Long-serving NSW Crown Solicitor retires

Issued: Monday, 23 February 2015

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NSW Crown Solicitor Ian Knight has retired after 20 years in the role, serving under 13 Premiers and 15 Attorneys General.

NSW Attorney General and Minister for Justice Brad Hazzard said that, as the largest provider of legal services to the NSW Government, the Crown Solicitor’s Office (CSO) is critical to the functioning of the state.

“Mr Knight has led with distinction guiding the Crown Solicitor’s Office through one of the most successful periods in its history,” Mr Hazzard said.

“Mr Knight has worked on cases that have defined and improved our society, including helping secure compensation for asbestos victims.”

  • Joined the Crown Solicitor's Office as a legal clerk in 1970 Appointed an Assistant Crown Solicitor in 1981
  • Ten years later accepted the post of Ombudsman in the Northern Territory –returning from Darwin in 1994 to take up the role of NSW Crown Solicitor
  • Played a key role in commercialising the CSO and in 1996 initiated a major restructure of the Office
  • Provided legal advice on many cases of national significance including severing of residual constitutional links with the United Kingdom by the Australia Acts of 1986

“His office worked on Royal Commissions, Independent Commission Against Corruption hearings, coronial inquests and matters relating to freedom of information, privacy, criminal organisations, and the powers of the NSW Parliament,” Mr Hazzard said.

“I congratulate Mr Knight on his exceptional career and wish him a long and fulfilling retirement,” Mr Hazzard said.

The Secretary of the Department of Justice, has advised the approval of the following temporary assignments to the role of Crown Solicitor:

John McDonnell - A/Crown Solicitor from 23 February 2015 to 31 March 2015

Richard Kelly - A/Crown Solicitor from 1 April 2015 to 8 May 2015