In Brief Issue #1016

Christopher Blanden QC

As we approach the end of the financial year, many members would normally consider upcoming holidays. While lockdowns and ongoing restrictions have put a dampener on some travel plans, it is important to take the opportunity, if you can, to have a break from work and engage in some rest and recuperation. Ours is a stressful profession. As most of us found out last year, a year without holidays is a pretty grim prospect.

The Bar Council met last Thursday evening. We received a presentation from Barristers’ Chambers Limited, which has helped us understand its current position. In short, although vacancies are higher than projected, its continued operations remain sound. We dealt with an array of matters that had been the subject of Counsel Committee consideration and a range of transfers and accreditations. Various policy submissions by the Bar in relation to the Review of Model Defamation Provisions, Professional Standards and the draft Implementation Monitor Bill were noted.

An absentee from Bar Council for the first time since last year’s election was Helen Rofe QC (Judge Rofe of the Federal Court of Australia as of 12 July). I would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge all Helen’s hard work and effort on the Bar Council, on the Bar Executive (including in its weekly meetings) and on a day-to-day basis. We wish her well in her judicial career.

On a lighter note, during the week diners at the Essoign Club were delighted to stop and have a chat with one of our junior members who had brought her parents and 5-month-old baby to the club for lunch. The baby was a particular hit with some Judges and senior Silks on one table, some of whom have recently become grandparents themselves.

Law Council of Australia Poll

I’m sure most members don’t need reminding that the poll as to whether we remain a member of the LCA closes on Monday. Please cast a vote, so your opinion counts.

Christopher Blanden QC

Vicbar News & Events
Practising Certificates - renew before 30 June

Members must renew their PC before 30 June to continue to practise on 1 July. Members who renew after this date may incur a late renewal surcharge from the LSB+C.

The deadline for renewing your PII premium was 31 May 2021 and if you have not already done so, please renew online here.

Information on renewing practising certificates can be found on the VicBar website here.

Links for online lodgement, which can be found on the above webpage, will be available from the LSB+C and LPLC live dates, or you may go directly to LSB Online and the LPLC website.

Login to LSB Online and the LPLC renewal portal using your Practitioner Number as the username (your Practitioner Number will be included in the email sent to you by the VLSB+C or you can contact the Bar office for assistance). LSB Online deals with all PC administrative matters and there is no printed PC renewal form.

Once you have completed the renewal process, you will receive an email from the LSB to confirm that your PC has been issued. You will then be able to download it via LSB Online.

If you experience technical difficulties with LSB online, please contact the VLSB+C via their new lawyer enquiry form in the first instance. In addition, answers to frequently asked questions and LSB online user guides can be found here.

Please note as a reminder, that bar subscriptions are also due to be paid by 30 June 2021, and we would ask if you haven’t already done so, please make arrangements to pay by the due date.

Should you require assistance renewing your PC, the Victorian Bar office can help you and members who need assistance should email or contact Daphne Ioannidis on (03) 9225 8326 or Mark Bryant on (03) 9225 7111.

Appointments – County Court of Victoria

The Governor in Council has appointed the following as judges of the County Court of Victoria:

Her Honour Judge Sharon Burchell

Her Honour Judge Anna Robertson

His Honour Judge Marcus Dempsey

His Honour Judge Pardeep Tiwana

The appointments were effective from Tuesday, 22 June 2021. Details of any welcome ceremonies will be made available when they are known.

Queen's Birthday Honours 2021

Order of Australia

The Bar congratulates the following members of our Bar who received awards in the Order of Australia:


The Honourable Patricia Anne Bergin AO SC

Dr Ian Richard Freckelton AO QC



Her Honour Judge Felicity Pia Hampel AM

The Honourable David James Porter AM

His Honour Ian Leslie Gray AM



Australian Army

Brigadier Douglas W Laidlaw AM CSC



Mr Michael John Sweeney OAM


We also congratulate all members of the legal profession who have received awards.

VicBar SEC Shadowing Program

The VicBar Student Engagement Committee (SEC) is looking at organising high school and tertiary student work experience (shadowing) again in the latter part of 2021 or early 2022.

The purpose of the shadowing program is to give students a first-hand perspective of what barristers do in their day-to-day work. The program focuses on including students from diverse backgrounds and circumstances.

It is proposed that a student or students be allocated to a chambers floor (where interest has been indicated) for one week, rather than allocating students to a single barrister. This is intended to provide greater flexibility to barristers, and greater opportunities for students.

Chambers floors that have indicated interest will be noted down by the SEC and approached closer to when shadowing is arranged.

