Home Sweet Home

Having been spending most of my time recently working on cases interstate and abroad, it was good to be back on my feet in the South Australian Supreme Court this last week.

Ex parte injunction succesfully obtained on Monday, and succesfully retained inter partes on Friday. Nice symetrical bookends Continue reading

On being “really a barrister”

KCCUW14Keating Chambers’ Winter 2014 Construction Update is now out, and available here. Full of good stuff.

It also contains an interview I gave about joining chambers, including the recollection that it was the present Master of the Rolls, Lord Dyson, who suggested to me many years ago (when he was at the bar, and we had just finished a High Court trial against each other in which I had appeared as a solicitor advocate) that I was “really a barrister”. Which was ironic in that it was a previous Master of the Rolls, that had admitted me as a solicitor. I think it was a compliment; either that or it was lost on me.

There is an old, rather cynical, view that being a barrister is all about ensuring that cases do not settle until the brief has been delivered. On that test, I am a truly dreadful barrister. It is welcome that the first page contains my old friend Rosemary Jackson QC commenting on her decision to devote all of her time now to mediation, to the exclusion of court work. In his welcome introduction, Professor Anthony Lavers, who generously remarks:

The rationale chimes exactly with the news that Robert Fenwick Elliott has joined Keating Chambers as an International Tenant and with his credo that his “instinct is to settle cases if an achievable settlement will produce a better result than trial” as he explains in his Brief Encounter profile. Robert belongs, with the late Stanley Berwin, to that very exclusive club of lawyers who have founded two major firms.

His stature in construction law across the world is unquestioned and his new role will strengthen Chambers’ presence in the Asia-Pacific region particularly.

I knew Stanley Berwin. At an early Continue reading