5 Wentworth Chambers' history dates back to 1932 when the Wentworth and Selborne Chambers were founded - a number of its silks have since become Federal and High Court judges. It is known for its banking and finance, employment, and securities law expertise, in addition to extensive corporate litigation. Its reputation in intellectual property is second to none. Dominique Hogan-Doran SC is lauded as 'pre-eminent' in relation to inquiries, investigations, and Royal Commissions, this, in addition to being a stand-out for her 'incisive' handling of financial services cases. Sarah Tiffin is the senior clerk.
Commercial disputes in Australia Bar
5 Wentworth Chambers
Banco Chambers is one of the premier sets in Sydney that has the capacity to handle the full range of commercial disputes in addition to specialists in most discrete practice areas. Justin Gleeson SC (formerly the Commonwealth Solicitor-General) is known as the ‘go-to’ silk on difficult cases, especially at the appellate level and equally, John Sheahan QC is a 'renowned trial and appellate advocate'. His practice includes international arbitration and he is an associate member of South Square Chambers in London. Peter Brereton SC is a ‘go-to silk where a thorough consideration of complex legal issues is required'; he is briefed on a range of commercial, competition, and IP cases. 'Intelligent, quick and determined to win' Richard McHugh SC, who is in demand for his 'outstanding ability to analyse complex issues' has an unusually broad practice. His clients range from banks and other commercial entities to well-known figures in the arts, the latter in relation to his defamation practice. 'Always polished and well prepared' Fiona Roughly has built a reputation for handling a wide range of commercial litigation including financial services; class actions; public and competition law. Adam Hochroth is rated for his recent work in administrative and equity matters, class actions, and employment where he has 'a good balance of technical and commercial expertise'. Jeh Coutinho is the senior clerk of chambers.
Eleven Wentworth Barristers
Eleven Wentworth Barristers has well-established roots in Sydney and is comprehensively recommended for its breadth of specialisms and high-performing silks and juniors. The 'pragmatic and commercial' Ian Pike SC is cited for his 'growing practice in white-collar work' in addition to wider commercial cases. Peter Braham SC is also recognised for his broad expertise 'in the commercial space, including arbitration, employment, and public law'. His recent work includes the successful defense of a substantial insolvent trading claim against a director brought by the liquidator. An 'excellent, high-profile silk' Jeremy Kirk SC is briefed on cases involving major corporates. Alan Shearer is identified as a top junior; his work includes class actions and he is involved in cases in State Supreme Courts, the Federal and High Courts. The 'astute' James Hutton is highlighted as an 'excellent senior junior' entrusted with high-value litigation and new silk Justin Williams is also highly rated for his 'broad commercial litigation experience, including in relation to directors' duties'. Elisa Holmes is well-rated for her extensive experience which includes a number of years' practice at the London bar. Her work includes class actions and she also has a sports law background. Zach Rymer is the clerk of the set.
Fifth Floor St James’ Hall Barristers
Fifth Floor St James’ Hall Barristers is home to a number of the pre-eminent Senior Counsel in Australia. Noel Hutley SC is sought out for 'strategic and sensitive' cases in myriad practice areas including environment and competition and in white-collar crime where he is considered 'a commercially astute and a formidable advocate'. Bret Walker SC is lauded for his appellant work; 'his skill in that area is second to none'. He is also briefed on a range of areas, most recently competition, media, and white-collar crime cases. The 'pre-eminent' Richard Lancaster SC undertakes matters including class actions and of late, is especially in demand for major environmental cases. Nicholas Owens SC 'regularly provides top-notch advice in very tight timeframes' and is also noted for his winning style with clients and the bench alike. Garry Rich SC 'is a specialist at high stakes and complex disputes - he is especially effective in cross-examination'. His recent work included acting in relation to a financial services franchise dispute. Caroline Davoren is the senior clerk.
