Life Members

Terence Tobin KC


Photo by Greg Weight 1997

Terence Tobin KC was called to the Bar in Sydney in 1973 and took Silk in 1985.

Terry had a general common law practice specialising in defamation. Before taking Silk, he was often junior to TEF Hughes KC and, from The Melbourne Bar, McPhee KC and Woods Lloyd KC.

After taking Silk in 1985, Terry appeared in various trials in Sydney and Canberra (the proceedings by Costello and Abbott and their wives against Random House). As well as several Royal Commissions and Commissions of Inquiry (represented the Department of Health in the Chelmsford Royal Commission and was counsel assisting the Garling enquiry which reported on the New South Wales Public Hospital system in 2008).

Between 2004 and 2007 Terry acted for the liquidator in the Bell case in Perth which was the largest commercial litigation conducted at that time (and probably since) in Australia.

Terry published with Michael Sexton SC the NSW Solicitor-General; Australian Defamation Law and Practice.

In 2005 Terry became a trustee of The University of Notre Dame Australia, Deputy Chancellor in 2008 and Chancellor in 2011. In 2014 he also became an International Regent of Bethlehem University in Palestine, one of several West Bank universities.

Terry recently celebrated 50 years at The NSW Bar. The speech he gave at 13th Floor St James Hall’s commemorative event can be found here.



Jane Needham SC

Jane Needham SC was admitted as a legal practitioner on 3 August 1990 and commenced her practice as a barrister. She joined 13th Floor St James’ Hall as one of the foundation members in early 1991. She was appointed Senior Counsel on 29 September 2004. On 21 June 2024 she was appointed as a Judge of the Federal Court of Australia.
Jane specialised in Equity and Succession Law, and provided advice to clients on succession planning as well as acting in all aspects of estate litigation. She also appeared in significant Inquiries and Inquests, including for institutions, corporations, or government bodies in the Royal Commissions into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse, Aged Care, and Disability, She appeared for the NSW Police Force and for NSW Government bodies in coronial inquiries.
Jane was a Judicial Member, then a Deputy President, of the Administrative Decisions Tribunal from 2002 to 2011 and was the Divisional Head of the Revenue Division.

In 2014 to 2015 Jane was President of the NSW Bar Association. She was elected to the Council of the NSW Bar Association for over 20 years and served as a member of professional conduct and practice committees, as well as being a Director of the Law Council of Australia and a member for some years of its Access to Justice Committee.

She was named Lawyers’ Weekly ‘Senior Barrister of the Year’ in 2013, Women Lawyers Association ‘Woman Barrister of the Year’ and UTS Faculty of Law Alumni Award for Excellence in 2015 and was named one of Australia’s 100 Women of Influence (Fairfax/Westpac) in 2014. In 2016 she achieved a national award, Women in Law’s Barrister of the Year. Doyle’s Guide listed Jane in its Wills and Estates Litigation Senior Counsel for NSW and Australia from 2016, and at the time of her appointment she was noted as one of Australia’s pre-eminent Senior Counsel in this field.