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Foreword by the Hon. Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE

University of Adelaide Barr Smith Press Barr Smith Library University of Adelaide South Australia 5005 Sold by Papinian Publishing, PO Box 3386, Rundle Mall, Adelaide, South Australia, 5000 First published 2006. Revised and selectively updated edition, 2006. Copyright John Emerson 2006 Cover painting Lauren-Jade Ryan 2006 Cover design by Chris Tonkin Book design John Emerson All rights reserved. This book is copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purposes of private study, research, criticism or review, as permitted under the Copyright Act, no part may be reproduced without written permission. Enquiries should be addressed to the publisher at the above address (The University of Adelaide is its own postal area.). Barr Smith Library of the University of Adelaide Cataloguing Emerson, John James, 1960- . History of the Independent Bar of South Australia Bibliography. Includes index. 1. South Australian Bar Association -- History. 2. Law -- South Australia -- History. 3. Justice, Administration of -- South Australia -- History. 4. Lawyers -- South Australia -- Biography. I. Title. II. University of Adelaide. -- Alumni Association. -- John Bray Law Chapter. 340.0994/23 Moys KL86.K2S ISBN 0-86396-835-X Publication of this book was assisted by: Private donors The John Bray Law Chapter of the University of Adelaide Alumni Association Law School, University of Adelaide Printed and bound by Image and Copy Centre, University of Adelaide


Acknowledgments Authors Note IX


Preface by the Hon. C J Legoe QC

Foreword by Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE

PART ONE - History and Development I 2 Introduction: The Reluctant Debutante Expansion: From 1964 till 2004 21 3

PART TWO - Bluestone 3 Adelaide Chambers: The Bluestone Phenomenon 45

PART THREE - Queens Counsel 4 Conclusion Bibliography Index 215 Queens Counsel Appointments 1974-2004 207 209 121



any busy people were kind enough to allow me their time in the form of interviews, photocopying, filling in forms, chasing up all sorts of fragments of information. I am especially grateful to the Clerks of Chambers, who are of course one reason barristers set up chambers. The University of Adelaide Law School, courtesy of Deans Kath McEvoy and Professor Paul Fairall, has provided me with ongoing office facilities, and really welcomed me into the Schools active academic life. I thank general office staff Panita Hirunboot, Rowan Mitchell, Allayne Webster and Sarah Wickham for their enduring support. The Law Librarian, Sue Milne, and her staff have helped beyond the call of duty: Garry Downs, Robyn Nagel and Margaret Priwer. I thank equally Michael Abbott QC, Sam Abbott, Hon. Justice Tim Anderson, Jill Barnes, Michael Barnett, Rosey Boehm, His Hon. Judge Gordon Barrett Michael Birchall, Hon. Justice David Bleby, Kevin Borick QC, Geoffrey Britton, Gabby Brown, Tim Bryant, Sally Burgess, Rob Cameron, Ray Choate, Pam Cleland, Anthony Crocker, Sathish Dasan, Di Dawson, Professor Michael Detmold, the Chief Justice Hon. John Doyle AC QC, Debbie Duncan, Joana Fuller, Hon. Justice Tom Gray, Bruce Greenhalgh, David Greenwell, Geoffrey Hackett-Jones QC, David Haines QC, Sandy Hancock, Andrew Harris QC, Patricia Hawke, Brian Hayes QC, Henry Heuzenroeder, Paul Heywood-Smith QC, Rachel Hodgson, Veronica Horrocks, Helen Horton, Kate Jennings, Hon. Elliott Johnston AM QC, Ed Jolly, Myranwy Kanes, Dr John Keeler, Margaret Kelly, Hon. Len King AC QC, Hon. Robert Lawson QC, Hon. Justice Robyn Layton, Patricia Lee, Hon. Christopher Legoe QC, Holly Leeson, Stuart Lindsay, David Lovell QC, Neil Lowrie, Professor Fred McDougall, Professor James McWha, Michael Magarey, Hon. Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE, Marina Matthews, Hon. Robin Millhouse QC, Sue Milne, Margaret Minney (ne Sangster), late Hon. Bob Mohr, Hon. Ted MullighanII

