In Brief Issue #890


New Victorian Bar CEO

Welcome to Katherine Lorenz, who started her new role as CEO of the Victorian Bar this week. Katherine comes to us with more than 16 years’ experience as a litigator at top tier law firms and in several high profile in-house roles, most recently as the Executive Director, Corporate Services and Governance and Chief Legal Officer with Monash Health. Please introduce yourself and make her feel welcome when you see her around the traps.

Bar Council election voting closes on Wednesday

Voting for the 2018/2019 Bar Council Election closes at 5pm on Wednesday 14 November 2018

As in recent years, voting is being conducted wholly online. The electronic voting portal is accessible from the Member homepage of the Victorian Bar website via your member login and password, or via this link (you must be logged in). A ‘hot desk’ is available in the Bar office to complete online voting, if required. 

The poll will be declared at 1pm on 15 November 2018, with results announced soon after.

Call for Nominations for the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards

Many of us have colleagues who make an outstanding contribution representing parties on a pro bono basis.  Please consider nominating them for the 2017/2018 Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards. 

There are four awards presented to barristers of differing years’ call and two open awards—the Public Interest Award and the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Trophy.  Details of the different award categories are available on the nomination form located on the Victorian Bar web-site.  The nomination period is open until 14 December 2018.

Annual Report

The Victorian Bar Annual Report has been published to our website.  As well as containing the Bar’s annual financial statement, the report provides an insight into the breadth of the work done by our Bar, including the Bar Council, Bar Associations and Committees. There is a full list of appointments and honours of all kinds, and details on members joining, leaving and transferring divisions.

As this is the last In Brief for the 2017/18 Bar Council term, I have reproduced here an edited extract of my report from the Annual Report, as a form of year-in-review of the life of the Victorian Bar.



It has been an honour this year to serve as President of the Victorian Bar—an independent college of specialist advocates which is proud of its heritage, but at the same time modern, accessible and committed to principles of equality and diversity. On my appointment, I stated my intention to reflect the values that make the Victorian Bar an irreplaceable part of our system of justice, and to advocate for those values as widely as possible in the interests of members and their practices.

Bar Council has throughout the year maintained a clear focus on the four core objectives of the Victorian Bar’s 2017–20 plan: to maintain and expand market share, to provide services to members to support and enhance their practices, to foster excellence and enhance the performance of Victorian barristers, and to be a strong independent and authoritative voice. All matters coming before Bar Council are assessed against the strategic plan.

We have been assisted in our work this year, in particular, by the wealth of information gathered about our members and their practices through the ‘State of the Victorian Bar’ report. The report was the most comprehensive study of the Bar ever conducted, providing detail on the changing demography of the Bar, its increasing cultural diversity, progress on equitable briefing, income levels and changing work composition and practices. This robust report is being used to guide measures that will further enhance the reputation of the Bar and the practices of its members.

In October, we released the results of the ‘Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar’ survey conducted earlier in the year with the assistance of the University of Portsmouth. The survey was the largest survey of its kind that we have ever undertaken, and the results are a treasure trove of information about the things we do well, and the areas that require greater focus in order to support our members. The ‘Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar’ report will be used to guide the development of information and resources to improve the wellbeing of members in the months and years ahead.

What follows is a mere snapshot of some of the highlights of our major activities this year.

Financial Results

The Bar has delivered a strong financial result this year, particularly in circumstances where investment has been required to implement and deliver important initiatives, including the two invaluable surveys to which I have just referred: the ‘State of the Victorian Bar’ survey and the ‘Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar’ survey. The Bar’s results include a dividend from its wholly owned subsidiary, Barristers’ Chambers Limited (BCL).

Over this financial year, CEO Sarah Fregon, together with Finance Manager, Susan Lawrence, have worked to ensure that the high standard of financial oversight and reporting to Bar Council and the Audit & Finance Committee has been maintained. They have also reviewed and updated internal systems to ensure that the controls and processes in place remain appropriate for the Bar.

The finance services previously provided to the Bar by BCL have now been brought in-house. While the previous arrangement worked well, we believe that this change will provide an improved focus on the Bar’s financial needs.

Consistent with the previous year, a CPI increase was applied to Bar subscriptions at 2.2 per cent. The Bar Council carefully considered the application of an increase before taking this step and decided that, on balance, it was appropriate to make this change to ensure the long term financial stability of our operations.

As the financial results show, the Bar’s finances are managed prudently. All subscription revenue is used to deliver the services that the Bar is required to provide and that members expect.

As our wholly-owned subsidiary, BCL’s accounts are consolidated as part of the Bar’s annual report. BCL has performed well under the strong leadership of its Chair, Paul Anastassiou QC and its CEO Paul Clark.

Governance Review

In 2016, a working group of the Bar Council, chaired by Wendy Harris QC, conducted a comprehensive review of governance at the Victorian Bar, culminating in a long list of recommendations and action items. Since then, successive Bar Councils have implemented those recommendations, resulting in dramatic improvements in the quality of the information provided to Bar Council, the operations of Bar Council itself, and the interaction between the Bar Council and the Bar Office.

Among other things, the improvements have included the adoption of a new strategic plan and Bar Council Charter, KPIs for Bar Office staff, an induction program for Bar Councillors, a complete review of all Victorian Bar policies and committees, the introduction of Committee Charters, and better resourcing in the Bar Office for policy development and requests for policy input by government and other organisations.

