Banco Chamber excels in Chambers & Partners 2021 Guide

16 December 2020

Banco Chambers' reputation as a leading Australian Chambers was demonstrated in Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific 2021 Guide. 17 Banco Barristers were ranked, with Banco itself described as "probably the premier commercial law chambers in Sydney, with tremendous strength and depth from the junior barristers all the way to the most senior silks."

The barristers ranked were:


Farid Assaf SC - Band 4, Dispute Resolution - Described as "very astute so far as commercial matters are concerned, with a good sense of what's truly important in a matter and what isn't," "very meticulous and diligent" and notable for the "quality of his drafting." 

Peter Brereton SC - Band 1, Dispute Resolution - Is identified  as "one of the leading silks in Sydney and, indeed, Australia," is further praised for his "high level of engagement with strategy and detail," and his "excellent relationship with the Bench," while also being described as "at the top of his game" and "a go-to for the most complex and client-sensitive matters."

Sandy Dawson SC - Band 4, Dispute Resolution - Acknowledged as "an SC of choice for any media or defamation work," who "knows the media world inside and out," is a "fantastic presence in the courtroom," and is "almost swashbuckling in his skill." He is also widely noted for his handling of both professional and product liability issues and his representation of plaintiffs in prominent class actions in the latter space.

Kristen Deards SC - Band 2, Tax - Is described as "a very good junior tax silk who is developing a formidable reputation and will be one of the leading tax advocates in the future." She is further noted as "a rising star in the Sydney market" possessed of "valuable credibility with the ATO" while also being "very confident on her feet and excellent in her written submissions."

Robert Dick SC - Band 2, Dispute Resolution - Noted as a "uniquely insightful advocate" with "the depth of experience necessary to be able to quickly get to the nub of an issue and provide clear direction."

Justin Gleeson SC - Band 1, Dispute Resolution - Lauded as being "among the best barristers in the country" and praised for his "intellectual clarity, precision and extreme focus" and "the particular brilliance of his submissions."

Ruth Higgins SC - Band 2, Dispute Resolution - Assessed as a barrister who "continues to go from strength to strength" in the disputes space, and observed as "emerging as one of the stars of the Bar" or "moving into the top echelon," and as a "commercial, exceptional advocate" whose "very strong academic approach translates well into her court craft." Also noted as a "long established as a barrister of choice in the competition sphere" but also noted for the "sheer breadth of her work.

Richard McHugh SC - Band 2, Dispute Resolution - draws praise as an "excellent general commercial silk who is able to turn his hand to anything."  Identified as "one of those people you would trust with major litigation,"  "first choice for appeals work" and "technically excellent, with fine-tuned advocacy skills, and always extremely well prepared and impeccable in his court craft." 

Cameron Moore SC - Band 4, Dispute Resolution - widely acknowledged as one of Australia's "leading competition barristers" but also as "a leading class action barrister." He is further described as a "judicious quiet achiever who doesn't say a word without having thought about it," but whose "presence in court is such that judges hang on every word and trust him, knowing how much work he has put in."

Robert Newlinds SC - Band 1, Restructuring & Insolvency, and Band 4, Dispute Resolution - Is "good at a lot of things," a "fantastic general commercial practitioner" and "definitely a top restructuring barrister." He is further lauded as an "an excellent trench fighter" with "formidable cross-examination skills".

John Sheahan QC - Star Individual, Dispute Resolution, Band 1, Restructuring and Insolvency - Is acknowledged as "one of the leading silks in the country." For complex insolvency, he is noted as "outstanding; you couldn't do better," while another observes: "He's run some hugely complex stuff; his mind is razor-sharp." In Dispute Resolution he has also been described as "the best commercial practitioner I've worked with - unparalleled in terms of his ability to cut through complexity, argue difficult points and persuade through subtlety."

Vanessa Whittaker SC - Band 2, Restructuring & Insolvency - Noted as "very highly regarded" in the insolvency space. Vanessa is further described as and "exceptional, extremely intelligent, articulate and commercial" silk who stands out for her "knowledge of how things work" in this area of practice.

Chris Withers SC - New Silk, Dispute Resolution - Is known for his his involvement in "a lot of complex litigation" and possession of "experience that is unrivalled at his level." He is further recommended as a "specialist big class action advocate."


Tim Breakspear - Band 1, Construction & Infrastructure, Spotlight Table, International Arbitration - is identified as the "go-to, experienced junior counsel," and as a "very capable barrister who's great with clients and really does get the key issues." Chambers & Partners notes Tim's "particularly accomplished handling of disputes generated by major energy, resources or infrastructure projects" and his "notable profile on the regional international arbitration scene," in which he is further described as a "very impressive" performer and "clearly a leader in the field." 

Sebastian Hartford Davis - Band 4, Dispute Resolution - enjoys an "excellent reputation as an up-and-coming junior on complex cases." One source calls him "one of the rising stars of the Bar," while another observes that he is frequently "selected by top silks to ride shotgun." He is characterised not only as a "commercial, hands-on practitioner with a lot of energy" who "works well in a team," but also as "an exceptional advocate" and source of "good strategic thought" in his own right. 

Fiona Roughley Band 3, Dispute Resolution - Fiona is described as "very capable and one of the leading juniors at the New South Wales Bar." She is further described as "smart, diligent and a pleasure to work with." Active in an impressive variety of fields, including those of construction, insolvency and public inquiries, she is said to be "highly regarded across the broad area in which she practises" and especially noted for her "strong track record of working with the big end of town on complex regulatory disputes."

David Sulan - Band 4, Dispute Resolution, Band 1, Restructuring & Insolvency - is regarded as the "standout junior for insolvency," with a "practical, sensible and realistic" approach and is though of as a counsel who "knows everything without explanation." Sulan is also praised for his impressive handling of "a broad range of commercial disputes," even being noted as a "commercial counsel of choice." 

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