In Brief Issue #858


The highlight of this week was the release of the State of the Victorian Bar report on Tuesday evening. The report is the most comprehensive demographic survey the Victorian Bar has ever produced, combining data drawn from the Bar Roll and a survey to which 627 of our members—31% of the Bar—responded. The report provides fascinating insights into trends in practice, income, equality and diversity. In releasing the report, the Bar is celebrating our achievements as well as squarely facing our challenges.

Some headline points:

  • women now comprise 29% of the Bar, up from 5.5% in 1980
  • 40% of barristers under 15 years’ call are women
  • members speak more than 37 languages
  • 37% of us had at least one parent born overseas
  • 1.2% of our members are of Aboriginal or Torres Strait Island heritage, compared to 0.8% of the Victorian population
  • more Victorian barristers have adopted the national Equitable Briefing Policy than in the rest of the nation’s bars combined
  • the 2020 equitable briefing target of 30% has been exceeded
  • the proportion of billable work done by our members as a result of briefs from the top 8 law firms has halved since 2006, as has the proportion of billable work done by our members for corporate clients
  • since 2006, we do proportionately more work as a result of briefs from small and medium law firms, and for individual clients
  • average and median incomes at the Bar have risen overall at a rate of about 3% per annum over the past decade, materially ahead of inflation
  • the median income of members rose from $173,712 in 2008 to $214,383 in 2016
  • the average income of members (skewed by some very high earners) rose from $268,532 in 2008 to $333,503 in 2016
  • Bar Roll data shows a median gender pay gap of about 35%, based on annual incomes and without any adjustment for part-time work or areas of practice
  • the gender pay gap is also influenced by the fact that women are disproportionately concentrated at the junior end of the bar, and take judicial appointments at a rate that is disproportionate to their representation at the senior end of the bar
  • 44% of members undertook more than 20 hours of pro bono work in the past 6 months

The whole of the report is available for members to review on our website.

I thank all members who took the time to participate in the survey. Thanks to you, we had sufficient data to produce a robust report which will be used to guide measures that will further enhance the reputation of the Bar and the practices of its members.

Finally on this topic, last year’s survey asked whether members had experienced bullying, discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace over the past 5 years. The results revealed that, on each measure, the incidence was markedly lower than in the Australian workforce generally. Bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment are, however, of course, unacceptable at any level. The Bar will undertake a further survey of members later in the year that is designed to provide a more detailed picture of the prevalence of bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment at the Bar and enable us better to understand the contexts in which they occur. As I announced last week, the Bar Council has updated our policies relating to bullying, discrimination and sexual harassment and introduced new grievance and reporting measures. More information is available on our website.  The Bar will hold a CPD seminar to introduce the new policies and processes to our members on 23 April. For details, open the “Victorian Bar Member CPD Events” link below.

Victorian Bar Foundation Student Award and Mentoring Program

I am looking forward to presenting awards this afternoon to potential future members of our Bar from the Hume region, as part of the inaugural Victorian Bar Foundation Student Award & Mentoring Program. The students are from the outer north-western suburbs of Melbourne, including Broadmeadows, Craigieburn and Sunbury.

The aim of the Program is to demonstrate—as our survey has confirmed—that the Bar is open to all on merit, irrespective of socio-economic circumstances, ethnic background, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, gender, gender identity or disability.

In this first year of the Program, the Victorian Bar Foundation has partnered with the City of Hume to award a prize of $1,500 each to the highest-ranking units 1 and 2 legal studies student at each of the 16 high schools in the Hume region. Each prize winner, as well as two other year 11 legal studies students at each school (that is, 48 students in total), will be partnered with a mentor from the junior ranks of the Victorian Bar.

Vicbar News & Events
SAVE THE DATE - Hong Kong 2018 International Commercial Law Conference (HK 2018 ICLC)

Following on from the huge success that was our London 2016 conference, we are thrilled to announce that the 2018 will be held on Friday the 21st and Saturday the 22nd of September, 2018 on Hong Kong island. It is a must-attend event for any barrister, solicitor, or corporate counsel. Tickets will be sold from May 1st

Practising Certificate & Professional Indemnity Insurance Renewal - 2018/19

The practising certificate (PC) renewals cycle for 2018/19 opened on Monday 19 March 2018. The deadline for renewing your PC without incurring a surcharge is 30 April 2018.

