A new chambers of barristers is set to launch in Victoria.
The New Lawyer can reveal that the new Melbourne TEC Chambers, covering technology, engineering and construction (TEC), is the first specialised barristers' chambers in Australia.
The new chambers, which will be launched this Thursday, is the brainchild of Michael Whitten, a member of the Victorian Bar, who currently sits in the Chancery Chambers.
The chambers derives its identity form the commonality of its members' practice as specialist barristers, arbitrators and ADR practitioners in TEC law.
It will hold 31 barristers who will continue to practice as sole practitioners, in competition with other, and maintaining their current clerks and physical chambers. The point is that the barristers will present themselves as a group of specialist counsel.
Of the 31 members, ten are silks, nine are accredited arbitrators, and the majority are also qualified as mediators.
Among its ranks are Dr Gavan Griffith AO QC, previously the Commonwealth Solicitor General, and John Digby QC, the immediate part chairman of the Victorian Bar Council.
In an uncommon move for chambers, more commonly seen in law firms, Melbourne TEC Chambers has published a professional brochure to highlight the skills and expertise of its members, and has created a professional website which provides resources for solicitors and corporate counsel working in TEC law.
These "marketing tools" have long been de riguer for firms of solicitors, the chambers has noted, but are new to Victorian barristers who traditionally have been reluctant to engage in marketing of any kind.