The President

November 2013

Bar Associations

Commercial Bar Association (Executive Committee) (up to 27 November 2013):

Philip Crutchfield SC (President), Stewart Anderson SC (Senior Vice-President), Caroline Kirton SC (Vice-President and Convenor), Ian Percy (Treasurer), Albert Monichino SC, Daniel Crennan, David Turner, Kathleen Foley, Elizabeth Boros.  

In addition to contributing to a large part of the Victorian Bar’s CPD Seminars, CommBar’s 15 separate specialist sections have conducted discussion groups, and promoted education both within their sections, and more generally at the Victorian Bar.

During the year, CommBar has, amongst many other activities:

(i)                 increased its membership from 498 to over 600;

(ii)               assisted the Victorian Bar by conducting, as part of the Victorian Bar’s CPD Program, close to 30 CPD events;

(iii)             in conjunction with the Supreme Court of Victoria, organised seminars specifically aimed at more junior members of the Bar;

(iv)             assisted the Supreme Court and the Melbourne University Law School in the organisation and promotion of their successful seminars in the Banco Court of the Supreme Court;

(v)               together with Monash University Law School, conducted a series of seminars with the Federal Court of Australia, and separately with the Supreme Court of Victoria;

(vi)             donated funds to Austlii and the Victorian Supreme Court Library;

(vii)           continued to produce the CommBar newsletter, including topical information for its members, and case notes.  (CommBar is indebted to Cornelia Fourfouris-Mack for her ongoing tireless work as the editor of the CommBar newsletter); and

(viii)         established a sub-committee to look at other ways in which email and the internet might be used to assist in the distribution of material of interest to CommBar members.

On 12 September 2013, CommBar hosted a retirement dinner for the Honourable David Habersberger QC at the Essoign Club.  Over 100 people were in attendance, and speeches were made by the Chairman of the Bar, Fiona McLeod SC and David.  It was a privilege for CommBar to be able to host this function for David, and to celebrate his service to both the Bar and Bench.

On 6 November 2013, CommBar held its annual social function at the Federal Court.  Over 200 people, including Judges, CommBar members and lawyers from law firms, corporations and government were in attendance.  CommBar was delighted that both the Commonwealth Attorney-General, the Honourable George Brandis QC, and the Attorney-General for the State of Victoria, The Honourable Robert Clark MP, were in attendance.

Speeches were made by Chief Justice Allsop, and the Commonwealth Attorney-General.

CommBar again thanks the Chief Justice and the Judges and staff of the Federal Court for hosting our very successful function.

At the annual general meeting on 28 November 2013, an item of special business will be put to members to increase the number of ordinary members of the Executive from five to seven.

I take this opportunity to thank all the members of the Executive, Section office holders and all others involved in the work of CommBar for their continuing efforts to advance the interests of all commercial barristers at the Victorian Bar.

Finally, the CommBar Executive thanks the Victorian Bar office, and in particular Sally Bodman and Courtney Bow, for their excellent and tireless ongoing support of CommBar.

Philip Crutchfield SC, President