Ceremonial Sitting of the Full Court

for the Swearing in and Welcome of the Honourable Justice Davies

Transcript of proceedings 

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9.29 AM, THURSDAY, 4 JULY 2013

DAVIES J: Chief Justice, I have the honour to announce that I received a commission from Her Excellency, the Governor General, appointing me a judge of the Federal Court of Australia and I now present my commission.

ALLSOP CJ: Thank you, Justice Davies. Acting District Registrar, would you please read the commission aloud.

DISTRICT REGISTRAR: Commission of appointment of a judge of the Federal Court of Australia. I, Professor Marie Bashier AC CVO, Administrator of the Government of the Commonwealth of Australia, acting with the advice of the Federal Executive Counsel and under section 72 of the Constitution and subsection 6.1 of the Federal Court of Australia Act 1976 appoint the Honourable Jennifer Davies, a judge of the Supreme Court of Victoria to be a judge of the Federal Court of Australia assigned to the Melbourne registry beginning on 4 July 2013 until she attains the age of 70 years. Signed and sealed with the great seal of Australia on June 13, 2013, Marie Bashier, Administrator, by Her Excellency's Command Mark Dreyfus QC, Attorney-General.

ALLSOP CJ: Justice Davies, I now invite you to take the affirmation of office.

DAVIES J: I, the Honourable Jennifer Davies, do solemnly and sincerely promise and declare that I will bare true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors according to law, that I will well and truly serve her in the office of Judge of the Federal Court of Australia and that I will do right to all manner of people according to the law without fear or favour, affection, or ill will.

ALLSOP CJ: Justice Davies, I now invite you to subscribe the form of affirmation that you have just taken. Acting District Registrar, would you please take her Honour's commission and the subscribed affirmation of office and place the affirmation and a copy of her Honour's commission in the records of the court. Justice Davies, may I, on behalf of myself and more importantly all the members of the court welcome you to the court and say how pleased we are to have you with us. May I also welcome to the bench today, your father, the Honourable Daryl Davies QC, a much loved and much respected former member of the court and it is magnificent to have you here in court today.

DAVIES J: Thank you, Chief Justice.

ALLSOP CJ: Mr Fredericks.

MR D. FREDERICKS: May it please the court, first may I acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which we meet and pay my respects to their elders past and present. The Attorney-General, the Honourable Mark Dreyfus QC MP, regrets that his Ministerial commitments have prevented him from attending this special ceremonial sitting. However, he has asked me to convey his warmest congratulations to your Honour. It is a personal privilege for me on behalf of the Australian Government to welcome you as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

On this special occasion I would like to also convey to you the heartiest congratulations and best wishes of the people of Australia.

I acknowledge the presence here today of current and former judges of the Federal Court of Australia and the Family Court of Australia, of the Honourable Michael Black, former Chief Justice of the Federal Court, of the Honourable Justice Christopher Maxwell, President of the Court of Appeal of the Supreme Court of Victoria, current and former judges of the Supreme Court of Victoria, judges of the Federal Circuit Court of Australia and the County Court of Victoria.

It is wonderful to see your family members in attendance today, including your parents, the Honourable Daryl Davies QC and Jeanne Davies, your sons, Rohan and Lachlan, your brother Greg Davies QC and his family and your sister Celia and her family. It could be said that your Honour had a genetic predisposition to judicial service. I understand that one of your grandfathers was a stipendiary magistrate, the other a solicitor. Your father, of course, was a judge of this court for over 20 years and your aunt was a solicitor. Your brother is a Queens Counsel, at the Victorian Bar, and your sister is an intellectual property law partner and trademark attorney at Herbert Smith Freehills. Together with your Honour you might say we have a veritable whose who of the legal profession.

The attendance of so many members of your family here today attests to the strong family bond you all share and in particular your father has both inspired and mentored you showing the way forward throughout your legal career and your daily life. However, it must be said that your Honour has carved out your own unique path in the law. The pinnacle reached here today is a testament to your own personal commitment, breadth of experience and exemplary legal capacity.