The Constitutional Reform working group of the Bar Council, chaired by Simon Marks QC has, as part of the governance review, led a debate within Bar Council, and then the whole of the Bar, about whether the governance of the Bar would be improved by moving from the current, annual election model to a biennial election model. It is intended that amendments to effect such a reform, and other amendments to the Constitution, will be put to a Special General Meeting of the Bar in early 2019.


Our 2018 International Commercial Law conference in September in Hong Kong was a major external engagement activity. With the theme of ‘Wise Counsel: Litigation & Arbitration in the Asia-Pacific Region’, the conference was opened by the Honourable Chief Justice Geoffrey Ma GBM, Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal and the Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau, Michaela Browning and had an outstanding list of eminent Australian and international speakers from our Bar, the judiciary and the Hong Kong Bar.

Around 130 delegates attended eight panel sessions that covered topics as diverse as the rise of international commercial courts, arbitration arising out of the Chinese Belt and Road Initiative, re-regulation of the banking and financial services industries, modern trends in case-management of commercial disputes, and the use and misuse of sensitive data. Every panel included at least one speaker from the Hong Kong Bar or broader profession.

Our successful Junior Bar Conference, held in June, also engaged a number of senior members of the broader legal profession.

Direct Briefing

The ‘State of the Victorian Bar’ survey highlighted changing work practices for barristers.

In response, the Bar Council has established a Corporate Direct Briefing Working Group, chaired by Senior Vice-President, Wendy Harris QC, which has been tasked with recommending and developing actions to educate members, corporations and in-house counsel of the advantages and opportunities for direct briefing, and developing ‘toolkits’ of resources that can be used by corporations, in-house counsel and barristers to unlock those opportunities.

The terms of reference for the working group tie directly into the purpose of the Victorian Bar as stated in the Bar’s strategic plan: ‘to ensure the Bar and its members thrive and continue to do so’, as well as to one of its key objectives, ‘to maintain and expand market share’.

The Bar also has a Direct Access Working Group, chaired by Justin Hannebery, which is reviewing current means of direct access to the criminal Bar and exploring opportunities for their expansion.


Education remains a strong focus for Bar Council.

As usual, we conducted two Bar entrance exams and two readers’ courses in 2018. Our readers’ course was established in 1981 and was the first in Australia. It is a nine-week, full time course, conducted by around 140 trainers drawn from the judiciary, the Bar and beyond, almost all of whom donate their time.

In August, more than 200 Victorian law students attended the Victorian Bar’s inaugural Open Day to learn about career opportunities as a barrister. The Open Day was oversubscribed, with law students from all major Victorian universities applying to participate.

Partnering with the City of Hume, the Victorian Bar Foundation recognised the top performers in year 11 Legal Studies from 16 schools in the Hume City Council area with the Victorian Bar Foundation Student Achievement Awards. Sixteen winners were awarded a cash prize of $1,500, and a total of 48 students have been offered a personal mentoring opportunity with members of counsel, to assist them in assessing a possible future career at the Victorian Bar.

In 2018, we also launched the Victorian Bar branch of the Law Library of Victoria in the Richard Griffith Library in Owen Dixon Chambers East. Incorporating the Victorian Bar’s library into the Law Library of Victoria furthers the Bar Council’s objectives of providing services to members to support and enhance their practices, and fostering excellence and enhancing the performance of Victorian barristers. This exciting initiative means that, for the first time, members of the Victorian Bar have access on a 24/7 basis to the very same online research tools that are available to members of the Victorian judiciary—resources that will further lower barriers to entry to those coming to the Bar and improve those available to every member. Our agreement with the Law Library of Victoria has also led to improvements to our hard copy collection, an increase in borrowing rights from the Supreme Court Library, improved research support, and the presence at advertised times of trained librarians in the Richard Griffith Library.

Diversity and inclusion

This year the Victorian Bar has made important progress in increasing diversity and inclusion.

The ‘State of the Victorian Bar’ survey findings demonstrated clearly that the Bar is increasingly culturally diverse—15 per cent of Victorian barristers were born overseas in more than 30 countries; while members speak more than 37 languages with 9 per cent speaking a language other than English at home. Strides towards true gender equality have been made, with women now comprising more than 29 per cent of Victorian barristers compared to less than six per cent in 1980. More than 40 per cent of barristers under 15 years’ call are women and more women barristers are earning higher incomes.

The Bar’s commitment to promoting diversity and inclusion in the legal profession is demonstrated in many ways. One matter upon which focus was placed this year was the Bar’s endorsement of the Law Council of Australia’s Equality and Diversity Charter and Equitable Briefing Policy. More Victorian barristers have adopted the Equitable Briefing Policy than in the rest of the nation combined, formalising their commitment to ensuring that briefing recommendations take into account the full array of talent available at the Victorian Bar. The ‘State of the Victorian Bar’ survey showed that members of the Victorian Bar recommend that women barristers, and particularly junior women barristers, be briefed in numbers significantly higher than their representation at the Bar.

The Victorian Bar has been active in implementing measures to improve gender equality since at least 1998, including via our nation-leading parental leave subsidy, which has now been in place for more than 20 years. We are leading the other Australian Bars in gender equity measures. We have real momentum that we must continue to drive.

Additional initiatives to support the retention of women at the Bar include unconscious bias awareness training, return to work programs and regular reporting on demographics and exit surveys. 

The Victorian Bar also has a range of measures designed to assist Indigenous Australians to enter and remain in the legal profession, including a Reconciliation Action Plan, Indigenous Clerkship Program, Student Mentoring Program, Student Work Experience Program, Indigenous Barristers’ Fund, Indigenous Barristers’ Development Fund and chambers subsidies for Indigenous barristers. It was a particular thrill this year to learn that one of our members, Tim Goodwin, had been named the Australian 2018 National Indigenous Legal Professional of the Year.

