William Forster Chambers Welcomes His Honour Justice Riley

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illiam Forster Chambers Welcomes His Honour Justice Riley Trevor Riley QC, was appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court on 4th December 1998. Attorney- General Shane Stone, QC made the announcement by Press Release late in the day, finally confirming the most eagerly anticipatedjudicial appointment in local memory. Coincidentally, this was the day of the William Forster Chambers Annual Christmas Party. As is customary its members gatherfor lunch seeking inspiration fortheir awardgivingceremony. HisHonour, Reeves QC and myself were striding jauntily past the Commonwealth Bank. Reeves and I renewed our by now long standing crossexamination ofHis Honour. Reeves QC: “Would you agree YourHonour, that your appointment to the Supreme CourtBench has beenmade and willtake effect in the New Year? His Honour: (resolutely)“You always have better information than I do Reeves.” Silvester: “C’mon YourHonour, it’sthe last day of the year. You’ve been returning briefs. We’re goingoutto lunch. Thenyou’re going awayonholidays. Surely you can tell us now.” His Honour: (obstinately, if properly so) “Not so far as I am aware.” Just then ABC News Reporter, Kate Carter sailed up. She spied His Honour, capturing histotal attention, leavingusstanding there, bystandersin the greatmediagame. “Hello Mr Riley. How does it feel to have been appointed the new Supreme Court Judge?” Reeves and I roared our approval. His Honour looked at us in a way that clearly implied we were responsible. And blushed furiously. We announced His Honour’s appointment at the Christmas Party. Just for good measurewe gave himthe “1998 WorstKept Secret” Award, whileDavidAlderman read the memorable opening lines of the transcript ofTrevor’s last appearance as Counsel in the High Court {Northern Territory of Australia v GPAO, High Court, 29 April 1998, Austlii). His HonourMrJusticeRiley andwife Jan arrived in Darwinin 1974. Trevorwasthere to take up an appointment with Withnall & Barker as a litigation solicitor. When Cyclone Tracy, quite literally, blew that firm away, Trevor and Jan returned to Perth. Upon returning, refreshed, they found the once bustlingWithnall &Barkerreducedto underneathNerolie Withnall’shouse. Accommodation was scarce and the Rileys moved in with theBradleys. When the old firmfurther downsized in late 1975, Trevor migrated to Ward Keller. He worked there as a litigation solicitoruntilApril 1985 when hebecame one ofthe founding members ofWilliam Forster Chambers. He took Silk in 1989. His practice was predominantly common law and commercial, with lashings ofadministrative and constitutional law andHisHonour appeared veryregularlyin the HighCourt and the NT Court ofAppeal. He was President ofthe Northern Territory Bar Association for several years until 1997, and several variously on committees of the Northern Territory Law Society, and the Legal Practitioners Complaints Committee. His Honour has for many years taught Advocacyin the coursesrun forthe local legal profession by the Australian Advocacy Institute. Many Darwin barristers and solicitors have attended the courses taught by Trevor, mostly, he would want it said, with excellent effect. His role teaching advocacy included two stints in Bangladesh helping their independent bar to develop advocacy skills. For the last five years His Honour has devotedmost Saturdaymornings giving free legal advice to clients oftheDarwin Community Legal Service. His Presidency of the Northern Territory Football (Aussie Rules) Tribunal has given himwonderful training in sending people on holidays, although their durationmaywellhavemembers oftheCriminalBarscratching their headsin anticipation. He is also a long standing member of the Council ofStJohn Ambulance in the Northern Territory, and for the last two years has been a Director of the Territory Building Society. The SupremeCourtBenchhas gained asits newest member one of the Territory’s best known and respected lawyers. The acknowledged leader of the local bar, His Honour’s resolute and unwavering commitment to an independent Northern Territory bar, to advocacy standards, to ethics, to etiquette in and out ofthe courtroom, to his profession as awhole and its place in theTerritory community have equipped him extraordinarily well for his appointment. Nowhere will his elevation be felt more keenly then in William Forster Chambers. Trevor was our elder statesman. His door was always open, it didn’t seem to matter how hard he was working, or how busy he was. If any of us had a problem, wanted advice or guidance, orjustwanted to chewthe fat, Trevor would stop, and listen, and talk. He was atrue leader, and I think itsfairto say, a role model and guide for us all. Moreover, thistribute to His Honour cannot be completewithoutmention ofhis wife, Jan. To those who know her, Jan Riley is the mostwonderful andwarmperson. Throughout her career as mother of their children, Shane and Jennifer, Janhasworked alongside Trevor in Chambers, keeping his accounts and records, managing and being part ofour Chambers family. One thinks of Jan as an ocean of calm amidst a sea of(often) confusion. Her contribution to the well-being of our Chambers and the profession generally cannot be overstated. WilliamForsterChambers’ lossistheTerritory’s gain. This is an appointment to the bench which is unquestionably deserved and which will be universally popular. It is also very gratifyingto see amemberofthe local bar appointed as a Judge of our Court. . Finally, itjust has to be repeated, that His Honour is the proud owner and rider of a Harley Davidson motor cylce. Apparently his riding skills have improved enormously since a certain incidentat a local tennis court. Ride on Your Honour! Lex Silvester WilliamForster Chambers BALANCE Publishedby The Law Society ofthe NT GPO Box 2388 DARWIN NT 0801 Ph: (08) 8981 5104 Fax: (08) 8941 1623 December 98\January 99