In Brief Issue #951

Katherine Lorenz

New tools to grow your practice

Technology has come a long way in the law.  I was reminded of this when I read an article from Bar News in 2000 in which the Millennial-year Chairman of the Bar addressed “those of you who use the internet …” and encouraged our members to take up a broadband offer: “the effect is that e-mail comes to you, rather than you dialling in to your Internet Service Provider to collect it”.

As we continue our work on engaging with law firms and in-house counsel to demonstrate the value of briefing early and often, one of the key messages we receive in return is that the days of briefs being hand-delivered in folders tied up with pink ribbon are coming to an end.  The legal world has become tech savvy and our members need to keep pace.

At a CPD last week, Juliet Forsyth SC outlined some surprising benefits to your practice, lifestyle and wellbeing of moving to a paperless practice, from having more thinking time in court (while everyone else is hunting through their folders) to being more persuasive in court (because they are listening to you and following your cross-examination rather than flicking through documents) to not having to lug around heavy bags. 

Her jargon-free presentation outlined different types of e-briefs and demonstrated how to stitch documents together to create an e-court book, as well as a discussion on hardware, software and apps, an easy way to manage passwords, data security and file sharing as well as really practical tips for court. She even demonstrated that you don’t have to abandon hand-writing your annotations or your ‘cheat sheet’ of notes.

As Juliet puts it, transitioning to e-briefs is popular with solicitors, and it’s achievable even for a generation that wasn’t born with an iPhone in their hands.

It’s a great investment in yourself and your career at the Bar. If you missed the session, a link is available in the CPD Catalogue.


Preparing for the future – and the end of the CPD year

Speaking of which, don’t forget the CPD year ends on Sunday 31 March 2020. You are required to have completed at least ten CPD points including one point in each of the fields of ‘Barrister Skills’, ‘Substantive Law’, ‘Practice Management and Professional Skills’ and ‘Ethics and Professional Responsibility’.

Whether you need the points or not, there are fascinating CPDs to attend during February and March.  These include sessions on advocacy skills, judicial bullying, criminal migration law, grounds for appeal, branding rights and the annual Ethics Committee update to name a few. Log in to the VicBar member site to view the Upcoming CPDs page.  And if you can’t make it in person, there is also an extensive list of recordings available in the CPD Catalogue.


International Women’s Day celebrations

International Women’s Day is on Sunday 8 March this year. It’s a day for all people to celebrate women’s achievements in all spheres of life and to reflect on the progress that still needs to be made towards equality.

There are a number of celebrations this year to mark International Women’s Day. On 4 March, Victorian Women Lawyers and the Women Barristers Association are co-hosting the Dame Roma Mitchell Memorial Lunch. This year’s guest speaker is Antoinette Braybrook, CEO of Djirra (formerly the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service). See the notices for more information and to book your ticket (bookings close today). 

In addition, the Women Barristers Association is partnering with Slater & Gordon to host Class Actions 2020 at the Arts Centre on 11 March.  Slater & Gordon is collating a booklet of women barristers who work in this field. If you’re interested, there’s more information in the notice below.

Our President Wendy Harris QC will speak at a breakfast seminar for Melbourne Uni law on Thursday 5 March, 7-8.30am at the RACV Club to mark International Women’s Day. She’ll explore the topic of ethical governance, including how to respond to challenging ethical issues and how to create environments of trust, respect and ethical behaviour—pressing issues of interest and importance to everyone, not only women. Melbourne Law School alumni will have received an invitation by email, but the event is now sold out. There is now a waitlist, which you can request to be added by contacting

Vicbar News & Events
CPD - Spin-offs Can Get Sticky

KRAFT, Heinz, Mondelez, Bega and the yellow peanut butter lid.

​This CPD will explore what happened when Australian food company Bega went up against American food giant KRAFT in a lengthy battle over who owned the yellow peanut butter get-up.

