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Chambers & Partners listing: Banco Chambers ranked as a Band 1 set in Australia

The new Chambers & Partners commentary has been released with Banco Chambers ranked as a Band 1 set in Australia and has 10 ranked individuals.

They note: Banco Chambers is one of Sydney's younger commercial sets, established in 2005, and noted for having attracted some of Australia's leading junior barristers, in addition to a core of established and respected silks. Especially well resourced when it comes to providing advice or advocacy on competition, equity or public law issues, it is also noted for housing barristers with significant expertise in the areas of defamation, insolvency and taxation. A substantial majority of set members possess appellate experience and more than half have acted as arbitration counsel or arbitrators in both domestic and international cases. Chief Clerk Elizabeth Notman is a key contact.

The following members were all ranked for Dispute Resolution (The Bar) - Australia:

Peter Brereton SC
Robert Dick SC
Richard McHugh SC
Robert Newlinds SC
Fiona Roughley
Farid Assaf
Sandy Dawson

Three Banco barristers were ranked as Band 1 Juniors.

Ruth Higgins is ranked Band 1 for Dispute Resolution (The Bar) - Australia

Tim Breakspear is ranked Band 1 for Construction and Infrastructure (The Bar) - Australia.

Kristen Deards is ranked Band 1 for Tax (The Bar) - Australia.

The following commentary on each of the above members appeared in Chambers & Partners:

Peter Brereton SC represents some of the best-known names from a wide range of Australian businesses and industries in high-profile commercial disputes. He has been especially active in the competition sphere, lately acting for such companies as Caltex, Jetstar and Woolworths in various Federal Court proceedings brought by the ACCC. Sources praise his 'thoughtful and considered' approach, deep engagement with case detail and 'excellent courtroom demeanor'.

Robert Dick SC is in high demand as a very clever, careful and determined counsel who provides clear guidance to clients and works effectively with his instructing solicitors, one commentator identifying him as 'one of the smartest and wisest of counsel we have worked with'. Especially well known for his corporations and insolvency law expertise, he acted for the former non-exectutive directors of ABC Learning Centres in Supreme Court of New South Wales proceedings brought by the company's receivers.

Richard McHugh SC is acclaimed as a 'versatile silk' and 'experienced jury trial advocate' with 'a leading commercial and appellate practice' who acts across an impressive range of commercial dispute types, including in the financial services, media and resources spaces. He lately represented Ginia Rinehart, daughter of mining magnate Gina Rinehart, in widely publicised New South Wales Supreme Court proceedings concerning a dispute over the management of the family trust.

Robert Newlinds SC is an 'immensely experienced and able advocate' of over 25 years, especially noted for the directness and clarity of his arguments. Prominent in the insolvency and insurance spheres, he lately represented various former directors of the collapsed Anglican Development Fund in New South Sales Supreme Court proceedings, brought by the fund's receivers and concerning a substantial facility provided by the Commonwealth Bank.

Ruth Higgins is identified by one source not only as a 'careful, thoughtful and very hard-working barrister,' but also as 'one of the two or three outstanding juniors in the country and one of the smartest people you could meet.' Active for both public and private sector clients in all Australian jurisdictions and across many business sectors, including energy and media, she is particularly prominent in the competition space, recently representing US implants manufacturer Applied Medical in Federal Court litigation against the Commonwealth Minister of Health.

Fiona Roughley is praised by several commentators as one of Australia's most promising juniors, with one source calling her 'incredibly clever, a star of the future and just a delight to work with'. Notably active on mandates arising in the construction, insolvency and media spheres, she lately appeared for the Phonographic Performance Company of Australia in Copyright Tribunal proceedings concerning a dispute with Foxtel over sound recording broadcast fees.

Farid Assaf attracts praise from sources, who report him to be a 'highly competent, diligent and skilled advocate' who is 'highly regarded by clients' and 'a go-to barrister on insolvency matters.' He lately acted for music producer Timothy Mosley, professionally known as Timbaland, in a complex cross-boarder insolvency dispute with both Australian and American dimensions.

Sandy Dawson is described as an 'excellent media advocate,' being 'skillful, knowledgeable and persuasive' and equally adept in the representation of plaintiffs and defendants. Also active in the defamation space and other areas of high reputational risk, he has advised a number of parties affected by New South Wales Independent Commission Against Corruption allegations relating to Australian Water Holdings and its dealings with Sydney Water.

Tim Breakspear is characterised by one source as 'a class act.' Others comment: 'He is incredibly efficient and has a thorough understanding of legislation and law involving construction claims.' He has been in demand on a range of significant infrastructure and construction disputes and arbitrations, and has appeared for clients such as Lend Lease and Brookfield Multiplex.

Kristen Deards of Banco Chambers has a strong tax focus with an emphasis on income tax and GST. She appears for both the Commissioner of Taxation and taxpayers. One source noted: 'She has a very good relationship with top silks and is very sought-after in tax.