In Brief Issue #1017

Christopher Blanden QC

Law Council of Australia

Following the results of our Bar’s poll on membership of the Law Council of Australia (LCA), I wrote to its President, Dr Jacoba Brasch QC, on Tuesday and formally confirmed the Bar’s continuing membership.

Bar Council is pleased that we will continue our membership with the support of our members. We look forward to proactively working together to support the LCA’s important policy work as well as addressing the unique issues that face barristers in Victoria.

Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner

For the first time in its 180-year history, the Bar will enter a period where it does not have the power to receive and handle complaints against barristers.

With effect from 30 June, the Legal Services Commissioner has withdrawn the Bar’s delegation to investigate complaints against barristers — notwithstanding our opposition. The Victorian Legal Services Board will now undertake this function.

This follows on from recommendation 88 of the final report by the Royal Commission into the Management of Police Informants.

Australian Bar Association National Conference 2021

Members on the ABA’s mailing list will have been notified that the ABA National Conference will be held in Melbourne on 16-18 September 2021. Registration is now open. Details of the conference, including the program, social events, and registration information can be found on the ‘Re-emerge’ website.

Christopher Blanden QC

Vicbar News & Events
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.

Subscriptions for the 2021- 2022 Financial Year are now due

Thank you to those members who have already paid their subscriptions. Subscriptions for the 2021-2022 Financial Year are due for members, and to make payment of your subscription please click here.  If you have any questions relating to your subscription please contact membership or call on 9225 8326.

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:

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).

Free Bar Library books and texts available

The Bar Library is currently auditing its collection.

Various books, texts and related items have been placed on a table in the Richard Griffith Library and are available for free. You are welcome to browse and take what you like for your home or Chambers.

The Australian Digest (up to 2018) is also available for free. Please note: the digest is not up do date with the yellow supplements placed in each binder. Please contact Richard Brear on 0436378212 if you would like this Digest and who will assist with removal.

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.

  • Intensive cross examination workshop is on Thursday, 22 and 29 July, 5:00-7:30pm. This two-part workshop gives participants the opportunity to work with experienced cross examiners and senior advocacy instructors to further develop cross examination skills. Each participant will have an opportunity to perform an allocated cross examination task and receive feedback. This workshop is 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
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

County Court of Victoria

The County Court has today published an updated Commercial Division response to coronavirus COVID-19, available here.

Please note that this document is effective as of today, 2 July 2021, and supersedes the information in the Commercial Division response to coronavirus COVID-19 published on 8 April 2021.

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.
Threat offences in Victoria: sentencing outcomes and reoffending

The Sentencing Advisory Council has released a new report, Threat Offences in Victoria: Sentencing Outcomes and Reoffending.

The report finds that:

  • people sentenced for threat offences are more than twice as likely to be sentenced again within three years than the Victorian average
  • more than half of all sentenced threat cases are family violence-related, and
  • the most common sentencing outcome for threat offences is imprisonment.

The report and factsheet are here.

The media release is here.

Law Council Australia podcast - episode six now available

This latest episode explores Environmental, Social and Governance factors (ESG's), how they affect investment decisions and how ESG factors are becoming increasingly important in M&A and investment deals in Australia and overseas. 

BLS Executive members John Keeves & Professor Pamela Hanrahan are joined in discussion by fellow BLS Executive member and one of Australia’s leading corporate M&A lawyers, Rebecca Maslen-Stannage, Partner at Herbert Smith Freehills, along with Brad Lynch, a Partner with Advent Partners, one of Australia’s longest standing investment managers. 

Listen here.



Legal Services Council newsletter - June 2021

The Legal Services Council June newsletter is available here.

LAWASIA e-newsletter - June 2021

The June edition of LAWASIA’s newsletter is out now. For information on upcoming events and other updates, please click 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’). 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
ABA 2021 National Conference

Registrations are now open for Re-emerge. The Australian Bar after COVID-19:  Energised, Innovative Enduring

16-18 September 2021. State Library of Victoria and fully live-streamed.

