The Chairman of the Superannuation Section of CommBar, Paul Cosgrave SC, has been appointed as a Judge of the County Court. CommBar congratulates his Honour upon his appointment.
During the quarter, Ray Finkelstein QC and I met with the Dean of Monash University, Bryan Horrigan, to discuss ways in which the Bar and Monash can work together in CLE areas.
I also met with Chief Justice Allsop. The Chief Justice has kindly agreed to make the Federal Court available for the hosting of Federal Court/CommBar/Monash University seminars.
Carolyn Sparke SC has agreed to be the new Chairman of the Superannuation Section. CommBar nominated Roslyn Kaye and Christine Melis to the Law Council of Australia’s Rising Stars Workshop in October this year.
In light of Will Alstergren SC’s heavy workload on the Bar Council, Will has stood down from the Executive Committee of CommBar and been replaced on the Committee by Daniel Crennan.
The Asian Law Section of CommBar, headed by William Lye, and members of the Bar Council and the CommBar Executive, hosted a delegation from the Beijing Lawyers Association on 26 April 2013. The Beijing Law Association is interested in establishing closer relationships with the Bar, and the Law Institute of Victoria.
Between 12 and 19 May 2013 a CommBar/Vicbar delegation comprising Martin Scott SC, Caroline Kirton SC, Michael Whitten and Colin King visited Guangzhou and Shenzen in Guangdong Province, China. The delegation was received by the Guangdong Lawyers Association, Shenzen Lawyers Association, China's largest arbitration institution CIETAC, the Shenzen International Arbitration Court, and influential local educational institutions with responsibility for mandatory legal training of public officials.
Following presentations by the delegation to the lawyers associations on the potential for direct contact, it was invited to meet privately with firms representing Chinese interests involved in cross-border commerce in particular with Australia. The consensus from every meeting was that CommBar barristers directly working together with Chinese lawyers was an appropriate development in a rapidly changing legal services market.
This was the first visit by any Australian legal professional body to any of these institutions and a rare visit by any foreign professional body delegation. The delegation was both warmly received and invited to return later this year for further discussions on the development of closer contact between lawyers in China and Australia directly.
The delegation has reported that there was clear recognition that close relationships are vital given the very substantial trade between Guangdong and Australia.
In addition to the regular seminars organised by the Sections, CommBar ran a number of interesting seminars this quarter, including sessions on:
A note to all members to please keep a look out for two seminars in particular, to be held in August 2013. The first will be a session on preparing and running a commercial trial, and the second will be a session on Public Law issues for commercial barristers. The sessions will be presented by senior members of the Bench and Bar.