The LPLC requires payment of the professional indemnity insurance (PII) premium by 31 May 2018. Further information regarding PII will be distributed to members the week beginning 9 April 2018.

You should have received an email from the Legal Services Board (LSB) outlining details of the PC and PII renewal process. (Information is also provided on the Bar’s website).  

Links for online lodgement are available through your member home page or you may go directly to LSB Online and LPLC website. Login to LSB Online and LPLC renewal using your Practitioner Number as the username (your Practitioner Number is published in the email sent to you by the LSB  or you can contact the Bar Office for assistance). If you experience technical difficulties, please contact the LSB Online help desk by email in the first instance.

The LSB Online service deals with all PC administrative matters. There is no printed PC renewal form. Should you require assistance renewing your PC, the Victorian Bar Office can help you to access and use LSB Online, members who wish to attend the Bar office for assistance please do so between 9am - 3pm or contact Daphne Ioannidis on 9225 8326 to make an appointment.

The printed LPLC Applicant Declaration (PII) will be available from the LPLC’s website or from the Victorian Bar Office on Level 5 205 William Street, after 9 April 2018, however practitioners are encouraged to renew on line.

Annual VicBar Satisfaction Survey

The management team and staff of the Victorian Bar are always striving to provide the best possible services to you. In order to do this effectively we need to generate feedback from you so we can obtain a clear and complete picture of your current needs, and your likely future needs. In order to do this we are conducting our annual barrister satisfaction survey. This year’s survey will also address issues of diversity, disability, and the Vicbar Library.

Please note this survey is for all barristers practicing at the Victorian Bar, and should not be confused with the separate survey conducted by BCL. This survey is designed to provide feedback and input to assist with the ongoing development of the policies and services that the Victorian Bar provides to all barristers.

The survey will be conducted over the period starting 29 March 2017 through to 17th April 2018 inclusive. All you have to do is click onto the link below and complete the survey, which should take no more than 6 - 7 minutes.


The survey is confidential.  Only Adept Research will have access to all of the responses and will only see de-identified survey ID numbers, not individual names. The Victorian Bar will receive the analysis of the survey from Adept, but we will not have access to Adept’s database.  All members who participate in the survey will go into a random draw to receive a 1 x 9.7 inch iPad Pro 128 GB valued at $999. For this purpose Adept Research will extract the name of the winning survey participant, but will do so for this purpose only.

Once again we welcome your participation, so that we may better serve your needs.

Women Barristers Association (WBA) AGM

The Women Barristers Association (WBA) will be holding their AGM on 11 April 2018, at 1pm, in the conference room on level 15 in Owen Dixon Chambers West. 

The AGM is open for all members to attend and WBA also encourages new members to attend and join. 

Further, the WBA wishes to put out a call for new committee members. Anyone interested in joining the Committee is welcome to email or call Kylie Weston-Scheuber or Sandra Karabidian to discuss, or simply send a nomination form to Jess Swanwick by no later than 5pm on 4 April 2018. 

At the AGM, the Committee for 2018/2019 will be elected and other business (including accounts for the year) will be considered.

Save the date – Victorian Bar Dinner

This year's Bar Dinner will be held at the Plaza Ballroom on Friday 25 May.

Be sure to keep the date free in your diary.

Adopt the Equitable Briefing Policy

The Victorian Bar has endorsed the Law Council of Australia’s gender equitable briefing policy, which aims to achieve a nationally consistent approach towards bringing about cultural and attitudinal change within the legal profession with respect to gender briefing practices.

Information about the Policy, including FAQs, is available on the Victorian Bar website.

The Policy is available for adoption by individual barristers by completing the form available on the Law Council’s website.

The Bar encourages all members, at all levels of seniority, to show their commitment to equitable briefing by adopting the Policy.

Call for Expressions of Interest – Bar Conciliators

The Victorian Bar is calling for Expressions of Interest from members to be appointed by Bar Council as conciliators for complaints of sexual harassment, discrimination and workplace bullying. 

The Bar is expanding the opportunity for informal and co-operative resolution of complaints about this type of conduct by its members. 