If there are a number of barristers on your floor who are interested in participating, please send an email indicating interest in participating in the shadowing program and identifying: (a) your chambers floor and (b) interested barristers from the floor, to:

Indigenous Law Students Clerkship at the Victorian Bar

Applications are now open for the Indigenous Law Students Clerkship at the Victorian Bar. 

This clerkship program is run by the VicBar Indigenous Justice Committee.

We would like to encourage all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander law students to apply. 

Information about the program is here. Applications close Wednesday, 30 June 2021. 

Any enquiries about this application procedure and selection criteria or the clerkship generally may be made to Tim Goodwin or Anne Sheehan, members of the Bar’s Indigenous Justice Committee: or 03 9225 6323 or 03 9225 7333.

Victorian Bar Statement of Principles on Disability

The Disability & Accessibility Working Group of the Equality & Diversity Committee has recently prepared a Statement of Principles on Disability.  The Statement reflects the Victorian Bar’s commitment to ensuring that barristers and lawyers who wish to practise as barristers are able to do so on an equal basis with others by removing barriers to their participation and advancement in the profession. 

The Statement is available on the Barristers with a Disability section of the Bar’s Equality & Diversity webpage.  For further information, please contact the Co-Chairs of the Disability & Accessibility Working Group, Malcolm Harding S.C. or Carl Möller. 

New Women Barristers Association Committee

The WBA welcomes a new Committee, elected at the AGM on Friday, 18 June 2021 and farewells and thanks the former Convenor, Jennifer Batrouney AM QC, and former Assistant Convenors Alison Umbers and Gayann Walker.

The new Committee comprises the following: Dr Michelle Sharpe (Convenor), Natalie Blok & Priya Wakhlu (Assistant Convenors), Joye Elleray (Treasurer), Marion Isobel (Secretary), Emma Harrold (Assistant Secretary), Michelle Bennett (Membership),Shivani Pillai, Marita Ham, Alison Umbers, Emma Peppler, Astrid Haban-Beer, Sandra Karabidian, Emily Golshtein, Katherine Farrell, Serena Armstrong, Khai-Yin Lim, Gayann Walker, Laura Mills, Georgina Rhodes and Monique Hardinge (ordinary members).

Victorian Bar member CPD and events

The following is a highlight of upcoming CPD and events for Victorian Bar members. You must be a member of the Victorian Bar and logged into the VicBar website to view these events.

  • Depression, anxiety and a barrister: Experiences, reflections & learnings is on Tuesday, 29 June, 5:15-6:15pm. In this session, Ragu Appudurai will, in conversation with Dr Michelle Sharpe, share his experience of living with depression and anxiety over the course of approximately 50 years. He has worked as a lawyer since 1991, a period which spanned pre/post-diagnosis and treatment. This is an online event for members only. Click here to register.

For more upcoming CPD events, please visit our listings here.

BCL Staying COVIDSafe

Please refer to Staying COVIDSafe at BCL for all information, communications, helpful links to COVID safe plans, restrictions as they happen and what we all need to do.

Vicbar Life
Tailored EOFY support for Victorian Bar members

legalsuper is the industry super fund dedicated to Australia’s legal sector.

The Victorian Bar and legalsuper have shared goals of supporting the success of the Victorian legal community. Together, the Victorian Bar and legalsuper are proud to offer members complimentary, tailored support.


Due to restrictions, legalsuper’s William Street office is currently closed. However, EOFY super contributions (via cheque payments), can be made through a walk-in visit to legalsuper’s offices (level 37, 140 William Street) between 9am and 5pm, on either of these two days:

  • Monday, 28 June; and also on
  • Wednesday, 30 June.

Further payment option details are detailed below.

Book an appointment to discuss all things superannuation

This financial year has been a year like no other, so your super and EOFY affairs may need some extra attention.

To help ensure Bar members are:

  • optimising their retirement outcomes
  • maximising the available tax benefits, and
  • you’re well-informed regarding the 1 July 2021 changes, legalsuper is here to help.

2020-21 superannuation contributions and claiming a tax deduction for 2019-20

The end of the financial year is fast approaching. You can make a super contribution into your legalsuper account and potentially claim a tax deduction for the 2020/21 tax year. There are 4 ways you can contribute however your payment must be received by legalsuper before close of business on 30 June 2021.

  1. Cheque (recommend you post it prior to 23 June 2021)
  2. BPAY (recommended no later than 28 June 2021)
  3. EFT (recommended no later than 28 June 2021), and
  4. Real Time Gross Settlement (RTGS) - emergency - last minute (your bank will likely charge for this).

