John Blackburn SC


D   08 9220 0463
M   0418 882 723
E   jblackburn@francisburt.com.au

Year of election to the Bar:
2003
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2015

John Blackburn.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil

Industrial and employment
Discrimination
Employment contracts and restraint of trade
Industrial disputes and statutory employment rights

 

Profile

John Blackburn SC is one of Western Australia's leading workplace relations barristers.

He has over 25 years’ experience in industrial and employment law – having worked as an industrial advocate and IR Manager at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA (CCI), employment lawyer at Minter Ellison and general counsel at CCI. He joined the Independent Bar in 2003.

John practises almost exclusively in industrial and employment matters. He is regularly briefed to appear in the Federal Court, Federal Circuit Court and Fair Work Commission, both at first instance and appellate level, on matters ranging from large scale industrial disputes to executive employment litigation, adverse action and discrimination claims by individuals.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  2000 (WA)

Qualifications: BA, LLB

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Patricia Cahill SC


D   08 9220 0543
E   pcahill@francisburt.com.au
PA Margaret Maxwell
PA T 08 9220 0480

Year of election to the Bar:
2004
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2009

Patricia Cahill SC-B&W.jpg

Profile

Patricia Cahill’s practice encompasses most aspects of civil litigation and arbitration, with the majority of her work involving complex commercial, corporate and construction disputes.
 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  1987

Qualifications: B Juris. LLB (Hons)

 

Martin Cuerden SC


D   08 9220 0516
M   0400 204 289
E   mcuerden@francisburt.com.au
PA Tracy Holmes
PA T 08 9220 0576

Year of election to the Bar:
2001
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2014

Martin Cuerden copy.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil

Arbitration and mediation
Arbitrators and mediators
Domestic commercial arbitration

Commercial
Appeals
Banking
Bankruptcy
Building and construction
Construction and engineering
Consumer protection law
Contractual disputes
Corporate insolvency
Corporations law
Equity
Insurance
Landlord and tenant
Partnership disputes
Professional liability
Real property
Restraint of trade
Trusts

Industrial and employment
Employment contracts and restraint of trade

Personal injuries
Appellate
Dust diseases
Insurance – disability claims
Judicial review – motor accidents
Judicial review – workers compensation  
Motor vehicles
Work injury damages

Torts
Appellate
Intentional torts
Negligence
Professional negligence
 

Public

Environment and planning
Compulsory acquisition of land compensation
Local government

Public and administrative
Civil and human rights
Disciplinary proceedings
Extradition
Judicial review and administrative law


Succession

Family Provision Act

Wills and Estates
Wills
Estates
Contested Probate

 

Profile

Martin has a broad civil practice. He provides advice and regularly appears in a range of areas, both at first instance and at appellate level. He also accepts instructions to appear in the State Administrative Tribunal and in arbitrations.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  1996

Qualifications: LLB (Hons)

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Stephen Davies SC


D   08 9220 0424
M   0412 922 424
E   smdavies@francisburt.com.au
PA Lorraine Healey
PA T 08 9220 0545

Year of election to the Bar:
1999
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2009

Stephen Davies-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil

Arbitration and mediation
Arbitrators and mediators
Domestic commercial arbitration
International commercial arbitration

Commercial
Appeals
Banking
Bankruptcy
Building and construction
Competition
Construction and engineering
Contractual disputes
Corporate insolvency
Corporations law
Equity
Insurance
Intellectual property
International commercial arbitration
Landlord and tenant
Mining and resources
Partnership disputes
Professional liability
Real property
Restraint of trade
Telecommunications and broadcasting
Trusts

Defamation

Industrial and employment
Employment contracts and restraint of trade
Workplace health and safety

Torts
Appellate
Intentional torts
Negligence
Professional negligence
 

Criminal

State offences
White collar and corporate crime

Commissions and other inquiries
Crime and corruption commission
Australian crime authority

Commonwealth offences
White collar and corporate crime

Coronial inquests

Regulatory offences
Workplace health and safety
Environmental and planning offences
 

Public

Constitutional law

Environmental and planning
Compulsory acquisition of land compensation
Environmental and planning offences

Public and administrative
Disciplinary proceedings
Judicial review and administrative law
 

Succession

Family Provision Act

 

Profile

Stephen Davies SC practises in all areas of commercial litigation, in particular, complex contractual disputes including construction matters, professional negligence, equity and defamation.  

