find the latest legal job
Corporate/Commercial Lawyers (2-5 years PAE)
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Specialist commercial law firm · Long-term career progression
View details
Graduate Lawyer / Up to 1.5 yr PAE Lawyer
Category: Personal Injury Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Mentoring Opportunity in Regional QLD · Personal Injury Law
View details
Corporate and Commercial Partner
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Full time · Join a leading Adelaide commercial law firm
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
In-house Legal Counsel & Commercial Lawyers
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· Providing lawyers with flexibility and control over when they work, how they work and who they work for.
View details
Barrister lauded in UK and Australia

Barrister lauded in UK and Australia

The winner of the Sheahan Lock Partners Junior Barrister Award can place that trophy next to major British academic honours.

Dr Ruth Higgins from Sydney’s Banco Chambers took out this Award, which is open to barristers who have been at the Bar for less than 10 years.

Higgins beat a quartet of young Melbourne barristers, with the other finalists being Cath Devine from Owen Dixon Chambers East, Diana Price from Isaacs Chambers, Elizabeth Ruddle from Owen Dixon Chambers West and Jessie Taylor from Foley’s List.

“I am very grateful to receive this,” said Higgins from the winner’s podium. “It is particularly gratifying to receive it in a room full of so many women who are not only distinguished amongst themselves but distinguished generally across the legal profession and across Australia.”

Higgins began her legal career in Australia after excelling in academia in the 1990s in the UK. The Scotland native was awarded a university medal from the University of Glasgow for being the Most Distinguished Graduate in Law and, when studying for a doctorate in philosophy at Oxford University’s Balliol College, she was awarded three prestigious scholarships.

When she arrived in Australia just over a decade ago, Higgins first landed a spot at Gilbert + Tobin before being admitted to the Bar in 2006.

In a short space of time she has already garnered a reputation for legal excellence, and has co-edited two publications with Justin Gleeson SC.

“I regard her as one of the most gifted juniors I have worked with in the course of my 30-year career as a litigation lawyer and partner,” wrote one referee from a major global law firm. “In my view she is already regarded as one of the leading lights of the junior bar in Sydney.”

Anna Bagley, the general counsel from Engenco Limited who judged this Award, expressed similar comments about Higgins.

“Dr Higgins is clearly greatly respected by senior members of the bar and private practice alike,” said Bagley.

Cab-rank questioned
Higgins received her Award from John Sheahan (pictured with Higgins), the head of the specialist insolvency firm Sheahan Lock Partners.

In presenting the Award, he made the observation that some barristers are reticent to take on certain cases involving large organisations.

“If I can say something about the profession that concerns me a little bit it is that junior barristers are telling me they would love to take that brief, but we shouldn’t really act against that particular company,” said Sheahan.

“I would urge all junior barristers to make your undoubted talents available to all clients, not just the large, seductive, institutional clients.

“There will always be plenty of interesting work for the best and the brightest.”

Speaking to Lawyers Weekly at the Awards, a well known and respected barrister said that the cab-rank rule continues to be followed by barristers throughout Australia.

Sheahan also paid tribute to junior barristers while on the podium.

“We all know deep down that it the junior barrister who often drives those brilliant advices which are signed by QCs and SCs,” he said.

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

Barrister lauded in UK and Australia
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Dec 14 2017
International arbitration and business culture
Promoted by Maxwell Chambers. This article discusses the impact of international arbitration on t...
Papua New Guinea flag
Dec 14 2017
World-first mining case launched in PNG
Citizens of Papua New Guinea have launched landmark legal proceedings against the country’s govern...
Dec 14 2017
Punishing offenders twice pointless, politicians warned
The president of the Law Society of NSW has warned legislators from other states about adopting cont...
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 & ...