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A New Pathway: The Federal Circuit and Family Court of Australia

Presented by Robin Smith and Laura Johnston.

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Introducing our 2021 October Readers

Chris Brydon

Chris accepts briefs in all areas of criminal law and related areas including proceeds of crime, post-sentencing applications, disciplinary matters, inquests, OHS and intervention orders.

Prior to coming to the bar, Chris was a solicitor at a specialist criminal law firm Chester Metcalfe & Co. He routinely appeared in appeals, pleas, committal proceedings, contests and bail applications in the Supreme, County and Magistrates' Courts.

Chris has acted in matters involving fitness to be tried and mental impairment defence, and is available to be briefed in matters relating to the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act.

 Chris also practices in the Criminal and Family Divisions of the Children's Court. He has acted for children charged with Category A and B Serious Youth Offences and other serious indictable offences. Prior to practicing in this field, Chris was a Board member and Secretary of Youthlaw, a community legal service providing legal representation and advice to children and young people.

Chris is reading with Dr Theo Alexander. His senior mentor is Theo Kassimatis QC.


Rhiannon Saint

Rhiannon accepts briefs in all areas of family law and related jurisdictions (including Intervention Order matters).

She comes to the bar with extensive experience in family law.

She is an LIV Accredited Family Law Specialist.

As a solicitor, Rhiannon regularly appeared in the Federal Circuit Court of Australia, the Family Court of Australia and the Magistrates' Court of Victoria.

Immediately prior to coming to the bar, Rhiannon was a Senior Associate at a leading specialist family and relationship law firm in the Melbourne CBD. She had carriage of complex property and parenting matters involving high net worth individuals, complex trust and business structures, spousal maintenance, financial agreements, third party issues, family violence and abuse allegations, parental alienation, and interstate and international relocation. She also had the carriage of matters at appellate level.

Rhiannon accepts family law briefs in local, regional and interstate courts. She also accepts briefs to appear at mediations, to provide advice and prepare paperwork.

Rhiannon is reading with Richard Ingleby and her Senior Mentor is Marylyn Smallwood S.C. 


Leo Seward

Leo welcomes briefs in all areas of criminal, quasi-criminal and administrative law in metropolitan and regional Victoria. He also accepts briefs in family law and related jurisdictions.

 Immediately before coming to the Bar, Leo was Associate to Her Honour Judge Fran Dalziel in the Criminal Division of the County Court of Victoria.

 Leo began his legal career as a civil and commercial litigation lawyer working in a boutique Melbourne law firm.

 Leo is reading with Sharon Lacy. His Senior Mentor is Christopher Horan QC.


Pinar Tat

Pinar practices in all areas of criminal law and will also be accepting briefs in family law.

A former Associate to His Honour Judge Cahill of the County Court, Pinar sat with His Honour in the Criminal Division and developed a thorough understanding of criminal procedure and practice, particularly in complex trials for Commonwealth indictable offences.

Prior to her time at the Court, Pinar worked as a paralegal at Maurice Blackburn Lawyers and participated in their legal advice night clinic with the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. She also completed an internship at the Women's Legal Service Victoria (WLSV). Much of the work she undertook at the WLSV was family violence related, working closely with lawyers to deliver comprehensive legal assistance to clients in need and to also bring broader policy awareness and change. Similarly, she has also volunteered at the Whittlesea Community Legal Service for over three years, assisting solicitors and clients in delivering legal advice to members of the community, including for summary offences in criminal matters and family law.

Pinar is a member of the Women in Crime Association and is also a mentor to JD students in the Melbourne Law School Mentoring Program. During her studies she was a mentee to Her Honour Judge Wilmoth in the same program and was also the communications director of the Public Interest Law Network.

Pinar is reading with Michael Stanton and her senior mentor is Sally Flynn QC.


Our Readers are able to accept briefs as of Friday, 22 October. To make a booking contact our Clerks at or on 9225 6444.

We're delighted to have them join us. With their experience, they'll be a great addition to our List.


