​Leading female silk elevated from bar to bench

Published date: Wednesday, 22 August 2018

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Attorney General Mark Speakman today announced the appointment of Sydney barrister Kelly Rees SC to the bench of the Supreme Court of NSW.

Mr Speakman said Ms Rees is a highly experienced commercial barrister who has been at the Bar for 20 years and took silk in 2012.

“As a specialist in commercial disputes, property and insurance law, professional liability, and commissions of inquiry, Ms Rees brings a wealth of legal knowledge to the bench,” Mr Speakman said.

“Before being called to the Bar, she was a senior associate at one of the Australia’s largest law firms and also worked for an internationally recognised London firm where she handled corporate fraud and white collar crime cases.”

Ms Rees is a graduate of the University of NSW where she earned the Sir Kevin Ellis Prize for the best performance by a student in the combined Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Laws degrees. She also holds a Master of Laws (First Class) from the University of Cambridge.

Ms Rees represented the University of NSW and the University of Cambridge at four World Universities Debating Championships and won the England and Wales Debating Championship at the House of Lords. 

In addition, she has published articles on the confiscation of proceeds of crime in the New Law Journal, Journal of International Banking Law and the Insolvency Bulletin. 

Ms Rees is the former dux of Bellingen High School on the Mid-North Coast and for many years funded a scholarship at the school for the student who tops the HSC and the female student with the best mark in the HSC.

She will be sworn in on Wednesday, 5 September. There are now 11 female Supreme Court judges, including Ms Rees.