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Chambers and Partners – Asia Pacific 2021 Rankings

New Chambers has been recognised by Chambers and Partners in the “Asia – Pacific 2021, Dispute Resolution: The Bar in Australia” rankings. Chambers and Partners reviews are in italics

This Sydney set is home to over 50 barristers, practising in over 50 practice areas and appearing in court, administrative tribunal and public inquiry proceedings and a variety of alternative dispute resolution processes across Australia and abroad. The chambers’ versatile offering includes strong concentrations of expertise in the financial services and insolvency spheres, and its members include a star of the appellate Bar and pre-eminent providers of advice and advocacy on taxation and shipping issues. Interviewees are quick to compliment both the high-quality legal acumen and the freedom from administrative friction that the set provides. One source calls it “one of the key, go-to chambers for commercial work in New South Wales,” while another speaks of “an extremely collaborative collection of excellent calibre barristers” and of “seamless engagement” with the chambers itself. The set is also praised for “walking the walk on diversity” by a commentator who observes: “They don’t only accept lawyers from top ten law firms or with a BCL from Oxford, but simply seek out the best legal talent, which results in a much better representation of the community.” Clerk Michael Wilcox  is a recommended contact.

New Chambers was also strongly represented in the individual ranking with 12 members being ranked.

Dispute Resolution: The Bar

David Jackson QC (Star Individual) is regularly identified as “one of the best appellate barristers in the country,” an interviewee who has seen him in action in this role calling him “supremely capable and a joy to watch – an absolute doyen of the Australian Bar.” In addition to his appellate work at both state and Commonwealth levels, he is also a popular choice to head high-profile inquiries and a highly experienced arbitrator.

Neil Young QC (Star Individual) continues to command widespread endorsement of his status as “a leader among leaders” at the Australian commercial Bar. Sources note his “extraordinarily meticulous preparation,” complemented by an “impressive capability for getting across material in a short space of time,” and a will to win that means “he doesn’t give up until the court rises.” A “deeply impressed” client calls him “definitely a safe choice for any very important litigation.”

Elizabeth Cheeseman SC  (Band 3) stands out for one source as an “outstanding advocate” who is “able, in short order, to get on top of complex legal and factual issues, develop a case theory and deliver excellent written and oral advocacy – in addition to providing commercial and concise strategic legal advice and engaging very effectively with clients.” Of her courtcraft, another contributor observes that her advocacy is both “very analytical” and “persuasive without being too long-winded or hectoring.” Insolvency and financial regulatory matters feature prominently in her broad commercial practice, in which she acts for both corporate and regulatory authority clients.

David McLure SC (Band 4) is active across an impressive range of practice areas, including, but by no means limited to, those of corporate crime, financial services, insolvency, taxation and shipping. An instructing solicitor notes not only his “ability to grasp difficult concepts in specialist areas of expertise,” but also the fact that he is “very precise in what he does, focuses on key issues and identifies litigation strategies very early on.”

Employment: The Bar

Kate Eastman SC (Band 1) is an “outstanding barrister with an excellent manner,” identified by sources not only as “very reliable” for employment law briefs generally, but also as “someone you have to go to for discrimination matters.” Commenting on Eastman’s reputation in that area, one source observes: “She is at the top of her game in her space; we brief her and she is fantastic.” In addition to representing clients before superior courts and a variety of commissions and tribunals, she is also instructed frequently in connection with key inquiries.

Restructuring/Insolvency: The Bar

Adam Bell SC  (Band 2) is a highly experienced and “incredibly detail-oriented” silk who is “very well regarded commercially” in the restructuring and insolvency sphere. He acts extensively on behalf of both liquidators and receivers.

Emma Beechey (Band 2) stands out as a “very smart, very impressive junior with really excellent technical insolvency knowledge,” one interviewee observing: “I haven’t seen anyone, including SCs and QCs, get the better of her in legal understanding.” The same source adds that “she understands the difficult issues and can analyse them and come up with good arguments, even when the position isn’t the strongest.” She is highly experienced in the representation not only of leading liquidators and insolvency practitioners but also of major banks.

Shipping: The Bar

Gregory Nell SC (Band 1) receives uniformly laudatory feedback from interviewees, who frequently identify him not only as “the leading silk in Sydney for shipping,” but also as “the leader of the Australian shipping Bar.” Devoting the greater part of his practice to maritime law issues, an area in which he has worked for well over 30 years, he is described by one source as “absolutely top class: thorough, with a great eye for the detail, and a pleasure to work with,” while another observes: “If you want someone who immediately commands the respect which helps get a commercial outcome for the client, he’s the one with the gravitas.”

Catherine Gleeson (Band 1) devotes a substantial proportion of her practice to shipping matters, notably including cargo and demurrage claims, and is widely regarded as “a leading junior in maritime and insurance law.” She is further described as an “excellent, very hard-working and very thorough barrister” who could confidently be entrusted sole carriage of a trial brief because “she’s smart, understands strategy and is very focused on achieving a commercial outcome.”

Jesse Kennedy (Band 1) Jesse Kennedy’s close focus on maritime issues forms a substantial component of a practice largely concerned with international disputes. He is the recipient of highly enthusiastic feedback from interviewees, one calling him “an up-and-coming star” in this space, and another characterising him as “an outstanding junior counsel who has an impressive attention to detail and is quickly able to master and understand a complex brief.” More than one source emphasises his confident handling, unled, of court cases, one instructing solicitor speaking of a matter in which he “did 99% of the work and all the advocacy and was wholly successful, with terrific courtcraft.”

Tax: The Bar

David Bloom QC  (Band 1)  is widely acknowledged to be “the leading tax silk in Australia,” more than one interviewee testifying to his exceptional body of experience and “extraordinary reputation” in the space. Active on behalf of both taxpayers and the taxation authorities for some four decades, he continues to appear in key appellate cases considered by the High and Federal Courts.

Chris Peadon  (Band 1) is widely acknowledged as “one of the best senior juniors operating in the tax space at the Sydney Bar,” commanding respect as one of those barristers “who live and breathe their profession” and for his versatility in acting for both taxpayers and the ATO. Able “to deliver a really good product on really complex matters within the time needed,” he inspires one interviewee to observe: “If I have a difficult matter, I feel comfortable calling him since he’s done it all.”

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