Stephen Barnes

Stephen Barnes

Stephen Barnes

Called to the bar 2006

Stephen has nearly 40 years’ combined experience as a solicitor specialising in medical defence litigation and a 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.

Practice Areas

Administrative and Public Law
Inquests and Commissions of Inquiry
Medical Negligence
Professional Disciplinary
Professional Negligence


2006-Present, Barrister, Wardell Chambers

]1980-2006, Partner and Associate, TressCox

Professional Appointments and Memberships

Member, NSW Bar Association

Member, Medico-Legal Society of NSW

President, Medico-Legal Society of NSW, 2004-2006

Deputy Chair, Human Research Ethics Committee, University of Technology Sydney, 1992-1997