In the annual Chambers survey, barristers with “exceptional recommendations in their field” have been given ‘star individual’ status. They are: Alan C Archibald QC from Owen Dixon Chambers West (Melbourne), David Jackson QC from Seven Wentworth Chambers (Sydney), Bret Walker SC from Fifth Floor St James’ Hall Chambers (Sydney) and Neil Young QC from Ninian Stephen Chambers (Melbourne).
Two of the barristers served as judges of the Federal Court – Jackson between 1985 and 1987 and Young between 2005 and 2007. The high-profile advocates have also battled each other in the High Court on more than one occasion.
Last year, Jackson acted for Andrew Forrest in the High Court to appeal the Federal Court ruling that the Fortescue Metals chairman misled financial markets. Young was his opponent, acting for ASIC in the matter.
The barristers will face each other again when the full bench of the High Court hears Forrest’s constitutional challenge to the Federal Government’s Minerals Resource Rent Tax.
Melbourne-based barrister Alan Archibald is also no stranger to the High Court, recently acting for ANZ Bank against a class action by customers seeking to overturn a Federal Court judgment limiting which bank penalties are regarded as excessive. He also acted alongside fellow ‘star’ barrister Walker on behalf of tobacco companies in their challenge to the Federal Government’s plain-packaging laws last year.
Barristers from Sydney and Melbourne dominated the Chambers list overall. While it was an even split between NSW and Victoria in the ‘star’ category, a higher number of Sydney silks achieved band-one status, the survey’s top ranking. They are: Steven Finch SC from Tenth Floor Selborne/Wentworth Chambers; Justin Gleeson SC from Banco Chambers; Noel Hutley SC from Fifth Floor St James’ Hall Chambers, and John Sheahan SC from 5th Floor Wentworth Chambers.
Allan Myers QC from Owen Dixon Chambers West, John Karkar QC from Owen Dixon Chambers West and Charles Scerri QC from Chancery Chambers represented the Victorian Bar in the top band.
The following comments about the four barristers named ‘star individuals’ were included in The Chambers Asia-Pacific 2013 Guide.
Archibald: “One of the most recognised names at the Victoria Bar.”
Jackson: “Widely regarded as the best appellant advocate in country.”
Walker: “A standout commercial silk ... highly commercial and very good for complex cases.”
Young: “Wide breadth of commercial experience ... extraordinarily talented.”