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Virtual Court attendances – weekly round up from New Chambers barristers

During this challenging time, New Chambers barristers continue their hard work for solicitors and clients, adopting a “new normal” in a range of virtual appearances. A weekly round up as at 3 April 2020 as follows:


Tony McInerney SC / Nick Kabilafkas:

On 25-27 March 2020, Tony McInerney SC and Nick Kabilafkas appeared before the NSW Court of Appeal (Meagher, Leeming & Payne JJA) for three days using two separate videolink facilities.


Nick Kabilafkas:

On 7 and 8 April 2020, Nick Kabilafkas  appeared in the NSW Court of Appeal, led by Bret Walker SC, using videolink facilities in chambers.


Ben Katekar:

Ben Katekar is currently conducting a series of liquidators’ examinations by Zoom, where the examinees have agreed to be examined voluntarily.

He’s also interviewing witnesses in a large multi-party litigation by Zoom.


Justin Simpkins:

Justin Simpkins appeared in a mediation via Zoom for a client attending from WA and the instructing solicitor appearing from home. Also appearing are two other parties and their legal representatives and insurer (10 people all from remote locations, for the joint session). The team is communicating through WhatsApp.


Jesse Kennedy:

Jesse Kennedy has conducted two client conferences with Microsoft Teams, one of which involved 7 other people spread across Sydney and Melbourne. Jesse has also conducted witness interviews with 4 different witnesses in Korea, over an online videoconferencing platform (which was in Korean and provided by the client).  He will soon conduct a mediation across New Zealand, Melbourne and Sydney, also via Teams, as well as a Federal Court hearing in Sydney on Teams.

Prior to the pandemic, Jesse has also been involved with video hearings for an arbitration where the arbitrators have sat in Singapore, Perth and Sydney with our legal team spread across different cities. The legal counsel communicated privately with each other during the hearings via WhatsApp.


Luke Livingston:

Luke Livingston has recently appeared in a virtual courtroom before Wigney J, sitting as Duty Judge in the Federal Court, in an urgent application by the Deputy Commissioner of Taxation in respect of a freezing order and before Davies J, in the Common Law Division of the Supreme Court of NSW, at a final hearing for the Commissioner of the Australian Federal Police in a proceeds of crime proceeding. In both instances, the Court ultimately proceeded by telephone hearing. In addition, Luke has been conducting numerous conferences with instructing solicitors, in a range of matters, via Zoom or by telephone, with participants dialling in from multiple locations across Australia.”


David McLure SC / Greg O’Mahoney:

On 25 March 2020, David McLure appeared (by Microsoft Teams) with Greg O’Mahoney for the Commissioner of Taxation in a promoter penalty proceeding before Thawley J in the Federal Court.


Courtney Ensor:

Courtney Ensor has appeared before Logan J in the Brisbane registry of the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne Corporation of Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxation and 2 related proceedings (Part IVA and IVC proceedings concerning companies controlled by accountant Vanda Gould and issues including offshore loan arrangements) in one pre-trial case management hearing by telephone and another pre-trial case management hearing the subsequent week by video (Microsoft Teams).  The Microsoft Teams hearing involved three counsel appearing separately from Sydney and two solicitors appearing separately, one from Sydney and one from Melbourne, while his Honour was in Brisbane.


James Sheller SC:

James Sheller has been using virtual facilities to conduct a hearing in the Dust Diseases Tribunal (our first mention before Judge Scotting) with the hearing running in full on Monday and Tuesday of next week (6-7 April).  The hearing involves taking evidence from the Plaintiff and his wife from their residence in Yeppoon which is relayed to counsel in chambers, their instructing solicitors and the Dust Diseases Tribunal all in Sydney or in Brisbane.

In addition, expert evidence will be taken from witnesses in Brisbane and relayed in the fashion set out above.

James will be appearing at the hearing either from Chambers or through his home computer.

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