The Lawyers Weekly Award

Principal Partner


In celebration of the Lawyers Weekly Australian Law Awards’ 20th Anniversary, this year we will recognise one individual for their ongoing advancement of the profession of law in Australia.

Finalists will be announced from the top-ranking nominations. The winner will be determined by a public vote on to recognise the individual’s outstanding performance and impact on the business of law.


Nominations will be open to all legal professionals, recognising their achievements from 2000 to 2020. It includes current and former legal professionals with consideration of their achievements over this 20-year period. This includes, but is not limited to, those working in legal practice, academia and law reform.

Assessment criteria

The winner with the highest number of votes will be announced at this year’s Australian Law Awards on 7 August 2020.

What makes them “stand out” among others?

Please detail how the profession of law has benefited from their contribution. Include examples that demonstrate their significant impact in advancing the cause of justice for Australian lawyers and the broader community.

The finalists are

  • Julian Burnside AO QC (barrister)
  • Bernard Collaery (barrister, former Attorney-General of the Australian Capital Territory)
  • Kate Eastman SC (barrister and co-founder, Australian Lawyers for Human Rights)
  • The Hon Robert French AC (former chief justice, High Court of Australia)
  • Sue Kench (global chief executive, King & Wood Mallesons)
  • The Hon Chief Justice Susan Kiefel AC (chief justice, High Court of Australia)
  • The Hon Michael Kirby AC CMG (former justice, High Court of Australia)
  • Jane Needham (barrister and former president, NSW Bar Association)
  • Geoffrey Robertson AO QC (barrister)
  • Professor Gillian Triggs (assistant secretary-general, United Nations and former president, Australian Human Rights Commission)