Despite your family's strong back ground in the law, your Honour's tertiary aspirations did not immediately extend to the law. I understand that Japanese linguistics initially peaked your Honour's interests as did a possible career in international trade. With this in mind your Honour enrolled in a Bachelor of Arts Degree at Monash University. Fortuitously, however, you added a Bachelor of Law into the mix for good measure. Later you transferred your study in Arts to a Bachelor of Jurisprudence and in 1978 your Honour graduated with both this degree and a Bachelor of Laws. In 1979, your Honour completed your articles at Pavey, now Corrs Chambers Westgarth under Del Bobeff. On 3 March, 1980, your Honour was admitted as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria and High Court of Australia.

After two years as a solicitor in the commercial law division of Pavey you were then employed in the Hong Kong office at Deacons. At Deacons you specialised in trademark law and in 1982 you were appointed as the manager of the trademarks division of the firm. In 1983, your Honour commenced your career at the bar in criminal and civil matters. As other speakers will talk more about your contribution at the bar, I will only touch lightly on this aspect of your career.

With the birth of your sons you worked part time as a barrister before returning to a solicitors role with the tax firm, Mowbray, refining your skills in taxation law. In conjunction with your work at Mowbray, you also lectured on tax issues and tax planning for the Australian Society of Accountants as well as reporting for the Butterworth Tax Commentary. However, it was not long before the bar beckoned you once again and you re-signed the Victorian Bar Roll in February 1990, establishing a practise focusing on revenue, corporations, commercial and administrative law. In 2004, your Honour's contribution to the law was recognised when you were appointed a senior counsel.

In April 2009, your Honour was, of course, appointed to the Supreme Court of Victoria. Whilst on the Victorian bench, your Honour has served as judge in charge of the Victorian Taxation Appeals list. Your judgments have been described as displaying a rare combination of efficiency combined with in depth reasoning and analytical precision. As an advocate you were admired for your ability to cut through the extraneous and get to the nub of the legal issue of principle, a skill which has no doubt served you well in your years on the Victorian bench and, of course, will continue to do so as a member of this court.

Your Honour has consistently demonstrated a strong commitment to information sharing and developing the capacity of the legal profession. Always willing to impart your knowledge and foster skill development you have, enthusiastically overseen and assisted the professional development of many junior lawyers with aspirations in this area of the law. On 18 August 2009, your Honour was duly honoured for your achievements at the Tax Institute, Women in Tax Event, at Clayton Utz.

Your Honour's contribution to the legal profession also extends to the academic arena. Since 2009, your Honour has been a senior fellow at the University of Melbourne, lecturing in taxation law, tax effective writing and written advocacy. Your Honour has taught in the Masters of Law program since 2008 and, in particular, on the subjects of tax avoidance and tax effective writing. Your assistance to the law school has also extended to aspects of course administration with your Honour generously accepting a position on the LLM Tax Advisory Board and contribution to scholarships, prizes and events at the law school over the past few years. You were also recently responsible for coordinating commercial law seminars for legal practitioners as part of the joint initiative by the Supreme Court of Victoria, Monash University, The Law Institute of Victoria and the Victorian Bar.

The numerous papers your Honour has delivered to the legal community over the years, has spent a wealth of legal topics ranging from contract instruction, advocacy, tax avoidance, international tax transfer, pricing to issues of gender equality in the law. Most recently your Honour contributed a chapter on the ethical obligations of the advocate as part of an anthology of essays in advocacy released in February last year.

A summary of your Honour's contribution would, of course, not be complete without highlighting the path you have forged for young women at the bar. You have shown an unwavering commitment over many years to the advancement and encouragement of women barristers. With your college, Fiona McLeod SC, your Honour was a founding member of the Women Barristers Association in 1993. In its fledging years you were an associate convener and secretary of the association and have remained a strong supporter of its activities and events ever since. Your Honour is to be created for supporting change in the culture and practices of the bar for the improvement of opportunities for women. An important addition to your Honour's visible achievements is the genuine respect and kindness you show to those around you at all levels. These traits, as well your humanity and personal integrity, have been singled out by your friends, your colleagues and your staff alike. I am certainly very confident that these qualities will continue to serve you well in your new role.

