Friday, 22 February 2019

Appointments to the Federal Court of Australia

Media release

Mr Darren Jackson SC, Mr Michael O'Bryan QC, Mr Angus Stewart SC and Mr John Snaden have been appointed as judges of the Federal Court of Australia.

Mr Jackson will commence in the Perth registry on 20 March 2019. He graduated from the University of Western Australia with a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and a Bachelor of Arts in 1990, a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) in 1991 and a Bachelor of Arts (Hons) in 2000. Mr Jackson was admitted as a practitioner in the Supreme Court of Western Australia in 1992 and was called to the Western Australian Bar in 2010, where he practiced extensively in all aspects of commercial law, arbitration and mediation, and public and administrative law. Mr Jackson was appointed silk in 2016.

Mr Jackson will fill the vacancy following the retirement of the Hon Michael Barker QC.

The appointments of Mr O'Bryan and Mr Stewart will provide the Federal Court with additional resources to accommodate the expected increase in caseload arising from intensified enforcement action in civil matters by the Australian Securities and Investments Commission, following the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry.

Mr O'Bryan will commence in the Melbourne registry on 26 February 2019. He completed a Bachelor of Laws with Honours and a Bachelor of Science at the University of Melbourne in 1985, and was admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 1987. Mr O'Bryan was called to the Bar in 2002 and appointed silk in 2011. He has extensive experience in competition and consumer law, commercial law, corporate and securities law, administrative law and constitutional law.

Mr Stewart will commence in the Sydney registry on 25 February 2019. He completed a Bachelor of Arts in 1986 and a Bachelor of Laws in 1991 at the University of Natal in South Africa, and completed a Bachelor of Civil Law (Hons) at the University of Oxford in 1994. Mr Stewart practised at the Bar in South Africa for 15 years, with five years as silk. He was called to the New South Wales Bar in 2011 and was appointed silk in 2014. Mr Stewart has specialised in admiralty and maritime law, international trade and international commercial arbitration, in addition to practice across a number of other areas of law.

Mr Snaden will commence in the Melbourne registry on 29 April 2019. He graduated with a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Commerce from the University of Western Australia in 1998 and was admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court of Victoria in 2000. Mr Snaden was called to the Bar in 2005, where he has extensive experience in civil litigation and dispute resolution, having appeared in many high profile industrial disputes across a variety of industries.

The appointment of Mr Snaden will provide the Federal Court with additional resourcing and expertise in the employment and industrial relations jurisdiction, including matters arising under the Fair Work jurisdiction and related legislation.

On behalf of the Government, I congratulate Mr Stewart, Mr O'Bryan, Mr Jackson and Mr Snaden on their appointments and thank them for their willingness to serve the people of Australia as judges of the Federal Court of Australia.