In July, we launched new and strengthened policies and procedures on discrimination, bullying and sexual harassment, which make it clear that this is unacceptable conduct at the Victorian Bar. Our policies are a clear statement of the Bar’s values. We have enhanced the grievance mechanisms that are available to members, including via new complaints and reporting mechanisms. A number of eminent barristers have been nominated by Bar Council as Bar Conciliators to assist in implementing the new conduct policies. The Bar Conciliators have received training from the Victorian Human Rights and Equal Opportunity Commission.

In October, around 150 members of the legal profession gathered in the Neil McPhee room to launch the Bar’s LGBTI Working Group’s online support resource, which has been designed to assist lawyers in tackling discrimination that may be faced by lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual and intersex persons in the workplace. The resource is part of the Victorian Bar’s commitment to ensuring that the Bar is a centre of legal excellence where the best and brightest are welcome and can thrive, whatever their background or circumstances. It provides all members of the profession with practical examples, information and strategies to support their practices and colleagues.

This year the Victorian Bar also established a cultural and linguistic diversity working group, to assist the Bar Council in understanding the challenges faced by barristers from culturally diverse backgrounds, and to develop resources for all members of the Victorian Bar.

In May, I was honoured to speak at the Muslim Legal Network’s annual Iftar (breaking of the fast) dinner, the first time that a Victorian Bar President has done so.

All of these activities reflect the view that the Bar should reflect the community that it exists to serve and be a welcoming workplace for the best and brightest legal talent, regardless of background.

Finally, the ‘Changing Face of the Bar’ exhibition, opened in September, showcased 700 photographs that tell the rich story of the dynamic and diverse modern Victorian Bar. Opened by renowned photographer, Bill Henson, the photo exhibition by Garth Oriander at the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery contrasted today’s Bar with the Victorian Bar of the 1930s and 1980s. More than 700 currently practising barristers were photographed, in everything from surf life-saving gear and sporting lycra to formal robes. This exhibition was a graphic testament to our collegiality, diversity and humanity, uniting our most senior and revered members, Chairmen and Presidents past and present, and our newest advocates.

Health and Wellbeing

The Victorian Bar has always supported the health and wellbeing of its members through a range of formal and informal measures, and has been a national leader in understanding the stressors that affect members of the profession. This year we launched an online survey to build on our understanding of the prevalence of wellbeing issues at the Bar and the contexts in which they occur. The findings of the ‘Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar’ survey, conducted with the assistance of the University of Portsmouth, will be used to build on support programs for members.

Headline results were favourable and encouraging, including that 73% of respondents were satisfied with their overall quality of working life and 79% felt that overall, taking everything into consideration, they felt satisfied with their jobs. Less positively, far too many of us experience stress at work and do not get the sleep we need every night.

In addition to survey questions related to job satisfaction and personal wellbeing, data was also captured on discrimination (gender, race, disability and other forms), bullying and harassment encountered by barristers. While in most respects the results are below benchmarks in the legal profession and the broader community, some of the findings are concerning. However, we carried out the survey, in part, to better understand issues and develop strategies to address them, and that is exactly what we are doing, through our support services, training and working groups.

Among other matters, the results have already led to the development of an Australian-first Judicial Conduct Policy. The policy outlines the standards of judicial conduct that members are entitled to expect, sets out available (and improved) grievance and reporting mechanisms, and introduces the Bar’s first Judicial Conduct Advisers—eminent members of the Bar who are available as a support and to give advice in relation to judicial conduct experienced or witnessed by members. A protocol for raising and resolving complaints of inappropriate judicial conduct has been developed jointly by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, the Hon Anne Ferguson and the Bar. It is hoped that that protocol will be adopted by all courts and tribunals in Victoria, building on informal mechanisms that have long been in place, but not well enough understood. It is a fine example of collaboration between the Bench and the Bar on a matter where our interests—and values—entirely coincide.

Access to justice and pro bono work

We are proud of the pro bono work done by members of the Bar. Such work is seen by most barristers as a way of putting back into the community. It is difficult to measure the value of the contribution that our members make by way of pro bono service, but we can confidently predict that it is worth the equivalent of many millions of dollars per year. We know from the ‘State of the Victorian Bar’ report that 44 per cent of members undertook more than 20 hours of pro bono work in a 6-month period in 2017. These contributions are too often unheralded, and yet can make the most profound difference to the lives of those who are assisted.

Our pro bono duty barrister schemes with Victoria’s courts and tribunals have been comprehensively reviewed this year, with the objective of consolidating and streamlining our disparate programs and relaunching a more effective and efficient system, managed via a new online portal. Working with the County Court, in October we launched a new pilot scheme for pro bono referrals. While work is ongoing, the result will be an improved experience for barristers undertaking pro bono work, leading in turn to better outcomes for both courts and clients.

Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association

The Victorian Bar is a constituent member of the two national representative bodies of the legal profession, the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association. We have been active in both organisations this year. Justin Hannebery has served as the Bar’s director of the LCA under the presidency of Morry Bailes, while Jennifer Batrouney QC and I have served as directors of the ABA under the presidency of Noel Hutley SC. I have particularly benefited from my role as a director of the ABA this year, getting to know and working with my counterparts at each of the other Australian independent Bars on matters that affect our branch of the profession.

In closing

One of the most rewarding aspects of being President is working together with others, pretty much every day, on projects to improve the standing of the Bar and opportunities for and the welfare of our members. All positions on Bar Council, its committees and working groups are voluntary, but such is the spirit of collegiality at the Bar that we are never short of members willing to lend their skills, experience and valuable time and for this I am extremely grateful.

