Mr Brandis – you are a genius!

Now for those who know me well, you’d never though that I’d be saying this!

However, with the appointment of Catherine Carew QC to the Family Court of Australia in Brisbane I must compliment the Attorney-General on making this much needed appointment.

I have had the pleasure of knowing Catherine for many years, having briefed her and been against her.  Regardless of which side she was on, I have always admired Catherine for her polite and civil manner when dealing with people.  I can’t recall ever having seen her flustered.  

One of my matters with Catherine was a bit of a hospital pass when, at very late notice, we had to brief her as a result of our long-standing counsel in the matter having been (as chance would have it) appointed to the Family Court.  The trial was in Sydney and we had some high-powered opponents against us.  Up our end of the bar table sat myself, Partner Reagan Wilson, and Catherine.  Catherine had her trusty MacBook Air, I had my iPad, MacBook, and portable printer, and Reagan his iPad.  The other end of the bar table had two silks, two juniors, at least 3 solicitors, and the most technology they had was a Lamy fountain pen.  Their combined charge out rates were probably about $35,000 per day.  

They started to make fun of our technology.  They didn’t make fun of it when Catherine was asked by the Judge to provide a further copy of her submissions.  “Certainly Your Honour, my instructor will print you one right now” was her response.  The Judge was grateful and the other side didn’t know what to say.  Catherine’s cross-examination of the father in the trial could only be described as “masterpiece theatre”.  Oh and for the record, we were victorious.

Catherine’s manner is eminently suited to judicial office and I whole-heartedly congratulate her on her appointment.

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