Level Twenty Seven Chambers
'The pre-eminent chambers in Queensland' Level Twenty Seven Chambers is considered 'strong across the board' and 'is always involved in the most significant cases in Queensland'. In addition to its national reach, a number of members frequently act on large, cross-border cases, including international arbitrations in Asia-Pacific and beyond. 'Superstar' Shane Doyle QC is one such renowned international counsel who is entrusted with the most complex cases including the Supreme Court of Queensland case of the winding-up of Clive Palmer’s business, Queensland Nickel. Damian Clothier QC is instructed on 'difficult and hard-fought' cases and is recognised as an 'exceptional advocate who is detailed in his preparation, authoritative and highly effective'. His practice ranges from construction and insolvency to professional negligence matters. Clothier QC is acting for Gladstone Ports Corporation in a class action brought by commercial fishermen for losses they say resulted from large-scale contamination from toxic dredge spill. Michael May is involved in an impressive array of litigation (unled on some of his cases). His work includes insolvency cases and substantial class actions, including acting for the plaintiffs in a class action with significant implications for the enforceability of litigation funding agreements for commercial class actions in Australia. Stewart Webster is considered 'a rising star of the Queensland bar and, as such, is in high demand'. His restructuring and insolvency, and construction practices are especially highlighted in addition to other 'complex and high-profile commercial disputes'. The set is highlighted for its 'modern, market-leading' management; the 'brilliant' Dan Perry and Tamara McCombe 'proactively engage with and assist solicitors'. The set is also praised for the way it has adapted its services in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
List A Barristers
List A Barristers is an acclaimed set of Melbourne-based barristers and is home to top-flight, well-know silks and juniors, (a number of the silks have been appointed to judicial positions). Renowned silks include Allan Myers AC QC who is also an international member of Keating Chambers. He is known for his arbitration work in both Australia and internationally and also acts as an arbitrator. He is also hailed as 'one of Australia’s leading appellate advocates'. His recent work includes acting in a NSW Court of Appeal matter to quash findings made by ICAC. With a 'fabulous' reputation, Neil Young QC and in Sydney New Chambers, is recognised as 'one of Australia's pre-eminent counsel'; he is in demand for his expertise in areas ranging from native title to competition and tax cases. Catherine Button QC receives widespread recognition for her commercial, insolvency, and tax expertise. Wendy Harris QC is considered a standout for class actions, particularly in the realm of finance. 'Rising star of the bar' Dr Charles Parkinson undertakes a varied mix of commercial work including in the banking and finance sectors. Other talented counsel in the junior ranks includes 'highly recommended' Katherine Brazenor and 'up and coming counsel' Mark Costello, both of whom are briefed on a variety of practice areas. David Andrews is the hugely experienced senior clerk and executive director.
List G Barristers
List G Barristers is a go-to set for complex litigation ranging across media, telecoms, construction, and the environment in addition to wide-ranging public and commercial matters. It has an exceptional offering in IP. Hamish Austin QC is in high demand for his breadth of expertise. Of late he has been briefed on a range of commercial and regulatory proceedings in the Supreme Court of Victoria and the Federal Court, and on a number of insolvency matters. 'An excellent senior counsel', Rowena Orr QC is a high-profile lawyer whose practice encompasses cases of proceeds of crime, competition, and consumer law in addition to commercial litigation. She was also commended for her work during the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking (etc) Industry. Jeremy Slattery SC, who was appointed Senior Counsel in 2019 is highlighted for his excellent advocacy in the Australia Competition Tribunal in addition to various state courts. Nicholas De Young SC also took silk in 2019. He is well-rated for 'specialising in competition regulatory and damages proceedings' in addition to complex litigation. Jane King is the CEO and senior clerk for the List.
