News & Events

Latest News & Events

In Brief

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.

In Brief

Victorian Bar supports judiciary

Last Friday the Australian Financial Review published a series of articles criticising the productivity of Federal Court judges based on a crude arithmetical methodology that divided the length of judgments delivered by the number of days that had elapsed between the reservation of judgment and the delivery of reasons, in order to produce a number supposedly representing the number of words and paragraphs generated per judge per day. The methodology only needs to be stated to be seen to be meaningless to the point of absurdity.

In Brief

ABA Conference—now featuring an evening with Malcolm Turnbull

The ABA has secured the presence of former Prime Minister, the Hon Malcolm Turnbull, as Guest of Honour at the dinner to be held on Friday 16 November as part of its forthcoming national conference, rise2018, to be held in Sydney from 16–17 November. The former Prime Minister will not only give the after-dinner speech, but also subject himself to a Q&A session in a room full of advocates.

In Brief

Wellbeing of the Victorian Bar survey results

Last night I presented the findings of the Bar’s first “Wellbeing of the Victorian Bar” survey to members. We were delighted to be joined by Chief Justice Ferguson at the briefing. The judiciary and the Bar are at one on the importance of good physical and mental health if we are all to achieve our potential. We all know that judges and counsel alike work in a high stress, high performance environment, and that we must work together, in partnership, to safeguard the efficient administration of justice.

In Brief

Health & Wellbeing Report Launch - 18 October

All practising members are invited to the release of the results of our ‘Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar’ survey. The release will take place on 18 October 2018 from 5:15pm in the Neal McPhee Room, Level 1, Owen Dixon Chambers East, 205 William Street, Melbourne.

Many of you participated in the Wellbeing at the Victorian Bar survey conducted in June, which was designed to obtain a better understanding of the levels of wellbeing of Victorian barristers. We now have the findings from the University of Portsmouth. 

The findings are a treasure trove of information—positive and not-so-positive—that will be used to help us identify what actions and resources we can put in place to better support and assist health and wellbeing at the Bar. 

I hope you can join us for this important briefing. To register, email

In Brief

Nominations for Bar Council election open today

I encourage all eligible members to consider standing for election to Bar Council. Speaking from personal experience, it is a great privilege to serve on the governing body of the Victorian Bar. There are 21 positions: 11 in category A (silks and other barristers of 15 years or more call), 6 in category C (6–10 years call) and 4 in category C (up to 6 years call).

Nominations open today and close at 5pm sharp on Monday 15 October. For more information about nominating, eligibility, voting and the conduct of the election, see the notice below. Voting will open at 9am on 29 October and close at 5pm on 14 November, with the results being available shortly after the close of voting.

In Brief

Hong Kong Commercial Law Conference

The Victorian Bar / Commercial Bar Association International Commercial Law Conference, held last weekend in Hong Kong, was a great success. About 115 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. It was fascinating to hear perspectives on China’s “one country, two systems” constitutional principle, and the operation of Hong Kong’s Basic Law, which enshrines the continuation of the common law and an adversarial justice system in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region until at least 2047.

In Brief

This week’s message comes to you from Hong Kong, where the Hong Kong 2018 International Commercial Law Conference, organised by the Victorian Bar and the Commercial Bar Association, is underway. The conference was opened this morning by the Honourable Chief Justice Ma GBM, Chief Justice of the Hong Kong Court of Final Appeal, and Michaela Browning, Australian Consul-General to Hong Kong and Macau. Many members of the judiciary and of the independent Bars of England and Wales, Hong Kong and Victoria have gathered in this dynamic city to participate in an exciting conference program, which includes eight sessions of topical seminars as well as a number of social events.

In Brief

It was a week of appointments and welcomes for members of our Bar.  On behalf of all members, I extend to each of them my congratulations and wish them every personal and professional satisfaction in their new roles.

In Brief

Changing Face of the Bar

Yesterday, renowned photographer Bill Henson opened the "Changing Face of the Bar" exhibition in the Peter O’Callaghan QC Gallery on the ground floor of Owen Dixon Chambers.  (Bill Henson’s own extraordinary photographic portrait of Kenneth Hayne AC QC is ordinarily on permanent display in the Gallery.)