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A jam-packed week of legal news pre-EOFY: What’s hot in law this week (19-23 June)

This past week has seen a fascinating insight into high-profile defamation trials and the strategies to tackle alleged data hacks — all while national firms continue to announce promotions round pre-EOFY. Here is your weekly round-up of the biggest stories for Australia’s legal profession.

user iconJerome Doraisamy 24 June 2023 Big Law
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For the week from 19 June to 23 June, these were the 10 most-read stories on Lawyers Weekly (in case you missed them):

  1. Kiefel CJ to retire early
Susan Kiefel AC, the Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia, will be departing from the bench slightly earlier than the constitutionally mandated retirement age of 70.

  1. Inside HWL Ebsworth’s plan to manage a 4TB data leak
As the latest victim of a Russian hacker group, HWL Ebsworth has disclosed its unsuccessful negotiations to prevent the leak and has detailed a plan to stop the stolen data from spreading further.


  1. Victorian lawyer jailed for ‘abhorrent’ $420k theft from clients
Kevin Roache, 82, the former director and principal lawyer of Coulter Roache Legal — now known only as Coulter Legal — will spend at least a year behind bars for the “abhorrent” theft from the estates of two deceased clients between April 2018 and October 2019.

  1. BigLaw firms starting to make back-office cuts
At least two BigLaw firms have been making redundancies to roles in the back office of their businesses — and, given current market conditions, those practices may not be the last.

  1. Hall & Wilcox elevates 48
National law firm Hall & Wilcox has named five new partners, 11 new special counsel, 24 new senior associates and eight senior corporate promotions, all of which take effect in the new financial year.

  1. What it took to win Australia’s biggest defamation trial
Reflecting on 50 years of experience in defamation law, the lawyer behind the media’s success against Ben Roberts-Smith said not only was it the biggest defamation trial in Australia’s history, but it was also the most challenging. Here’s what he said it took to win.

  1. Thomson Geer promotes 23, adds lateral hire as principal for allied firm
National law firm Thomson Geer has elevated two to special counsel, 12 to senior associate and nine to associate, and has also appointed a senior associate from MinterEllison as the newest principal for its allied firm, TG Legal + Technology.

  1. Lawyer accuses national employment firm of negligence
A solicitor who sought damages against his former workplace has alleged the employment firm he retained was negligent and exacerbated his mental health issues, a court has heard.

  1. Student claims legal admission board discriminated against disability
A former law student demanded the Legal Profession Admission Board (LPAB) publicly apologise and hand over more than $45,000 after it refused to allow him to study legal subjects out of order.

  1. Federal judge named as Law Reform Commission president
Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus has appointed a judge of the Federal Court of Australia as the new president of the Australian Law Reform Commission for a term of five years.