It has been a privilege to serve as President of the Victorian Bar. We are a centre of excellence for legal talent, attracting people who see the law not just as a means of making a living, but as a way of shaping a better society. By adhering to the core values that have always defined the Victorian Bar—particularly independence, excellence and leadership—and by strong and authoritative advocacy of those values in the profession and the community, we can be optimistic that our Bar will continue to thrive in a rapidly changing world.

Vicbar News & Events
Candidates for the 2018/2019 Bar Council

Nominations for the 2018/2019 Bar Council closed at 5pm on Monday 15 October 2018. Fifty-one members of the Bar nominated including 24 in Category A (Queen’s Counsel, Senior Counsel or junior counsel who are of not less than 15 years’ standing), 13 in Category B (junior counsel who are of not less than 6 years’ standing and not of 15 or more years’ standing and 14 in Category C (junior counsel who are of less than 6 years’ standing). 

A list of the candidates is available by clicking here (you must be logged in to the VicBar website to view the list of candidates).

The electronic voting portal will be accessible from the Member Homepage of our website. Voting will open on Monday 29 October 2018 at 9:00am. 

“The Changing Face of the Bar” - Purchase your prints

Just a reminder for all of those who participated in “The Changing Face of the Bar”, you can go online and view 

Some of the photographs taken and purchase digital or print options.

Please go to with the code that with the code that was emailed to you.

If you need your code to register please email Garth at or

Cultural & Linguistic Diversity Working Group

The Cultural & Linguistic Working Group is working to inform members of the Bar about the breadth of diversity at the Bar.  To do that the group is calling for members to contribute short vignettes which capture their experience as a member of the Bar from a culturally and linguistically diverse background.  The Working Group wishes to hear how members have felt challenged or excluded by reason of their background so that we can all begin to contemplate what it means to belong to the Bar.  Others may also wish to contribute stories that highlight their acceptance or appreciation of their background at the Bar.

Set out below is a suggested format for submissions of your vignette:



How it made me feel:  

You can forward your story, anonymously if you wish to

Victorian Bar Member CPD Events
DWMA – VicBar Barrister Shadowing Program

The Diverse Women's Mentoring Association (DWMA) promotes diversity of women in professional services.  DWMA and the Victorian Bar are pleased to be able to provide the opportunity for DWMA law students to shadow barristers for 5 days or more over a 1 - 2 week period in November - December 2018.

​DWMA students who will participate in the program are university students studying undergraduate or postgraduate law at Victorian universities (including Monash, Melbourne, Deakin and Latrobe) with dual qualifications in arts, commerce, science and biomedicine. These students have demonstrated an interest in practising law, court procedure, advocacy and would benefit immensely from being guided and mentored by Victorian barristers. DWMA students are women who identify as being from a culturally diverse background, including an indigenous, migrant or refugee background.

The program commences on 19 November and runs until the close of the legal year, with a minimum of 5 days' availability required to participate.  You may have a student with you in court and/or completing research tasks in that time.  If you can provide 5 or more non-consecutive days of shadowing, please chose an approximate date range.  Once matched, you can organise mutually convenient days of attendance with your student.

If you would like to have a DWMA student shadow you, please see the terms & conditions here and complete the registration form here.

For more information about DWMA, go to the website:

​For more information regarding the shadowing program, please contact, Rachel Chrapot, General Manager, Member Services

Pleadings Workshop

Click here to register. Places are strictly limited.

All commercial barristers need to be able to produce clear, coherent and well-structured pleadings. This interactive workshop will assist participants to develop efficient strategies for planning, preparing and reviewing commercial pleadings, having regard to good drafting practice and procedural requirements, as well as forensic and strategic considerations. This workshop is ideally suited to junior barristers who wish to hone their drafting skills with a view to mastering the art of effective and elegant pleading. Participants will draft a statement of claim based on a case study prior to the workshop.


Introductory Session:  Friday 16 November, 1.00-2.00pm  (Materials provided)

Practical Exercise Due:  Tuesday 4 December 2018

Workshop:  Saturday 15 December, 9.00am-1.00pm


Michael Borsky QC, Claire Harris QC, Justin Graham, Emma Murphy


Friday, November 16, 2018 - 13:00 to Saturday, December 15, 2018 - 13:00


Neil McPhee Room, Level 1 Owen Dixon Chambers East

205 William Street

Melbourne VIC 3000

6 CPD point(s):

Ethics & Professional Responsibility; Barristers Skills;



ABA Advocacy Intensive - apply by 19 November

The ABA are holding an advocacy intensive in Melbourne in January, see brochure attached. They are offering one fee-free place to an Indigenous barrister. The time frame is very short, application has to be made by 19 November, a decision will then be made by the ABA as to who will be offered the place. It is a single place only open to Indigenous barristers in all Australian jurisdictions.

Click here for the brochure and registration form. 

Student Engagement Committee - Seeking support for VicBar SEC student shadowing program 3-7 Dec 18


Following successful VicBar Student Open Day held earlier this year the numbers of students requesting shadowing/work experience opportunities with barristers continues to grow.

Anecdotal feedback indicates that some barristers who would otherwise be happy to support us are hesitant to take students due to (1) the vagaries of practice at the Bar, and (2) concerns about their obligations under formal secondary school work experience arrangements.

