Following a thorough consultation with the Victorian Bar, Supreme Court Chief Justice, the Honourable Anne Ferguson, announced that 114 applications for senior counsel have been narrowed down to 16 successful candidates.
The 16 new silks for 2021 were chosen from 87 male and 27 female applicants after a consultation with the Victorian Bar, the broader legal profession, the Legal Services Commissioner and the judiciary. This year’s numbers are made up of nine women, including former Victorian Bar council member Kathleen Elisabeth Foley.
Commenting on the new silk appointments, Chief Justice Ferguson said that they come from a range of backgrounds and practice areas and are all “highly regarded advocates and leaders” within their respective legal fields and in the profession.
“Being appointed senior counsel recognises each person’s skill, integrity, independence and standing in the profession. It is the expectation of the profession and the judiciary that the new silks will provide outstanding service to the administration of justice,” Chief Justice Ferguson said.
This year marks the first time in Victorian history that more women than men have been appointed to senior counsel. This, Chief Justice Ferguson said, is a significant milestone that reflects the positive changes happening across the profession.
“I warmly congratulate our newest senior counsel for 2021,” the Chief Justice said.
The new silks are:
- Siobhan Ryan
- Graeme Anthony Hill
- Angus Ewen Auchline Macnab
- Lisa Anne Hespe
- Daniel Victor Aghion
- Marc Leon Felman
- Meghan Jane O’Sullivan
- Nicholas Malcolm Wood
- Fiona Ann Louise Ryan
- Kathleen Elizabeth Foley
- Emily Clare Victoria Porter
- Elizabeth Anne Bennett
- Patrick Jonathan Doyle
- Ruth Shann
- Charles Oliver Harvey Parkinson
- Barbara Anne Myers
The Victorian Women Barristers Association said that it is "delighted" to congratulate members of the Victorian Bar who were appointed as Senior Counsel.
"We are particularly delighted to see a majority of women being appointed this year (nine out of 16)," it said.
"Indeed, for the first time in Victorian history, more women than men have been appointed as Senior Counsel. They were selected from a pool of 114 applicants (87 men and 27 women). These appointments recognise the outstanding contribution made by women at the Victorian Bar. The WBA looks forward to a time where the appointment of women Senior Counsel in equal or higher numbers to their male counterparts is the norm rather than the exception. The WBA remains committed to eradicate the discrimination experienced by women in the profession."