Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive


Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive

The ABA Advanced Trial Advocacy Intensive is designed for experienced advocates who are interested in further developing their advocacy skills.

About this Event

There are places available for only 42 barristers. Seniority of at least five years at the private bar is a pre-requisite. 

The underlying philosophy of the Intensive is that the skills of a barrister are best learned in an environment that is as close to the real experience as possible. This involves providing realistic briefs to counsel in sufficient time for counsel to properly prepare the matter for hearing and then giving them the opportunity to perform in real court settings.

The Intensive involves discussion and comment on each aspect of trial performance.

The coaching faculty will comprise Australian judges, International and Australian senior practitioners and professional performance coaches who have worked with barristers from the ABA, and with others.

There are very few opportunities for barristers to develop their advocacy skills by preparing a case and experimenting with a number of styles of performance to see which is the most effective for that advocate on that occasion. Rarely do barristers have the opportunity of seeing their own performance played back so that it can be reviewed. Never in professional practice is there an opportunity to have a number of senior practitioners analyse performances and provide intensive and supportive feedback about ways to refine and improve.

This Intensive provides each of these elements, and much more.


The coaching Faculty will include current and former Judges, Australian and International counsel, performance coaches with expertise in voice, movement and impact, including:

International Faculty

  • Fiona Guy-Kidd KC (NZBA, Chair of NZ Criminal Bar Association)
  • Alex Di Silva (Malaysian Bar Association)
  • Bibi Badejo (Bar of England and Wales and presenter of the Advocacy Podcast)
  • Penny Bosman (National Bar Council of South Africa)

Australian Faculty


  • Hon. Michael Corboy SC (retiring Justice of Supreme Court of WA)
  • Judge Penny Wass SC
  • Todd Alexis SC (Course Director)
  • Ian Robertson SC (ATC Chair)
  • Ben Katekar SC (Civil Stream Coordinator)
  • Grant Brady SC (Criminal Stream Coordinator)
  • Alistair Wyvill SC
  • David Studdy SC
  • Patrick Griffin SC
  • Jeffrey Phillips SC
  • Melissa Gillies SC
  • Anthony McGrath SC
  • Chris Wood SC

Performance Coaches

  •  Lucy Cornell (The Voice Advisory)
  • Tanya Gerstle
  • Rebecca DuMaine


Sydney, Australia

Civil brief

Advocates will be briefed for either the Applicant or Respondent in a case involving alleged breaches of the Australian Consumer Law.

Criminal brief

Advocates will be appearing for either the Crown or Defence in a conspiracy to murder case.

In both briefs, barristers will give an opening address, examine in chief three witnesses, cross examine three witnesses and give a closing address. No extensive, specialised legal knowledge is required for either brief - the cases are suitable for practitioners from all areas of practice to improve, develop and hone their skills. 

Pre Intensive Preparation

To replicate reality as far as possible, full preparation of the brief is required before the Intensive commences. Barristers are expected to be ready to deliver an opening address on the first full day of the intensive. Past experience suggests that at least three full days may be required.

Intensive Format

The general format of the intensive is to discuss the requirements of each performance and have demonstrations the day before the performances. Barristers then reconsider and refine for their own performances.

Performances take place in court rooms in groups of approximately six, each barrister of similar experience. At least three coaches are assigned to each group, on rotation. Performances are discussed and recorded. They are then reviewed individually with another coach, one on one, so that particular aspects of the performance, or suggestions for change, can be further discussed and developed.

Coaches are available during breaks as well as before and after sessions for consultation.


Registrations close 30 November 2022

Criminal Brief $4,250.00

Civil Brief $4,550.00

The cost includes:

  • All materials required for the intensive.

  • Venue and equipment; (a tablet to record performances must be provided by the participant).

  • Five nights accommodation (Monday-Friday night inclusive).

  • All breakfasts, lunches, pre-dinner drinks and four dinners.

  • Final night off-site dinner including drinks.

Please note that there are no discounts being offered for barristers who wish to stay off-site. It is intended that this is a residential course and as such rooms have been booked for all barristers. 

Travel costs are additional for interstate barristers and are to be organised by the barristers individually. All working materials (stationary, text, legislation) are to be provided by the participant.


Event Details


23 January 2023 - 27 January 2023




5 days


Legal Education Team, Bar Association of Queensland