Alumnus and recently elected Council Member, Mr Gerard Phillips LLM (John’s 1983-85) was sworn in as the President of the Workers Compensation Commission, and simultaneously joined the NSW District Court bench in a ceremony at the District Court on 23 January 2019. The Attorney-General of NSW, the Hon Mark Speakman SC MP represented the New South Wales Bar at the swearing-in ceremony.
“Mr Phillips brings more than 30 years of legal experience to the bench and is consistently recognised as one of Australia’s top industrial lawyers in Chambers Asia-Pacific legal directory,” Mr Speakman said in announcing the appointment.
“He has practiced extensively in every state in Australia and also the United Kingdom, appearing in all NSW court jurisdictions, as well as the High Court, across a range of criminal, civil, personal injury, industrial relations and employment matters.”
Judge Phillips was a partner at the global law firm K&L Gates, and was a Board member between 2011 and 2017. Judge Phillips has provided pro bono services to community organisations including St John’s College at the University of Sydney and the Australian Rugby Union Players Association, and is a regular author on industrial relations issues.
Judge Phillips resided at John’s between 1983-85 and served as House Secretary in 1985 and was actively involved in rugby at St. John’s and Sydney University including playing more than 150 games for the latter and now is often spotted in the crowd adamantly supporting the Sydney University Football Club and the Waratahs. Judge Phillips also rowed in the Rawson Cup College VIII in 1985.
On behalf of the Alumni and College community we congratulate Judge Phillips on his appointment to the bench and note the significant contribution he has and will continue to make to St. John’s College. Judge Phillips becomes the first Johnsman Judge to serve on the St. John’s College Council since the late Justice Roddy Meagher AO, QC.
A copy of the speeches delivered by the Attorney-General and the President of the Law Society of New South Wales and Judge Phillips’ speech in reply can be viewed here.