Your Honour has also excelled in all manner of extra curricular activities, in particular your outdoor pursuits. An avid bushwalker, your Honour has crossed most of south west Tasmania. You have also cycled extensively, including across the east coast of Tasmania, throughout Japan and the west coast of Malaysia. I understand that your Honour has also travelled through much of New Zealand, including an assent of Mount Rob Roy, as well as tracking through parts of the Swiss Alps. Your Honour has balanced a highly successful legal career with raising two sons and still found time to write, to lecture, to contribute widely to an array of legal professional organisations, mentor and support colleges and engage in what could only be described as athletic quests.

I understand that a source of inspiration for you in your legal career is the Honourable Rosemary Balmford, the first women appointed to the bench of the Supreme Court of Victoria. Like Ms Balmford, your Honour's distinguished legal career has traversed private practice, the bench, legal education and academic pursuits. I have been informed that Ms Balmford told you that law would "be good for your brain". It is clear that the law has certainly been a very good fit for you. I look forward to the contribution you will make to the law during your service on this court. On behalf of the Commonwealth of Australia and my own behalf I congratulate your Honour on your appointment and welcome you to the bench of the Federal Court of Australia. May it please the court.

ALLSOP CJ: Mr Alstergren.

MR W. ALSTERGREN: May it please the Court. I appear on behalf of the Australian Bar Association and on behalf of the Victorian Bar to congratulate your Honour on your appointment to this court. Michael Colbran QC, the president of the Australian Bar Association, and Fiona McLeod SC, the chair of the Victorian Bar Council are both overseas. Each has asked me to pass on their personal congratulates and best wishes to your Honour. Your Honour comes to this court after 23 years as a barrister, four and a half of those years as a silk and four years as a Supreme Court Judge on the Supreme Court. At the bar you began with Kevin Mahony, who was appointed Senior Master during your readers course and the major part of your reading was with Philip Mandy, now retired from the Court of Appeal but rumoured to be returning as an acting judge of appeal. Your Honour had five readers. All speak of your Honour's friendship, guidance and generosity. You took silk in November 2004, you had a very successful career being briefed in large, complex commercial and tax trials and appeals in all jurisdictions, including the High Court. Your Honour joined your Honour's brother, Greg, at the bar and was later by your Honour's father on his retirement from this court and the AAT when, for a time, you had chambers on the same floor. It is delightful to see your father sitting on the bench today.

Your service at the bar and its community was extraordinary. After a year on the bar as counsel, more than five years on the ethics committee, including chair of that committee, five years on the equal opportunity committee, more than four years on the Federal Court users committee, four years on the Women's Barristers Association and a founding member of the WBA. You were president and webmaster of the Tax Bar Association and made a very well recognised and major contribution to that association. You were also passionate in your commitment, ensuring equal opportunity for women at the bar. Indeed, your Honour has been an outstanding mentor and a role model for many young women at the bar and in law generally.

In raising your sons whilst you were at the bar, your Honour brought your trademark organisational skills and efficiency. Your Honour organised your professional work as to be at home when the boys returned from school, you were a champion football mum and you worked at nights, after they had gone to sleep. You also avoided interstate cases until they were older. As said, your Honour even left the bar for a few years because of the insufficient support, perhaps at the bar, for parenting responsibilities, something that we hope, through your Honour's help and guidance, we are better at these days. At your Honour's welcome to the Supreme Court Justice John Digby, the then chairman of the Victorian Bar, described or said your Honour's conspicuous ability to cut through a mass of material to the very heart of what is the issue will well serve this court and all those who appear before your Honour.

Your Honour has served, as I said, for four years in the Supreme Court, in the Commercial Court and the Supreme Court with distinction. Your Honour was engaged in the creation and development of the Commercial Court with Justice Pagone and other foundation judges of that court from its earliest days. The court has now, I note, risen to be the one of the finest commercial courts in Australia. Your Honour has headed the Supreme Court corporations list, succeeding Justice Rob Robson and passing onto Justice Anne Ferguson, both of whom are in court today. In addition to your work in the Commercial Court and the corporations list, your Honour also served in the commercial law division of the Supreme Court and in the Court of Appeal and as an acting judge of the Court of Appeal.

