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Existential crises and a new Chief Justice: What’s hot in law this week (21–25 Aug)

The 14th Chief Justice of the High Court has been named and the legal profession has seen some fascinating court proceedings in the past seven days. Here is your weekly round-up of the biggest stories for Australia’s legal profession.

user iconLawyers Weekly 26 August 2023 Big Law
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For the week from 21–25 August, these were the 10 most-read stories on Lawyers Weekly (in case you missed them):

  1. Stephen Gageler named as new High Court Chief Justice
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese and Attorney-General Mark Dreyfus have appointed the 14th Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia and have named a new justice to the bench.

  1. ‘Dissatisfied’ law firm principal takes recruitment agency to court
A law firm principal has taken a legal recruitment agency to court over his dissatisfaction with a new employee.


  1. ‘Architect’, co-conspirator of $105m Plutus Payroll scam jailed
Two key members of the Plutus Payroll scheme that robbed the Australian Taxation Office of $105 million have been sentenced.

  1. Disgraced migration agent blocked from joining legal profession
A former migration agent’s legal aspirations have been dashed by a Supreme Court that found his history of providing inadequate advice to clients and lying to authorities was too recent.

  1. The ‘existential crisis’ facing young lawyers
While embarking on a new career can always be daunting, young lawyers, in particular, seem to be experiencing what’s been called an “existential crisis”, where feelings of anxiety and stress lead to uncertainty about the future. So, what’s causing this and how can it be combated?

  1. WA lawyer hit with ‘aggressive, intimidating’ allegations
A client’s fiery allegations that a Western Australian lawyer had been “aggressive, intimidating or abusive” have been dismissed.

  1. The business value of parental leave policies
The legal industry leads the country in terms of parental leave – and as these firms have found, initiatives like these are not only valuable for working parents, but they also result in improved culture, staff retention, and work/life balance.

  1. Victoria appoints new associate justice to Supreme Court
Catherine Gobbo, a “leading barrister in insolvency law and litigation” has been elevated to the Supreme Court of Victoria as an associate justice.

  1. Maddocks adds Victorian state government solicitor as new partner
National law firm Maddocks has moved to bolster its commercial practice in Melbourne with the appointment of a senior lawyer from the Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office to its partnership.

  1. Support for the Voice shines through Arnold Bloch Leibler’s 70th-year celebration
Amid a celebration for Arnold Bloch Leibler’s 70th year, the Prime Minister of Australia and the firm’s leaders celebrated the upcoming Voice to Parliament vote and urged the room filled with legal, community, and political leaders to “go forward together”.