The collective noun for barristers?
A committee of barristers? A brace of barristers? A thought of barristers?
These were just some of the answers provided to that curly question at the trivia night the Bar held with the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office this week. With COVID-19 preventing a repeat of last year’s speed networking event, the trivia night proved to be an excellent stand-in. Participants spent most of the hour in small team break-out rooms – so it was a great opportunity for the barristers and government solicitors to get to know each other, with any awkward silences obviated by the need to answer a couple of dozen thorny questions. Thanks to Chris McDermott, Barrister, for his entertaining compering, and James Kioussis and Poorva Sabnis from the VicBar team for compiling the questions, moving participants around the rooms and Zoom driving. Congratulations to team Zoomageddon who won the night.
Trivia nights are becoming a popular way of staying in touch – so if members would like to hold one with a client organisation, law firm, or fellow barristers, contact the VicBar team here. And if you didn’t know, or haven’t googled it already, it’s a boast or wiggery of barristers.
The launch of the Victorian Commercial Arbitration Scheme
I’m delighted to announce that the Victorian Commercial Arbitration Scheme, VCAS, will be formally launched this Wednesday 30 September at 5:00pm by Zoom.
VCAS was the brainchild of Barristers Robert Heath QC, Adam Rollnik and Kieran Hickie, and has been developed to provide a mechanism for speedy and low-cost resolution of disputes by imposing a fixed-time frame and capped arbitrator’s fees.
Professor the Honourable Clyde Croft AM SC, the former Judge in Charge of the Arbitration List in the Commercial Court of the Supreme Court of Victoria, is the Patron of VCAS.
The launch will take the form of a panel discussion with distinguished guests from across the legal profession. Professor the Honourable Clyde Croft AM SC, Her Honour Judge Elizabeth Brimer of the County Court of Victoria, and Professor Bryan Horrigan, Dean of Monash University Law School, will be “In Conversation” with Barrister, Adam Rollnik. There will be an opportunity for the audience to put questions to the panel about arbitration as an option for dispute resolution, how the scheme works, and educational paths to becoming an arbitrator, through Fiona Cameron, Barrister, who will be moderating the questions.
Please register for the launch if you are interested here.
I’m particularly proud to be launching VCAS at this time – it’s a very solution-focused scheme, devised before COVID descended upon us, but providing a pathway to resolving disputes efficiently, remotely and conclusively at a time when court backlogs are increasing. The scheme will be particularly helpful for those with disputes in regional Victoria, particularly with ongoing travel restrictions in place.
It has taken focus and decisiveness to settle the Rules for the Scheme, create a dedicated website, and arrange the launch event, all in the space of a few months. I’d like to acknowledge Barristers Robert Heath QC, Adam Rollnik, Kieran Hickie, Elle Nikou Madalin and Fiona Cameron, and Amanda Utt and Liz Gray from the VicBar team, for their hard work in achieving this.
The VCAS website will be launched on Wednesday, 30 September.
VCAS is the second alternative dispute resolution scheme launched by the Victorian Bar this year – and it’s another demonstration of our innovation and focus on client solutions. The Expedited Mediation Scheme, devised by Barrister Tony Elder and the Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee in June, similarly offers a fast-track way for courts to refer appropriate matters to the Bar for resolution – in this case through the Bar’s nationally accredited mediators – and clear protocols about how mediations should be run. More information about the Expedited Mediation Scheme is here.
Submissions about the Education Review
Members are reminded that submissions about the Education Review close on Monday 5 October 2020 at 10:00am. See the notice below for more information.