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Latest News & Events


All members of the Bar and Judiciary are warmly invited to the Dinner on Saturday, 18 May 2024, 7:00pm at the National Gallery of Victoria. The event is black tie and will feature guest speaker the Honourable Justice Robert Beech-Jones of the High Court of Australia.

In Brief

On Monday, Anthony Strahan KC, members of the Bar Office, and I met with the VLSB Commissioner, Fiona McLeay, and VLSB policy manager, Michelle Marfurt, to discuss the changes to the Bar Exam and Readers’ Course. While the Victorian Bar has the necessary delegated power to make the changes, the VLSB+C takes a keen interest in how we exercise that delegation. We discussed the proposal to shorten the Readers’ Course and deliver some of the current course content later during the reading period when readers have commenced practice as barristers. We are very grateful to Ms McLeay and the VLSB for their careful consideration of the changes that we are making. 


Supreme Court of Victoria
Court of Appeal

The Honourable Chief Justice Anne Ferguson has advised that the Executive Council has appointed Rowena Jane Orr KC as a Judge of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria, effective 18 April 2024.

Details of the welcome ceremony will be advised when they are known.


Solicitor-General of Victoria

The Governor in Council has today appointed Alistair Pound SC as the next Solicitor-General of Victoria, commencing on 23 April 2024.


Bar Roll No.: 750

It is with deep regret that the Bar informs members of the death of Arthur William Adams KC. Arthur attended Xavier College and then Melbourne University before signing the Bar Roll on 22 April 1965 and reading with the Honourable Kenneth Joseph Jenkinson.  He had five Readers, Timothy Doherty, William Calanchini, Reginald Egan, Grant Fraser and Kerry Clancy, and was appointed silk on 05 December 1995.

In Brief

On Monday, I met with Professor Andrew Mowbray, the founder and Executive Director of AustLII, its Managing Director, Associate Professor Philip Chung, and Development Manager, Richard Hunter. AustLII, now almost 30 years old, remains Australia’s largest online free-access resource for Australian legal information, and barristers are, I was told, one of its largest user groups. The purpose of the meeting was to bring the Bar up to date with AustLII’s recent work, the most interesting of which is the creation of a new database to house the complete case files of 37 seminal High Court cases, as selected by the High Court. No doubt, AustLII is also keen to ensure that the Victorian Bar continues to contribute funds to the AustLII Foundation. Since 2021, the Victorian Bar has contributed $10,000 each year.


Chair of Victoria’s Post Sentence Authority

The Victorian Government has announced the appointment of her Honour Felicity Hampel AM S.C. as the Chair of Victoria’s Post Sentence Authority commencing 9 April 2024.

In Brief

I hope members enjoyed a relaxing break over the long weekend. As this has been a short week, so too is In Brief.


Bar Roll Number: 750

It is with deep regret that the Bar informs members of the death of Arthur William Adams KC.

In Brief

Bar Exam and Readers’ Course

Last week, Bar Council received the Report of the 5-Year Exam Review Panel chaired by the Hon. Peter Riordan KC. The report made 17 recommendations and 4 suggestions for substantial changes to the Bar Exam and the Readers’ Course. The changes are designed to ensure that the Exam does not unnecessarily restrict entry to the Bar and to increase the number of places in the Readers’ Course. Members can read the report (with some redactions to protect confidential information which I am confident are not material to an understanding of the report) here.


Bar Roll No: 743

It is with deep regret that the Bar informs members of the death of John Kaufman KC on Saturday, 24 March.  John signed the Bar Roll on 25 February 1965 and read with the Honourable R.G. DeB Griffith QC.  He had nine Readers, was appointed silk on 24 February 1992 and retired in 2006.

In Brief

On Tuesday evening, the Hon. John Digby KC, Chairman of BCL and its CEO, Paul Clark, attended the Bar Council meeting to provide their quarterly update, including with respect to how they are managing the increasing number of vacancies and the expected departure of a number of floors later this year. The BCL model, which provides such great flexibility to our members has, on the flip side, some great challenges for those tasked with managing it. To this end, a BCL survey seeking member’s feedback on chambers and technology services has been sent to all members this week. I encourage you all to participate in the survey, which will help inform BCL’s future strategic direction. Click here to complete the survey. The Bar Council remains very focused on the Bar’s accommodation needs, and we are grateful for the assistance of John and Paul and the rest of the BCL board. This year has seen the appointment to the BCL board of Liz Bennett S.C. and Stewart Maiden KC, and I am happy to announce that on Tuesday night, Bar Council also appointed Sam Hay KC to the Board. This morning the Board elected to appoint Sam as its Deputy Chair.