From 1990 to 1998 he practised at Blake Dawson Waldron in commercial litigation. From 1998 to 1999 he prosecuted at the Commonwealth DPP including for fraud and regulatory offences.  

Stephen joined the Bar in 1999 and took silk in 2009. Since 2001 he has been a Director of Francis Burt Chambers.  He was Chairman of Francis Burt Chambers from 2009 to 2015. He is Vice President of the Western Australian Bar Association.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  1991 (WA)  2000 (NSW)

Qualifications: BA, LLB (Hons)

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Matthew Howard SC


D   08 9220 0457
M   0419 936 058
E   mdhoward@23fbc.com.au
PA Fran Corica
PA T 08 9220 0581

Year of election to the Bar:
1996
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2009

Matthew Howard SC-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil    

Arbitration and mediation
Arbitrators and mediators

Commercial
Appeals
Confiscations (proceeds of crime)
Contractual disputes
Corporations law
Equity
Mining and resources
Partnership disputes
Professional liability
Restraint of trade
Trusts

Torts
Appellate
Professional negligence
 

Criminal

State offences
White collar and corporate crime

Commonwealth offences
White collar and corporate crime

Coronial inquests
 

Public

Constitutional law

Public and administrative
Civil and human rights
Disciplinary proceedings
Immigration law
Judicial review and administrative law
 

Succession

Family Provision Act

 

Profile

Matthew Howard SC joined the Bar in 1996 and took silk in 2009. He has a commercial and public law practice, appears in all superior courts and is experienced in large commercial cases.

Matthew is regularly briefed in significant and high-profile matters including in the High Court of Australia and in appeals to the Full Federal Court and other courts of appeal. 

He teaches Conflict of Laws at the University of Western Australia, where he is an Honorary Fellow. He has taught advocacy for a number of years in Australia and overseas, and previously taught Equity and Trusts.

Matthew is President of the WA Bar Association. He is committed to providing access to justice through pro bono work and was the chair of the Mental Health Law Centre from 2014 to 2017.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  1989 (WA), 1990 (VIC), 1994 (NSW)

Qualifications: BJuris (Hons), LLB (UWA)

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Darren Jackson SC


D   08 9220 0450
M   0402 445 321
E   djackson@francisburt.com.au
PA Shelley Botica
PA T 08 9220 0533

Year of election to the Bar:
2010
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2016

Darren Jackson SC-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil

Arbitration and mediation
Arbitrators and mediators
Domestic commercial arbitration
International commercial arbitration

Commercial
Appeals
Banking
Bankruptcy
Competition
Consumer protection law
Contractual disputes
Corporate insolvency
Corporations law
Equity
Intellectual property
Mining and resources
Restraint of trade
Securities and investments
Trusts
 

Public

Public and administrative
Judicial review and administrative law

 

Profile

Darren Jackson is a barrister with wide experience in all aspects of commercial law. 

His particular areas of interest are corporations law, competition law (including regulation of essential infrastructure), energy law and insolvency. 

Darren has appeared as sole or lead counsel in numerous hearings before various courts and tribunals, including the Supreme Court of Western Australia, the Western Australian Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and commercial arbitrations.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  23 December 1992

Qualifications: LLB (Hons) 1991, University of Western Australia
BA 1991 (Hons)

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Michael Nicholls QC


D   08 9220 0319
M   0450 041 948
E   mnicholls@francisburt.com.au

Year of election to the Bar:
1975
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2006

Michael Nicholls-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Family

Adoption and surrogacy
Child protection
Child support

Family & de facto
Property, spousal-maintenance & financial
Child-related proceedings
Financial agreements
Child support

International family law
Restraining orders
 

Succession

Family Planning
Care and protection
Family and de facto
Parenting orders
Property

 

Profile

Michael Nicholls QC has a practice that includes international family law, domestic family law, medical ethics and appellate advocacy.

Within international family law, he specialises in child abduction, relocation and international access cases, jurisdiction and forum disputes in divorce, financial and children’s cases, validity of marriage, adoption, surrogacy, recognition and enforcement of orders.