In brief, it began when Bega purchased a business from some of the Mondelez companies (which had been part of KRAFT before the 2012 spin-off) and, under the deal, acquired the peanut butter business, various assets and goodwill. Things got sticky when a dispute arose as to whether Bega had the right to continue to use the yellow get-up, or whether those unregistered trademark rights had been transferred to the spun-off KRAFT companies.

Chaired by IP specialist barrister Melissa Marcus, our panel includes Craig Smith and Ian Horak, two of the counsel who acted for KRAFT and Bega, and an in-house counsel from a Fast Moving Consumer Goods company. They will discuss some of the issues that arose in that case, as well as other intellectual property issues that can arise when businesses are sold or bought.

This CPD is presented in conjunction with the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC) and will be followed by drinks with our panel, members of ACC, and counsel. Please feel free to extend the invitation to your corporate clients.

Please contact if you have any inquiries regarding this session. 

Speaker(s): Melissa Marcus (Chair), Ian Horak, Craig Smith
When: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 - 17:15 to 19:00
Where: Neil McPhee Room, Level 1 Owen Dixon Chambers East
1 CPD point(s): Substantive Law
Criminal Bar CPD Conference

The inaugural Criminal Bar Association CPD conference will be held in Lorne on 20-22 March 2020. Sessions will cover The Eastman Trial, Prasad & the Close of the Crown case, Miscarriages of justice, Challenges to forensic science, Ethics in criminal practice, Mental health and sentencing, Standard sentencing and vicarious trauma in practice. Further details and Registration available here.

BCL Barrister feedback survey

Your feedback is important to help us understand where to continue to invest and understand opportunities for improvement.
In 2019 we asked you questions that provided valuable insights and led various initiatives and continual improvements throughout the last 12 months:

  • Responsiveness to some 1,000 monthly service requests through an additional BCL Service Desk, new systems and processes;
  • Improved chamber technology and network services that support and protect barristers; more technology consultants, a new Microsoft email option taken up by more than half of barristers to date, a superior spam filter and improved cyber security solutions;
  • Two additional floors at Castan Chambers adding 55 new chambers;
  • Completion of 11 of 14 floors at Aickin Chambers – remaining three floors to be completed in 2020;
  • Bathroom amenity upgrades currently underway across 18 floors at Owen Dixon Chambers West;
  • Planned upgrades at Douglas Menzies Chambers throughout 2020;

It is important we hear from you, please click here to commence the survey. It will take less than three minutes to provide your valuable, anonymous feedback.

Thank you.

Dame Roma Mitchell Memorial Lunch

Victorian Women Lawyers and Women Barristers’ Association are co-hosting the annual Dame Roma Mitchell Memorial Lunch. The event will be held at the Windsor Hotel on Wednesday 4 March from 12.30 to 2.30pm. The guest speaker this year is Antoinette Braybrook, CEO of Djirra (formerly the Aboriginal Family Violence Prevention & Legal Service).

Tickets are $65 for VWL/WBA members and $85 for non-members and available at See the attached flyer for more information. Book online by 21 February 2020.

Victorian Bar Member CPD Events

Upcoming CPD events:

You must be a member of the Victorian Bar and logged into the VicBar website to view the following events.

VicBar Life
Member Benefits Australia - February exclusive member offers

Don't miss out on these exclusive member deals for February with some great offers and gift ideas.

Meat Free Mondays at the Essoign Club

“Meat Free Mondays” with a Vegetarian Specials Menu in addition to our regular menus at the Essoign Club from Monday the 24th of February.

See attached flyer for details.

Save the Date - Steve Myall Award Inaugural dinner

Steve Myall 17/6/58- 14/3/18

Steve Myall was a well loved and well respected serving Magistrate at the time of his unfortunate death on 14 March 2018.

Both during his time on the bench and his many years as a legal practitioner, he was passionate advocate for social justice.

His contribution to the judiciary, the legal profession and the community was as extensive as it was outstanding.


The Victorian Magistrates Association and the Law Institute of Victoria have determined to recognise Steve’s work on prison and sentence reform issues with an award bearing his name.