Holmes List welcome Matthew O'Grady

Matthew O'Grady joins the Victorian Bar after over a decade as a specialist Family Law barrister in England & Wales. Descriptions of his practice in the UK's leading legal directories include:

 'Legal individual: divorce and financial remedy.' - Legal 500 (UK Bar)

'A team player and consummate professional.' - Legal 500 (UK Bar)

Matthew's expertise is in the division of married and unmarried couples' property after separation. His strong private client practice is complemented by his work in international children disputes and in sports law.

He divides his practice and time between England, where he has been a barrister since 2010, and Australia. He is especially well placed to assist clients with legal issues spanning these jurisdictions.

When he is in England, Matthew sits part-time as a Judge. He is a Deputy District Judge in the Family Court and County Court of England & Wales and a Judge of the First-Tier Tribunal (fee-paid) (Health, Education and Social Care Chamber).

Matthew has appeared at all levels in England including the Court of Appeal without Queen's Counsel and the High Court. He appears against senior family barristers and against Queen's Counsel without being led himself.

Matthew has a unique background in professional sport as a former elite match official and is instructed to advise and represent players, clubs, leagues and governing bodies.

 Matthew's mentor is Chris Nehmy.



Historical Sex Offences - Pleas and Preparation 

Presented by Belinda Franjic and Rabea Khan.

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Intervention Orders and COVID

Presented by Simon Kelly.

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County Court appointment - Nola Karapanagiotidis

Congratulations to List member, Her Honour Nola Karapanagiotidis, upon her appointment today as a County Court Judge of Victoria.

Nola has been a barrister for close to two decades, practising across the Magistrates’, County and Supreme Courts and appearing in the Federal Court, High Court and coronial inquests. She previously worked at Victoria Legal Aid and as a solicitor advocate and has held a range of community based and volunteer legal positions.

We wish Nola all the best in her new role on the bench.


Holmes List Leading Criminal Law Counsel - Doyles Guide 2021

The Doyles Guide 2021 listing of leading Victorian Criminal Law Senior and Junior Counsel, details Counsel practising in criminal law matters in the Victorian legal market, who have been identified by Victoria's Criminal law solicitors for their expertise and abilities in the area.

Holmes List congratulates the following Senior and Junior Counsel -

Senior Counsel and Queen's Counsel


Dermot Dann QC

Junior Counsel


Barnaby Johnston


Ashley Halphen

Our entire list of Criminal Barristers can be viewed here.

Many have contributed to our free Online CPD platform.

To make a booking contact our clerks on 9225 6444.


                                       Register now 



Appearing before a Registrar at First instance: Powers, Procedures and Protocol.

Presented by Eliza Tiernan and Stacey Taylor.

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Bail Applications: A Practical Guide to Preparation & Presentation 

Presented by Shaun Ginsbourg and Sam Andrianakis

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Drug and Alcohol Treatment Orders: Eligibility, Processes and Appeals in light of Makrogiannis [2021] VSC 190 

Presented by Emma Strugnell and Lachy Hocking .

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Celebrating 10 years of the VLA Trial Counsel Development Program

(L-R back row) Hugo Moodie, Felicity Fox, William Blake (L-R front row) Chris Edwards, Emma Strugnell, Victoria Legal Aid CEO Louise Glanville, Ashleigh Harrold, Julie Buxton

Last Monday, VLA and the Victorian Bar celebrated ten years of the Trial Counsel Development Program.

The program is designed to deliver on-the-job training and mentoring to selected Junior Counsel at the Victorian Bar by partnering them with senior trial advocates in criminal trials each year.

Holmes List has had a number of past and present members participate in the program, either in a senior mentoring role or as a Junior.

We are proud to have four participants this year – William Blake, Chris Edwards, Hugo Moodie and Emma Strugnell. They join Veronika Drago from the 2019 intake.

We wish them well throughout the Program.


Holmes List welcomes Colin Forrest SC

Retired Trial Judge and experienced Arbitrator, Mediator and Barrister, Colin Forrest SC, has now returned to practice at the Bar after having served as a Trial Judge of the Family Court of Australia for the past ten years.