Conciliators will play a role in the informal investigation and co-operative resolution of complaints about the conduct of barristers.  This process will include complaints by other barristers or by other persons who engage with barristers. 

Conciliators will have no authority to impose co-operation, nor will they be able to determine the merits of any complaint.   If a mutually acceptable outcome cannot be achieved with the assistance of a Conciliator, then the Conciliator provides information as to other available avenues of Complaint. 

Knowledge of the law surrounding discrimination, sexual harassment and bullying is helpful but not essential.  Training will be provided to those appointed as Conciliators.

The Bar seeks to appoint a diverse panel of Conciliators from both the Senior and Junior bars including men and women across all areas of practice.

For further information about the role, please contact Jacinta Forbes QC - / 9225 8905

Expressions of Interest can be submitted here.  The deadline is Friday 6 April at 5pm.

Vicbar Life
The Victorian Golfing Lawyers Society - The Sir Edmund Herring Trophy Golf Event

The Victorian Golfing Lawyers Society was established in July 2017 by a group of barristers, solicitors and Judges to promote the game of golf amongst our profession. We now have 110 members and have played three events, at Commonwealth, Royal Melbourne Golf Club and Woodlands, all of which have been very well attended. Membership is a one-off payment of $50. Details of the next event are as follows:

The Sir Edmund Herring Trophy Golf Event
at the Kingswood site of
Peninsula Kingswood Country Golf Club
Centre Dandenong Road
Dingley Village
On Tuesday, 3 April 2018.

This is a longstanding event contested between

Bench and Bar vs Solicitors in a 4BBB Stableford format
Tee off commences at 1.30pm
Drinks cart (cash on consumption) on course during play.
Presentations and bar snacks available immediately after play (drinks at bar prices)

VGLS committee hosts – Norman O’Bryan AM SC and Caroline Paterson

Cost: $150 per person
payable to VGLS - BSB 063 010 Account Number 1333 0550

RSVP: by 28 March 2018 please to indicating the following: your Golflink number (if I do not already have it) and your preferred playing partner, if applicable.

Trial and Error - Melbourne International Comedy Festival 2018

Vicbar barrister (and part time comedian) John Leung is producing a stand-up open mic for the legal industry in the 2018 Melbourne International Comedy Festival called “Trial and Error”.  A number of lawyers, including members of the Bar will be trying their hand at comedy for the first time.  “Trial and Error" will also include experienced comedian-lawyers including John himself, Jess Moir, Andrew Portelli and Cait Johnson. All profits from the show will be donated to the Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation.

Tickets available here:

The Essoign - New Dining Room Menu

The Essoign will have a new dining room menu from next week, be sure to come check it out.

Wishing everyone a safe and happy Easter from the Essoign!

Member Benefits - BMW Offer

BMW has made a special offer available to members until the end of April.  If any members are looking for a new BMW they can call the Car Assist team on 1300 119 493 or email

Practice & Profession News
High Court of Australia - Review of Registry Operations and Case Management System

The High Court is reviewing its Registry operations and case management system with a particular emphasis on current and future electronic needs.

The Court is seeking to obtain the views and assistance of external users of the system. The members of your organisation have been identified as likely users of the current system.

An online form has been designed to allow external users to participate in the review. The online form can be found here. The deadline for responses is Friday, 6 April 2018. The form is designed to organise the responses in a way that will both guide the user and help the Court. The form includes questions asking participants to identify what is critical to them when using the Court's
systems, what they like about the current system, and what they wish the Court's Registry and case management system provided. The form also enables participants to provide the Court with other comments about the Court's Registry and case management system, including their views on what changes they would recommend. The responses given to the Court will be used only for the purposes of the Court and will not be published.

Court officers will ensure that all responses are recorded, reviewed and used in the review. In addition to any responses recorded via the online form, we may contact some participants to discuss their responses
further. Not all participants will be contacted.

If members have difficulty using the form please email or phone the Registry on (02) 6270 6857.

We encourage members to participate in the review.

Sentencing Advisory Council - Restitution & Compensation for Victims of Crime - Tell Us What You Think

The Sentencing Advisory Council wants to hear from people in the criminal justice system and from the wider the community about offender-paid restitution and compensation in Victoria.

