John Birrell

John was admitted as a solicitor in 2013 and called to the Bar in 2023. He accepts briefs in all areas of law.

Before coming to the Bar, John was a Senior Associate in the litigation team at Arnold Bloch Leibler. He acted for companies and individuals on a wide range of commercial disputes, regulatory investigations and enforcement action, white collar criminal matters, and public inquiries.

Prior to joining ABL in 2020, John was a senior solicitor at the North Australian Aboriginal Justice Agency and the Office of the Solicitor Assisting the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, and a solicitor in the litigation team at MinterEllison. 

John holds a Master of Laws from Columbia Law School, and a Bachelor of Laws (First Class Honours) and Bachelor of Economics from the Australian National University.

Monica Aguinaldo

Monica accepts briefs in all areas of law, specialising in commercial, regulatory and public law.

Before coming to the Bar, Monica was a Senior Associate at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.  She acted in matters involving commercial and corporations law, equity, consumer law and class actions.  Prior to that, Monica was an Associate to the Hon Justice Gageler AC at the High Court of Australia and the Hon Justice Jacobson at the Federal Court of Australia.

Monica holds a Master of Laws from Harvard University and a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Arts from the University of New South Wales.

Monica is honoured to be the recipient of the 2022 Katrina Dawson Award.

Alice Zheng

Alice has a broad practice in commercial litigation, including in contract, corporations law, equity, insolvency, and consumer law, as well as a regulatory and administrative law practice.  She acts regularly for both corporate and government clients.  She appears both led and unled in the NSW Supreme Court and the Federal Court of Australia, as well as other courts and tribunals.

Alice was admitted to practice in 2011 and called to the Bar in 2018.  Prior to coming to the Bar, Alice was a Senior Associate in the Commercial Litigation group at Clayton Utz.  Alice was also tipstaff to her Honour Justice J K Ward of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Alice has a BEcSocSci (Hon 1) and LLB (Hons 1) from the University of Sydney and an LLM (Class 1) from the University of Cambridge, where she was awarded the Gareth Jones Prize for Restitution.

Naomi Wootton

Naomi has a diverse practice across commercial, public and criminal law. She appears regularly in courts across Australia, including the High Court of Australia, Federal Court of Australia, and State Supreme Courts, as well as in tribunals and inquiries (both led and unled). 

Prior to coming to the Bar, Naomi was an Associate at the High Court of Australia, and tipstaff and Research Director to the Chief Justice of New South Wales, the Hon TF Bathurst AC KC. She also practised as a solicitor at Marrickville Legal Centre and taught Corporations Law at the Australian National University.

Naomi holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons I) and Bachelor of Arts from the Australian National University, where she was awarded the University Medal in Law. She is a co-author of Uniform Evidence in Australia (4th ed, 2023).

Celia Winnett

Celia practises primarily in commercial and public law. She appears in courts and tribunals at all levels, including the High Court, where she has been junior counsel in 11 final hearings and multiple special leave hearings. Her practice also involves advice work and appearances in compulsory examinations for and against regulators.

Celia joined the Bar in 2016. Prior to that, she served as Counsel Assisting the Commonwealth Solicitor-General, Justin Gleeson SC. In that role, she drafted legal opinions, assisted in preparing cases for hearing in domestic and international tribunals, and appeared as junior counsel for the Commonwealth. Celia previously worked as a lawyer within the Australian Government Solicitor, in the Banking & Finance and International Arbitration teams of Mallesons Stephen Jaques (Sydney), and as Associate to Justice Crennan of the High Court of Australia.

Celia has an LLM from Columbia Law School, which she attended on a Fulbright Scholarship. She also holds a BA/ LLB (First Class Honours, University Medal) from the Australian National University.

Celia is a Centre Fellow of the UNSW Gilbert + Tobin Centre of Public Law, a member of the NSW Bar Association’s Human Rights Committee, and NSW Co-Convenor for the Australian Association of Constitutional Law.

David Thomas

David Thomas SC appears across Australia in a broad range of commercial and civil matters.  He has a particular interest in class actions, regulatory, revenue and constitutional law.  David appears at both trial and on appeal, including in the High Court.

Commercial and corporate law: Recent clients include HSBC on appeal in the Dick Smith litigation, IAL in the Greensill disputes, Channel Seven in claims against Cricket Australia, the Rinehart children in litigation against Gina Rinehart, NAB in proceedings concerning the Bank Bill Swap Rate and Brickworks in a landmark oppression action.           

Class actions: Clients include National Australia Bank, Westpac, RBS, Suncorp, NULIS, Star Entertainment, Multiplex and subsidiaries of BHP.  David has been appointed amicus by the Federal Court and NSW Supreme Court to provide submissions in novel matters.