Details of the program

In response the SEC has developed a pilot program during 3-7 Dec 18 that:

  1. is seeking barristers willing to take a secondary or tertiary student for a few days between 4-7 Dec (each student would spend one day with each barrister so the student would experience a variety of practice areas).
  2. has a dedicated SEC coordinator who will manage student/barrister allocations and, more importantly, step in if anyone’s matters fall through and they don’t have anything to keep their student occupied.
  3. commences on Monday 3 Dec with a central presentation by the SEC on life at the Bar, professional courtesies that need to be observed by students when working with Barristers, and an orientation to the legal precinct and Courts. Individual shadowing will occur Tues-Fri.

Can anyone interested please email with the information below:

Main area of practice / anticipated work in the week 3-7 Dec (if known)

  1. Any day that they cannot take a student (noting Monday is an orientation day run by the SEC)
  2. Any preference for a secondary or tertiary student (some work types may not be suitable for under 18s) - I am also conscious that WBA members may like to particularly support female students.

Please note: it doesn’t matter if the likely work is chambers-based. We are looking to showcase all aspects of barrister work not just court appearances. At this stage we have about 25 students so we are looking for about 30-40 barristers to share the load, so everyone takes a student for approximately 2 days in the week.

For more information or if you have any questions, please contact Gerard.

Vicbar Life
Formed on the Plains - Studio 11 Art Exhibition

Image: Fires in the Sky by Harley Manifold - Oil on Canvas 2018, 86 x 122 cm


Date: 8 October - 21 December 

The exhibition comprises a series of works by local artists, Dridan, McEachern and Manifold including sculpture. 

It’s a must see exhibition, particularly if you are someone connected to the Victorian plains, someone who enjoys art or someone who is just curious to see and experience a wonderful exhibition. Stay as long as you like. 

As always, the work is for sale, commission free, direct from the artists. Catalogue sheets and biographies are located on level 11 ODC East. The initiative is run on a voluntary basis. 

Click here to download the exhibition flyer. 




Twilight Songs under the Dome 2018

BottledSnail Productions is pleased to announce our final Library concert for the year - our special “Twilight Songs under the Dome” which will be held in the Law Library on Wednesday 14 November at 6pm (doors open 5.45pm).

We have an amazing line-up for this year’s concert, which is as follows: 

Isabel Hertaeg - internationally esteemed cabaret artist fresh from the Australian tour of "Death by Soprano"
Quintessence - acclaimed string quintet performing regularly at events, including opening for the Flinders Quartet as part of their 2017 concert series
John Tesarsch - cellist, barrister and author, winner of the 1987 Apex Australia/Robert Stolz music award
Jonathan Xian - pianist and winner of Series 4 of 3MBS’s 2017 live performance series, ‘The Talent’
Cleo Lee-McGowan - soprano, recipient of the Joseph Sambrook Opera Scholarship and winner of multiple awards (including Audience Prize) in the IFAC Handa Australian Singing Competition 2018.

Ticets for this special event are only $20 and all profits will go to the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. For enquiries please contact

Numbers are limited so book early! Tickets available at: 

The Essoign Members November Wine Offer

The Essoign Members November wine offer.

Don’t miss out on these exquisite boutique wines on offer now! Click here to view flyer. 

These prices will not be repeated.

Download order form or email

Cheers from the Essoign team.

Irvine Wines - 15% off

Irvine Wines are offering VicBar members 15% off site-wide. Visit and enter the code vicbarhk at checkout to redeem.

Click here to download the promo flyer. 

Member Benefits Australia - November exclusive member offers

Don't miss out on these exclusive member deals for November with some great offers for the holiday season.

Practice & Profession News
High Court Amendment (Constitutional Writs and Other Matters) Rules 2018

These Rules were registered on the Federal Register of Legislative Instruments on 17 October 2018 and commence on 1 November 2018. 

Click here to download the Amendment.

Click here to download the Explanatory Statement.

Report released on offender-paid compensation in Victoria

The Sentencing Advisory Council has released a report examining whether restitution and compensation orders should become sentencing orders, and other ways to improve offender-paid compensation in Victoria

The report follows a request for advice from the Attorney-General, arising from a recommendation of the Victorian Law Reform Commission.

After identifying insurmountable problems, including serious risks to equality before the law, the Council recommends that restitution and compensation orders should remain orders made in addition to an offender’s sentence, and does not recommend that they become sentencing orders.

The Council has instead recommended a strengthened ‘hybrid’ model for victims’ compensation that incorporates elements of both criminal and civil law.

The Council also recommends a range of reforms to improve the system for victims’ financial reparation, including:
• improving the consistency and timeliness of information provided to victims on their compensation options
• measures to ensure consistent use of powers to restrain offenders’ assets, so that the assets can be used to pay restitution or compensation
• waiving fees (where possible) to assist victims of crime to enforce their orders independently
• consideration of state enforcement of orders for restitution and compensation through civil mechanisms
• consideration of the establishment of a specialist legal service for victims of crime.

Restitution and Compensation Orders: Report is available from the following link:

Victorian Law Foundation: 2018/2019 General Grants Announced

Victoria Law Foundation is pleased to announce the recipients of this year's General Grants. The successful projects clearly help people identify and address their legal problems and aim to improve Victorians access to justice.

It was very difficult to choose from a raft of outstanding applications and we appreciate the effort in all of them.

Congratulations to the successful applicants! We wish them well in the delivery of their programs and look forward to hearing about the results.

Women's infringements and fines clinic

The Law and Advocacy Centre for Women – to run a clinic to help women navigate the requirements to have fines waived on grounds of special circumstances and family violence.