Your Honour sat in the general jurisdiction of the Supreme Court with the concentration in commercial, corporations and tax matters. The Commercial Court judges, under leadership of Justice Pagone, met together weekly and worked closely and cooperatively with each other. I understand that you met regularly on a Friday morning at 9.30 before 10 o'clock directions. You met for coffee, cake and conversation. Knowing Justice Pagone, that would be interesting. And there was a personal coffee mug for each judge with his or her own coloured photograph on it. I can only wonder what traditions Justice Pagone might try and impose upon this court. Your Honour had a substantial amount of work organising the Commercial Court Monash University Bar and Law Institute seminars.

Your work on those important seminars extended over many years. From you being the first judicial presented on 25 February 2010 right up to the present. The most recent seminar was just a few weeks ago, on 5 June. Professor Bryan Horrigan, dean of the faculty at the law school of Monash University, has worked with your Honour on those seminars since the very beginning. He describes those seminars as an important relationship building exercise between the Supreme Court, the Legal Academy and the practicing profession. He has expressed his deep appreciation to your Honour for your support and leadership. Professor Horrigan also noted that all three new appointments to the Melbourne Registry of this court; your Honour, Justice Pagone and Debbie Mortimer SC, to take her appointment next week, are all graduates of the Monash Law School.

Mr Fredericks has described your Honour's appointment to this court as the pinnacle of your professional career. We, Victorians, see it rather as an natural part of the process of talent transfers between this court and the State Supreme Courts and we have seen many fine judges transferred between this court and the Victorian Supreme Court and Court of Appeal. In AFL terms, your Honour's recruitment might be described as being pursuant to the father and son rule or, in your Honour's case, the father and daughter rule, which has been finely instigated to ensure that your Honour was drafted to the right team. It would appear that unlike the Ablett or Danaher dynasties, your Honour chose to play for Collingwood before being drafted to your father's team, the Sydney Swans.

No doubt your Honour's previous experience on the court has seen you advance from the rookie list to recruitment as a season player. You are now the Federal Court's version of Buddy Franklin, although perhaps not quite the same price tag.

DAVIES J: Or looks.

MR ALSTERGREN: Indeed, your Honour's legendary fitness and determination may see you recruited, even yet, by your beloved Melbourne football club as its new higher performance coach, if that's not an oxymoron. Your Honour has, I understand, fairly recently returned from a serious walk in New Zealand with your Honour's brother, Greg and sister, Celia. A walk which your brother, Greg, describes as being recommended as a two to four day hike, which the three of you did in one day; a walk with some thirty five kilometres uphill of 1500 metres. Greg was hoping that your Honour might opt for a few days shopping, relaxing, a few massages and a slow walk or perhaps a walk of gentle pace; that was not to be. Since then, your Honour has expanded to snow and ice climbing, as well as bushwalking, cross country and downhill skiing and cycling.

One story told about your Honour at your welcome to the Supreme Court is worth repeating. That is your encounter with a very large, brown bear on a night time descent in the American Rockies. Despite the shock of being confronted by such a large and dangerous opponent, your Honour held your ground and stared the bear down. It retreated. This, it must say, is excellent training for any young barrister going to the bar or the bench as a judge. Your Honour is also, can I say, from personal experience, a fine lecturer and tutor. You have, for many years, taught in the University of Melbourne in the Masters class and have been admired for your calm and sophisticated teaching style and your friendship that you have offered to many of your former students over the years.

The fact that so many would like to meet you for a Tuesday morning coffee to discuss the law and life is a great tribute to you. Now, all await the address of the new Tuesday morning meeting place. Your Honour's service as a judge of the Supreme Court and its Commercial Court over the last four years has been outstanding and the balance of your service to the Legal Academy, not only to the Commercial Court joint seminars with Monash and the profession but also, your Honour's teaching as a senior fellow at Melbourne University have been exemplary. There was a nice contrast in the digression from the end of Law School to today. Your Honour and Justice Felicity Hampel celebrated the end of law or the Law School with a tour of South Australia and its wineries.