Regulatory and civil penalty:David regularly acts for companies and individuals in proceedings brought by ASIC.  Recent clients include Macquarie Bank, Westpac, Rio Tinto, MLC Nominees, NAB and MLC Insurance.  David has also acted for ASIC and the ACCC respectively in High Court appeals concerning the operation of the MIS and cartel regimes.  David represented NAB in the Banking Royal Commission.

Revenue law: David appears for both taxpayers and the Commissioner.  Recent matters have involved Crown, Tabcorp, Tatts and Uber.  David has also appeared for the Commissioner in High Court appeals concerning franking credits and charitable trusts, and for high net-worth individuals in income and tax residency matters.

Constitutional law: Notable matters include High Court challenges to the mining tax, carbon tax and the reform of parliamentary pension entitlements.  He recently appeared in the first High Court challenge under s 90 of the Constitution since Ha.

David has been recognized in range of professional publications, including Best Lawyers in AustraliaLegal 500 and Who’s Who Legal.

David was awarded University Medals in both Law and History at the University of Sydney.  David subsequently received a BCL (with Distinction) from the University of Oxford, while holding the Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Law.  Prior to coming to the Bar, David was Associate to Justice Gummow at the High Court of Australia and a solicitor at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (now King & Wood Mallesons).

Stephen Speirs

Stephen has a broad commercial practice, with a focus on regulatory litigation (including civil penalty and administrative enforcement) and white-collar criminal matters.  His experience includes corporations law, consumer law, insider trading and market misconduct, anti-money laundering, tax fraud, and foreign bribery.  Stephen also regularly advises on search warrants and regulatory investigations.

Stephen holds law degrees from Sydney University and Columbia University in New York. Before coming to the Bar in 2021, Stephen was a Senior Associate at Ashurst, and also practised as an attorney at a leading law firm in New York. Before that, he was Tipstaff to the Honourable Ian G Harrison of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

Stephen is a Senior Teaching Fellow at the University of Melbourne and UNSW, where he teaches ‘White Collar Crime’. He regularly publishes academic articles and is a co-author of the textbook, Corporate Misconduct & White-Collar Crime in Australia: Regulation, Investigation & Enforcement (Thomson Reuters, 2022). In 2019, Stephen was appointed to the Advisory Committee of the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Review into Australia’s ‘Corporate Criminal Responsibility Regime’.

Stephen was admitted to practice in 2013 and called to the Bar in 2021.

Jordan Smith

Jordan accepts briefs in all areas of law. He has particular interest in contract, corporations, equity, insolvency, and intellectual property.

Prior to being called to the Bar in 2022, Jordan was a lawyer at Arnold Bloch Leibler where he practised primarily in commercial litigation and white-collar crime. In 2018, Jordan was Associate to the Honourable Justice Robertson of the Federal Court of Australia.

Jordan holds a Master of Laws degree from the University of Chicago and combined Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Science (Advanced) degrees from the University of Sydney, with Honours in nuclear physics.

Matt Sherman

Matt was admitted to practice in 2011 and was called to the bar in 2017.  He accepts briefs in all areas of law but has a particular focus on commercial, regulatory and public law matters, including class actions, competition, corporations, consumer, equity, administrative law, civil penalty, revenue and judicial review proceedings.

Prior to joining the Bar, Matt worked as a solicitor in the dispute resolution and competition teams at King & Wood Mallesons and as an associate to Justice Robertson of the Federal Court. He holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Commerce from the Australian National University and a Bachelor of Civil Law (Distinction) from the University of Oxford.

Julia Roy

Practice Areas

Julia practices primarily in commercial, competition and criminal law. She appears frequently in the High Court of Australia, the Courts of Appeal and Criminal Appeal in New South Wales, Western Australia, Victoria and the ACT, the Full Court of the Federal Court and in lower Federal and State courts and inquiries across Australia.

Recent matters

Recent matters in which Julia has been briefed include:

Julia also regularly advises in relation to regulatory (ACCC, ASIC, OAIC, etc), liquidator, and criminal investigations and proceedings for Big Tech, Big Four banks, Big Four accounting firms and other listed entities and executives, initial public offerings, compulsory examinations and witness preparation, and appeal merit.

Current Listings

Professional History

Prior to commencing practice, Julia was Research Director to the Hon Chief Justice Bathurst AC and Tipstaff to the Hon Justice Hodgson AO of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. She has lectured in law and business at the University of New South Wales where she graduated with first class Honours in 2009. Prior to her legal career, Julia she worked in international humanitarian advocacy with a focus on genocide prevention. Julia is co-author of Uniform Evidence Law in Australia (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2020 3rd ed). She was admitted to practice in 2011 and called to the Bar in 2013.