For more information and to register, visit

Major Sponsor: The Australian Financial Review

Monash University events

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.


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.

Reflections on the 20th Anniversary of the Corporations Act

The Corporations Act 2001 (Cth) is one of the most significant and complex pieces of legislation in Australia. To mark the 20th anniversary of the Act, Monash Law, the Commercial Bar Association and the Victorian Bar will host a joint panel comprised of eminent speakers, which will provide insights about the operation and evolution of the Act from practitioners, academia and the judiciary.

Join the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies of Monash Law for this second instalment of the National Commercial Law Seminar Series in 2021. The event is being hosted online on Wednesday, 21 July 2021 and includes the following speakers:

  • The Honourable Justice Connock, Supreme Court of Victoria
  • The Honourable Associate Justice Hetyey, Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Professor Jennifer Hill, Bob Baxt AO Professor of Corporate and Commercial Law at Monash University Faculty of Law and Director of the Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies (CLARS)
  • Philip Crutchfield QC, Barrister, Victorian Bar
  • Chair: Sam Rosewarne, Barrister, Victorian Bar

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.

DCA webinar -- Managing complex mental ill-health conditions in the workplace

Join DCA to discuss how organisations can support the wellbeing and recovery of employees living with complex mental ill-health issues.

Don’t miss this important discussion with:

  • Lisa Annese, DCA CEO
  • Rachel Green, CEO of SANE Australia
  • Tim Hillier, SANE Peer Ambassador
  • Grant Thomson, Mental Health Coordinator for EPIC Assist, and
  • Rachel Jones, Marketing & Communications Officer for EPIC Assist.

To access DCA’s resources or webinars, you’ll need to be a member of Diversity Council Australia. To become a member, please register here and we will forward you the login instructions. You will need to use your VicBar email address.

If you are already a member of DCA, you can register for the webinar here.

2021 Resolution Institute International Virtual Conference

Australasia's largest dispute resolution organisation, Resolution Institute, is pleased to invite you to its 2021 international virtual conference, Resilience and Reinvention: Dispute Resolution During a Crisis and Beyond, to be held 15-16 July. This premier two-day conference is the first major event in the region's ADR calendar. Supported by global institutes, government, industry associations and sponsors, the program comprises 27 specialist sessions and six plenaries, bringing together over 100 key influencers and stakeholders from business, government, judiciary, commercial and academia, addressing developments and emerging trends across a wide range of sectors.

Vic Bar members can attend at the Resolution Institute member discount rate of $440. Please ensure you register at this special link.


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.

LAWASIA committee webinar month series – save the date

LAWASIA is excited to announce the launch of its LAWASIA Committee Webinar Month Series that will run over four consecutive weeks, in July and August 2021, with one webinar each week as follows:

  • Tuesday 27 July – One Belt, One Road
  • Tuesday 3 August – Alternative Dispute Resolution
  • Thursday 12 August –Taxation & Customs
  • Tuesday 17 August – UNCITRAL

More information about the series is here.

More details and registration information are coming soon.

Careers & Opportunities
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.

Law Council of Australia Tom Yuncken Young Construction Lawyer Award 2021

The Construction and Infrastructure Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia has been conducting the Tom Yuncken Young Construction Lawyer Award since 2008. The Award was established in memory of Allens Arthur Robinson partner and construction lawyer, Tom Yuncken, a former Chair of the Victorian Committee.

The Award was initially offered to Victorian lawyers, but since 2018 has become a national award.

The Award is offered by the Business Law Section (BLS) and sponsored by the Society of Construction Law Australia (SCLA).

Thanks to the generous support of the BLS & SCLA, the winner of the 2021 Award will receive $2,500 and the finalist/s will be assisted to attend the Society’s Conference in Hobart in October 2021. For more information, visit

Flyer and entry form may be found here.

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, 8th July 2021