And in medical ethics and associated matters, he specialises in disputes about medical treatment, disputes between patients and doctors and parents and doctors, legal and ethical obligations of doctors, surrogacy arrangements (including overseas surrogacy arrangements), human fertilisation and embryology.

Michael was called to the Bar of England and Wales in 1975 after serving in the Royal Navy. He spent five years as a lawyer in the Army before becoming a solicitor in private practice in England. He then worked for the Director of Public Prosecutions in London before moving to Official Solicitor to the Supreme Court in 1983, where he was a family lawyer and head of the Lord Chancellor’s Child Abduction Unit.

In 1998, he returned to practice at the Bar at 1 Hare Court, Temple, London, and was appointed Queen’s Counsel in 2006. He moved to Western Australia in 2009.

 

Kenneth Pettit SC


D   08 9220 0556
M   0419 923 768
E   kpettit@francisburt.com.au
PA Glenys Pettit
PA T 08 9220 0507

Year of election to the Bar:
1995
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2002

Ken Pettit SC-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil    

Arbitration and mediation
Arbitrators and mediators
Domestic commercial arbitration
International commercial arbitration

Commercial
Appeals
Building and construction
Construction and engineering
Contractual disputes
Corporations law
Equity
Landlord and tenant
Mining and resources
Native title
Partnership disputes
Real property
Trusts

Industrial and employment
Employment contracts and restraint of trade
Industrial disputes and statutory employment rights
Public sector appeals
 

Public

Constitutional law

Environment and Planning
Civil endorsement
Compulsory acquisition of land compensation
Environmental and planning offences
Local government
Merit appeals
Valuation of land – rating and tax appeals

Public and Administrative
Civil and human rights
Native title

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  1988

Qualifications: BA; B.Juris; LLB

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Mark Ritter Sc


D   08 9220 0522
E   mritter@fbc.net.au

Year of election to the Bar:
1995
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2004

Mark Ritter SCBW.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil

Commercial
Appeals
Confiscations (proceeds of crime)
Consumer protection law
Contractual disputes
Equity
Native title
Professional liability
Real property
Restraint of trade

Industrial and employment
Discrimination
Employment contracts and restraint of trade
Industrial disputes and statutory employment rights  
Public sector appeals
Workplace health and safety

Personal injuries
Appellate
Judicial review – workers' compensation

Torts
Appellate
Intentional torts
Negligence
Professional negligence
 

Criminal

State offences
Crimes against the person
Drugs
Financial crime
Fraud
Money laundering  
Sexual assault
White collar and corporate crime

Commissions and other inquiries  
Crime and corruption commission  
Australian crime authority

Commonwealth offences
Crimes against the person  
Drugs
Financial crime  
Fraud
Money laundering  
Trafficking
White collar and corporate crime

Coronial inquests

Regulatory offences
Workplace health and safety
Environmental and planning offences
 

Public

Constitutional law

Environment and planning
Compulsory acquisition of land compensation
Environmental and planning offences
Local government
Merit appeals

Public and administrative
Civil and human rights
Customs
Disciplinary proceedings
Discrimination
Extradition
Immigration law
Judicial review and administrative law
Merits Review
Native title
Privacy/freedom of information
Social security and veteran entitlements
 

Succession

Wills and estates
Wills
Estates

 

Profile

Mark Ritter SC regularly practises in the areas of industrial and employment law – including professional disciplinary matters, immigration and administrative law, native title, criminal law, appeals and other civil litigation.

Prior to joining Francis Burt Chambers in 2010, Mark was a member of Wickham Chambers from 1995 to 2005, and then Acting President of the Western Australian Industrial Relations Commission from October 2005 to December 2009.

He was appointed a senior counsel on 1 December 2004.

Mark conducted and authored the report for the 2004 Ministerial Inquiry into Occupational Health and Safety at BHP Billiton and Boodarie Iron in the Pilbara and is presently engaged to conduct and author a Ministerial review into the State industrial relations system. Mark was also a former author of the Native Title Service published by LexisNexis.

