Stephen Barnes Barrister | Wardell Chambers Sydney

Stephen Barnes

Called to the bar in 2006
Areas of practice

Click here to see CV

With nearly 40 years’ combined experience as a solicitor specialising in medical defence litigation and barrister advising and appearing in administrative law, professional disciplinary proceedings, coronial inquiries and civil and medical negligence, Stephen imports great value when representing his clients in complex legal proceedings.
His practice primarily encompasses matters involving health professionals and allied health care providers who are the subject of disciplinary proceedings, or inquests into the death of a patient. Regularly acting for medical defence organisations and major insurers, the ambit of Stephen’s client base includes doctors and other health professionals, including dentists, pharmacists, chiropractors and psychologists. His medical negligence practice has also seen him act for both doctors and hospitals. He has also acted for the Law Society of New South Wales prosecuting solicitors the subject of disciplinary proceedings.
The jurisdictions in which Stephen primarily appears are the Supreme Court of New South Wales, District Court of New South Wales, the Coroner’s Court and the New South Wales Civil and Administrative Tribunal (NCAT). He is often also involved in matters where disciplinary proceedings have arisen as a result of complaints against doctors and who are subsequently investigated by the Medical Council, as well as disputes between trainee medical specialists and professional colleges.
Previously, Stephen was a Partner of a major mid-tier law firm, formerly known as TressCox, in medical defence litigation and since coming to the Bar in 2006, has practised primarily in that area as an advocate and adviser. Given his wealth of experience, Stephen has a realistic appreciation of the likely outcome of a matter and equipped with this knowledge, endeavours to achieve the best result possible in that context. He is adept at dealing with professionals who face difficult situations, such as de-registration.
  • 2006 Called to the Bar of New South Wales
  • 1980 Admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of New South Wales
  • 1980 Bachelor of Laws: University of Sydney
  • 1978 Bachelor of Arts: University of Sydney
  • 2006–present Barrister, Wardell Chambers
  • 1980–2006 Partner (and Associate),formerly at Tress Cox
  • Member,New South Wales Bar Association
  • Member, Medico-Legal Society of New South Wales
  • President, Medico-Legal Society of New South Wales (2004 – 2006)
  • Deputy Chairperson, Human Research Ethics Committee, University of Technology, Sydney (1992 – 1997)
  • Occasional presenter at LegalWise seminars
  • International Academy of Law and Mental Health (IALMH) Conference, Prague, Czech Republic (2017)