Law Society NT welcomes Senior Counsel appointments in the NT
Law Society NT (Society) congratulates Sonia Brownhill and Matthew Nathan, who were appointed Senior Counsel by the Chief Justice on 15 September 2015.
Society President Tass Liveris said, “Ms Brownhill, a member of the independent Bar and Mr Nathan, a Senior Crown Prosecutor, are each highly skilled advocates in their chosen fields and are both richly deserving of their appointments. They have exemplary knowledge of the law and have a demonstrated commitment to the best traditions of the Bar and the administration of justice.”.
Ms Brownhill is only the third female to be appointed Senior Counsel in the Northern Territory under the Supreme Court (Senior Counsel) Rules, which commenced in 2008 and no longer permit the appointment of Queen’s Counsel in the Northern Territory. Ms Brownhill’s appointment as Senior Counsel follows (now Justice) Judith Kelly in 2008 and Nanette Rogers SC in 2009.
Ms Brownhill was appointed Crown Counsel in 2006, where she routinely appeared in the Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia. In 2011, Ms Brownhill joined the independent Bar, where she continues practice in superior courts in areas such as property law (including native title and Aboriginal land matters), administrative and public law, town planning, general contract law, negligence and personal injury law.
Mr Liveris said, “Ms Brownhill has been a leader at the Bar for many years and as Senior Counsel she will continue to make a substantial contribution to the development of a strong and independent Bar in the Northern Territory. The Society congratulates Ms Brownhill on this significant achievement.”.
Mr Liveris also said, “Diversity is a major issue in the legal profession right now. The Territory has a proud history of high achieving women in the law and it is wonderful to see the exemplary achievements of female leaders in the law being recognised through appointments such as this.”.
On 30 April 2015, the Society’s Council passed a Celebrating Diversity Strategy. The strategy aims to identify priorities and measure outcomes in diversity matters and bring together an industry-wide response, for the benefit of the legal profession and the entire community it serves.
Mr Nathan has been a prosecutor since 2001. He moved from Brisbane to Darwin in September 2008 to commence as a Senior Crown Prosecutor in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions. He is presently the Sexual Assault Senior Crown Prosecutor.
As a Senior Crown Prosecutor, Mr Nathan is a leader in the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and at the criminal Bar, where he regularly appears in serious, lengthy and complex criminal trials and appeals in the Court of Criminal Appeal.
He is the second prosecutor to be appointed Senior Counsel in the Northern Territory, following Nanette Rogers SC in 2009.
Mr Liveris said, “The reality is that the vast majority of trial work in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory is in criminal, as is a substantial proportion of the appellate work in our courts. It is wonderful to see the hard work of leading lawyers in the criminal division of the legal profession acknowledged through appointments like this. As a senior criminal prosecutor, Mr Nathan’s appointment as Senior Counsel is a fitting recognition of his significant achievements in the criminal jurisdiction of the courts over many years. The Society congratulates Mr Nathan on his appointment”.