Reminder: to claim a tax deduction for your 2019/20 super contributions you must submit a Notice of Intent to Claim form to your super fund by no later than Wednesday, 30 June 2021.

Whether you are a legalsuper member or not, members of the Victorian Bar can book an EOFY consultation with local legalsuper experts, Ly Holian or Benjamin Fernandes.

Be prepared for new legislation effective from 1 July 2021.

Contribution caps are increasing

The concessional (before-tax) contributions cap increases from $25,000 to $27,500 per year.
The non-concessional (after-tax) contributions cap increases from $100,000 to $110,000 per year.

The Transfer Balance Cap is increasing to $1,700,000

The transfer balance cap is the maximum total amount of superannuation that can be transferred into the retirement phase. On the 1st of July 2021, the general transfer balance cap will increase from $1.6 million to $1.7 million.

To demystify super jargon and understand what’s relevant to your personal circumstances, book your complimentary EOFY consultation with Ly or Benjamin:

The Essoign Club

Dear Essoign Club Members,

We are open daily from 7:00am – till late

Breakfast - for dine-in or takeaway.

Lunch – Daily Café Menu for dine-in or take away.

Lunch Dine-In - see our A La Carte Menu here for dining in.

Bar – is open till late with light snacks available.

Catering & Events - Special lunches, working lunches, private dinners or something special you may have in mind. Email us at

We appreciate your ongoing support and look forward to seeing you in the Club.

Practice & Profession News
Commonwealth and Victorian Courts' COVID updates – easing of restrictions

The Victorian Government has announced the easing of restrictions for Melbourne and regional Victoria. For more information on how restrictions will apply to Victorians, please click here.

Court updates

For up-to-date information about the Courts’ responses, please visit their websites:

  • Federal Court of Australia – see here.
  • Family Court of Australia – see here.
  • Federal Circuit Court of Australia – see here.
  • Supreme Court of Victoria – see here.
  • County Court of Victoria – see here.
  • Magistrates’ Court of Victoria – see here.
Sentencing Advisory Council reports examining sentencing outcomes for sex offences sentenced in Victoria

The Sentencing Advisory Council has released two reports examining sentencing outcomes for sex offences sentenced in Victoria between 2010 and 2019. There have been multiple legislative and judicial reforms in recent years directed towards increasing the rate and length of prison sentences for sex offences, especially offences committed against children, and the Council's research aimed to identify the effect of these reforms.

The reports find that between 2010 and 2019:

  • There was a significant increase in the number of sex offences recorded by police (63%), but a decrease in sex offences sentenced by courts (-8%)
  • Approximately two-thirds (almost 64%) of sex offences sentenced in Victoria were committed against children
  • The average yearly prison sentence for incest with a child increased 66%, and this was due to a combination of sentencing reforms
  • The average yearly prison sentence for rape is now closer to 6 years, whereas it has previously been closer to 5 years

The report finds that both standard sentences and the various Dalgliesh decisions of the Court of Appeal and High Court have resulted in longer average prison sentences for sex offences, particularly offences against children. The report also suggests that while Category 1 offence classification will increase imprisonment rates for applicable offences, those offences were almost always receiving imprisonment already, and there is a significant risk that this mandatory sentencing scheme will result in some people going to prison when a more merciful sentence may have been warranted.

See the reports here and here.

Law Library – Digital Bar Library

Reinforce your argument with authoritative legal resources available to you 24/7 at the Richard Griffith Library and the Digital Bar Library.

Collections are curated by law librarians who can also assist you with case research, database selection and research strategies.

Find out more at

Appointment of Manager to Mr Rodney James Ambrose trading as Hargraves Ambrose & Co

On 18 June 2021, the Victorian Legal Services Board (‘the Board’) resolved to appoint Mr Ross Mulquiney as Manager of the sole practitioner law practice of Mr Rodney James Ambrose trading as Hargraves Ambrose & Co (‘the Practice’), pursuant to section 334 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria) (‘the Uniform Law’).1 The appointment is for a period of approximately six months, expiring on 17 December 2021, unless the appointment is extended or otherwise terminated in accordance with section 340 of the Uniform Law.

Members of the Victorian Bar who have recently been briefed and/or undertaken work for the Practice may be impacted by this appointment. Please contact Mr Mulquiney on (03) 5743 2666 or by email at if you have any concerns about payment of your fees.

