In Brief Issue #1155

Georgina Schoff KC

On Wednesday, members received my email announcing BCL’s acquisition of 200 Queen Street, Melbourne. The purchase will ensure the sustainability of our unique BCL chambers model well into the future. A "town hall" meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, 30 July 2024, at 4:30pm in the Neil McPhee Room to address any questions you may have about this important development. If you would like to submit questions prior to the meeting, please complete the form here, and we will endeavour to answer them on the evening.

Last Friday evening, I had the distinct pleasure of attending the West Brighton Club's annual legal dinner. It is an event that is not quite like any other. The members were in fine singing voice (they even had a song for the salad course), and the honoured guests were well and truly roasted by the convenor, the Honourable Justice Joshua Wilson. Thankfully, the Honourable Geoffrey Nettle AC KC responded on our behalf, choosing not to sing but to recite W. H. Auden's poem "Love Like Law." My sincere thanks to the President of the Club and all the members for their hospitality.

On Tuesday evening, the Bar conducted the last of its Prescribed Sexual Harassment and Bullying Awareness Training sessions for the year. These sessions have all been extremely engaging and well-attended. I thank Fiona Ryan SC, Mark Irving KC, Jonathan Kirkwood KC, Minal Vohra SC, and Rachel Doyle SC for facilitating the sessions and the Education team from the Bar office for supporting the training. I also thank Liz Bennett SC for attending when I could not.

Last night, we held a celebration at the Essoign Club to officially launch the Winter issue of Victorian Bar News. It was a lovely occasion. Maree Norton spoke, thanking all who have contributed, including her fellow editors Luke Merrick SC, Banjo McLachlan, and Jesse Rudd, the committee and authors. Special thanks were given to those who provide the professional polish - Guy Shield, who is responsible for the illustrations that have come to define the look of the publication; Peter Barrett, our editorial consultant, and of course, our Bar Office staff, particularly Yola Beaini and the indefatigable Sharni Doherty. The latest edition of Bar News is here.

Masterclass CPD

The next Masterclass CPD session, “How to be an Effective Leader," will be held on 16 July 2024, from 5:00pm to 6:15pm. The panel, including the Hon. Lex Lasry AM SC, the Hon. John Dixon SC, and Rachel Doyle SC, will lead a discussion on the challenges and changes faced in transitioning to the role of senior counsel. This session is tailored for silks who have been appointed in the last five years. To register to attend, please RSVP here.

I am off to Oxford and London tomorrow to attend the 2024 Commercial Bar Conference. During my absence until 29 July, Vice Presidents Liz Bennett SC and Colin Mandy SC will cover for me. Please contact Sharni Doherty if you have any issues you would like to raise with either of them or for me when I return.

Georgina Schoff KC

Vicbar News & Events
Practising Certificates — renew before 30 June

There are still a number of members who have not completed their LPLC insurance and Practising Certificate renewal for 2024/25. This must be completed  by 30 June 2024 to continue practice on 1 July.

Members who renew after this date will incur a late renewal surcharge from the LSB+C as well.

The deadline for renewing your PII premium was 31 May 2024, and if you have not already done so, please renew online here. You must renew your insurance first to complete the PC renewal.

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 have not received an email to confirm, please review that you have completed the  necessary steps on each website.

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

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.

Bar Subscriptions

Bar subscriptions are due 1 July 2024. Thanks to members who have made payment. If you are yet to pay by the due date, please click here, which will direct you to the payment portal.  If you have any questions please, contact membership on 03 9225 7111.

Notice of Town Hall Meeting - BCL acquisition of 200 Queen St, Melbourne

Members of the Bar are invited to attend a “town hall” meeting to enable members to ask those questions of BCL and the Bar Council in relation to the acquisition.

This is a momentous decision and one that we consider will ensure the sustainability of the BCL model, now and in the future.

Members are encouraged to submit questions via the form here prior to the town hall. This will enable the panel to cover as many items as possible in the town hall.


The Honourable John Digby KC, Paul Clark, Sam Hay KC, Georgina Schoff KC


4:30pm – 5:30pm, Tuesday, 30 July 2024


Neil McPhee Room, Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East, 205 William Street, Melbourne

Indigenous Justice Committee – Mentoring Program 2024

The Indigenous Justice Committee of the Victorian Bar invites Indigenous-identifying law students and law graduates to apply for its 2024 Mentoring Program.

