Member Profiles

Contact Details

Dr James Renwick SC
12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers

12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers, Level 12, 180 Phillip St, Sydney NSW 2000

Tel: P: (+61)(02) 9232 8545

Areas of Practice

I have a general public law and commercial practice. Apart from appearing in many (about 25)
leading constitutional cases in the High Court in recent years, I have extensive experience in most
types of litigation in superior courts and in Tribunals as well as in many inquiries (both as Counsel
Assisting and Representing), and in most varieties of alternative dispute resolution. A more detailed
list of cases in particular areas of law is available on request.

Approach to practice

Given the costs of litigation and the time pressures on judges, I aim to identify the critical issues as
early as possible in a case and concentrate on these, discarding irrelevancies and distractions. I do this
by meticulous preparation, working closely with the client and the whole legal team, and applying
over 25 years of legal experience, strong academic qualifications and broad interests in many areas of
As my clients include Australian governments and authorities, corporations and individuals, I am well aware that client aims may differ depending upon whether they are regular litigators with institutional
interests, or individuals who may litigate only once and reluctantly. I am open to and familiar with the
many alternatives to litigation in courts.


Solicitor: 1985 – 1996 (private and government practice)
Barrister: 1996 to present
Silk: 2011 – appointed Senior Counsel
Admitted in all States of Australia and in Papua New Guinea


Fulbright Scholar, 2008
• Parsons Scholar, 1993
• Doctorate of Juridical Studies (University of Sydney) 1993 (supervisors Professor James
Crawford AC, SC (now a Judge of the International Court of Justice); Professor Don
• Bachelor of Laws (University of Sydney) 1985


2014 – Senior Member, Appeal Panel and Occupational Division, NSW Civil and
Administrative Tribunal
• Since 2012 – Adjunct Professor, School of Law, Australian National University
• Since 2011 – Senior Counsel
• Since 2011 Head of the Sydney Naval Legal Panel (Captain, RANR) – The Panel comprises
about 40 Naval reserve lawyers
• Since 2009 – Associate, Sydney Centre for International Law