Michael Lyons



While Michael accepts briefs in all areas of commercial litigation, he has developed particular expertise in complex, lengthy and high-value commercial, construction and resource disputes.
Michael has ranked as one of the leading junior counsel in Queensland in both commercial litigation and construction disputes, and as one of the leading junior counsel in Australia in construction disputes.

Bachier Mawassi



Bachier accepts briefs in all areas of law.

Bachier holds a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Optometry (Hons).
He received numerous academic prizes, including the University Medal for law.

Prior to joining the Bar, Bachier practiced across a wide range of jurisdictions and areas of law, including commercial litigation, property law, tax and criminal law.

Bachier was previously a tipstaff to the Honourable Tobias, Sackville and Campbell AJJA, in the New South Wales Court of Appeal.

Bachier has also previously worked as an Optometrist across Australia in metro and rural practices.

David Smith



David practises primarily in corporations/insolvency, equity and trusts and general commercial litigation.

Since joining the Bar in 2018, David has appeared in the NSW Court of Appeal, the Supreme Court of NSW, the Federal Court of Australia, the District Court of NSW, the Local Court of NSW and the NSW Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Appearances have included final hearings (including cross-examination), both led and unled.

Prior to joining the Bar, David earned a broad range of litigation experience working for 10 years as a solicitor at leading firms in Sydney, London and Hong Kong.

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.

Michael Wells



Michael practises in commercial law, corporations law, bankruptcy and insolvency, equity and trusts, and taxation and revenue. He has appeared both led and unled in trials and appeals in a range of courts and tribunals. He has recently appeared led in the High Court of Australia and unled in the New South Wales Court of Appeal. He 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 solicitor in the commercial litigation and dispute resolution groups at Allens and Herbert Smith Freehills specialising in class actions, complex contractual and corporate disputes, and taxation and financial services regulatory investigations and disputes. He was also previously the Tipstaff and Researcher to the President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal, the Hon Justice Allsop AO.

Michael is a member of the Law Council of Australia Taxation Committee, Australian Bar Association Taxation Committee, Tax Institute Dispute Resolution Technical Committee, Tax Bar Association and International Fiscal Association. He is also a member of the New South Wales Bar Association Costs and Fees Committee.

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

Professor Matthew Conaglen



Professor Conaglen is an Academic Barrister in New South Wales. He is currently Deputy Head of School and Deputy Dean at the University of Sydney Law School, where he is also the Professor of Equity and Trusts.
He teaches and researches in the fields of equity, trusts and obligations. He is the author of Fiduciary Loyalty: Protecting the Due Performance of Non-Fiduciary Duties (Hart, 2010), and a co-author of Snell’s Equity (33rd ed, Sweet & Maxwell, 2015), as well as numerous book chapters and articles in leading journals such as the Law Quarterly Review and the Cambridge Law Journal. His writing has been cited by the High Court of Australia, the United Kingdom Supreme Court, the Privy Council, the Supreme Court of New Zealand and the Singaporean Court of Appeal, as well as numerous lower courts in those jurisdictions. Prior to becoming an academic, he was a Senior Solicitor at a major New Zealand law firm where he was involved in a wide range of commercial litigation. In recognition of his expertise in the fields of teaching and research in the Chancery sphere, he was made an Academic Member of the Chancery Bar Association in England.
Professor Conaglen accepts instructions to provide advice, and assist in the preparation of submissions, in relation to matters involving aspects of the law of trusts and equity, including fiduciary duties.

Mark Sheldon



Mark specialises in major engineering and construction matters, including infrastructure and mining disputes. He has been consistently recognised in the Doyles Guide as a leading construction barrister in New South Wales and 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.

Harrison Grace



Harrison has a diverse practice with an emphasis on 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 can 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 Honorable Justice R I Barrett of the New South Wales Court of Appeal.

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. He speaks French.

Harrison is a contributor to Robson’s Annotated Corporations Legislation. He regularly appears for Marrickville Legal Centre’s youth clients on a pro bono basis. He has adopted the Law Council’s National Model Gender Equitable Briefing Policy.

Harrison accepts briefs to appear in Western Australia.

Martin Smith



Prior to commencing at the Bar in 2011, Martin practised as a commercial litigation solicitor (including at Freehills) for four years and spent 18 months as associate to a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

Martin practises in corporate and commercial law, building and construction law, property law (particularly lease disputes), employment law (often including restraints of trade and confidential information issues) corporate insolvency/bankruptcy, trade practices (particularly involving misleading and deceptive conduct and passing off), insurance and administrative law.

Martin has appeared led and unled in commercial matters in all of the principal courts in New South Wales as well as the Federal Court. He often appears (usually as sole counsel) for Commonwealth departments in judicial review and related appeal proceedings in the Federal Circuit Court, the Federal Court and the High Court.

Martin has a substantial advice practice and is also regularly briefed to appear in urgent interlocutory applications in relation to property, restraint of trade and corporations law matters.

Recent significant or reported matters:

• Successfully defended a large international engineering firm in a professional negligence and misleading or deceptive conduct action brought against it. The amount claimed was in excess of $50 million and it occupied over five weeks of hearing time: Downer EDI Rail Pty Ltd v John Holland Pty Ltd and Ors (No 4) [2018] NSWSC 326.

• Northern Sydney Local Health District v Amaca Pty Ltd (under NSW administered winding up) [2017] NSWCA 251; insurance; double compensation

• SZTAL v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] HCA 34; High Court of Australia – statutory construction; interaction between the Convention against Torture and the Migration Act (successful, led by the Commonwealth Solicitor-General)

• Acted for respondent Minister in a judicial review case in the Federal Court involving allegations of bias arising from comments made by the Minister on public radio (successful, unled for the Minister against silk) – Zaburoni v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection [2017] FCA 654

• CGU Insurance Limited v AAI Limited [2016] NSWCA 335 – insurance, statutory interpretation

Lock v Australian Securities and Investments Commission (2016) 111 ACSR 318 – class action involving allegations of negligence; misfeasance in public office (for ASIC)

• Various insolvency proceedings, acting for liquidators, companies and revenue authorities

• Acting for a director in a significant case involving allegations of breach of directors of duty and insolvent trading

• Various professional negligence actions against solicitors (briefed by insurers)

• Acted for the successful defendants in a three-week confidential information trial. Indemnity costs were awarded in the defendants’ favour.

• Shrestha v Migration Review Tribunal (2015) 229 FCR 301 (Full Federal Court); SZWBH v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2015) 229 FCR 317 (Full Federal Court); AAV15 v Minister for Immigration and Border Protection (2015) 230 FCR 454) – procedural fairness; scope of the Court’s summary dismissal power (all unled for the Minister)

• New South Wales Netball Association Ltd v Probuild Construction (Aust) Pty Ltd [2015] NSWSC 1339 – change of position under the Building and Construction Industry Security of Payment Act 1999 (NSW)