Your Honour's accommodation was said to be a two person tent in a camping ground. Your diet was mostly cheese and olives and of course, excellent wine and it's said that you shared only a single pair of decent sunglasses. Today, your Honours both stay in adjoining apartments in Paris which is much more sophisticated and the wine is said to be much finer. Your Honour has been described by your colleagues as a person of high integrity and someone who has, by your professional work and senior roles within and outside the bar, established a great reputation as an inspirational leader. Your Honour has been an outstanding barrister and judge. On behalf of the Victorian Bar, I wish your Honour long, satisfying, distinguished service as a judge of this court. May it please the court.


MR TANG: May it please the court. I appear on behalf of the Law Council of Australia and on behalf of the Law Institute of Victoria and the solicitors of this State to congratulate your Honour on your appointment to this court. I pass on the congratulations and best wishes of Michael Colbran QC in his capacity as president of the Law Council of Australia. It is a particular pleasure to represent the Law Council and Law Institute at this welcome because I share much common history with you. Like your Honour, I studied at Monash University and served articles with Del Bobeff. Your articles were completed at Pavey Whiting & Byrne which is, of course, a predecessor part of what is now my firm, Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Like your Honour, I share a curious enjoyment of tax, despite coming to the study of law with no particular plans to practice. As a result of a case group, where we were on opposing sides, we both know more about money legislation and the recession we had to have and is probably healthy to understand. And like your Honour, we both have a brother who also practices law, although somewhat surprisingly, my brother is yet to take up the joy of tax. Mr Alstergren has already referred to the Commercial Court seminars, established in association with Monash University, the Law Institute and the bar. These seminars were an initiative of Justice Pagone and the Commercial Court judges and one for which your Honour assumed principle responsibility from very early on.

Mark Yorsten, who is in court today, worked closely with your Honour, together with Philip Solomon SC from the bar and Professor Bryan Horrigan from Monash, in their planning. Mr Yorsten echoes the sentiments of Professor Horrigan in appreciation of your Honour's leadership in that regard. Your Honour took responsibility for engaging fellow members of the court in these seminars, including judges from public divisions of the court and judges of appeal. The issues were always great in current interest and the speakers, over the years, a veritable "who is who" of the many of the most eminent solicitors, counsel and legal academics in the commercial law field.

Your Honour was conscious of a need to see that the diversity of a profession was well represented in the panels of these seminars and have, in this also, been a model. The seminars have been extremely well received by the profession and attendance has been consistently close to the comfortable capacity of a lecture theatre in the Monash Lonsdale Street chambers, around 200 people. The active and substantial participation of judges in these seminars has very much enhanced the professional's relationship with the court and the professional's understanding and view of the Commercial Court. In my recent president's lunch, the Chief Justice spoke with evident pride about the achievements of the Commercial Court.

Your Honour had, as counsel, been a member of the business law section of the Law Council of Australia and served on the Law Council Taxation Committee. Your Honour initiated and brought about a visit to Melbourne last March by the United States Bankruptcy Court Judge James Peck. You did this in conjunction with the Law Council Insolvency and Reconstruction Law Committee, working with Ian Walker of Minter Ellison Melbourne, a member of that committee. Judge Peck had been responsible for the conduct of the United States chapter 11 and Securities Investor Protection Act proceedings, involving the Lehman Brothers and affiliated companies.

Your Honour had met Judge Peck at an overseas conference and on learning that his Honour was to visit New Zealand, arranged for him to come also to Melbourne. Representation in the bankruptcy court was in the engaging form of a conversation with Judge Peck on international insolvency issues, the special challenges of global cases, court to court communications and other cross-border insolvency issues. It was well intended and a great success. Your Honour was part of an extraordinary generation of article clerks and young employee solicitors at Paveys. At one point, your Honour, Justice Simon Whelan of the Supreme Court and Justice Julie Dodds-Streeton, formerly of Supreme Court and Court of Appeal and now of this court, had adjoining offices at Paveys.

