly course on Thursday, 24 January 2018. The event will be the usual Two – ball Stableford. The cost for the day is $170.00 per person including dinner. (No discount for Golf only. Manly members pay $80.00). Further details contact Dennis Flaherty on 9233 3517 (mobile 041 601 5623), Paul Bolster (0414 878 946) or John Newnham solicitor on 9264 7788. Download an acceptance form here.