International student legal information project – Phase 2

Building on an existing project providing legal information to international students, Inner Melbourne Community Legal will produce a range of new resources to add to their suite.

Spotting civil legal issues: deadly videos and handbook

Victorian Aboriginal Legal Service will produce a series of videos and a handbook to help Aboriginal people identify common civil legal issues, with information on how to contact the legal service for advice.

Building health justice for young people in the Central Highlands

Youthlaw is funded to extend their program which supports community workers in health services to better identify legal issues and refer young people to appropriate legal help.

Family Violence Project – Migrant and Refugee Communities

Refugee Legal will improve access to migration advice and legal assistance for women on visas experiencing family violence. Activities including the development of videos and community legal education aim to increase community awareness and referrals to the legal service.


Our grants are changing in 2019/20

A new structure for our grants program will be introduced in 2019/20 reflecting our focus on civil law and research. More information will be communicated soon.

Please contact Melanie Rygl, Grants Manager on (03) 9604 8100 or email if you have any questions.

Profession CPD & Events
rise2018 - 2018 ABA & NSWBA National Conference

The Australian Bar Association and the NSW Bar Association are looking forward to co-hosting the 2018 National Conference on 15 - 17 November in Sydney. 

The preeminent legal conference of 2018 – rise2018 relevant/resilient/respected is a prestigious two-day conference that boasts an impressive speaker line-up which will highlight and profile the excellence of the Australian legal profession.

For all the details and to register please visit

Technological Innovation in Corporate Financing: Regulatory Challenges for the Fintech Era

Date: Monday 12 November 2018
Venue: Monash Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

The Centre for Commercial Law and Regulatory Studies (CLARS) at Monash University Faculty of Law is hosting a symposium - Technological Innovation in Corporate Financing: Regulatory Challenges for the Fintech Era – at 9AM on Monday 12 November 2018 at Monash Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne. 

Click here to download the event flyer. 

La Trobe Law School Seminar - From Dole Bludger to Mutual Obligation: Activation with an Antipodean Accent

Date: Wednesday 14 November 2018, 12noon-1pm
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, room SS232 (Moot Court)
Speaker: Anthony O'Donnell

Registration and further details: 

Arbitration in Sport

Date: 14 November 2018
Venue: Madgwicks Lawyers, Level 6/140 William Street, Melbourne, Victoria 3000

Join the Victorian arbitration and determinative Special Interest Group for this event, where a panel will discuss:

  • Issues about appointment of arbitrators, independence, natural justice, and access to the courts
  • Whether sports arbitration should fit within the Domestic and International Arbitration Acts
  • The proposed National Sports Tribunal, and overseas experience
  • Should each sport control its members destiny?
  • What really happens in practice?
  • A growth area of practice in sport.

This event will contribute 1 CPD point under the relevant Resolution Institute accreditation and grading schemes.

Click here for more information and registration.

End of Year Celebration

Date: Thursday 15 November 2018, 5:30-7:30pm
Venue: Ms Collins (The Ballroom), 425 Collins Street, Melbourne CBD 

The Victorian Committee invites you to join them for the ALA's End of Year Celebration. Together, let's reflect on what we have learned and celebrate all we have achieved.

With exclusive use of The Ballroom at Ms Collins, you will be greeted with the ALA special Appletini and toast to the new year. Enjoy a gourmet selection of canapés and drinks, on us!

Attendance is FREE for members but online registration is essential. Non-members are welcome to join the celebration for small fee of $45.

What better way to send off the year? Register now to avoid missing out as places are limited.

Click here for more information and registration. 

Ethics Lunch & Learn Seminar : The 3 Cs of ethics – confidentiality, conflict, and duty to the court

Date: Wednesday 21 November 2018, 12:30-1:30pm
Venue: College of Law Victoria, Level 10, 459 Little Collins Street, Melbourne

This one hour lunch and learn seminar will enhance your understanding of a lawyer’s professional conduct obligations and give practical tips on how to deal with the common ethical dilemmas faced by members of the legal profession.

Click here for more information and registration. 

La Trobe Law School/International Legal Studies Research Group Seminar

Topic: Deportation of Rohingya People & the International Criminal Court's Jurisdiction over Myanmar
Presenter: Professor Ridwanul Hoque
Date/Time: Monday 26 November 2018, 1-2pm
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Sciences Building, Level 2, Room SS232 (Moot Court)

Registration and further information:

Upcoming Family Law conferences

Havana Cuba

There will be a family law conference held in Havana Cuba from 7 to 12 April 2019. The conference will take place at the Grand Hotel Kempinski, it will include  papers from various barristers, solicitors and others who deal with family law. There will be time to see the city and partake in cultural activities”

Click here to download the conference flyer.  

Arctic Conference

 Following on from our successful conference in Antarctica in January 2017 there will be a further family Law conference in the Arctic in July 2020. There will be time on board the new ship, the Greg Mortimer, to hold a conference and also partake in the activities on and off the ship.”

Click here to download the conference flyer.  

Bali Conference

The 9th annual Family Law conference in Bali is to be held from 8th to 11th  June at the Oberoi Hotel. This conference will include a session on negotiation which may be of interest to those who do not practice in family law, and attendees at this conference will be from the Northern Territory, New South Wales and Victoria.

Click here to download the conference flyer.  

Jam Boutique Conferences: Family Law Conference - 9 -12 June 2019

Join us in sunny Malta for a 3 day conference – registration fee includes:

  • Registration and Welcome evening
  • 3 night’s accommodation at the Palace Hotel, Sliema Malta (5 star)
  • Daily breakfast, morning tea & lunch
  • 8 professional development sessions
  • Australian and Maltese presenters

Flights not included (but lots of early bird specials about for 2019)

Registration fee

$2,000 conference attendee

$350 non-attendee (sharing room with attendee)


Email one of us and we will issue you with tax invoice $500 (per conference attendee) non-refundable deposit is payable with your book and the final payment due 1 April 2019.   

