Law Society of NSW congratulates new Chief Justice of NSW


President of the Law Society of NSW, Joanne van der Plaat, has warmly congratulated the current President of the NSW Court of Appeal, the Honourable Justice Andrew Bell SC, on his appointment as the new Chief Justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. 

“It is my privilege and honour to congratulate His Honour on this most fitting appointment as the highest ranking judicial officer in NSW,” Ms van der Plaat said. 

“When His Honour was first appointed to the bench, he was described by solicitors and fellow counsel alike as one of the most brilliant lawyers of his generation. 

“Since then, his leadership and intellect have truly been the hallmarks of his time on the bench. 

“This is an excellent appointment and the people of NSW can trust that the administration of justice in this state will be in safe hands. 

“I wish His Honour every success as Chief Justice, particularly as he guides the courts through the ongoing challenges of the pandemic.” 

Ms van der Plaat also congratulated the Honourable Julie Ward, the Chief Judge of the NSW Supreme Court’s Equity Division, who has been appointed as the next President of the Court of Appeal. 

Justice Julie Ward spent 26 years as a solicitor in commercial litigation before becoming the first female solicitor to be directly appointed as a NSW Supreme Court Judge from private practice.  

As President of the Court of Appeal she will be the second highest ranking judicial officer in NSW. 

“This is a richly deserved appointment that will be much celebrated amongst the solicitor branch of the profession,” Ms van der Plaat said. 

“Her Honour has been a trail blazer in both the legal profession and the judiciary and a champion for the advancement of women in the law.  

“I am delighted that her enormous talent and skills have been recognised with this appointment.” 

Ms van der Plaat also paid tribute to Chief Justice, the Honourable Tom Bathurst QC AC, who will retire on 5 March 2022. 

“His Honour has made a significant and lasting contribution in service of the law and the administration of justice in our state.  

“I wish His Honour a wonderful retirement and I thank him for his years of service to the law and the judiciary, including the last 11 years as Chief Justice.”