The Mentoring Program matches successful applicants with two mentors (a barrister member of the Bar and a judicial officer). The Mentoring Program has been running for some years now, and the feedback has been positive. It is not meant to be onerous or intimidating, rather an opportunity for members of our Indigenous communities to link in with members of the Bar and the Judiciary in a way that suits the mentees. The aim is to assist mentees on their journey as legal professionals and provide professional introductions and contacts that can prove beneficial as they progress with their chosen pathways. The application form can be found here.

The IJC is also seeking expressions of interest from members of the Bar or judicial officers who wish to add their names to the pool of prospective mentors. Please email the Mentoring Program Coordinator:

Neurodiversity at the Bar Survey

Do you identify as neurodiverse? Is someone near or dear to you neurodiverse?

The Health and Wellbeing Committee is seeking feedback from bar members about the challenges faced and advantages enjoyed by people who identify as neurodivergent.

The information we gather will help the committee identify as yet unrecognised needs for services, support, or information for those who identify as neurodivergent as well as those who care for, live with or are otherwise involved with a person who identifies as neurodiverse.

Click here to submit your response. 

Train the trainer

The Victorian Bar has partnered with the Papua New Guinea Centre for Judicial Excellence, the Pacific Justice Sector Programme, and the Australian Government, Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, to deliver a Train the Trainer Program. The program is designed to build capacity within the legal profession of Pacific Nations in advocacy training for court appearances.

We are seeking members to volunteer their time to help deliver the program. The program runs for two weeks, from 29 July to 9 August. We are asking volunteers to be involved in the teaching of the intensive advocacy training and mentoring delegates through the program. Expressions of interest are due by Friday, 4 July.

Click here to submit your EOI. For more information, reach out to Michelle James, Education Manager at the Bar Office.

Overcome Imposter Syndrome & Stop Self Sabotage – 15 July 2024

This Masterclass, presented by Alison Shamir, is designed to educate, empower, and motivate individuals to breakfree of the Imposter Syndrome, fears and doubt that may be holding them back in their career so they can present and perform as their most confident selves. 

The session will cover:

  • Imposter Definitions

What is Imposter Syndrome, and how does it show itself and a little myth-busting

  • Imposter Behaviours

What triggers that negative voice in our head, and how do we self-sabotage

  • The 'Cost' of Imposter Syndrome 

Mental, physical, emotional, and financial impacts for individuals

  • How to battle Imposter Syndrome & WIN!

Understand & dismantle your Imposter story with 3 powerful science based steps 

Alison Shamir is an Imposter Syndrome Expert, International Speaker, Certified Coach and Media Contributor. Through her work, Alison empowers global organisations, teams & individuals with the knowledge, tools and methods grounded in neuroscience they need to overcome Imposter Syndrome and present and perform as their most confident selves. Alison is also a proud member of the LGBTQIA+ community, passionate about Diversity, Equity and Inclusion and is a former Technology Leader turned Entrepreneur. She combines both lived experience and professional expertise to help her clients make transformative change.

Open to members of the WBA.

Tickets are $50 for members 5 years call and above, discounted rate of $30 available to members under 5 years call.

Click here to register.

BCL Updates
  • Are you travelling overseas soon? With the school holidays upon us and many of the Bar travelling overseas, it is important to ensure you’ve set up international access for your @vicbar email and other online services. Click here to read more.
  • Open to expressions of interest: Levels 11, 13 or 15 Castan Chambers: With regular interest from Registered or new Groups seeking full floors, a rare opportunity has now presented itself at Castan Chambers. We are seeking expressions of interest from all members of the Bar for potential occupancy of levels 11, 13 or 15 at 460 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. To view all floor information and register your interest, click here.
  • Why Take Chambers with BCL? As a wholly owned subsidiary of the Victorian Bar, BCL provides a flexible and unique solution of chamber and technology support only available to members of the Bar. Click here to read more about the benefits of having chambers with BCL and click here to view our current vacancies.
Victorian Bar member CPD and events

The following are highlights 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.