Marlene Ebejer: 0411 772 064

John Spender: 0409 147 646

Angela de Mel: 0411 611 171               

La Trobe Law School Seminar - The New Punitivism

Topic: The New Punitivism
Panel: The Honourable Michael Kirby AC CMG, Professor Patrick Keyzer, Professor Kris Gledhill
Date/Time: Tuesday 13 November 2018, 2-4pm
Venue: La Trobe University, Bundoora Campus, Social Science Building, Level 2, room SS232 (Moot Court)
Registration and further details:

Seminar: Family Law and Arbitration - CIArb Australia, the Family Court of Australia & the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

CIArb Australia:  Family Law and Arbitration

You are invited to attend a twilight seminar on Family Law and Arbitration, an initiative of the CIArb Australia, the Family Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, which will be held in Melbourne on Tuesday, 13 November 2018.

Addressed by distinguished speakers, the topics of the seminar will focus on the process of arbitration and its particular application in the family law context.  This will be followed by a Q & A session. Drinks and canapés will be served at the conclusion of proceedings. Although the event is free of charge, registration is essential.

Introduction by:

  • The Hon Justice William Alstergren, Acting Chief Justice of the Family Court of Australia and Chief Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia

The panel of speakers is:

  • Judge Caroline Kirton, Judge of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia
  • Martin Bartfeld QC, Barrister and Arbitrator, Victorian Bar

The session will be chaired by Dr Vicky Priskich, National Councillor CIArb Australia and Victorian Convenor.

Date:   Tuesday, 13 November 2018

Time:   5.15 pm – 6.15 pm (with networking drinks until 7.15pm) 

Venue: Federal Circuit Court of Australia
            Court 4A, Commonwealth Law Courts Building
            305 William Street
            Melbourne VIC 3000

RSVP:   By no later than Friday, 9 November 2018

For further details and how to register, please click here

Victorian Golfing Lawyers Society Event - 12 November

The Victorian Golfing Lawyers Society advises that registrations have opened for our next event at Yarra Yarra Golf Club on Monday, 12 November 2018. This will be a 4BBB Stableford format, with a shotgun start at 1pm. There will be sandwiches on arrival in the clubhouse. Cost: $120.00. If you would like to attend please contact the Honorary Secretary Caroline Paterson – Players of all abilities are welcome and encouraged to attend. 


Class Actions Networking event

Maurice Blackburn, in conjunction with Women Barristers Association, is holding an exciting class actions networking event on Thursday 22 November at Maurice Blackburn. Featuring a panel including Rachel Doyle SC and Melanie Szydzik, this event will include a discussion of issues involved in class actions work, as well as an opportunity for women barristers to network with solicitors practising in the field. The event will be from 6-7.30pm (register from 5.30pm) and refreshments are provided. Click here to view flyer.

RSVP to Bianca Parry at by Thursday 15 November.

MLS Events - Upcoming Conferences

International Legal Ethics Conference 2018

Legal Ethics in the Asian Century

Date: 6 – 8 December 2018
Venue: Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton

The eighth biennial ILEC takes place at a fascinating time in the evolution of legal ethics, as the disruptive innovation of legal services creates ongoing challenges and perhaps opportunities for ethics and professional regulation, both locally and trans-nationally. The continuing growth of Asia’s influence as an economic force, which has instigated the discourse of the ‘Asian Century’, arguably signals profound cultural, economic and legal transformations globally, and adds a further and so far under-developed, dimension to debates regarding the future(s) of legal ethics.



Global Legal Skills Conference

Date: 10 - 12 December 2018
Venue: Melbourne Law School, 185 Pelham St, Carlton

The 2018 Global Legal Skills Conference (GLS-13) will provide an opportunity to share the best practices of international legal skills education.

Your experience will allow you to learn and share cutting-edge information on global legal education and to meet experts and new friends expected from Australia, Canada, Italy, Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Qatar, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, the United Kingdom, the United States, and other countries.

This event is co-hosted by Melbourne Law School, and the John Marshall Law School, Chicago (Illinois, USA)



2019 National Wellness for Law forum

Making Wellness Core Business

Presented by Melbourne Law School and Faculty of Law, Monash University

Date: 14 – 15 February 2019
Venue: Day 1 - Melbourne Law School, Day 2 - Faculty of Law, Monash University, Monash University Law Chambers, 555 Lonsdale Street, Melbourne

The Wellness for Law Forum 2019 is being jointly hosted by Melbourne Law School and Monash University, Faculty of Law. This is the ninth annual gathering of the national Wellness Network for Law and its supporters, from academia and the profession. The Forums provide the opportunity for scholarship and good practice to be shared in a collegiate and supportive environment. Click here to view flyer.


Australian Disputes Centre - Summer Mediation Training

Join the Australian Disputes Centre’s Mediation Training in January. Delivered by Australia’s leading mediation training faculty, ADC’s program has over 3 decades successfully helped lawyers integrate mediation into their professional work. For current mediators, ADC’s program includes two professional development days.

Starting on 22 Jan 2019

Mediation Training – 5 days

Refresher Training – 1 day, choose between 29 or 30 Nov 2019

Accreditation Day – 31 Jan 2019


LexisNexis Subscribers - Mind Mapping Training Session

Dear LexisNexis Subscribers,

Here is your opportunity to pick up some tips and tricks with fine tuning your Legal Data mining skills . We have our final LexisNexis Mind Mapping Session on Wednesday next week.