The inaugural award will be celebrated with a dinner and award presentation.


Steve Myall Award Inaugural dinner            

Date                    Wednesday 15th April 2020 6pm

Location             RACV City Club 501 Bourke St Melbourne

MC                        Paul Grant

Guest Speaker  The Hon Michael Kirby AO CMG


The award is a monetary amount awarded annually to a person who, has by their efforts, have demonstrated an ongoing commitment to social justice issues in particular, prison and sentence reform being an issue very close to Steve’s heart.

The purpose of the award  to recognise, reward and thereby encourage the work and achievements of the recipient and others and inspire them to continue this important work

Criteria for selection

Demonstrated outstanding commitment to and an advocate for the aims of the award

Award Administration

The award will be administered by the LIV and a committee comprising a nominee from the LIV Criminal Law Section and the VMA

The principal purpose of the committee is to call for nominations and to review and select the winner.

Contributions: Initial Contributions have already been pledged from the VMA and the Australian Association of Magistrates.

Contributions/donations to the award fund can be made via the LIV

Name: Wellbeing And The Law Foundation

BSB: 033002

Account No: 737269

Description Steve Myall Award

Oscar Hunt Tailors Pop Up - 25-27 February

Oscar Hunt Tailors are popping up in Owen Dixon Chambers West from Tuesday 25th - Thursday 27th February. As a special offer for the Victorian Bar, book a fitting before April 1st to receive a complimentary second pair of trousers with each suit purchased. Visit the pop-up or email to organise a fitting.

Law books for sale

The Honourable Justice Kevin Bell AM QC is selling several law reports. Please click here to view the list of items for sale.

Please contact Justice Bell's associate, Stephen O'Connell on if you are interested.

BottledSnail Productions - Auditions

BottledSnail Productions is pleased to announce auditions for its new production Appearing for Themselves which will run during Law Week from 21 to 23 May at the Butterfly Club.

This is a unique production designed specifically with inexperienced singers in mind. Lack of experience is no obstacle - it’s a prerequisite!

For more information and to register your interest, visit the audition registration form.

Please contact if you have any questions.

Practice & Profession News
Appointment of Manager to Rose Mary Brondolino & Co

On 12 February 2020, the Victorian Legal Services Board (‘the Board’) resolved to appoint Mr Damian Neylon as Manager of the sole practitioner law practice of Ms Rose Mary Brondolino trading as ‘Rose Mary Brondolino & Co’ (‘the Law Practice’), pursuant to section 334 of the Legal Profession Uniform Law (‘Uniform Law’). The appointment is for a period of 6 months and expires on 12 August 2020, unless the Board determines to extend the appointment or the appointment otherwise ceases in accordance with section 340 of the Uniform Law.

The Board determined to appoint a Manager because the Board is satisfied that there is a need for an independent person to be appointed to take over professional and operational responsibility for the Law Practice.

Members of the Victorian Bar who have recently been briefed and/or undertaken work for the Law Practice may be impacted by this appointment. Please ensure that this information is made available to all Bar members and ask that they contact Mr Neylon on (03) 9993 0490 or at if they have any concerns about payment of their fees.

You will be notified upon the termination of the management. If you wish to discuss this matter further with the Board, please contact Chantalle Toussaint on (03) 9679 8165 or via email at

New Notice to the Profession and application form

Please be advised that the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court has authorised the issue of a new Notice to the Profession dealing with the application by parties to stream criminal proceedings in the Trial Division of the Supreme Court. There is also a new application form (Form 6-1D) that can be downloaded from the Supreme Court website.


Notice to the Profession – Application by a Party to Stream Criminal Proceedings in the Trial Division


Form 6-1D Application by a party to stream Court proceedings

JCV Sentencing Manual Update

The Judicial College of Victoria has made a major upgrade to the user experience of its Victorian Sentencing Manual

It now works better on phones, iPads, Surface Pros, and other tablet devices. Upgraded functionality includes:

  • Control over the table of contents on phone and tablet 
  • Easily download a PDF version
  • Higher levels of magnification without compromising the table of contents

The Manual is best used on Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge. There may be difficulties with load speeds on other browsers.

