Rhea Thrift



Rhea accepts briefs in all areas of law.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Rhea worked as a solicitor at King & Wood Mallesons. As a solicitor, Rhea worked on a wide range of commercial matters, specialising in insolvency litigation. She has acted for insolvency practitioners, public companies and government clients.

Rhea has a Bachelor of Civil Law with Distinction from the University of Oxford.

Rhea was previously a Tipstaff in the New South Wales Court of Appeal.

Peter Gaffney



Peter accepts briefs in all areas of civil law.

Prior to coming to the Bar in 2015, he was a Senior Associate at Herbert Smith Freehills. As a solicitor, Peter worked on a wide variety of complex commercial matters, particularly in relation to public law, joint ventures, cross-border disputes, corporations law, and gambling law.

Peter has lectured in civil procedure and alternative dispute resolution at the University of New South Wales. He was formerly Tipstaff to the Honourable Justice PA Bergin of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Peter holds a Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with Honours (First Class) from Macquarie University.

Thomas Liu



Thomas regularly advises and appears in public law and commercial matters. He has significant experience in disputes involving government agencies, regulators, revenue authorities and statutory corporations. His commercial practice includes class actions, corporations law, consumer law and equity.

Thomas also accepts briefs in criminal law matters and is on the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions external junior counsel panel.

Before joining the Bar, Thomas was a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills and Clayton Utz where he worked on tax disputes, corporate regulation, representative proceedings, corporate insolvency and administrative law. Thomas was also a legal officer in the human rights section of Legal Aid NSW.

Thomas was the Associate to Justice Buchanan in the Federal Court of Australia from 2014 to 2015.

Thomas speaks fluent Chinese (Mandarin).

Michael Wells



Michael practises in commercial law and public law, and has a particular interest in tax law.

Michael is a member of the New South Wales Bar and an interstate member of the Victorian and Queensland Bars. He has appeared led and unled in trials and appeals in a range of courts and tribunals, regularly appears in the Supreme Court of New South Wales and Federal Court of Australia and is entitled to practise in all Australian jurisdictions.

Before coming to the Bar, Michael practised as a litigation solicitor at Allens and Herbert Smith Freehills specialising in class actions, complex contractual and corporate disputes, and tax and financial services regulatory investigations and disputes. Before practising as a solicitor, Michael was Tipstaff and Researcher to the President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, the Hon Justice Allsop AO.

Michael has postgraduate qualifications in law and tax from the University of Sydney.

Michael is a member of the Law Council of Australia Business Law Section Taxation Committee, Australian Bar Association Taxation Committee, Tax Institute Dispute Resolution Technical Committee, Federal Court of Australia Taxation NPA User Group, Tax Bar Association, International Fiscal Association, and the New South Wales Bar Association Costs and Fees Committee.

Michael is also a reporter for the Commonwealth Law Reports, New South Wales Law Reports and Australian Tax Reports.

Shanaka Jayasuriya



Shanaka has a diverse practice and accepts briefs in all areas of the law. He has a particular interest in commercial law and criminal law and has appeared both led and unled in various New South Wales and federal courts and tribunals.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Shanaka was a solicitor at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer LLP in London and Henry Davis York in Sydney and a tipstaff in the Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. He holds a Bachelor of Civil Law (with Distinction) and Bachelor of Laws (with First Class Honours) from the University of Oxford.

Mark Sheldon



Mark specialises in major engineering and construction matters, including infrastructure and mining disputes. He has been consistently recognised in Doyles Guide as a leading construction barrister in New South Wales and more recently in Doyles Guide’s Leading Construction & Infrastructure Junior Counsel – Australia, also as a Future Leader in Who’s Who Legal: Construction. His broader practice encompasses complex commercial and property disputes.

Mark regularly appears unled in commercial and construction cases at first instance and in arbitrations. He also has experience in the New South Wales Court of Appeal. His client base consists of top-tier Australian and international construction contractors and sub-contractors, multi-national corporations, overseas mining operators, local councils, certifiers, developers and strata owners.

Mark regularly appears in superior courts and tribunals in New South Wales, as well as in other Australian jurisdictions and internationally. He has appeared unled in domestic arbitrations and with highly esteemed Senior Counsel in multi-million-dollar international arbitrations in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as in expert determinations, adjudications and mediations.