Appointment of Manager to Phillip Gallo & Associates Pty Ltd and The 5th Element Alliance Pty Ltd

On 23 June 2021, the Victorian Legal Services Board (‘the Board’) resolved to appoint Mr Nicholas Curran as Manager of the incorporated legal practices:

1. The 5th Element Alliance Pty Ltd; and

2. Phillip Gallo & Associates Pty Ltd

    (‘the Practices’)—

pursuant to section 334 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (Victoria) (‘the Uniform Law’).1

The appointment is for a period of approximately six months, expiring on 17 December 2021, unless the appointment is extended or otherwise terminated in accordance with section 340 of the Uniform Law.

Members of the Victorian Bar who have recently been briefed and/or undertaken work for the Practices may be impacted by this appointment. Please contact Mr Curran on (03) 8080 3557 or by email at if you have any concerns about payment of your fees.

Profession CPD & Events
Save the Date - 2021 Australian Bar Association National Conference

In a full program over three days, Re-emerge 2021 will bring together leaders from the judiciary, the Bar, the profession, politics and the media, from across Australia and internationally, to participate in important discussions about what we must do to re-emerge energised, innovative and stronger than before.


The Australian Bar after COVID19: Energised, Innovative, Enduring.

The event will be held in Melbourne from 16 to 18 September 2021.

Read more here.

2021 LIV Careers Week

The Law Institute of Victoria (LIV) is excited to take our Careers Week digital this year. This will enable us to reach out to more attendees than ever before and also give our regional LIV Young Lawyers members a chance to participate.

Careers Week will take place between Monday, 28 June to Friday, 2 July 2021 and consists of eight sessions centered around the theme – a degree in the law can lead you to careers both within and outside of the courtroom.

Our Careers Week has been designed to help students, graduates and recently admitted lawyers build networking and professional development skills relevant to the modern workforce.

More information about the week, including sessions and speakers can be found our website here.

Melbourne Law School: 2021 James Merralls Visiting Fellowship in Law lecture

Melbourne Law School invites you to attend the 2021 James Merralls Visiting Fellowship in Law lecture on the topic Digital finance, COVID-19 and existential sustainability crises: building better financial systems, presented by Professor Douglas W. Arner, Kerry Holdings Professor in Law, University of Hong Kong.

The details of the event are as follows:

  • Wednesday, 30 June 2021
  • 6 – 7:00pm AEST
  • Webinar – Zoom (link provided upon registration)

Full event details and registration here.

Monash University events

The 21st Century Berle & Means Corporation: A Revolution in Retail Investing

In the early 20th Century, Professors Berle & Means outlined the view of a corporate governance framework that conceived of shareholders as widely diffused, disinterested and vulnerable. This traditional model is under increasing pressure in the 21st Century.

In this Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies event on Friday, 9 July 2021, which includes a panel of leading national and international scholars, will explore the developments in corporate governance from the Berle & Means framework, to the rise of institutional investors, to the more recent force of individual retail investors.

Register here.


Anti-Vilification & Hate Speech Law in Australia and New Zealand

Although anti-vilification laws exist in most democracies, they remain controversial. Do these laws illegitimately restrict free speech? What purposes do they serve, and what harms do they target? Do they appropriately balance competing interests?

In Australia, vilification laws in Victoria, New South Wales and the Commonwealth have been reviewed by parliamentary committees in the last four years. In New Zealand, changes to vilification laws are proposed in response to recent hate crimes.

This panel discussion on Wednesday 7 July 2021 brings together vilification law experts from Australia and New Zealand to discuss these complex and important issues.

A collaboration between the Castan Centre and the University of Auckland Centre for Human Rights Law, this panel will provide an update on recent developments in these two jurisdictions, and provide a framework for understanding the nature and purpose of anti-vilification laws.

Register here.


Castan Centre – Human Rights Law Conference

Gender inequality persists and women’s voices must be heard.  Under a human rights-based approach homelessness can and must be ended. Charters of rights have proved themselves in Victoria and other jurisdictions and can and must be implemented at the federal level.

The purpose of this conference being hosted on Friday 23 July by webinar is to focus attention on these critical human rights issues of contemporary Australia with outstanding speakers and moderators who are experts in their field and rapporteurs to sum up the discussion. Speakers include:

  • Kristen Hilton, Former Victorian Equal Opportunity and Human Rights Commissioner
  • June Oscar AO, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Social Justice Commissioner
  • Emeritus Professor Rosalind Croucher AM, President, Australian Human Rights Commission
  • Leilani Farha, Global Director of The Shift, Former United Nations Special Rapporteur on Adequate Housing

Register here.

Australian Law Reform Commission webinars 19 and 20 July 2021

The Australian Law Reform Commission invites you and your colleagues to attend two upcoming webinars.

These free, interactive webinars relate to the ALRC’s current inquiries.

