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.

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).

Neil Williams

Neil Williams came to the Bar in 1989 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2001. He appeared in a wide range of major cases both at first instance and on appeal including, major environmental and planning issues, major tax matters, major constitutional issues, a wide range of general administrative law matters, competition and consumer law matters, broadcasting matters, and criminal appeals. He appeared in all Australian jurisdictions, the Solomon Islands, Fiji and Nauru.

He now does advising work in those fields.

Daniel Ward

Daniel was called to the Bar in 2021.  He has a BCL (Distinction) from the University of Oxford, and University Medals in Law and Arts from the University of Sydney. 

He has represented corporate and individual clients, unled, in a range of civil and criminal matters in the High Court, Federal Court, and NSW Supreme, District and Local Courts, as well as the Fair Work Commission.  Led by Senior Counsel, he has also appeared for clients in civil and criminal appeals in the High Court, Federal Court, and NSW Courts of Appeal and Criminal Appeal.

Immediately prior to coming to the Bar, Daniel was a Special Counsel in the Sydney office of Norton Rose Fulbright.  Prior to that, he was General Counsel to the Prime Minister of Australia.  Earlier in his career, he worked in the office of the Commonwealth Attorney-General.  He was also an Associate to Chief Justice James Allsop AO, of the Federal Court of Australia.

.

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.

Naomi Sharp

A silk since 2017, Naomi is known for her ability to master the facts, her careful forensic analysis, excellent written skills, persuasive oral advocacy and experience as a cross-examiner.

Naomi’s broad practice spans public law (judicial and merits review and constitutional law), competition and trade practices and environment and planning law. Naomi also acts in environmental and other regulatory prosecutions.  She regularly appears for and against State and Federal regulators and other agencies.

Naomi has extensive experience in Royal Commissions, inquiries, inquests, and disciplinary matters, acting variously as Counsel Assisting or for interested parties.  She was Counsel Assisting in the 2022 Bell Review into The Star Casino and in the 2020 Bergin Inquiry into Crown Resorts, as well as in a number of hearings of the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse.

Naomi has lengthy experience in running complex and factually intensive proceedings and has appeared in some of the leading statutory unconscionability cases in recent years, including ACCC v Quantum and ACCC v Phoenix.

Prior to coming to the Bar in 2002, Naomi was an Associate at the High Court.  She has an MCL from McGill University, which she attended on a Lionel Murphy Postgraduate Scholarship and Max Stern Recruitment Fellowship.

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.

Claire Palmer

Claire has a diverse practice in public, regulatory, commercial, and human rights law. She has significant experience in the coronial jurisdiction and is currently briefed as Counsel Assisting in the Special Commission of Inquiry into LGBTIQ hate crimes. In 2022, Claire lectured in Advanced Statutory Interpretation at the University of the New South Wales.

Before she was called to the bar, Claire worked at Allens-Linklaters (Sydney) and Shearman & Sterling (London). She has acted as Associate to his Honour Justice Brian Tamberlin in the Federal Court of Australia and the Honourable Chief Justice Peter Shivute in the Supreme Court of Namibia.

Claire has a doctorate from the University of Oxford, which she attended on a Clarendon Scholarship. Her research focused on the accountability of transnational corporations for serious human rights violations. Claire also has a BCom (Hons I) and LLB (Hons I) from the University of Sydney, where she was awarded the Henry S. Albinski Prize for Best Honours Thesis in Australian Foreign and Defence Policy.

In 2017, Claire was the inaugural recipient of the Katrina Dawson Award, which aims to encourage young women to practise at the Bar. She was a member of the NSW Bar Council from 2020 to 2023 and presently sits on one of the NSW Bar Association’s six professional conduct committees