JEWISH barristers Jason Lazarus and Ross Foreman have known each other since they both attended the University of NSW Law School back in the early 1990s.
Recently, the pair was among a group of just 21 barristers from 99 applicants to be promoted to Senior Counsel (SC). In NSW, just 390 barristers “hold silk”.
“It’s a very humbling experience when you think of all the people who have held the role beforehand,” Foreman said.
“It’s exciting to contemplate the challenges that lay ahead.”
Lazarus told The AJN, “It is actually a bigger deal perhaps than I had thought. Just in terms of the way colleagues and judges give respect to your opinions and what you say in court.
“I’ve always regarded silks as being several levels above me. But I’m sure at some point I’ll get used to actually being on the same level.”
Over the last 25 years, Lazarus and Foreman’s careers have intertwined regularly.
Both worked together for the same partner at Clayton Utz earlier in their careers and they have also worked on several cases against each other, most recently in 2018.
“Ross has won most of the cases that we’ve had against each other,” Lazarus joked, “although it does depend to a large extent on the cards you have been dealt.”
Added Foreman, “You can distinguish between the case you’re running and the person on the other side.
“With Jason it’s always been a very pleasant experience with a lot of mutual respect and appreciation.”
The pair, who discussed applying for their promotions over lunch a number of months ago, also both attend The Great Synagogue.
According to the NSW Bar Association, the SC designation is reserved for “barristers of seniority and eminence” whose standing and achievements “justify an expectation that they can provide outstanding services as advocates and advisers, to the good of the administration of justice”.
The term “silk” refers to gowns worn by SCs and QCs (Queen’s Counsels).