Review of Judicial Impartiality

Webinar – Judicial Impartiality Q&A: Exploring Viewpoints

Monday 19 July 2021 at 1:00 – 2:30pm

Join us as we explore different perspectives on proposals and questions raised in the Judicial Impartiality Consultation Paper.

In this webinar, we will discuss views from the bench, the profession, academia, and the community on proposals made and questions raised by the ALRC’s Judicial Impartiality Consultation Paper.

Review of the Legislative Framework for Corporations and Financial Services Regulation

Webinar: The Devilish Detail of Financial Services Laws

Tuesday 20 July 2021 at 12:00 – 1:00pm AEST

The Australian Law Reform Commission, in partnership with Melbourne Law School, is excited to launch the Company and Securities Law Journal Special Issue: Financial Services Laws – Understanding the Devil in the Detail.

This webinar will explore financial services laws in Australia through the lens of the CSLJ Special Issue. The articles are a result of close collaboration between leading legal scholars and the ALRC as part of the current Inquiry into financial services legislation in Australia.

Careers & Opportunities
Deputy Director Registry Services & Prothonotary

The Supreme Court of Victoria is seeking a confident leader with experience in a court environment and strong leadership skills to fulfill the role of Prothonotary and lead the operations of its Principal Registry.

The Principal Registry is a key administrative arm of the court, delivering high quality services to judges and their staff, the legal profession and the public.

The role of Deputy Director, Registry Services, is a key leadership and management role responsible for the successful delivery of registry services and operations, the appropriate exercise of the statutory powers and functions of the Prothonotary, the provision of high-level strategic, policy and procedural advice to the Director, Registry Services, the court and the profession.

The position works closely with the Director, Registry Services, and collaboratively with the managers and staff of all registries of the court.

Interested applicants should submit an application via the Vic Careers Website.

Senior Lawyer – Common Law Division Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Senior legal role in the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Full time, ongoing

The Supreme Court of Victoria is seeking a motivated, experienced lawyer to play a key role in management of cases in the area of wills, estates and trusts in the Common Law Division.  The successful candidate for this role will have a unique opportunity to contribute to the administration of justice in Victoria and to be a leading member of a small team providing expert legal and procedural support to judicial officers.

Working largely with proceedings in the Trusts, Equity and Probate List and the Testators Family Maintenance List, the Senior Lawyer will manage proceedings under the supervision of the Judicial Registrar and Judges-in-Charge of these lists.

They will be responsible for providing substantive and procedural legal analysis and high-level administrative management of cases and will work closely with judicial officers and act as a point of contact for legal practitioners and unrepresented litigants.

Experience in succession law and drafting legal documents is highly desirable, as is the ability to manage and develop junior lawyers in a team setting.

Click here for more information.

Expression of Interest - Commercial Division Judicial Registrar

His Honour Chief Judge Peter Kidd seeks expressions of interest from suitably qualified persons for appointment as a Judicial Registrar of the County Court of Victoria.

The successful candidate(s) will be assigned to the County Court’s Commercial Division. This Division is responsible for the management and hearing of a wide range of often complex commercial disputes, including general commercial matters, building disputes and banking and finance disputes. The Court has an unlimited monetary jurisdiction in commercial matters.

The Commercial Division is an efficient jurisdiction for the resolution of commercial disputes in Victoria, with most cases listed for trial within six months of being issued.

Please click here for further details.

Australian Academy of Law Annual Essay Prize 2021

The Australian Academy of Law is pleased to announce the offering of its Annual Essay Prize for 2021.

This year, eligibility to submit an essay is broadened by reverting to the original entry rules as below.

The Prize is open to anyone, wherever resident, who is studying or has studied legal subjects at a tertiary level, or who is working or has worked in a law-based occupation. There is no limit by reference to the age or seniority or experience of, or position held by, a person who may submit an entry. Accordingly, judicial officers, legal practitioners, legal academics and law students are all eligible to submit an essay.

The amount of the Prize is $10,000.

The essay topic for the Prize in 2021 is as follows:

"Outstanding fundamental issues for First Nations Peoples in Australia: what can lawyers contribute to the current debates and their resolution?

Note: ‘Outstanding fundamental issues’ may include, but are not limited to, constitutional recognition, treaty or bijuralism.”

The deadline for the submission of an essay is 31 August 2021 and this time limit is strictly observed, as the Rules Governing the Annual Essay Prize make clear.

Those Rules can be accessed on the Academy’s website:

Refer to the Academy’s website also for further information about the actual submission of an entry as well as information on previous winners.

In Brief submissions

If you would like to contribute relevant news, events and updates for barristers and the legal profession to In Brief, please send an email with your content to or complete this submission form.

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 1st July 2021