About Us

Our History

The foundation of 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers dates back to 1957 and the construction of the present building. 12 Wentworth was formed in 1957 when the Wentworth side of the building was completed. In 1963 12 Selborne was formed with the completion of the Selborne side.

12 Wentworth and 12 Selborne combined forces in 1996 under the guiding hand of the Hon. Dennis Cowdroy OAM QC and Robert McDougall QC (currently, Justice McDougall of the Supreme Court of NSW). The combined floor's first Head of Chambers was Chester Porter QC.

In 2000 the combined floor expanded by taking rooms in Lockhart Chambers (then known as the National Dispute Centre) in Macquarie Street.

In 2008 12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers further expanded to 3 Selborne, which was extensively renovated and now includes purpose-built mediation and conference rooms.

Former members

Many former members of our Chambers have been appointed to high judicial office.

The Chambers counts among its former members two former Justices of the High Court of Australia (Jacobs J & Kirby J), four former Presidents of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (Moffitt P, Jacobs P, Kirby P & Mahoney P), one Chief Judge in Equity (M. H. McLelland J) and one Chief Judge of the Commercial Division (Rogers J).

Former members who are serving judicial officers include: Justices McDougall and Pembroke (Supreme Court of NSW), Justices Rares, Perram and Bromwich (Federal Court of Australia), Justices Pepper and Robson (Land & Environment Court of NSW), Judge Sylvia Emmett (Federal Circuit Court of Australia), Judges Maiden and Hoy (District Court of NSW), and Justice Wright (Supreme Court of NSW and President of NCAT).

A full list of judicial appointments and notable former members may be viewed here: Former Judicial Members.


New barristers in their first year at the bar are referred to as readers. Prospective readers must first successfully complete the Bar exams and the Bar Practice Course before being admitted to the Bar. The NSW Bar Association conducts the Bar Practice Course twice a year (once in May, and once in August/September).

12 Wentworth Selborne Chambers considers applications to read on the Floor from graduates of each course every year. These applications are generally made well in advance. To find out more about reading on our Chambers, or to apply for a reader's position, please contact the Clerk.