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New Judge of the Federal Court of Australia

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THE HON NICOLA ROXON MP Attorney-General Minister for Emergency Management


25 October 2012


Attorney-General Nicola Roxon today announced the appointment of Ms Kathleen Farrell, current President of the Australian Government Takeovers Panel, as a judge of the Federal Court of Australia.

“It is with great pleasure that I announce the appointment of Ms Farrell as a judge of the Federal Court,” Ms Roxon said.

“Ms Farrell has had a long and distinguished career, since being admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 1979.

“Ms Farrell will become the fifteenth woman to be appointed a judge in the Court’s history and will be one of eight serving female judges. Currently, only sixteen per cent of Federal Court judges are women.

“Ms Farrell is one of few Federal Court Judges to be appointed directly from solicitor ranks.

“During her career, Ms Farrell has specialised in corporate law, in particular, public and private mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and other funds raising and capital management, and corporate governance and regulation. She will bring a wealth of experience to her new role.”

Ms Farrell is currently an executive member of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and a member of the Section’s Corporations Committee. Since 2002, she has represented the Law Council of Australia on the Australian Securities Exchange Corporate Governance Council.

An advisory panel comprising the Hon Margaret Stone, former Federal Court Judge, Ms Catherine Gale, President of the Law Council of Australia and Director of Resolve Conflict, and a senior representative of the Attorney-General’s Department considered candidates for this appointment.

Ms Farrell will be appointed to the Sydney registry of the Court and will take up appointment on 5 December 2012.

A short professional biography for Ms Farrell follows.

Ms Kathleen Farrell

Ms Farrell holds a Bachelor of Arts and a Bachelor of Laws (Honours) from the University of Sydney.

In 1979, Ms Farrell was admitted as a solicitor to the Supreme Court of New South Wales and joined Freehill Hollingdale & Page where she was a corporate group partner from 1984-2000. She has been a consultant to Freehills (now Herbert Smith Freehills) since 2000, a member for the Australian Government Takeovers Panel since 2001 and President of the Panel since 2010.

From 2000-2003, Ms Farrell chaired the Corporations Committee of the Business Law Section of the Law Council of Australia and in 2008-2009 chaired the Business Law Section itself.

In 1992-93 she was national coordinator for enforcement at the Australian Securities Commission (now known as the Australian Securities and Investments Commission) and for a period acted as a member of the Commission. During her career, Ms Farrell has served on a number of public and private sector boards.

Ms Farrell holds a number of fellowships, including with the Australian Academy of Law, the Australian Institute of Company Directors and the Australian Institute of Management.

For all media enquiries, please contact the Attorney-General’s Office on 02 6277 7300 or 0409 945 476