  • How to be an Effective Leader is on Tuesday, 16 July 2024, from 5:00pm to 6:15pm. The second in the CPD Masterclass series is aimed specifically at silks who have been senior counsel for up to five years – although it is open to all. The Hon. Lex Lasry, the Hon. John Dixon and Rachel Doyle SC will conduct a panel discussion and invite conversation about the changes and challenges everyone faces when transitioning to a leadership role. The panel will discuss the courts’ expectations of senior counsel, leadership qualities, and learning skills such as delegation, communication, and team management. This is an in-person event for barristers only and will also be available online via livestream. Click here to RSVP
  • Children’s Court Bar Association CPD Festival is on 25 and 26 July 2024 from 9:00am to 5:30pm. The festival will include two different topics in the morning and afternoon on both days. A registration fee of $50 is payable to attend each day of the festival, and morning and afternoon tea will be provided.  Participants can attend either or both days. Online attendance will be considered where health/mobility/distance reasons or childcare requirements affect in-person attendance.  Prior to registration, please contact Anna McDonald to make a confidential request to attend online.  Those approved for online participation will pay half the daily registration fee.

Post-festival drinks will be held from 5.30 pm on Friday, 26 July, in the Essoign Club, at the attendee’s cost. For more information, please access the Festival Program. Click here to Register.

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

Vicbar Life
The Essoign Club

Dear Members,

We are open daily from 7:30am – till late.

Breakfast - for dine-in or takeaway

Lunch – Daily Café Menu dine-in or takeaway

Lunch Dine-In - A La Carte from midday

Bar – EVERY EVENING  - $5 Beer & Wine from 4:30pm – 5:30pm

Essoign Coffee Cart - Daily from 7:30am

Ground Floor Owen Dixon West

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

See our Catering and Events Package here.

Member Benefits portal for Bar members

Victorian Bar members are encouraged to use the Member Benefits online portal, where you can access a wide variety of discounts, special offers, and member-only deals as part of your Bar membership.

The exclusive benefits are available Australia-wide and are not generally open to the public.

To activate your account and access the benefits, please click here. You must log in using your login details.

Click here for the monthly Best Buys!

Practice & Profession News
Administrative Appeals Tribunal – 1 July 2024 fee increases

The Administrative Appeals Tribunal have sent the Victorian Bar a letter about the fee increases from 1 July 2024 for certain applications for review filed with the Tribunal.

Lawyer Wellbeing Theory of Change project

The Victorian Legal Services Board + Commissioner (VLSB+C) has issued a system-wide Lawyer Wellbeing Theory of Change. This initiative will see the legal system co-design a shared model for system-wide change in lawyer wellbeing. More details about this program can be found on the VLSB website here.

"Diversion Works": New SAC Report Highlights Effectiveness of Criminal Justice Diversion Program

The Sentencing Advisory Council has released its latest report, The Criminal Justice Diversion Program in Victoria: Second Statistical Profile. The report examines the use of the criminal justice diversion program in the Magistrates' Court of Victoria for the 10 years to 30 June 2021. 

Some of the key findings include: 

  • There were over 50,000 diversion plans in that 10-year period, increasing over time to 6.6% of all Magistrates' Court outcomes
  • The vast majority of people receiving diversion plans successfully complete them (93%)
  • People receiving diversion plans are half as likely to reoffend in the next five years (21%) as people receiving other court outcomes (40%)
  • The people most likely to receive diversion plans are younger offenders (aged 18 to 19), people committing property offences, and female family violence offenders

View the Report here.

View the media release here.

Law Library Victoria's free webinars

Refresh your legal research skills and gain CPD points with the Law Library Victoria's free webinars.

Upcoming events  in the next two weeks include:

- NAIDOC Week: Guide to Indigenous Law Resources

- Case Law Intensive


And an in-person tour:

- Supreme Court Library Tour: Legal Professionals


Visit the Law Library Victoria Events to find out more and register.

Profession CPD & Events
Human Rights Law Trans-Tasman Conference

A detailed brochure is now available for each session of the Human Rights Law Trans-Tasman Conference, which will be held in Queenstown, NZ, from 12 to 13 August 2024.

Register before 30 June for a discount!

Click here for more information and to register.

Careers & Opportunities
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, 4th July 2024