History of the Independent Bar of South Australia

QC, Peter Norman, Hon. Justice Margaret Nyland AM, Duanne Peck, Hon. Justice John Perry, Mark Pickhaver, Lindy Powell QC, Kelvyn Prescott CSM, Nick Ramage, Ian Robertson, Steve Roder, Anthony Russell QC, Her Hon. Judge Marie Shaw, Shane Spence, Hon. Justice Steven Strickland, Hon. Justice John Sulan, His Hon. Judge Sydney Tilmouth, Chris Tonkin, Hon. John von Doussa QC, Eileen West, Vickianne West and Hon. Tim Williams QC. If I have inadvertently missed someone I apologise and please let me know. The cover painting is by Lauren-Jade Ryan on commisson, who studied visual arts with the University of South Australia. I asked her to show the founder of the independent bar handing a brief to a new practitioner to symbolise the expansion of the bar, handing on the baton. I also wanted this new practitioner to be female in order to acknowledge the increasing presence of female barristers. I borrowed a photograph of founder Christopher Legoe taken around the time he was South Australias only independent barrister. But I wanted the young woman to be representive of any young woman joining the bar. In order to achieve that effect, the one in the painting has been based on three from real life. One of these is Christopher Legoes former Judges Associate Meredith Dickson, who co-founded her own set of chambers in 2004 - Elizabeth Evatt. The handing-over of the brief takes place outside of the independent bars first permanent home, Bar Chambers, with the word Bar deliberately obscured to point to all the sets of chambers founded since. The painting hangs in the foyer of the University of Adelaide Law Schools Moot Court.


Authors Note


s someone with degrees in Humanities and none in law, when I began researching for this book I knew very little about barristers in South Australia. I came to acquire a passionate respect for this relatively small group of self-reliant individuals who have had the confidence to sign the Bar Roll - that is the main criterion for inclusion in this book - and become masters of their own destiny. In historical terms, the South Australian independent bar is quite young - almost all except a half-dozen or so of its entire membership were alive at the time of publication, including founder the Honourable Christopher Legoe QC. Because of its exponential growth since the 1980s, the majority of those who have signed the bar roll were not only still alive, but either actively in practice or holding a judicial or government office. This meant that rather than consulting musty old documents under the guard of suspicious archivists, I had the pleasure of meeting in person a hundred or more present and past members of the independent bar. My general aim was to produce a social history - that is tracing the independent bars origins and development as a group. There is almost no discussion of cases or legal matters. I have consciously kept nomenclature simple for ease of flow - except where context specifically demands it. Titles such as QC, Honourable, and so on are only used where necessary, and they can also become quickly outdated. I have been democratic in my approach to barristers and sets of chambers - giving them the choice of the material they are willing to let me use. This means that in the chapter on the chambers there is much variation on each entry, extent of details and the photos provided. I did not want to fit every set of chambers and every barrister into the same template for the sake of the appearance of the book.IX

History of the Independent Bar of South Australia There are over 300 people mentioned in this book who are the source of much of the material used in its writing. The risk in this method is that there is increased room for error. I have tried to eliminate inaccuracies. If you notice a wrong year, mispelling or inconsistency I apologise and take full responsibility, and invite you to contact me so it can be rectified in a subsequent edition, and given the continuing evolution of South Australias independent bar I see the potential for one in the future. I also must ask the indulgence for anyone who spies an uncredited photograph - please let me know. The words current and present, for the benefit of future readers, refer to the years 2005-2006. John Emerson 13 February 2006



by the

hon. Christopher Legoe QC


he idea of writing this book was suggested a few years ago. It is due to the initiative and foresight of the Hon. Justice Tom Gray who engaged Dr John Emerson to write this history of the first fifty years of a specialised branch of the legal profession in South Australia. John Emerson, a history scholar, has written up the changing structure of legal practice since colonisation here and elsewhere in Australia in a very readable form. His research has revealed important aspects of this change, particularly since the 1950s. He has made many observations relating to the formation and development of an independent group of barristers both experienced and inexperienced when they elected to join the bar. The book demonstrates how all those who made that election over the last fifty years contributed to the status and strength that it currently enjoys. It is their dedication and professional skills that have established and maintained the bar. Many thanks should be given to all those who have helped and contributed to the preparation and publication of this book. They know who they are and the readers are the beneficiaries. The story and events recorded in this book open the door to memories which may otherwise be closed and forgotten. Christopher Legoe The original Reluctant Debutante



hon. sir Anthony MAson AC


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