If you have any feedback about the Manual, please let the College know.

Uniform Law Consultation Paper

The Legal Services Council (the LSC) is undertaking a consultation with the profession with respect to proposed amendments to the Legal Profession Uniform Law (LPUL).

The LSC have released a consultation paper setting out 36 recommendations relating to amendments to the LPUL.

Submissions on any or all of the recommendations can be sent to on or before 28 February 2020, and will be published unless the LSC is otherwise advised.

Profession CPD & Events
Melbourne Catholic Lawyers' Association breakfast

The MCLA is hosting a breakfast on Wednesday 4 March with Paul Santamaria QC speaking on “Failing our Most Vulnerable”.

The breakfast will take place at 7.30 at the Essoign Club.  The cost is $35 and is due on Wednesday 26 February.  All welcome - please see for details.

La Trobe Law School seminar - A Framework for Understanding the Regulation of Discretion

Presenter: Tobias Barkley

Time/Date: 12noon-1pm on Thursday 27 February 2020

Venue: Room SS232 (Moot Court), Level 2, Social Sciences Building, Bundoora Campus, La Trobe University

Click here for registration and further details.

Class Actions 2020: Conference registration and booklet of women barristers

The WBA is partnering with Slater & Gordon in organising Class Actions 2020. The conference will take place at the Arts Centre from noon on Wednesday 11 March 2020.  The conference will bring together leading practitioners from plaintiff and defendant firms, litigation funders and regulators. Women barristers will be appearing as panellists and speakers at the event. 

Conference registration

General registration for the conference has opened and tickets can be purchased through this link: If you have any questions, you are welcome to contact David Barda at Slater & Gordon on 9949 8788 or

Proceeds of ticket sales are going to the St Kilda Legal Service Family Violence Outreach Program.  


Booklet of women barristers

In addition, Slater & Gordon have offered to produce and circulate at the conference a booklet of women barristers who either already appear in this area or who would like to do more class actions work. If you would like to be included in this booklet, can you please send an email to Louise Martin or Gayann Walker Once the WBA knows the numbers of barristers who would like to be included, you will be asked for further information (bios and photos etc).

Cyngler Consulting - National Mediator Accreditation Course

Would you like to become a Nationally Accredited Mediator? Our Melbourne March National Mediator Accreditation Course is just around the corner.

When: Monday to Wednesday.
March 16,17,18 and 23,24,25.
Cost:  $3950

Here is what past students have said about the course.

If you have been thinking about gaining your National Mediation Accreditation but are unsure if this training is suitable for you, please visit Cyngler Consulting for more information. This training will also benefit those who have been previously accredited and wish to refresh their skills and for anyone dealing with conflict.

Resolve at Work Early Bird Offer

Ever wondered what causes workplace conflict?

Or wanted to know more about the psychology of participants' mindsets in mediation?

Do you want to reflect on best practice in workplace mediation with your peers?

Do you want to practice the art of the intake session with role plays with coaches?

If so, please join Elizabeth Rosa, Nationally Accredited Mediator for her workshops in Sydney and Melbourne in March 2020.

In Melbourne, Suzi Jotwani, Nationally Accredited Mediator and Workplace Consultant will address us on causes of conflict in the workplace, and Stewart McMullen, Nationally Accredited Mediator and Psychologist will speak about psychological issues in mediations.

Mediators around the country have enjoyed Elizabeth's workshops. “A fantastic course and the guest speakers added great value. It was so good to have a mix of mediation professionals from different specialty areas to learn different perspectives and insights into situations/practices etc. So glad I attended!” Nicole Yeates Nationally Accredited Mediator

Sydney | 16 and 17 March 2020 | 

Melbourne | 26 and 27 March 2020 | Early bird 26 February

Perth 6 and 7 July 2020 and Possibly Brisbane November 2020

A discount is available to Victorian Bar members: RESOLVE5

HAL International Conference - Rhodes, Greece – 5-10 July 2020 – REGISTER NOW

Hellenic Australian Lawyers (HAL) Association – Sheraton Rhodes Resort, Greece:  5-10 July 2020. 

