Ustice Riley: Supreme Court of the Northern Territory

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Justice Riley Supreme Court ofthe NorthernTerritory TheNorthernTerritoryLegal Profession is extremely pleased and honoured by the appointment ofTrevor John Riley QC to the Bench ofthe Supreme Court ofthe Northern Territory. Although Western Australian bom, His Honouris avery distinctive product of the Northern Territory and ofthe Northern Territory Bar. He made his decision to go to the Barin a canoe he and Graham Hiley QC were rowing down the Katherine River! His Honour was educated at Merredin SeniorHigh School in WesternAustralia and atthe University of Western Australia. Thereafter, in rapid succession, His Honour completed articles of clerkship at Darbyshire, Gillet and Huelin in Perth, was admitted as a barrister and solicitor in the State ofWestern Australia and became a partner in the law firm Huelin, Gladstone and Riley. After 3 years of practice in Western Australia His Honour decided to travel the world. He got as far as Darwin. In 1974 Ian Barker retained him as an employed solicitor with the Darwin firmWithnall ^ahd Barker. His Honourjoined Ward Keller in 1975 and became a partner in that firm in 1977. His Honour was called to the Bar in the Northern Territory in 1985 -hesignedfiieBarRollon 1 April 1985. Despite the date he was not playing a practicaljoke on his partners at Ward Keller. His Honour quickly built a substantial general practice in Work Health, personal injuries, insurance andcommercial law. He took silk on 28 April 1989. Aftertaking silkHis Honour’s practice continued to expand, particularly in equity, commercial and administrative law. His Honour has appeared in the High court many times including appearancesin the case ofPerrettvRobinson (1987-88) 169 CLR172 (asjunior counsel to DavidBennett QC) (conflict oflaws, assessment ofdamages); Secretary. DepartmentHealth andCommunity Services Deregulating the Profession As aresult ofthe national move to implement anational legalservices market and the national competition policy significant changes are proposed to the structure of the legal profession in the Northern Territory. The Council ofthe Law Society believes the following changes should be made. Travelling Practising Certificates To date a person could not practice as a legal practitioner in the Northern Territory without being admitted in the Northern Territory. NSW, Victoria, ACT(and soon SA) have all passed legislation to entitle interstate practitioners to practice within each other’s jurisdictionwithoutseeking admission in the newjurisdiction. This scheme (of, in effect, full mutual recognition) has been labelled the TravellingPractising Certificate scheme. It operatesin asimilarway to the way in which interstate drivers licences operate. The Northern Territory Law Society has agreed to enter into this scheme andhasmade arrangementswith theLawCouncil ofAustralia to recoup revenue lost from Northern Territory admissions. Professional Conduct Rules To assist in practice across borders and to update the Professional Conduct Rules of the NT the Law Society has also reviewed the national Model Rules of Conduct and Practice and believes the existing NT Professional Conduct Rules should be replaced by the plain English national Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Practice. A paper on, and comparison of, the national Model Rules of Professional Conduct and Practice and theNTProfessional Conduct Rules is available from the Law Society. Legal Companies not Guaranteed by Directors Law firms and practitioners are already, able to use all the ordinary forms ofbusiness structures to carry on their practice. That is, legal firms may be sole traders, partnerships or corporations. It is now proposed to remove the provision in theLegalPractitioners Act which provides that the directors must personally guarantee all the debts ofa legal practice company. Therefore, lawyersmay obtain the same benefits ofincorporation (most notably limited liability) as other businesses in the community. Subject to the following comments on multidisciplinary practices restrictionswould remain on the directors,secretaries and shareholders oflegal companies. , Justice Trevor Riley Continued on page 5 &6 J ustice Riley - Supreme Court of the Northern Territory Continuedfromfrontpage vJWB&SMS(1991-1992) 175 CLR218 (jurisdiction ofthe FamilyCourtto authorise sterilisation ofintellectuallydisabledminors); PMT Partners Ptv Ltd fin Licri v Australian National Parks and Wildlife Service (1995) 184 CLR301 (commercial arbitration, agreement to arbitrate); Newcrest Mining fWA) Ltd v The Commonwealth (T997171 ALJR 1346 (constitutional law, power to acquire propertyJust terms, Territories). Re Z (still to be decided) (constitutional law, inconsistency Community Welfare Act (NT) with provisions ofFamilyLawAct). He appeared on behalfofthe Northern Territory Government in theRoyal Commission into Aboriginal Deaths in Custody. He also has the distinction of having acted for the plaintiff who obtained the highest damages verdict in Australia in a personal injuries case (Rosecrance v Rosecrance 105 NTR 1). His Honour enjoyed life at the Barto the full. Indeed, he flourished in itsmix offriendship, intellectual challenges and plain hard work. Justice Riley’s services as a barrister were eagerly sought by both the Commonwealth and Northern Territory Governments and the largest firms for their important cases. Nonetheless he made time to contribute a great deal to the life of the Bar, to junior practitioners and students and to the community. His Honour was Junior Vice President of the Australian Bar Association (1993- 1994), Vice President ofthe Law Society of the Northern Territory (1989) and President of the Northern Territory Bar Association (1993 to 1997). He served on one of the most important statutory bodies associated with the legal profession, theLegalPractitioners Complaints Committee andwas also amemberofthe Law Reform Committee. His Honour is well known in the Darwin community. He is a former Vice President of the Marriage GuidanceCouncil and is aCommander in St John’s Ambulance. He was a founding member ofthe Northern Territory Football League and is apastCommissionerof the League’s Disciplinary Tribunal. As a barrister, His Honour had an interest in training students and junior members ofthe profession in Advocacy and Civil Procedure. He has been a part time lecturer in Civil Procedure and an Occasional Lecturer in Advocacy at the Northern Territory University. He has also been amemberofthe LawFaculty Board at the university. In 1996 and 1997 His Honour was a member ofthe InstructingTeamforthe Intensive Trial Advocacy Workshops conducted in Dhaka, Bangladeshby theAustralianBarCouncil and the Bangladesh Bar Council. His Honour has agreed to write a column in Balance on Advocacy. As a legal practitioner, His Honour always displayed discipline, sacrifice and a sense of duty to the Court and to his client. He had the great gifts ofbeing able to organise the presentation of large cases and for expressing difficult points of fact or law in simple language. The essence ofHis Honour’s work as a legal practitioner has been careful and detailed preparation. His Honour has the confidence, support and best wishes of the members ofthe Law Society. We warmly congratulate His Honour on his appointment. Melbourne Agents Jerrard & Stuk is an eight partner Melbourne CBD Commercial law firm. We welcome referrals and agency work in: • Commercial Litigation and Dispute Resolution (Victorian and Federal) • Taxation (domestic and international) • Public listings and ASX transactions • Insolvency • General Commercial Law, especially in relation to: • Motor vehicle industry • Textile industry • Retailing • Plastics • Employment and Discrimination Law • Franchising • Administrative and Constitutional Law • Commercial Crime, particularly matters involving the DPP, ASC, Police & ATO investigations, warrants and subpoenas Please contact Steven Jerrard, David Lurie or Stephen Newman. 3rd floor, 595 Lt Collins St, Melb 3000 Tel (03) 9278 4111 Fax (03) 9629 5507 Email InternetWebsite NEW BALANCE DEADLINES 10th (every month) Articles, Reports AdvertisementBookings 15th (every month) Photos Advertisements December 98\January 99