May 18, 2024
Doyle's Guide

Leading Family & Divorce Law Junior Counsel – Australia, 2016

The 2016 listing of leading Australian Family & Divorce Junior Counsel  details counsel practising within the areas of divorce, family, matrimonial and custody matters in the Australian legal market who have been identified by family law solicitors across Australia for their expertise and abilities in these areas.

Market Leader

Dan Sweeney, Owen Dixon Chambers East – Melbourne


Tedd Jordan, Inns of Court – Brisbane
John Levy, Waratah Chambers – Sydney
Joe Melilli, Owen Dixon Chambers East – Melbourne
Julian Millar, Fourth Floor Wentworth Chambers – Sydney
Syd Williams, Inns of Court – Brisbane


Suzanne Christie, Culwulla Chambers – Sydney
Richard Ingleby, Melbourne Chambers – Melbourne
James Linklater-Steele, Inns of Court – Brisbane
Tim Puckey – Melbourne
Jillian Williams – Melbourne


Peter Batey, Waratah Chambers – Sydney
Meredith Dickson – Elizabeth Evatt Chambers – Adelaide
David Dura, Waratah Chambers – Sydney
Melissa Gillies, Culwulla Chambers – Sydney
Minal Vohra, Owen Dixon Chambers East – Melbourne

Editorial Commentary

Chief among Australia’s family law Junior Counsel is Melbourne’s Dan Sweeney.  A vastly experienced campaigner, Sweeney by and large operates at a level that is part Senior Counsel and part Junior Counsel.

Within the ranks of other Junior Counsel the 2016 focus is firmly upon individuals with the surname Williams.

Melbourne’s Jill Williams who, unlike many of the individuals in the list above also practises in other areas of law, is the big mover in our rankings this year and on of the current favourites of Melbourne’s family law community.  Advocacy skills, hard work and client service were all featured in the praise of Williams.

Brisbane’s Syd Williams, an ambitious and talented young barrister, has expanded his influence into the Sydney market with significant effect.  With the majority of Sydney’s family law focused Junior Counsel either perceived as having a somewhat narrow skill-set or an advocacy style that constrains their perceived effectiveness on many matters, Williams’ all-round skills and humility have been welcomed by the Sydney family law community.

Other such as Brisbane’s meticulous Tedd Jordan and the charismatic James Linklater-Steele as well as the experience and commercial acumen of Melbourne’s Richard Ingleby and Joe Melilli again feature prominently in our rankings.

Finally with both our Australian and state-based rankings there’s a continued trend away from those Junior Counsel who interpersonal and advocacy style is overly aggressive.  While there are occasions where the use of such individuals can be beneficial, in the vast majority of matters the introduction of such aggression is seen as unhelpful.

Quality family law Junior Counsel can be retained for between $3,500 to $6,000 per day.  In reality clients shouldn’t expect to retain better Junior Counsel for under $5,000.

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