John Agius SC Barrister | Wardell Chambers Sydney

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agius@wardellchambers.com.au


A highly esteemed Senior Counsel and head of Wardell Chambers, John maintains an expansive general law practice, largely comprising of public law, administrative law, common law, criminal law and work, health and safety matters. He also possesses a wealth of experience as Senior Counsel assisting commissions of inquiry and complex coronial inquests. A significant part of John’s criminal practice involves judge only and jury appellate work for the State Government where indictable offences such as murder, terrorism related matters, fraud, insider trading, sexual assault, child sexual assault and extradition charges are alleged. He has also defended a significant number of these offences in New South Wales and elsewhere in the Commonwealth. The diversity of John’s practice is evidenced by his broad client base, which is comprised of government clients (Federal and State) and government-related bodies, institutional clients and private individual clients.
The jurisdictions in which he appears includes the High Court of Australia (appeals and special leave applications), the New South Wales Court of Criminal Appeal and Courts of Appeal in NSW and interstate. He has been also been appointed to assist in a number of Federal and State Inquiries and Royal Commissions.
Possessing strong leadership skills, John delivers significant value through his strategic input, practical and collaborative approach. Given the size and complexity of matters in which he is regularly briefed, John has considerable experience commissioning staff and managing multi-disciplinary teams,constituting investigative lawyers, barristers, accountants, auditors and analysts in Commissions of Inquiry. He also has extensive experience managing the drafting of significant reports, as well as the executive side of Inquiries, including liaising with agencies at a high level. One of his matters,for example, required him to travel to the United Nations to negotiate and discuss pertinent issues. Such matters are typically document-intensive, requiring John and his team to also manage information technology systems effectively. With extensive cross-jurisdictional litigation experience, John’s superior advocacy and cross-examination skills, coupled with his ability to traverse complex legal and factual issues at the outset of a matter in order to achieve early resolution, is one of his many key strengths. John has also conducted matters as a Mediator.
APPOINTMENTS AND ADMISSIONS TO PRACTICE
  • 1998  Appointed Queens Counsel in Western Australia
  • 1995  Appointed Senior Counsel in New South Wales
  • 1979  Called to the Bar of New South Wales
  • 1977 Admitted to practice law in New South Wales
PROFESSIONAL QUALIFICATIONS
  • 1976 Bachelor of Laws: University of New South Wales
  • 1976 Bachelor of Jurisprudence: University of New South Wales
PROFESSIONAL EXPERIENCE
  • 1979 – present Senior Counsel (and barrister), Wardell Chambers
  • 1977 – 1979 Legal Officer in the NSW Office of the Clerk of the Peace, later the Solicitor for Public Prosecutions, NSW
PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIPS
  • Member, New South Wales Bar Association