Our Chambers is located in the historic St James’ Hall Building in Phillip St, Sydney. Our Chambers was the first to occupy the building when it became available for use as barristers’ chambers. In 2016 11 St James’ Hall Chambers celebrated its 25th anniversary, having formally opened on 25 October 1991 in a ceremony presided over by the Hon. Murray Gleeson AO, then Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales.

A plaque in our reception area commemorating our opening reads:

The Athenians raised a statue to the genius of Aesop, and placed the slave on an imperishable pedestal, to show that the path of honour is open to all and that glory is the attribute of worth and not of lineage. 

The philosophy commemorated by the words inscribed on the plaque has remained a principal value of our Chambers and its barristers.

Our Chambers’ inaugural heads of Chambers were John Spender QC and John Stowe QC. Our current head of Chambers is Martin Einfeld QC.

Throughout the history of our Chambers, we have been proud to have seen a number of our former members elevated to judicial office. Those members are:

  • The Hon. Stephen Charles QC, appointed a Judge of the Victorian Court of Appeal in 1995
  • The Hon. Chief Justice Helen Gay Murrell, appointed a judge of the District Court of NSW in 1996; appointed as the founding Senior Judge of the Drug Court of NSW in 1998, and appointed as the Chief Justice of the ACT Supreme Court in 2013.
  • The Hon. Justice Peter McClellan, appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW in 2001, appointed Chief Judge of the Land & Environment Court in 2003, and appointed Chief Judge at Common Law of the Supreme Court of NSW in 2005. His Honour has also recently served as a Royal Commissioner in the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Abuse.
  • The Hon. Justice Nigel Rein, appointed a Judge of the District Court of NSW in 2002, and appointed a Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW in 2008.
  • The Hon. Justice Jayne Jagot, appointed a Judge of the NSW Land & Environment Court in 2006, and appointed a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia in 2008.
  • The Hon. Justice David Hammerschlag, appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of NSW in 2007. His Honour now heads the Court’s Commercial, and Technology and Construction lists.
  • The Hon. Justice Robert Beech-Jones, appointed to the Supreme Court of NSW in 2012.

Other notable appointments include former head of Chambers John Spender QC’s appointment as Australia’s Ambassador to France and Monaco in 1996. Mr Spender also served as Australia’s ambassador to Portugal from 1996 to 1998.

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