As was noted at your welcome to the Supreme Court, your Honour is remembered from your days at Paveys, not only for the quality of your work but for your good relations with everyone with whom you worked: fellow clerks and solicitors, senior associates and partners, clients and with the support staff. As counsel, you were known for your extraordinary industry and ability to identify and address the issues in the typically massive volumes of materials in taxation and commercial law cases in which you practiced. You were known also for the pleasure it was to work with you, for your consideration of the client and for your instructors and their staff.

This is not to say your Honour was entirely free of some of the eccentricities that the solicitors bear with mostly ..... from senior counsel. At your Honour's Supreme Court welcome, the following illustrative hypothetical's were provided: a telephone call at about 6.30 in the evening, "I'm sorry to trouble you this late but I seem to have left all my papers in court and I really need to work on them tonight" and a call shortly before court for copies of just a few extra cases, "and we will need fifteen copies of each". Copying cases at short notice is challenging; character building when they're not used. Getting access to a court room in the evening is nothing short of a minor miracle. Another story from your Honour's time as counsel bear repetition.

The interesting origin of your care to eliminate the bolding of quotations in written submissions to the court. In the High Court, your leader was reading a quotation from a submission that your Honour had written. One of the justices, visibly irritated, is reported to have explained, "Not only is this in your submission, in case you might miss it, it's bold. There are limits. This is not like you, Mr Bloom". Mr Bloom took the hit for his junior. Mr David Bloom QC of the Sydney Bar is a national leader of the taxation bar. He attended your Honour's welcome to the Supreme Court and is also here today.

Your Honour's associates in the court, like your readers at the bar, were stretched and extended but always encouraged and supported and your Honour's friendship and support continued beyond their time with you on the court. Your Honour's love of bushwalking has already been mentioned. One former associate had been at a bar some seven months, when she went with you to New Zealand for a hiking trip. She had done some hiking before, and thought herself reasonably prepared. You went for a day trip, up a mountain in the vicinity of Mt Cook, it was, in her words, quite a challenge. Your Honour led the way, fully supportive and encouraging but stretching your companion.

There was no clear path and the markers for this walk were sparse. We went pretty well straight up, finding a place to cross an icy running stream. The hike brought the reward of a spectacular view at the top, looking out over glaciers and snow, in summer.

Keen observers from both branches of the profession in your Honour's Supreme Court judgments, even those wholly unrelated to any aspect of taxation law, saw preference for citation to decisions in tax cases in support of general principles of law. In your remarks about taxation law and cases that your Supreme Court welcome, there is just a hint of that preference, even if slightly tongue-in-cheek. Such people will, no doubt, be paying particular attention at this sitting, hoping to discern helpful hints for the conduct of cases before your Honour in this court. Your Honour has an outstanding record of practice as a solicitor, as counsel and as senior counsel and as a judge of the Supreme Court in its Commercial Court.

You have an outstanding record of service in the fields of ethics and of legal education. Your human qualities are evident and the common comment of many that you are fun to work with. On behalf of the Law Council of Australia, Law Institute of Victoria and the solicitors of this State, I wish your Honour joy in your appointment to this court and long, satisfying and distinguished service. May it please the court.

ALLSOP CJ: Justice Davies.

DAVIES J: Chief Justice, your Honours, Mr Fredericks, Mr Alstergren, Mr Tang, family and friends. Thank you Mr Fredericks, Mr Alstergren and Mr Tang for your very kind and gracious, though somewhat colourful words.

I am very honoured that so many of you are here today. I had toyed with the idea of not having a welcome because I assumed that everybody would be away, but Mr Alstergren was particularly insistent that I have a welcome notwithstanding that it would require him to come back from his holidays to welcome me to this court and I am grateful that I was persuaded to have the welcome.

I am delighted that so many of you are in attendance today, including very many of my colleagues from the Supreme Court. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court is an apology as she sensibly is away on holidays. But I am very delighted that the President of the Court of Appeal is here representing the Chief Justice and also because he wanted to be here. Thank you.