Mark is a member of the Legal Practice Board of Western Australia and was for many years a member of the Legal Profession Complaints Committee. He is also a member of the Law Society senior advisors panel and mentoring scheme, and has taught ethics at the Articles Training Program and the University of Western Australia.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission: 1985

Qualifications: B Juris, LLB (1st Class Honours) - University of Western Australia

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Joshua Thomson SC


D   08 9220 0496
M   0401 198 500
E   jthomson@12fbc.com
PA Lindy Cartledge
PA T 08 9220 0571

Year of election to the Bar:
2001
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2012

Joshua Thomson SC-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil    

Arbitration and mediation
Arbitrators and mediators
Domestic commercial arbitration
International commercial arbitration

Commercial
Appeals
Banking
Bankruptcy
Building and construction
Competition
Construction and engineering
Consumer protection law
Contractual disputes
Corporate insolvency
Corporations law
Equity
Insurance
Intellectual property
International commercial arbitration
Landlord and tenant
Mining and resources
Native title
Partnership disputes
Professional liability
Real property
Restraint of trade
Securities and investments
Transport law – admiralty/aviation/maritime  
Trusts

Tax and revenue
Land tax
Payroll tax
Stamp duty and other state taxes

Torts
Appellate
Intentional torts
Negligence
Professional negligence
 

Public

Constitutional law

Environment and planning
Local government
Valuation of land – rating and tax appeals

Public and administrative
Civil and human rights
Judicial review and administrative law
Merits review
Native title
 

Succession

Family Provision Act

Wills and estates
Wills
Estates
Contested probate

 

Profile

Joshua Thomson SC’s practice involves trial and appellate work for significant matters in many areas, including:

•    Contractual disputes
•    Construction litigation
•    Constitutional and administrative law
•    Insolvency litigation
•    Insurance disputes
•    Native title litigation
•    Shipping and admiralty law

A list of selected appearances in relation to these areas appear on Joshua’s CV.

In addition to the above practice, Joshua conducts arbitrations acting as counsel and has been appointed as an arbitrator or expert.

Joshua co-authored the text Commercial Contract Clauses: Principles and Interpretation (Thomson Reuters). He has also been named in Best Lawyers in Australia (Litigation), Doyle’s Guide (Insolvency and Litigation – WA) and Chambers and Partners (Shipping Bar – Australia, Band 1).

 

Qualifications

Date of admission: 1995

Qualifications: LLB (Hons) (UWA), BCL (Oxon)

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Sam Vandongen SC


D   08 9220 0596
M   0421 572 534
E   svandongen@francisburt.com.au
PA Lindy Cartledge
PA T 08 9220 0571

Year of election to the Bar:
2008
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2010

Sam Vandongen SC-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil

Commercial
Appeals
Confiscations (proceeds of crime)
Contractual disputes
Corporate insolvency
Corporations law
Mining and resources
Professional liability

Personal injuries
Appellate

Torts
Appellate
Professional negligence
 

Criminal

State offences
Crimes against the person
Drugs
Financial crime
Fraud
Juvenile justice
Money laundering  
Sexual assault
White collar and corporate crime

Commissions and other inquiries  
Crime and corruption commission  
Australian crime authority

Commonwealth offences
Crimes against the person  
Drugs
Extradition
Financial crime  
Fraud
Juvenile justice
Money laundering  
Trafficking
White collar and corporate crime

Coronial inquests

Regulatory offences
Workplace health and safety
Environmental and planning offences

White collar and corporate crime
Confiscations (proceeds of crime)
 

Public

Environment and Planning
Environmental and planning offences
Local government

Public and Administrative
Confiscations (proceeds of crime)
Customs
Disciplinary proceedings
Extradition
Judicial review and administrative law
Liquor licensing
Merits Review
Proceeds of crime

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  1993

Qualifications: LLB (Hons) (UWA), BCL (Oxon)

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Daryl Williams AM QC


Door Tenant
D   08 8213 6417
M   0419 837 693
E  posullivan@edmundbartonchambers.com.au

Year of election to the Bar:
1975
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
1982

Profile img.png
 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Stephen Wright SC


D   08 9220 0566
M   0430 435 338
E   swright@francisburt.com.au

Year of election to the Bar:
2010
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2017

Stephen Wright-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil

Arbitration and mediation
Arbitrators and mediators

Commercial
Contractual disputes
Equity
Mining and resources
Native title
Real property
Trusts

Industrial and employment
Discrimination

Tax and revenue
Goods and services tax
Income tax
Land tax
Stamp duty and other state taxes

 

Public

Constitutional law

Environment and planning
Compulsory acquisition of land compensation
Local government
Valuation of land – rating and tax appeals

Public and Administrative
Civil and human rights
Discrimination
Judicial review and administrative law
Merits review
Native title
Privacy/freedom of information
Social security and veteran entitlements

 

Profile

Stephen Wright is an experienced barrister who specialises in native title, taxation, trusts and mining law.  