New Chambers is one of the outstanding sets in Australia. It combines premier advocacy with commercial advice in a raft of practice areas. Its court expertise includes appellate matters and extends to investigative tribunals including ASIC and the ACCC and independent commissions of inquiry. David Jackson AM QC is noted as 'the country’s most experienced appeal counsel' - in addition to High Court cases, he has conducted a number of inquiries for national and state governments. Neil Young QC (who is also a member of List A) is 'recognised as one of Australia's pre-eminent counsel' offering 'extensive experience in all commercial matters, including corporations law, trade practices, and taxation'. Clients are unstinting in their praise for Elizabeth Cheeseman SC; 'she provides clear, direct, well-reasoned and constructive advice, is held in high regard by the bench, and is always in high demand'. She is also highly rated for her skill set in the areas of financial services regulatory and corporate crime. Michael Hodge SC (who took silk in 2017) is highlighted as an 'up and coming' senior counsel and is noted as a 'go-to' for ACCC cases. His work includes acting for Securities and Exchange Board of India in a case involving one of the world’s largest ponzi scheme that operated in India and where monies had been funneled to Australia. 'Exceptional junior' Sonia Tame is considered to be 'a step above many of her contemporaries. Without a doubt one of the top lawyers at the Sydney bar'. Recent work includes acting for David Coulter, then CFO of IOOF in an action brought by APRA. Emma Beechey who is 'a fantastic junior to have on the team', has considerable experience of trial and appellate cases and is noted for her restructuring and insolvency expertise. Michael Wilcox is the senior clerk of chambers.
Tenth Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers
Tenth Floor Wentworth Selborne Chambers has long-established roots in Sydney and is home to many distinguished silks, combined with a strong cohort of juniors. The well-known senior silks include Tony Bannon SC, 'a brilliant and strategic advocate' whose practice encompasses IP and technology cases in addition to broader commercial work. Steven Finch SC 'argues with authority and creativity' in cases ranging from class actions and inquiries to insolvency. Equally in demand, Matthew Darke SC, who is 'highly regarded by his peers and the bench' represented Westpac before the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry and James Lockhart SC counts the likes of Qantas, KPMG, and Ramsay Health Care as clients. 'Future star' Kate Morgan SC, is highly recommended as a 'next generation silk' and is notable for her mix of commercial and criminal expertise; she is instructed on class action work in addition to regulatory and competition cases. Of the junior members, Jane Buncle stands out as 'one of the best go-to juniors'; she was part of the team acting for Bupa ANZ Health Care Holdings Pty in relation to the Royal Commission into Aged Care Quality and Safety and has also acted for a number of clients in relation to ASIC investigations. Emma Hoolahan is the 'efficient, friendly, and helpful' senior clerk.
Dever's List Barristers
Dever's List Barristers has a history in Melbourne dating back to 1860 and has built excellence across commercial, public, criminal, and family law. It is highlighted for specific areas such as employment and labour, arbitration, class actions, and restructuring and insolvency. A 'recognised and highly rated' silk, James Peters AM QC attracts wide-ranging work most recently includes high-profile, multi-million dollar litigation and insolvency matters. Philip Solomon QC 'is a recognised and highly regarded senior counsel' and Greg Harris QC is considered an 'excellent black-letter lawyer with top-notch forensic skills'. The 'brilliant' Christopher Caleo QC is briefed on areas including insurance disputes, professional negligence, and administrative law. John Dever acts as the head of the team of clerks.
Foley's List Barristers
Foley's List Barristers is home to some 300 barristers who have the capabilities to handle all practice areas and stand out specifically for tax, employment, energy, and regulatory regimes. Michael Wyles QC has many years of experience appearing in Supreme and Federal Courts across Australia, the High Court, and has run arbitrations. Catherine Dermody is rated for her 'astute' skills, especially in the competition realm, and for her expertise in regulatory matters in the energy sectors. John Kelly is the CEO and heads a team of highly organised clerks.
