30 Nov 2011

Assistant Victorian Government Solicitor Jonathan Smithers has been appointed a senior member and General Counsel Dr Rebecca French a member of the Victorian Civil and Administrative Tribunal. Dr French commences on 30 November 2011 and Mr Smithers on 23 January.

Each has had a distinguished legal career. Jonathan leads the Government & Public law team at the Victorian Government Solicitor's Office (VGSO) and has over 20 years' experience, particularly in planning, environmental and heritage matters, land compensation, freedom of information and privacy, summary prosecutions, and general administrative law. He was Co-ordinating Solicitor for the government in high-profile cases such as the Pyramid litigation in the 1990s, and the Longford Royal Commission.

Dr French's areas of practice at VGSO include statutory interpretation, delegations, FOI and privacy, prosecutions, disciplinary proceedings, complaint handling, writing policies on investigations and prosecutions, and delivering training on those policies. She was the inaugural recipient of the Attorney-General’s J.C Finemore Award and holds a PhD in constitutional law from the University of Melbourne.

Victorian Government Solicitor, Peter Stewart said "This is a wonderful accomplishment for both Jonathan and Rebecca and demonstrates the high regard in which they are held in the Victorian legal community. Both appointments are a great credit to the Office as a whole. We wish them well but they will be greatly missed, as each has contributed significantly to the success of the VGSO."

For further information, please contact Peter Stewart on 8684 0400.