News & Events


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Latest News & Events

In Brief

On behalf of members, may I extend my congratulations and best wishes to Samantha Poulter and Tim Greenway on their appointments as Magistrates of the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. The appointments are effective immediately.  Details of the welcome ceremonies will be advised when they become known.

In Brief

Last Friday, I met with the State Coroner Judge John Cain.  Judge Cain gave me a personal tour of the Coroner’s Court and was particularly delighted to show me Court 1 in which he is currently conducting an inquest into St Basil’s Aged Care home. I have to say two full Bar tables was a great sight to behold. The Bar Council will host a Meet the Coroners night and CPD early in 2022, which will be an opportunity for members who are interested in appearing as counsel assisting or on behalf of an interested party to learn more about how the Coroner’s Court works.

In Brief

This week commenced with the 2021 Senior Counsel participating in the Silks’ Bows ceremonies before the Supreme Court of Victoria, the Federal Court of Australia and the Federal Circuit and Family Law Court of Australia. The ceremonies are steeped in the tradition of counsel informing the Court of their appointment as Senior Counsel, and the Court recognising and welcoming their achievement and reminding them of their obligations to the Court, their clients and the profession. It was a happy occasion for the 2021 Silks to celebrate with their families and peers.

In Brief

Tuesday night was a busy night for Annual General Meetings.  

I attended the Victorian Bar Foundation [VBF] directors meeting followed by its Annual General meeting.  The Chair, the Hon. John Digby QC was pleased and excited to announce that the Hon. Justice Michelle Gordon AC has recently accepted an invitation to become the Patron of the Foundation.  The VBF, which was established as a not-for-profit organisation in 2011, works to promote several causes in the community, including encouraging and supporting young adults from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds to consider and pursue a career in the law and in particular a career at the Victorian Bar. The Foundation welcomes input from members as to how best to achieve its aims and to engage with any particular community to encourage the future diversity of our Bar. Members who are in a position to make a donation to the Foundation can do so via the donation form here

In Brief


On Tuesday, I attended the State Funeral for the Hon. Sir James Gobbo AC CVO QC.  The funeral was well attended by current and former judiciary, including the Chief Justice, Anne Ferguson and the President of the Court of Appeal, Christopher Maxwell.  The Hon. Daniel Andrews and former Premiers of the State were also in attendance, as were a number of members of the Bar. The Governor of Victoria, the Hon. Linda Dessau AC, Allen Myers AC QC and Jeremy Gobbo QC delivered eloquent eulogies that told of Sir James’ commitment to community service, his faith, the law and his family.

In Brief

The Bar has been a hive of activity this week.

On Wednesday, the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of Victoria announced the appointment of 16 new silks. I congratulate Siobhan Ryan, Graeme Hill, Angus Macnab, Lisa Hespe, Daniel Aghion, Marc Felman, Meghan O’Sullivan, Nicholas Wood, Fiona Ryan, Kathleen Foley, Emily Porter, Elizabeth Bennett, Patrick Doyle, Ruth Shann, Charles Parkinson and Barbara Myers. I wish them every success in their new role as leaders of the Victorian Bar and the legal profession in this State.

In Brief

Next Thursday evening the poll will be declared in the current Bar Council election. Accordingly, this will be my final episode of In Brief.

It has been a momentous 12 months. The Bar Council started the year with an ambitious agenda and in addition, there have been several further issues for the Bar, both expected and unexpected. In my view the Bar and its individual members have shown resilience and commitment in the face of the significant challenges that have come our way. In particular, the capricious changes to the rules relating to childcare and chambers access during the various lockdowns, added an unwelcome and unnecessary layer of frustration to an already difficult situation.

In Brief

Lockdown, or at least most of it, comes to an end at 6:00pm tonight. I’m sure all members will be relieved. Hopefully this will herald a return to chambers for members over the next few weeks. In the meantime, I hope everyone enjoys the break afforded by the Cup holiday.

In Brief

Many will already be aware of the exciting news that the Bar has negotiated a new lease with the Essoign Club that will secure its future. All parties are very happy with the agreement reached, which provides the security the Club needs for appropriate future planning as an integral part of our Bar.

In Brief

This week saw the establishment of a referral scheme for pro bono assistance to help unrepresented litigants involved in family law proceedings. It is a joint initiative of the Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia and the Victorian Bar.