He has a wealth of experience in native title related issues, dating back to 1996 when he left Mallesons and joined the Western Australian State Solicitor’s Office. After 11 years there, he established a private practice, Wright Barristers & Solicitors, before joining Francis Burt Chambers at the beginning of 2010.  

Stephen is a leading native title barrister having been counsel in many native title claims and in ‘future act’ litigation and arbitrations at all levels (National Native Title Tribunal, Federal Court, Full Federal Court and High Court), representing native title parties and representative bodies, government and mining interests. He is also an experienced and effective negotiator having provided advice and representation to various parties involved in numerous ILUA and other native title agreement negotiations, including in relation to the establishment of benefits management (trust) structures and taxation issues.  

Stephen also provides stamp duty and other tax advice (including income tax and GST) and appears in tax cases in the Court of Appeal (WA), Federal Court, and State and Commonwealth Tribunals.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  14 July 1993

Qualifications: Bachelor of Laws, University of Western Australia (1992)

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Paul Yovich SC


D   08 9220 0476
M   0423 778 451
E   pyovich@francisburt.com.au

Year of election to the Bar:
2011
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
2015

Joshua Thomson SC-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil

Commercial
Confiscations (proceeds of crime)
 

Criminal

State offences
Crimes against the person
Drugs
Financial crime
Fraud
Juvenile justice
Money laundering  
Sexual assault
White collar and corporate crime

Commissions and other inquiries  
Crime and corruption commission  
Australian crime authority

Commonwealth offences
Crimes against the person  
Drugs
Extradition
Financial crime  
Fraud
Juvenile justice
Money laundering  
Trafficking
White collar and corporate crime

Coronial inquests

Regulatory offences
Workplace health and safety
Environmental and planning offences

White collar and corporate crime
Confiscations (proceeds of crime)
 

Public

Environment and Planning
Environmental and planning offences

Public and Administrative
Confiscations (proceeds of crime)
Disciplinary proceedings
Proceeds of crime

 

Profile

Paul Yovich SC specialises in criminal law. He has over 25 years’ experience as a trial and appeal advocate, appearing in matters of all levels of seriousness and complexity – including murder, serious sex and drug offences, complex fraud, insider trading and cyber-crime.

Paul advises and represents clients ranging from private individuals and charities to multinational corporations and State and Federal government agencies.

He has particular expertise in appeals, having argued over 50 matters in the Court of Appeal. His success rate for the defence is approximately double the average.

Paul also has an extensive professional disciplinary practice, representing lawyers, doctors and other professionals, as well as regulators such as the LPCC and Medical Board.

He has appeared in a number of complex and high profile inquests; he undertakes corporate regulatory work in the Federal Court; and he accepts instructions in occupational, mine safety and other regulatory prosecutions.

Paul regularly presents continuing professional development papers and seminars on various subjects in criminal law and advocacy, and teaches practical advocacy courses for students and junior practitioners.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  2 February 1990

Qualifications: BJuris (Hons), LLB

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation

Christopher Zelestis QC


D   08 9220 0420
M   0421 572 534
E   czelestis@francisburt.com.au
PA Lyn Spearman
PA T 08 9220 0428

Year of election to the Bar:
1973
Appointment to Senior Counsel:
1987

Chris Zelestis QC-B&W.jpg

Areas of practice

Civil    

Arbitration and mediation
Arbitrators and mediators
Domestic commercial arbitration
International commercial arbitration

 

Profile

Chris Zelestis provides advice in all areas of commercial law, planning law, judicial review, stamp duty and tort. He is regularly engaged to act as expert, mediator and arbitrator.

 

Qualifications

Date of admission:  1971

Qualifications: LL B (Hons First Class)

 

Liability limited by a Scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation