Two Australian jurists join London sets as door tenants

A former senior judge joins Atkin Chambers, while a leading international lawyer signs up with 3 Verulam Buildings
Headshots of Christopher Ward (left) and  James Allsop

Christopher Ward (left) and James Allsop

Two London sets of barristers’ chambers have invited distinguished Australian lawyers to join them as associate members. 

Specialist public international law silk Christopher Ward SC has joined 3 Verulam Buildings (3VB) while Atkin Chambers has welcomed James Allsop AC, the former Chief Justice of the Federal Court of Australia, as a door tenant

Ward, the head of chambers at 6 St James Hall Chambers in Sydney, has expertise in boundary disputes, questions of sovereign and diplomatic immunity, the law of the sea, aviation law, sanctions and war crimes compliance, resources disputes and investor-state arbitral disputes. 

He is a past president of the International Law Association, a position he held for two years from 2018-2020, and regularly accepts instructions in human rights matters as well as undertaking pro bono cases, when appropriate.

3VB, which was recognised for its work on diversity at the Women and Diversity in Law Awards recently, is known for its work in public international law (PIL) and arbitration. 

It acquired the services of Professor Zachary Douglas, another PIL specialist, from Matrix Chambers in October 2022, while Can Yeginsu, who also specialises in human rights, international arbitration and international law, joined in February 2022.

Other London sets to invest in public international law talent in recent months include 11KBW which recently brought on board Professor Phillippe Sands KC and former Foley Hoag partner Paul Reichler.

Ali Malek KC, chair of 3VB, said: “We are privileged to have Christopher join our membership. He is a leading PIL practitioner in Australia and will reinforce our existing strong credentials in public international law matters and investor-state arbitration.”

At Atkin Chambers, meanwhile, Allsop will offer his services as an arbitrator, mediator, chair of inquiries and expert. 

His practice will be managed by the set’s CEO, director of clerking David Barnes. Allsop was chief justice of Australia’s federal court for 10 years, served as president of the NSW Court of Appeal from 2008-2013 and was appointed to the federal bench in 2001.   

Barnes said he would work closely with Allsop to develop his international arbitration career, particularly in key areas such as maritime law, insurance, climate change and intellectual property. 

“I have no doubt that James will be a welcome addition to the international arbitral community,” Barnes concluded.

Allsop is also joining Sydney Arbitration Chambers where fellow Atkin Chambers tenants Doug Jones AO and Janet Walker CM are members.

Jones said Allsop’s leadership in the Federal Court was “testimony to the breadth and depth of his vision for commercial dispute resolution,” while Walker added that his “jurisprudence in the field of arbitration and commercial law has been standard setting in Australia and throughout the common law.”

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