VenueNeil McPhee Room,

                Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East,

               205 William Street, Melbourne, Vic 3000

Date and Time :  14th Nov 2018 @ 12.00 PM or 1.00 PM.

For the past three years LexisNexis has been developing the Mind Mapping concept in effective research strategies. The objective is to enable you to understand how Mind Mapping will empower you to become more efficient when researching online. This will occur by structuring your research to reduce time spent and in mitigating your risk. You are the Experts in Law, we are the Experts in Research and working together we can achieve an Expert Result.

For us Mind Mapping is like a collection of thought bubbles with a central task objective where you map out the key challenges and then the solution to those challenges. We are overlaying Mind Mapping on top of research to enable you to conduct research in a more systematic, effective and time efficient manner.

We would like to invite you to attend this session and qualify for 1 CPD Point. Any barrister who cannot attend, can make arrangements for face to face training at an alternative time.

If you have any queries regarding Lexis Advance, please direct your enquiries to Bruce Shearer, Senior Consultant at LexisNexis on +61 3 8669 3219 or or to myself.

We look forward to meeting with you.

Careers & Opportunities
6 Day November Course – Last Chance to Become a Nationally Accredited Mediator in 2018

Registrations are now open for our November 6 day National Mediator Accreditation program scheduled in Melbourne. The program gives participants the opportunity to learn Conflict Transformation skills and receive their mediator training assessment as required by the National Mediator Accreditation System and upon successful assessment apply to become a Nationally Accredited Mediator.

Click on the below link for more information and to register.

National Mediator Accreditation Course
November 19, 20, 21 & 26, 27, 28

Visit our website for more information or join our mailing list to keep informed on courses that are coming up.

2019 John Koowarta Reconciliation Law Scholarship

The Koowarta Scholarship was established in 1994, with the aim of promoting the study and practice of the law by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples, and, commemorates John Koowarta as a member of the Winychanam community and a traditional owner of the Archer River region on the Cape York Peninsula in Queensland. John Koowarta is widely regarded as being at the forefront of Aboriginal land rights in Australia during the late 1970s and early 1980s. He is today revered as one of the most important figures in the progression of Native Title rights for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples.

The Koowarta Scholarship is available to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander students enrolled in an Australian tertiary institution undertaking an approved course of study provided that may lead to admission as a legal practitioner in any Australian jurisdiction.

Click here to apply and view the Eligibility Criteria. 

Closing date for applications is 30 November 2018.

The Justice and Society Symposium

Date: 29 – 30 November
Venue: Cranlana House, Toorak
Cost: $3814 

Is Justice Possible?

Members of the Victorian Bar are warmly invited to attend this exclusive symposium to explore the conceptions of justice underpinning our society.

Open to up to 20 leading minds in the Justice Sector, participants will engage in moderated discussion looking at the pragmatic, aspirational, and actual aims of Justice in the social fabric. The clarification of the role of justice in society helps inform our role as practitioners of the Law – and sharpens our ethical and moral judgement of the decisions we must make in our position each day.

Over the course of the two days, we will discuss questions such as: Do we believe the rule of law to be good because it is just or is it just because we think it is good? To what degree is our understanding of justice determined by the laws under which we live? Are there certain universal requirements that any just law must full? Is it possible to have a just society without a base of guaranteed moral rights? If not, what are those guaranteed moral rights?

Visit or contact us on 03 9827 2660 to find out more.

Personal Assistant for the Honourable GT Pagone QC

Click here for role description.

Sentencing Advisory Council - We're Hiring

Legal Policy and Community Engagement

The Manager, Legal Policy and Community Engagement will lead a team of policy and engagement officers that will contribute to strategic and business planning for the Council and its Secretariat. They will be the Council's foremost expert on sentencing. Your responsibilities will include:
- contributing to strategic and business planning for the Council and Secretariat:
- developing and managing high profile and complex projects for the Council, including legal policy, research and stakeholder engagement projects
- managing consultations with Government and non-Government agencies on complex sentencing matters…

Applications close 14 November. For details, contact CEO Cynthia Marwood on 03 9908 8710 or]

Senior Legal Policy Officer

The Senior Legal Policy Officer will develop and manage legal policy and research projects, undertake research into complex sentencing issues and write briefings for Council members and the Attorney-General. You will consult as directed with a wide range of internal and external stakeholders and provide support and assistance as required to the legal policy team on group projects…

Applications close 14 November. For details, contact CEO Cynthia Marwood on 03 9908 8710 or]

External Junior Counsel Panel 2018 - 2020

The CDPP invites junior counsel to apply to be appointed to the External Junior Counsel Panel for up to two years: 2018-2020.

The application process is an opportunity for new counsel to join an existing four year Panel that was established in 2016 and will be in place until 2020.

The Panel approach allows the CDPP to boost the number of junior counsel briefed, improve gender equity in our briefing practices and create a quick and easy application process for counsel seeking to be briefed. Further, by having a Panel which is reviewed every four years, the CDPP can ensure that the advocates it briefs have up-to-date and relevant experience to undertake prosecution work for the CDPP.

Please find attached factsheet here.

Applications will open on 12 November 2018 and close on 9 December 2018, and must be submitted via our website—

Counsel currently on the Panel need not apply, however they may take this opportunity to update their details and work experience via our website —

For further information, please email

InBrief Submissions - please email to: 
Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 15th November 2018