Although I have had a long association with this court, practising as I did predominantly in this court, the decision to move to this court was not an easy one. I had four and a half very rewarding years on the Supreme Court, most of which I spent in the Commercial Court, which had been established shortly before I commenced there. The Commercial Court was set up with bold objectives in the management of commercial litigation. The shift from the paradigm of practitioner-led case management to judge-led case management was a significant change in the way in which litigation had been conducted in the Supreme Court and it brought many challenges and many critics with it. This is not the occasion to talk about the reforms adopted by the court, but I do wish to acknowledge the initiatives and steps taken by the Supreme Court under the leadership of the Chief Justice to meet the challenges and demands of 21st century commercial litigation.

And I also wish to acknowledge the cooperation and assistance given by the profession to the court in implementing those reforms. I will miss the Supreme Court, but I am looking forward to the new challenges that this court will present.

My appointment to this court is particularly special for me as I am following in the footsteps of my father. It is an extraordinary honour to be sitting on the same bench as my father today and words can't express what it means to me to have you sit there today.

My father was a judge of this court from 1978 to 1998. I think we are the first father/daughter combination in the history of this court. I remember attending my father's welcome and I remember that the courtroom was packed. Although the details are now hazy, I do remember being quite overwhelmed by the significance of the occasion and just how proud I was of my father. I also remember the whole family being taken up beforehand to meet Sir Reginald Smithers, who was then a judge of this court. Sir Reginald was renowned for his wit, his humour and his appreciation of verse and he had just put a judgment to verse, which he shared with us.

I recall just standing there, wide-eyed in amazement. They had not taught us at law school that judges could have a sense of humour or had talents beyond writing dense, impenetrable judgments. I later had the privilege of appearing before Sir Reginald on a number of occasions as a very terrified, very junior barrister, but to my great regret, there was little or no poetry in the way in which he would dismiss my submissions.

As a little bit of serendipity, my brother judge on the Supreme Court, Justice Tim Ginnane, was Sir Reginald's associate at that time and Tim actually officiated at my father's welcome as his associate.

It has been quite a journey for Tim and myself since then, but our connection remains including both of us attending baby judges school together about four years ago and more recently, Tim's appointment to the Supreme Court. Tim, unfortunately, cannot be here today as he is on holidays but he sends his best wishes. I trust that when I leave this court, I will leave with a similar legacy that my father left. He was renowned as a polite, respectful and hardworking judge who listened with patience and gave parties full and fair opportunity to present their cases. It is very special to be welcomed to this court, where my father served for so long.

There are some important acknowledgements that I would now like to make. First, I would like to thank all of my associates, past and present, who I can see sitting down at the back of the court there.

I want to thank them for their hard work, humour, application and patience. The work of associates in the Commercial Court is particularly demanding, requiring a great deal of interaction with the profession and significant administrative tasks on top of the usual chambers work. I am very grateful to all of you for the smooth running of chambers and for the contributions that each of you have made but above all, I am grateful for the friendships that we have formed and I will keenly watch each of you in your further professional steps.

To my colleagues at the Supreme Court, this feels a bit like a farewell and it is a very sad occasion for me in that regard.

I am so pleased to see so many of you here today and many others would have been here but for the warmer destinations and beachfront resorts that beckoned. I will miss our daily contact and I will miss joining with the Supreme Court hiking team on their perimeter corridor walks around the Supreme Court building with the well positioned common room resting spot for the necessary coffee stop and place of rest. I look forward to our continued and regular contact and hopefully, encouraging you to extend your walks as far as the Flagstaff Gardens, at least when the weather is warmer. To my two gorgeous sons, what can I say? I'm inordinately proud of both of you.

To my parents, words are inadequate to express the importance to me that you are here and I'm not even going to try because if I did, I would become quite emotional, so all I'm going to say is thank you very much for being here and thank you to everybody else for being here. I know that many of you are on holidays that you have come especially for the occasion. I am honoured by your attendance and very, very appreciative. Thank you.

ALLSOP CJ: The court will now adjourn.