Lindsay Ellison SC Barrister | Wardell Chambers Sydney

Lindsay Ellison SC

Called to the bar in 1985, silk in 2005
Areas of practice

After a short and uneventful career as a suburban solicitor, Lindsay was called to the bar in 1985. He became a Senior Counsel in 2005. He practises principally in Equity and Probate and has appeared in many leading NSW Wills and Estates cases. He frequently lectures barristers and solicitors, and occasionally Judges, on aspects of law and practice. He is an accredited Mediator under the Australian Mediation Accreditation System.
In 2015, Doyles listed Lindsay as a leading Senior Counsel in NSW Wills and Estate litigation. In 2016, he became pre-eminent. He is not sure why. In 2017, 2018 and 2019 that status was continued.In 2020 and again in 2021, he is the "Market Leader". In May 2016, he delivered the Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture for Equity Trustees Limited. Lindsay is a former Secretary-General and later Vice President of the Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences, and a longtime member of the Australian Skeptics, the Samuel Griffith Society, the Sydney Institute, the Centre for Independent Studies, and the Goon Show Preservation Society.
He is happily married to his first wife and has two  children, the memory of a dog and 2 chainsaws. He has no interest in sailing, skiing, golf, cooking or learning a foreign language and does not own a winery. He has not the slightest intention of walking the el Camino de Santiago. He does not wish to achieve a work/life balance. Lindsay doesn't smoke. Nor does he drink tea, coffee or alcohol.  He eats too much chocolate. He knows nothing about cars or sport.  He is one of the least interesting persons you might ever meet.
Lindsay has made over 550 donations to the Red Cross Blood Transfusion Service. He recommends you do the same. His philosophy is that if you draw blood, the least you can do is to give some back.
His presentations are not to be missed.
  • 2021 Inaugural chairman NSW Bar Association Succession and Elder Law Committee
  • 2005   Appointed Senior Counsel
  • 1985  Called to the Bar of New South Wales
  • 1983 Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • 1983 Bachelor of Laws: University of Sydney
  • 1979 Bachelor of Economics: University of Sydney
  • 1985 – present Senior Counsel and previously Barrister, Wardell Chambers
ACCOLADES (deserved or otherwise)
  • Doyles Guide: "Market Leader": 2021
  • Doyles Guide: "Market Leader": 2020
  • Doyles Guide: "Pre-eminent Wills and Estates Litigation Senior Counsel”: 2019
  • Doyles Guide: “Pre-eminent Wills and Estates Litigation Senior Counsel”: 2018
  • Doyles Guide: “Pre-eminent Wills and Estates Litigation Senior Counsel”: 2017
  • Doyles Guide: “Pre-eminent Wills and Estates Litigation Senior Counsel”: 2016
  • Doyles Guide: “Leading Wills and Estates Litigation Senior Counsel”: 2015
  • Member, New South Wales Bar Association
  • Member, TEP (Trust & Estate Practitioner) by the Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners
  • Accredited Mediator,National Mediation Accreditation System
  • Private Mediator and Neutral Evaluator on appointment by the Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • Vice President (2011 – 2013); Councillor (2009 – 2011); Secretary-General (2005 – 2007): Australian Academy of Forensic Sciences
  • Member, Australia & New Zealand Forensic Science Society
  • Member, Sydney Institute
  • Member, Institute of Public Affairs
  • Member, New South Wales Bar Association Professional Conduct Committee(1993–2002, 2004 – 2005)
  • Member, Australian Skeptics
  • Member, Friends of the Royal Botanic Gardens (Sydney)
  • Member, Zoo Friends
  • Member, National Trust
  • Member, Centre for Independent Studies
  • Member, Samuel Griffith Society
  •  Member, Goon Show Preservation Society
  • Lecturer on Litigants in Person – CPD, and the Bar Practice Course (2010 to date)
  • Sir Ninian Stephen Lecture for Equity Trustees Limited (May 2016)
  • Annual guest lecturer on “Ethical and other considerations of being an Expert Witness” as part of a Forensic Anthropology Course (Department of Anatomy and Histology): University of Sydney
  • Regular lecturer on Probate and Succession at CLE conferences (NSW, Qld, Tasmania and Victoria)
  • Broadcaster:2NBC–FM(1983–1989)
  • Stone v Kramer [2021] NSWSC 1456 - the Plaintiff gets the farm - equitable estoppel
  • Lewis v Lewis [2021] NSWCA 168 - knowledge and approval, severance of clauses
  • Rodny v Weisbord [2020] NSWCA 22 - can a document never seen by a testator be an informal Will
  • Croft v Sanders [2019] NSWCA 303 - whether delusions and hallucinations affect capacity
  • Nadilo v Soulis [2019] NSWSC 108 – successful resulting trust claim based on conversations 40 years earlier
