find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
Keane a judge of the people

Keane a judge of the people

Newly-appointed High Court judge Patrick Keane won’t sit in an ivory tower but will seek the thoughts and views of lawyers at all levels, according to a friend and colleague.

Justin McDonnell (pictured), a partner at King & Wood Mallesons, has worked with Keane for around 25 years and told Lawyers Weekly that the current Federal Court chief justice “takes notice of all and isn’t just engaging with the senior people in the room”.

“It’s one of his great strengths,” he added.

Another of Keane’s strengths is his efficient approach, which McDonnell claimed will be welcomed by solicitors.

“[Keane] always had the ability to go straight to what the real issues of the dispute were,” he said. “Whenever you appeared before him in court he literally had a handful of questions he wanted answered to help direct his mind to the eventual outcome ... he didn’t want to waste time on the unnecessary.”

Keane is the 50th judge to be appointed to the High Court since Federation. He will replace Justice Dyson Heydon, who will leave the bench in March 2013 when he turns 70, the compulsory retirement age for High Court judges.

McDonnell met Keane in the 1980s when he was a practising barrister in Brisbane. Even then, Keane had the respect of the court and the legal profession, said McDonnell, recalling one of Keane’s court appearances, which he believes is “one of the most compelling pieces of advocacy”.

“From the point of view of a practising solicitor, it was a real bonus that your silk had such a command of the law and the respect of the court that you knew you were always going to get a good hearing.”

On a personal level, McDonnell describes Keane as an “entertaining fellow” who likes rugby and cricket.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Keane a judge of the people
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...