AUSTBAR Chambers and the ABA

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path,
always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.

– Voltaire, Dictionnaire Philosophique published in 1764.

Barristers may have read in the press that the Australian Bar Association (ABA) has objected to the establishment of AUSTBAR Chambers and has made numerous attempts to prevent it from operating.

AUSTBAR Chambers has been established to do the things the ABA does not do, provide:

  • a listing of barristers who practice nationally
  • virtual chambers services and electronic clerking
  • local telephone contact and answering services
  • scanning-in / preparation of briefs in PDF format, cloud based invoicing
  • promotion of alternative dispute resolution services
  • marketing support to barristers to promote their practice to corporate counsel and consumers of legal services

Nevertheless, the ABA has commenced litigation in the Federal Court of Australia to prevent the provision of services to Australian Barristers.

There have been multiple actions initiated by the ABA including:

  • Complaints to auDA about domain names that were referred to the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) for determination
  • Applications for trade marks in the words ‘AUSTBAR’ and ‘AUST BAR’ with IP Australia, that are opposed
  • Separate complaints in the Federal Court of Australia by the Australian Bar Association, which is unincorporated and lacks the corporate personality to sue in its own name, and the NSW Bar Association claiming misleading and deceptive conduct, trade mark infringement and loss of profits.

Read about these activities and review the court filings at ABA and the NSW Bar Association