HAL is hosting its second International Legal Conference on “Themes in Democracy – Liberty, Justice and Human Rights”.  HAL is privileged to have the Hon Justice Stephen Gageler AC as the keynote speaker.  In addition, HAL is also honoured to have several Chief Justices from Australian superior courts, as well as confirmed overseas speakers, Baroness Helena Kennedy QC, Lord Ken Macdonald QC and the Hon Justice Kevin Zervos from the Court of Appeal of Hong Kong.  The President of the Supreme Civil and Criminal Court of Greece, Iosif Tsalaganidis will be participating in a panel discussion at the Conference.

Those wishing to attend are encouraged to register without delay to avoid missing out as the number of places available is limited.  A number of optional tours, which are different to the 2018 Conference tours, are included in the registration fee, and have been organised for delegates and accompanying persons.  Family members are welcome to attend the tours at a nominal charge.  Further details are available at 


Careers & Opportunities
Department of Justice and Community Safety Opportunities

The Department of Justice and Community Safety is currently recruiting a Deputy Chairperson and multiple Sessional Divisional Chairpersons for the Adult Parole Board. 

The Adult Parole Board of Victoria (the Board) is an independent statutory body established under the Corrections Act 1986, with jurisdiction over the appropriate release of offenders on parole.

The Board is mandated to make decisions, under a statutory framework, about the reintegration of eligible prisoners into the community in a way that protects community safety. The Adult Parole Board's functions include making decisions about whether to grant, deny, defer or cancel a prisoner's parole.

The Board is now seeking to appoint a full-time Deputy Chairperson and several Sessional Divisional Chairpersons to preside over meetings and participate in the deliberations of the Board. Applicants for these roles must be retired judicial officers or legal practitioners of more than 10 years' experience.

If you’re interested in finding out more information or applying for these vacancies, please head to

Applications close on Friday 28 February 2020.

VCAT Panel Mediators
  • Serve the community by resolving disputes in the largest Tribunal in Australia.
  • Be appointed as a VCAT Panel Mediator to conduct VCAT mediations in the Building and Property, Human Rights, Owners Corporations or Civil Claims Lists.
  • 5 Year appointment, flexible working, predominantly Melbourne CBD location with some regional travel.

The Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal (VCAT) hears and determines civil and administrative legal cases. Established in 1998, it is the largest tribunal in Australia. VCAT finalises more than 86,000 cases a year at over 46 venues across Victoria. VCAT serves the community by resolving disputes and making decisions in a timely, cost effective and efficient way.

VCAT is seeking to appoint independent contract mediators to their panel. Depending on your qualifications and expertise, you will conduct mediations from four of VCAT’s jurisdictions:

  • Building and Property List
  • Human Rights List
  • Owners Corporations List
  • Civil Claims List

VCAT Panel Mediators are appointed by the VCAT President and have the same protection and immunity as a member of the tribunal, when conducting VCAT mediations.

On average, panel mediators will be allocated one mediation per calendar month, with opportunities to mediate on a more frequent basis if individual availability and workload permits.

Panel Mediators are currently paid at a rate of $1,217.00 per day or $608.50 per half day.

To apply, you must be accredited as a mediator in accordance with the National Mediation Accreditation System and have a minimum of 5 years professional, commercial, industry or public sector experience. Aside from Building Consultant Mediators, you must hold a tertiary legal qualification to mediate disputes.

For a candidate information pack, please contact the consultant assisting VCAT, Trish Mullen by emailing or by calling 03 9235 5120 for a confidential discussion.

Deadline for the next issue:5pm, 27th February 2020