Brendan Searson Barrister | Wardell Chambers Sydney

bsearson@wardellchambers.com.au


Brendan has 17+ years of advocacy experience, including five years developing advocates. He has experience in superior and inferior Courts, including appellate Courts, Children’s Courts as well as the New South Wales Civil & Administrative Tribunal. Brendan accepts briefs to appear in all New South Wales Courts and Tribunals, including in regional and remote locations.
Brendan specialises in criminal defence and prosecution, intentional torts, inquests and commissions of inquiry plus administrative tribunals. Brendan draws on the extensive knowledge and experience he gained as a Senior Legal Consultant within the Office of the General Counsel, Senior Police Prosecutor, Manager of Professional Development and Director of Prosecutors Operations within the NSW Police Force. In addition to appearance work, Brendan represented the NSW Police Force on NSW Government working parties that developed and/or implemented new law related to Bail, Sentencing, Domestic Violence Evidence in Chief, Early Appropriate Guilty Pleas and legislation related to Apprehended Violence Orders. Brendan has a thorough knowledge of Counter Terrorism law and its application in a policing context, having examined numerous police counter terrorism commanders in mock inquests over eight months in 2019.
Brendan has lectured at Western Sydney University in Criminal Procedure and Evidence and is published in relation to criminal and evidentiary issues.
Brendan is currently a volunteer member of the Tribunal of Basketball NSW. He was previously a member of the Law Society’s Legal Technology Committee.
ADMISSIONS TO PRACTICE
  • 2019 Called to the Bar of New South Wales
  • 2011 Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
  • 2010 Master of Legal Practice
  • 2011 Graduate Certificate of Applied Management
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
  • 2019 – present, Barrister
  • 2019 – Senior Legal Consultant, Torts and Compensation Law, Chief Inspector, Office of the General Counsel, NSW Police Force (NSWPF)
  • 2009/14/15/18/19 – A/Director, Prosecutors Operations, NSWPF
  • 2018 - Manager, Law Enforcement Conduct Commission Coordination Unit, Chief Inspector, Professional Standards Command, NSWPF
  • 2017-2018 – Chief of Staff to the Region Commander, South West Metropolitan Region and Corporate Sponsor, Custody and Corrections, Chief Inspector, NSWPF
  • 2015-2017 - Chief of Staff to the Deputy Commissioner, Field Operations and  Specialist Operations, A/Superintendent, NSWPF
  • 2011-2015 - Lecturer, Criminal Procedure and Evidence, University of Western Sydney
  • 2010-2015 - Manager, Professional Development and Prosecution Support, Inspector, Police Prosecutions, NSWPF
  • 2008-2010 - Manager, City and Specialist Courts, Inspector, Police Prosecutions, NSWPF
  • 1999 – 2015 – Police Prosecutor, Legal Services, NSWPF
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • Member, New South Wales Bar Association
PUBLICATIONS
  • Script  writer  -  ‘Sentencing Law  Changes  –  September 2018’,  NSWPF, September 2018 (Four scenario videos)
  • ‘Reliable  Hearsay  -  The  case  for  expanding  the  exception  to  the  hearsay  rule  in  criminal proceedings  where  the  maker  is  available  to  give  evidence  and  the  previous  representation was  made  “shortly  after”  the  asserted  fact’  (Whitepaper,  LexisNexis  Media  Centre,  2014) (online)  
  • Script  writer  -  Judicial  Commission  of  NSW,  ‘The  Bail  Act  2013:  Selected  Scenarios’,  22 May 2014  (DVD)
  • Bail  Standard Operating Procedures,  NSWPF, 2014 (updated 2016)
  • Brief  Preparation Guide, NSWPF, 2013
  • Georgina  Dent, ‘Off  to court?  Take  a  tablet’,  Business  Review Weekly,  13 September 2012, 50  (online)  http://www.brw.com.au/p/sections/professions/off_to_court_take_tablet_2WfIZfyYdqPhuy ylb6rLtK or   http://www.afr.com/business/off-to-court-take-a-tablet-20120912-jz86p
SELECTED APPEARANCES
  •  R v Clay; R v Denning (NSWDC, 2020, unreported) – Aggravated Detain for advantage - appeared unled for the defendant
  • R v Phillips (NSWDC, 2020, unreported) – Aggravated Assault with intent to Rob - appeared unled for the Crown. Issue: claim of right
  • R v Manoukian (NSWDC, 2020, unreported) – Fraud - appeared unled for the Crown
  • Rich v SNSW (NSWDC, 2019, unreported) – Negligence - appeared unled for the defendant
  • Zhang v TK Legal (NSWDC, 2019, unreported) – Claim for money had and received – appeared led for the plaintiff
  • Purdy v R (NSWDC, 2019, unreported) – Conviction and Sentence Appeal - appeared unled for the respondent
  • Seale v NSWPF (NSWDC, 2019, unreported) – Appeal against the making of an Apprehended Violence Order - appeared unled for the respondent
  • Rogers v Commissioner of Police, New South Wales Police Force [2019] NSWCATAD 93 – Review of revocation of security licence - appeared unled for the respondent
  • NSWPF v Fox (NSWLC, 2020, unreported) – Application for ADVO - appeared unled for the defendant
  • R v Sherwood (NSWLC, 2013, unreported) – Assault Occasioning Actual Bodily Harm -  appeared for the prosecution - one of the first successful prosecutions where police witnesses gave evidence remote from the courtroom using Facetime as the Audio Visual Link
  • R v Singh (NSWLC, 2004, unreported) – Negligent Driving Occ Grievous Bodily Harm - appeared for the prosecution – involved two crash reconstruction experts with differing opinions
  • R v CB (NSWChC, unreported, 2009) – Recklessly wound other whilst in company - appeared for the prosecution
  • R v SE (NSWChC, unreported, 2008) – Forensic Procedure and Suppression Order applications - appeared for the applicant in relation to a child suspected of attempt murder