Sixth Floor Selborne Wentworth Chambers
Sixth Floor Selborne Wentworth Chambers is a substantial set in which silks and a strong cohort of juniors provide a comprehensive range of specialisms. Kristina Stern SC (who also spent some ten years at the London Bar) is cited for her 'strategic' guidance during litigation and recommended for a number of practice areas including tax; 'she is a strong contentious senior counsel, respected by the ATO'. The 'outstanding' Scott Nixon SC is highly recommended for being able to handle large-scale litigation including class actions and financial services cases. Elizabeth Collins SC's background is steeped in Federal and New South Wales Court appearances. She is appreciated for her 'hands-on' approach and 'appreciation of the big picture' in addition to the breadth of her expertise across all manner of disputes. David Thomas SC is highly recommended by a number of firms and is considered by one as 'a clear leader in commercial litigation'. He is also highly rated for regulatory matters. Imtiaz Ahmed is viewed as 'a rising star of the bar' and is of late, identified for his work in financial services disputes. Considered 'an excellent senior junior' by instructing firms, James Arnott is commended for his abilities in respect of financial services litigation among other practice areas. Julia Roy is considered a 'stellar junior counsel' who is building on considerable experience across the court system. A number of overseas QCs of the stature of Robert Griffiths QC are associate members (door tenants). Lisa Stewart is the long-standing senior clerk.
Alinea Chambers is highlighted as a progressive new set 'with an excellent group of barristers'. Formed in January 2019, it is small but notable for having gender parity among its members. There are two silks at the set; Michael Henry SC, whose work includes acting for Olive Financial Markets Pty in obtaining a stay on a decision by a delegate of ASIC to cancel its Australian Financial Services Licence - considered in light of the effects of the COVID 19 pandemic. The 'clear thinking' Anthony McGrath SC 'cuts through the issues, provides strategic direction, and is articulate and unflustered'. Senior junior Melanie Cairns is notable for the breadth of her commercial and equity expertise. She appears in the NSW Supreme Court and the Federal Court, and in a number of cases unled. The pool of junior talent is highly rated; Leanne Rich 'has superb judgement for a barrister of her experience' and Dominic Delany 'displays a level of ability well in excess of his seniority - and indeed uncommon at any level of the junior bar'. Other 'stand out' juniors include Zoë Hillman. She has been involved in cases such as acting for the lead plaintiffs in the 'pelvic mesh' class actions and for the Commonwealth Bank of Australia in the Royal Commission inquiry into Australia’s financial services sector. The set is managed by the highly experienced, senior clerk, Kristine Massih.
Francis Burt Chambers
Francis Burt Chambers (established in 1962) is widely acknowledged as the outstanding set in Western Australia with many top-notch members who stand out in the areas of construction, energy, employment, tax, and native title. The 'pre-eminent' Patricia Cahill SC is esteemed for her excellence in commercial disputes, she is widely cited for her construction and tax expertise. Christopher Zelestis QC has a long-established reputation for excellence in arbitration and mediation cases, but is now stepping back from advocacy work. There is a substantial cohort of junior counsel who provide wide-ranging expertise.
Gerard Brennan Chambers
Gerard Brennan Chambers is a small but leading Queensland set offering a full range of expertise including arbitration - both national and international. Liam Kelly QC is well known and is recognised as 'one of the best Brisbane-based Queen's Counsel' - he is also notable for his international arbitration practice. Equally well-rated is Declan Kelly QC for his 'commercial practice and appearances in state and federal superior courts'. He acts for corporate, government, and private clients and has a leading construction and infrastructure practice.
Quayside Chambers is a sizeable Perth set that offers expertise in construction, arbitration, and energy matters in addition to diverse commercial litigation in areas such as banking and finance. It is home to a number of silks who are skilled in arbitration matters, one of whom is the Honourable John Gilmour SC. He undertakes domestic and international arbitrations and mediations in addition to litigation (and has served as a Justice of the Federal Court of Australia). 'First-rate' Kanaga Dharmananda SC is recommended for a number of practice areas including white-collar crime. Additionally, he has a well-established international arbitration practice - he is also a member of Fountain Court Chambers, London. Equally highly rated, the 'brilliant and methodical' Brahma Dharmananda SC is cited as a 'master strategist – always thinking several steps ahead'. He has 30 years of experience in commercial litigation and arbitration cases.