Mark provides strategic advice across all aspects of litigation and is commended for his approachability and commitment to achieve the most favourable outcome for his clients. He is also commended for his thorough preparation, strong work ethic and ability to integrate well into a team.

Prior to being called to the Bar in 2015, Mark practised as a solicitor at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and Arnold Bloch Leibler and before that was Tipstaff to the Honourable Justice Einstein in the Supreme Court of New South Wales (Commercial and Technology and Construction Lists). While at Corrs, Mark was seconded to the Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration (ACICA) to assist in the drafting of the ACICA Arbitration Rules.

Mark holds a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Commerce with Distinction from the University of New South Wales. Previously, he was a headnote author for the New South Wales Law Reports and authored the catchwords for Domestic Commercial Arbitration for the New South Wales Law Reports with John West QC.

Deborah Robinson



After 12 years at the Bar, combining advocacy and mediation work, Deborah commenced full time practice as a mediator in 2016. Deborah has been conducting mediations since 2000, initially as a court appointed mediator/Registrar of the Supreme Court and from 2004 in private practice.

Deborah is an accredited mediator under the Australian National Mediator Standards and is appointed to both the Supreme and District Court mediation panels. She was a member of the ADR Committee of the Bar Association from 2012-2018, making regular contributions to mediators’ conferences and continuing professional development seminars conducted by that Committee as well as policy developments under consideration by the Committee.

Deborah completed a Certificate of Advanced Mediation from the Australian Commercial Disputes Centre in 2000. She held various positions as a Registrar of the Supreme Court from 1999 to 2004, including acting as Registrar in Equity, the Professional Negligence List Registrar and the Possession List Registrar. During her time at the Court Deborah conducted court annexed mediations in Equity and Common Law, primarily in relation to disputes involving family provision, medical negligence and possession.

In private practice from 2004 Deborah has successfully mediated across a wide range of disputes including litigation in the areas of insurance, wills and estates, commercial law, real property, equity and trusts, medical negligence, defamation, restraint of trade and personal injury and has conducted facilitated family conferences in Guardianship matters.

Deborah is committed to interest based negotiation and to achieving commercial outcomes.

As counsel she had appeared in a range of matters including family provision, probate, trusts, guardianship, real property, restraint of trade, professional negligence and defamation.

Julie Granger



Julie was admitted to the Bar in 2015, after spending over 10 years as a commercial litigator at Clayton Utz, where she worked on a variety of large and smaller matters across a number of jurisdictions and industries.

She accepts briefs in all areas of law, but has special expertise in complex and high-value disputes relating to commercial contracts, professional negligence, breach of trust, and breach of statutory and fiduciary duties. She has particular experience in disputes and regulatory matters relating to the Superannuation sector.

Julie is a member of Council of Southern Cross University and served a number of years on the University’s Law School Advisory Committee.

Julie has recently been included in Doyles Guide’s Emerging Construction & Infrastructure Junior Counsel New South Wales 2017

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Harrison Grace



Harrison practices primarily in the areas of commercial law, corporations law, equity, trusts, professional negligence, property, planning and environment law, and public law.  A select list of cases in which he has appeared is attached to his CV, which may be downloaded below.

Before coming to the Bar in 2016, Harrison worked in international arbitration in Singapore for Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer (focusing primarily upon investor-state and treaty disputes), and in Paris for Allen & Overy (on large scale commercial claims).

Harrison was previously Tipstaff to the Honourable Justice R I Barrett of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.  He was also a contributor to Robson’s Annotated Corporations Legislation.

Harrison holds a Juris Doctor (Dist) and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons I) from the University of Sydney. He taught Civil and Criminal Procedure at Sydney Law School and worked there as a researcher. He studied on exchange at Sciences Po, Paris and speaks French.

Andrew Byrne



My practice covers commercial litigation in equity, trusts, corporations law, trade practices, insurance, real property and intellectual property, as well as disputes in administrative law and taxation & revenue (appearing for government and taxpayers).

Most of my cases are in the Supreme Court of NSW or Federal Court of Australia (including their appellate divisions). I also regularly appear in tribunals (AAT & NCAT), lower courts (Federal Circuit Court & NSW District Court) and other jurisdictions (other States and foreign).

My CV (updated on 31 March 2021) is at the following link.