 Colin now provides his highly sought-after services as an Arbitrator and Mediator in all family law disputes in Brisbane and across Australia. His Mediator services are also available in other areas of law including (but not limited to) succession law, administrative law, and anti-discrimination law.

 He is also open to accepting instructions to appear in coronial inquests and to join boards or commissions of inquiry.

 Colin is prepared to travel anywhere in Australia to conduct mediations and arbitrations. He is also able to conduct mediations and arbitrations online.

 To make a booking please contact one of my Clerks on (03) 9225 6444 or email us at


New May Reader - Lachlan Hocking

Holmes List welcomes our latest Reader Lachlan Hocking.

Lachlan accepts briefs in all areas of criminal law and quasi-criminal law. He has extensive experience as an advocate in summary and indictable crime and accepts briefs in all metropolitan and regional courts.

Lachlan also accepts briefs in proceeds of crime litigation, disciplinary matters and regulatory matters.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Lachlan worked as a Senior Lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid’s Melbourne and Dandenong offices. He regularly appeared as an advocate in summary, indictable and appellate matters in the Magistrates’ and County Court jurisdictions. Lachlan also has experience working in the specialist Drug Court in Dandenong and Melbourne.

After being admitted to practice, Lachlan worked at a boutique criminal law firm in Melbourne where he instructed in a range of criminal defence matters in the Magistrates’ and County Court.

Lachlan is reading with Stewart Bayles. His senior mentor is David Hallowes SC.

Lachlan is available to accept bookings as of Friday 7 May, 2021. To make a booking, contact our clerks on (03) 9225 6444 or email us at 


2021 Doyle's Guide - Stephen Russell and Robert Taylor

Holmes List is proud to announce that both Stephen Russell and Robert Taylor are noted in the 2021 Doyle's Guide as two of the three preeminent Workplace Health and Safety Junior Counsel.

Congratulations Stephen and Robert.


2021 Doyle's Guide - Chris O'Grady QC

Holmes List is proud to announce that Chris O'Grady QC is noted in the 2021 Doyle's Guide for the Leading Employment Law Senior Counsel, and the Leading Victorian Workplace Health & Safety Senior Counsel.
Congratulations Chris.



Family Law CPD update

Martin Bartfeld QC - Family Law Arbitrations 

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Criminal Law CPD update

Shaun Ginsbourg and Peter Botros discuss Commonwealth Sentencing. 

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Family Law CPD update

Sarah Mansfield and Sharney Jenkinson review 2020. Teams, Trials and Tribulations. 

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Australia Day Honours - Patrick Tehan OAM QC

Congratulations to List member Patrick Tehan OAM QC who received a Medal (OAM) of the Order of Australia in the recent Australia Day awards.

 Patrick was admitted to the Bar in 1977 and appointed Queen's Counsel in 1997. He was also our List Chairman from 2009-2010 and 2000-2007.

 Patrick was awarded for his service to the law, and to the legal profession.


Important Court dates 2021

The 2021 conference and non-sitting dates for  Victorian Courts have now been finalised.

Click below to view the list -

Court dates 2021


The 2021 FCC Country circuit dates have now been finalised. You can access the full list below - 

2021 FCC Country Circuit dates

Note, these are tentative dates and will be pending covid restrictions and availability of state courtrooms. Otherwise, they will be ran virtually from Melbourne.


Holmes List welcomes the following October Readers

Heather Anderson

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Heather comes to the Bar with extensive experience in criminal law.

Heather accepts briefs in criminal and quasi-criminal matters in metropolitan and regional courts in Victoria.

Heather became an Accredited Specialist in Criminal Law with the Law Institute of Victoria in 2018. 

Prior to coming to the Bar, Heather practised as a Solicitor Advocate in Western Australia for 2.5 years, conducting appearances across all metropolitan and regional courts including contested hearings for glassing/assault, drugs and burglary.