  • Re MP’s Statutory Will [2019] NSWSC 331, [2019] NSWCA 222,268 – statutory Will application where protected person might wish to die intestate
  • Steimetz v Shannon [2019] NSWCA 113 – widow’s clam dismissed at trial, received $1.75 million on appeal
  • Blendell v Byrne [2019] NSWSC 583 – undue influence in probate and equity
  • Re Estate Miruzzi, deceased [2018] NSWSC 1899 – can there be revocation by destruction of a photocopy Will
  • Craig-Bridges v NSW Trustee & Guardian [2017] NSWCA 197–in which the Court of Appeal overturned the decision of the trial Judge who had found the deceased had capacity to make her last three Wills
  • Lodin v Lodin [2017] NSWSC 10 – former spouse who had property proceedings and an appeal in the Family Court of Australia obtained $750,000 out of the deceased’s estate – reversed on appeal Lodin v Lodin [2017] NSWCA 327
  • Revell v Revell [2016] NSWSC 947 – in which the trial Judge found provision of $1.5 million was "proper and adequate"
  • Smith v Johnson [2015] NSWCA 297 – in which the discretion of the trial Judge was found to have miscarried; trial judgment set aside and discretion re-exercised to dismiss plaintiff's claim
  • Mead v Lemon [2015] WASC 71 – Plaintiff child awarded $25 million out of estate in family provision claim; reduced to $6.14 million on appeal Lemon v Mead [2017] WASCA 215
  • Burke v Burke [2015] NSWCA 195 – community expectation; estrangement
  • NSW Trustee & Guardian v Budniak, Estate of Stanislaw Budniak [2015] NSWSC 934 – testamentary capacity; procedure with regard to lost Will; knowledge and approval; last Will set aside
  • Amprimo v Wynn [2014] NSWSC 991, [2015] NSWCA 286 – can a provider of paid sexual services become an "eligible" person
  • Phillips v James [2014] NSWCA 4 – availability of subsequent assets as notional estate
  • RL v NSW Trustee and Guardian [2012] NSWCA 39, (2013) 84 NSWLR 263 – reviewing the law as it applies to the principle of ademption
  • Andrew v Andrew [2012] NSWCA 308, (2012) 81 NSWLR 656 – consideration of whether the Succession Act 2006 effects a change from the principles applicable under the Family Provision Act, 1982
  • Waddell v Waddell [2012] NSWCA 214 - the Plaintiff gets the farm - equitable estoppel
  • Gray v Hart (No 2) [2012] NSWSC 1562 – costs in probate
  • Church v Mason [2012] NSWSC 1489, [2013] NSWCA 481 – knowledge and approval in probate
  • Re Will of Jane [2011] NSWSC 624 – contested application for the court to make a statutory will
  • Ireland v Retallack & Ors [2011] NSWSC 846 and 1096 – consideration of Court's control over solicitors' costs including Executor's prima facie indemnity costs where such costs may be related to unnecessary work and not reasonably incurred
  • Petrovski v Nasev; Estate of Janakievski [2011] NSWSC 1275 and 1474 – first successful prosecution of allegation of undue influence in Probate since the 1870s; consideration of solicitor's role in taking instructions and Will making where purported testator not involved in giving instructions and apparently vulnerable; costs in probate
  • Costa & Anor v Public Trustee [2008] NSWCA 223 – can a suicide note be a Will and the role of an appellate court in applying facts found at trial
  • Nicholls v Hall[2007] NSWCA 356–adult children and family provision
  • Becker v Public Trustee [2006] NSWSC 76, 1146 [2007] NSWCA 136 – undue influence and fraud in probate
  • Millington v Wilkie (2005) 62 NSWLR 322 – the duty of care of an employer when construction safety regulations are breached
  • Public Trustee v Fitter [2005] NSWSC 1188 – the effect of amendments to the Forfeiture Act whereby acquitted killers may be subject to the Forfeiture Rule
  • Straede v Eastwood [2003] NSWSC 280 – on the relevant evidence and principles of Forfeiture Act claims
  • Marshall v Carruthers [2002] NSWCA 47 – the status of a de facto spouse under the Family Provision Act
  • Uniting Church v Legge (2002) 55 NSWLR 293–costsin Compensation Court proceedings
  • Ryan v Kazacos [2001] NSWSC 140 – can a suicide note be a s.18A Will
  • Police Service v Honeysett (2001) 53 NSWLR 592 – which contradicted the common law principle that police officers were not “employees”
  • Re R [2000] NSWSC 886 – the Protective Division and powers of attorney
  • Palmer v Blue Circle Southern Cement Ltd (1999) 48 NSWLR 318 – involving unjust enrichment and thedefence of change of position
  • Public Trustee v A M Hoipo Pty Ltd (1999) 19 CCR 215 – the role of the Public Trustee in Compensation Court proceedings
  • Troja v Troja (1994) 33 NSWLR 269 – which led to the enactment of the Forfeiture Act
  • Hughes v Hunters Hill Council (1992) 29 NSWLR 232 – concerning council misfeasance and trees in footpaths
  • Springfield v Brown (1991) 23 NSWLR 535 – first consideration of s.18A of the Wills Act