History of the Independent Bar in South Australia &

Establishment of the SA Bar Association

Independence

In September 1955 Christopher Legoe decided to set himself up in practice solely as a barrister and sought exemption from the requirement to keep a trust account (which was granted by the Law Society).  This represented “a major new direction for South Australia’s fused legal profession – then almost 120 years old”.

“Legoe practised as a barrister in splendid isolation for seven years before he was joined by others.”  Jack Elliott in 1962 and Robin Millhouse and Howard Zelling in 1964.  Since then the Bar has continued to grow, now numbering over 200.

According to the Hon. Sir Anthony Mason AC KBE, “the emergence of a separate Bar has enhanced the quality of advocacy in South Australia”.

 

Bar Association

The “inaugural meeting of the South Australian Bar Association was held in Howard Zelling’s Chambers on 23 December 1964.  Christopher Legoe was its first President.

 

Bar Roll

At the first meeting, a “humble exercise book was pronounced the Roll and all four barristers signed it”.  “That exercise book continues to serve as the official bar roll [fifty] years later with over [250] signatures.”

 

Australian Bar Association

On “24 January 1963, the first general meeting of the Australian Bar Association was held in Hobart” (made up of the three eastern states’ associations).  The SA Bar Association became a member in 1968.

 

Source:

History of the Independent Bar of South Australia

(John Emerson, Papinian Publishing, 2006)

New Edition expected in November 2020

 


Past Presidents

Mark Hoffmann QC

  • August 2018 to current

 

Ian Robertson SC

  • July 2016 to August 2018

 

Andrew Harris QC

  • July 2014 to July 2016

 

Patrick O’Sullivan QC

  • September 2012 to July 2014
  • Appointed to the District Court in August 2018

 

Mark Livesey QC

  • July 2010 to September 2012
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in January 2020

 

Malcolm Blue QC

  • July 2008 to July 2010
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in August 2011

 

Dick Whitington QC

  • July 2006 to July 2008

 

.Jonathan Wells QC

  • September 2003 to July 2006

 

Brian Hayes QC

  • October 2001 to September 2003

 

Anthony Besanko QC

  • October 2000 to October 2001
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2001
  • Appointed to the Federal Court in April 2006

 

Malcolm Gray QC

  • October 1998 to October 2000
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in October 2000

 

Michael Abbott QC

  • 17 September 1996 to 20 October 1998
  • Awarded as an Officer in the Order of Australia in 2011

 

David Quick QC

  • Acting President in 1995

 

John Doyle QC

  • 1989 – 1990 and 1993 – 1995
  • Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1995 to 2012
  • Made a Companion of the Order of Australia in 2002

 

John Mansfield QC

  • 1992 – 1993
  • Appointed to the Federal Court in 1996 (retired in 2016)
  • Made a Member of the Order of Australia in 2009

 

Robert Lawson QC

  • Acting President in 1989 & 1990
  • President 1991 – 1992

 

David Angel QC

  • 1988 – 1989
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in 1989 (retired in 2010)

 

Kevin Duggan QC

  • 1986 – 1988
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1988 (retired in 2011)
  • Judge Advocate General for the Australian Defence Force from 1996 to 2001
  • Made a Member of the Order of Australia in the Military Division in 2002

 

Horton Williams QC

  • 1984 – 1986
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1995 (retired in 2003)

 

Phillip Rice QC

  • 1976 – 1983
  • Appointed to the District Court in 1983
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in 1986 (retired in 1991)

 

Keith Sangster QC

  • 1969 – 1971
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1971 (retired in 1984)

 

Howard Zelling QC

  • 1964 – 1969
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1969 (retired in 1986)

 

Christopher Legoe QC

  • December 1964
  • 1971 – 1977
  • Appointed to the Supreme Court in 1978 (retired in 1994)
  • Awarded an Order of Australia in 2015
  • Founding member of the Independent Bar in South Australia and established the South Australian Bar Association

 


South Australian Presidents of the

Australian Bar Association

2016: President: Patrick O’Sullivan QC

2015: Vice-President: Patrick O’Sullivan QC

2014: President: Mark Livesey QC

2013: Vice-President: Mark Livesey QC

 

1973: President: Christopher Legoe QC

Mark Hoffmann QC
Ian Robertson SC
Andrew Harris QC
Patrick O'Sullivan QC
Mark Livesey QC
Malcolm Blue QC
Dick Whitington QC
Jonathan Wells QC
Brian Hayes QC
Christopher Legoe QC