Heather also gained regulatory experience working at the Australian Securities and Investments Commission for just over three years, in Western Australia and Victoria.

Heather has practiced as a Solicitor Advocate in Victoria since 2016 with Leanne Warren & Associates and David Barrese & Associates. In these roles, Heather had carriage of mostly indictable criminal matters including murder, sex offences and armed robbery. Heather has instructed in County Court and Supreme Court trials and applications under the Serious Sex Offenders (Detention and Supervision) Act. Heather has also appeared in committals, contested hearings, bail applications and pleas in the Magistrates' Court and in appeals, breach proceedings, pleas and bail applications in the County Court. 

Heather is reading with Matthew Page and her senior mentor is Dermot Dann QC.


Dara Isaacson

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Dara comes to the bar with extensive experience in family law and related jurisdictions.

Prior to coming to the bar, Dara was a Senior Associate at Lander & Rogers in Melbourne and previously worked at the Canberra office of Farrar Gesini Dunn, a prominent national family law firm.

As a solicitor Dara had carriage of complex family law matters, both at first instance as well as at the appellate level. Recently, as a solicitor Dara had carriage of the matter Graham & Squibb [2019] FamCAFC 33 which successfully defended the appeal of a decision to rectify a Financial Agreement.

Dara's experience includes parenting matters; international relocation and Hague convention; Financial Agreements; property settlement matters, including involving third party interests, business structures and trusts.

Dara has also worked as a solicitor in Wills & Estates and brings this knowledge to her family law matters.

As a solicitor Dara regularly appeared on behalf of her clients in interlocutory and interim matters in the Federal Circuit Court and the Family Court of Australia. Dara honed her advocacy skills while working in Canberra from 2011 until 2014, as a fused jurisdiction of barristers and solicitors, she was afforded much more appearance work than solicitors in other jurisdictions.

Dara is available to appear in all areas of family law including both child and property matters both in Victoria as well as interstate. Dara is also available to provide advice and draft documents for family law matters.

Dara accepts briefs in all aspects of family law matters and related jurisdictions. She has particular interest in financial matters involving Property Development aspects as well as complex superannuation issues.

Dara is a LIV Accredited Family Law Specialist.

Dara is reading with Andrew Barbayannis, her senior mentor is Marylyn Smallwood SC.


Katie Powell

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Katie accepts briefs in all areas of criminal law and quasi-criminal law in metropolitan and regional courts.

Prior to coming to the Bar, Katie worked as a Senior Lawyer at Victoria Legal Aid. Katie began working at VLA at the Ringwood office before moving into the Advocacy Team in the Criminal Law Melbourne office where she was based for the last four years. 

Katie comes to the Bar as an experienced advocate having appeared daily in the Magistrates' Court and County Court for pleas of guilty, bail applications, contest mentions, family violence and personal safety intervention orders, breach proceedings, committal mentions and appeals.

In addition to her significant appearance work, Katie maintained a high case load of summary and indictable matters, and has worked on matters including homicide, serious assaults, serious sex offences, drug related offences and matters arising under the Crimes (Mental Impairment and Unfitness to be Tried) Act 1997.

Katie is reading with Jarrod Williams and her senior mentor is Julian McMahon AC SC.


Our Readers are able to accept briefs as of Monday the 26th of October, 2020. To make a booking, contact one of our clerks on 9225 6444 or email us 


Congratulations to Megan Tittensor SC on being appointed Senior Counsel in and for the State of Victoria. 

Megan has appeared in all types of criminal matters; notably murder, conspiracy, corporate and tax fraud and, drug and sex offences.

In addition, Megan practices in quasi-criminal jurisdictions including disciplinary and tribunal matters, coronial inquests and royal commissions.  In relation to the latter, Megan appeared as junior counsel for the Managing Director of AWB in the AWB Royal Commission, and in subsequent civil penalty proceedings brought by ASIC. Megan is currently briefed as Counsel assisting in the Royal Commission into Lawyer X.

Megan joins an elite group of Holmes List Silks.