In particular, Council seeks your input on:

  • Whether offender-paid compensation orders should become sentencing orders;
  • Whether purposes of sentencing should include the financial reparation of victims; and
  • How the orders should be enforced.

Your submissions will inform our advice to the Attorney-General on possible changes to restitution and compensation orders in Victoria.

Details of the existing system, and some options for reform can be found in the Restitution and Compensation Orders: Issues and Options Paper on Council’s website.

Your submissions can be detailed or brief, and can be made in person, in writing, or via an online survey. You can choose whether your submission is public, anonymous, or confidential.

The deadline for submissions is Friday 20 April 2018.

For more information visit the Council’s website, or call 1300 363 196


Profession CPD & Events
"Legal Reasoning and Written Advocacy” International Advocacy Training Council conference in South Africa - 2 and 3 April

The IATC and South African bar will be hosting a Legal Reasoning & Written Advocacy Conference on the 2nd and 3rd April 2018 at the Wallenberg in Stellenbosch (near Capetown). 
Will clear and effective legal reasoning and writing survive the relentless onslaught of social media and the tyranny of the twitterati? 

Speakers includeThe Rt. Hon. The Lord Neuberger of Abbotsbury, Former President the Supreme Court of the United Kingdom; Justice Geraldine Andrews (UK); Justice Glenn Martin, Supreme Court (Qld); Justice Ann Ainslie-Wallace (Fam Crt App); Phillip Greenwood SC ( NSW) and speakers from Hong Kong, Malaysia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and South Africa, will be involved in presentations and panel discussions. 

Judges, advocates, attorneys, university teachers and all legal professionals involved in the teaching of advocacy skills, should find the conference very interesting. 

The conference will stimulate debate and explore solutions to the state of legal reasoning and writing in the advocates’ profession and the judiciary. 
Please visit the below link to view the speakers and to register online. 

The Law Library of Victoria - Switch On… Setting up legal alerts

Thursday 5 April, 1.15pm-1.40pm

The Law Library of Victoria invites you to attend our Switch On… information sessions. These twenty-five minute sessions are suited to judicial officers, court staff, legal professionals, law students, and anyone with an interest in law.

This session will highlight some of the best legal alerts freely available. We will demonstrate how to create alerts so you can stay up to date on the latest case law, legislation developments, and legal news. These include alerts provided by the Law Library of Victoria, JADE, the High Court of Australia, TimeBase, the Victorian Government, and a variety of social media.

For more information or to RSVP please email

Monash University - Increased Regulation of Litigation Funding - a Timely Crackdown or a Regulatory 'solution' in Search of a Problem?

Both the Victorian Law Reform Commission and the Australian Law Reform Commission are currently enquiring into the issue of regulation of litigation funding in class actions. The keynote speakers and the panel members will discuss the pros and cons of such regulation and the issues to be considered with reference to both overseas and Australian experience. 

Date: Monday 9 April, 2018 
Time: 2.00pm - 5.00pm 
Venue: Court 8A, Federal Court of  Australia, Owen Dixon Commonwealth  Law Courts Building, 305 William St,  Melbourne 
RSVP: To register, please go to by Tuesday 20 March

Click here to download the event flyer.

Melbourne Law School Events - Uluru Statement from the Heart

On behalf of Melbourne Law School, we would like to invite you to the Uluru Statement of the Heart presented by Jill Gallagher AO, Professor Kirsty Glover, Thomas Mayor, Laureate Professor Emeritus Cheryl Saunders and Professor Adrienne Stone on Monday 9 April, from 6:30pm – 8:00pm.  

The lecture will take place in the David P Derham Theatre, Mezzanine Level, Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham Street, Carlton.

If you would like to attend this free public event, please register here. If you would like to be notified of any future events, please subscribe to our newsletter here.  


Monash University - The Susan Campbell Oration: The Transformative Nature of Clinical Legal Education

Clinical legal education has expanded across the globe. Moving through time and across borders, clinical legal education demonstrates its capacity to adapt to the needs of differing societies and legal systems and varying clients and problems within a country, to transform students, and to evolve and change its own methods and forms.

Date Monday 16 April 2018
Time 6pm – 7.30pm
Venue Monash Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne
RSVP Wednesday 11 April HERE or via email to

Click here for further information. 

La Trobe Law School lunchtime seminar

Topic: Changing the system: advocacy and alliances for open knowledge

Speaker: Dr Virginia Barbour

Location: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, room 232 (Moot Court)

Date & Time: Wednesday 18 April 2018, 12noon to 1pm

Registration and further information:

Competition Law Conference 2018

Competition Law Conference 2018

This annual one-day Conference will be held in Sydney on Saturday 5 May 2018 at the Sheraton on the Park Hotel, Sydney.

The Conference, which has been held since 1989, continues to attract about 100 registrants, including Federal Court Judges, Judges from New Zealand, regulators from Australia and New Zealand, lawyers from both Australia and New Zealand, economists and academics.

The Hon. Justice Lindsay Foster will address the conference as the Keynote Speaker on the topic: “Concerted Practices; A Contravention without a definition”

Venue: Sheraton on the Park, Sydney
Date: Saturday 5 May 2018
Time: 9.15 am to 4.30 pm (registration opens at 8.45am)
CPD Strand: Substantive Law, Practice & Procedure
CPD Points: 5 (one point per hour excluding breaks)

For further details, and to download the full programme and registration form, please follow this link or email


La Trobe Law School lunchtime seminar & Law Week event

Topic: Decoding Privacy Protection in Australia: Future Directions and Challenges

Speakers: Professor David Watts (former Victorian Privacy Commissioner) and Dr Bridget Bainbridge (privacy by design expert)

Location: La Trobe University, City Campus, 360 Collins Street, Level 2, Room 2.15, Melbourne, VIC 3000

Date & time: Wed. 16 May 2018, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm AEST

Registration and further information:

See the future of justice at the AIJA’s Forces of Change conference: May 24-26, 2018 in Brisbane

What will 2050's court system look like? Will technological advances merely create the need for new laws or do they present a threat to the rule of law? Does the legal profession still have a future?  And if so, what is it? How do "lawyerbots" actually work? And do videolink hearings represent the future of the court system or a breakdown of the division between court and prison?

These are just a few of the questions to be raised at “Forces of Change: Defining Future Justice”, the Australasian Institute of Judicial Administration’s next conference, May 24-26, at Brisbane’s Stamford Plaza Hotel.

The conference aims to conceptualise and visualise the shape of future justice and hold an in-depth conversation on the fundamental principles that underpin our concept of justice but may be challenged in a period of significant change and disruption.

The line-up of speakers contributing is an eclectic mix of judges, academics and tech-experts. It includes the Chief Justice of New Zealand, Dame Sian Elias, the High Court's Justice Michelle Gordon, Justice Helen Winkelmann from NZ’s Court of Appeal and Chief Judge Peter Kidd of the County Court. Other speakers will include  Mr Murray Bruce, formerly with IBM’s AI platform "Watson", CSIRO IP expert Mr Rajiv Cabraal, lawyerbot inventors Mr Athol Birtley and Mr Adrian Cartland, and “blockchain” expert Dr Philippa Ryan, from the University of Technology, Sydney

Beginning with a keynote talk on "the world in the year 2050", the conference will feature an opening address on the experience of the use of technology in the legal system in England and Wales, by the Right Hon Lord Thomas of Cwmgiedd, the former Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales. This will be followed by a panel discussion chaired by Radio National’s The Law Report presenter Damien Carrick.

Subsequent sessions include: a hands-on introduction to lawyerbots and AI; a look at the new laws that will be required by new technologies; and a survey of the future mental health needs of judicial officers and court staff. To close, a session on "management of change" will challenge participants to identify their own views. Are you an "early adopter"? Or a "maintain the rager"? Come along and join the conversation.

See the program and register at

Early bird discount registration available until March 30.

7th LAWASIA Family Law & Children's Rights Conference

Date: 6-8 June 2018, Vientiane, Laos 
Venue: Crowne Plaza Vientiane 
Theme: ‘Family Law: Realities, Expectations and Hope’ 
Registration: Opening in February 

Keynote Speaker: The Honourable John Pascoe AC CVO 

The conference will focus on a range of cross border family law and children’ rights issues including: 

  • trafficking of the vulnerable;
  • surrogacy and ethical challenges;
  • impact of social media on family law;
  • support for families and children in distress;
  • effective negotiations and understanding the client, the lawyer and the child;
  • technology in family law practice;
  • International family law and Conventions;
  • the protection of vulnerable members of the family;
  • estrangement and alienation and future world – family law in the next decade.

Please visit the conference website to register and for more information on travel, accommodation and the conference program:   

Melbourne Law School Events - Public Law Conference

Date: 11-13 July 2018
Venue: Melbourne Law School

From 11 to 13 July 2018, Melbourne Law School will hold the third biennial Public Law Conference, co-organised by the University of Melbourne and the University of Cambridge. The theme of the 2018 conference is ‘The Frontiers of Public Law’. The Public Law series is the pre-eminent regular forum for the discussion of public law matters in the common law world. The first two conferences in the series were held at Cambridge in 2014 and 2016. The 2018 conference will feature approximately 80 speakers, including leading judges, practitioners and scholars from across the common law world, and bring together over 300 delegates to discuss the most important issues in public law today. Keynote speakers include Lord Mance (UKSC), Hon Mr Kenneth Hayne (formerly HCA), Justice Debbie Mortimer (FCA), Sir Jack Beatson (English Court of Appeal), Justice Grant Huscroft (Ontario Court of Appeal), Justice Matthew Palmer (NZ High Court), Prof Cheryl Saunders (Melbourne), Prof David Feldman (Cambridge), Prof Anne Davies (Oxford), Prof Carol Harlow (LSE), Prof Mark Aronson (UNSW), Prof Anne Twomey (Sydney), Prof Benedict Kingsbury (NYU), and Prof Megan Davis (UNSW).

For further information and to register please visit our website:

Melbourne Law School Events - Obligations IX Conference

Date: 17-20 July 2018
Venue: Melbourne Law School

From 17-20 July 2018, Melbourne Law School will host the 9th biennial Obligations Conference in conjunction with the Faculty of Law at the University of Oxford. The biennial Obligations Conferences bring together scholars and practitioners from throughout the common law world to discuss current issues in contract law, the law of torts, equity, and unjust enrichment. The Obligations Conference is the leading international forum for discussion of these subject areas. Approximately 90 presentations will be made over the three days of the conference, including keynote presentations by Professor Andrew Burrows (Oxford), the Hon Justice James Edelman (High Court of Australia), the Hon Justice Michelle Gordon (High Court of Australia), Professor Birke Häcker (Oxford), the Hon Justice Mark Leeming (NSW Court of Appeal), Professor Matthew Harding (Melbourne), and Professor Liam Murphy (NYU).

For further information and to register please visit our website:

Careers & Opportunities
Law Council of Australia - The Tom Yuncken Young Construction Lawyer Award 2018​​

In 2018, the Victorian Construction & Infrastructure Committee of the Law Council of Australia will again award the Tom Yuncken Young Construction Lawyer Award, which was established in 2008 in memory of Allens Arthur Robinson partner and construction lawyer Tom Yuncken.

While previously a Victorian award, this is now a national award and open to all eligible Australian young construction lawyers.

Please see the attached flyer for details regarding eligibility, award criteria, award procedures, and the nomination process.

Nominations close on 28 April 2018.

Lawyer - Common Law Division, Supreme Court of Victoria
  • Melbourne CBS
  • Full time, fixed term for 24 months

A Registry Lawyer is a member of a team providing case management support to judicial officers in the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court and promotes the Court's just, efficient, timely and cost effective resolution of cases.

Working largely with proceedings in the Personal Injuries List, the Dust Diseases List and the Civil Circuit List, the Registry Lawyer manages files under the supervision of the Deputy Registrar and Senior Registry Lawyer. The Registry Lawyer is responsible for providing substantive and procedural legal analysis and high level administrative management of cases including regular contact with practitioners, litigants and judicial officers.

For further information on this position and to submit your application, please visit by 8 April 2018

Expressions of Interest sought to teach at RMIT University

Property Law Second Semester 2018 in the school of Property, Construction and Project Management, RMIT University. 

Three hour day class. Teaching day negotiable. 

Contact: Associate Dean Judith Callanan.
M: 0448 049 186

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 5th April 2018