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New Victorian Solicitor-General Appointed

04 May 2021

The Victorian Government today announced the appointment of Rowena Orr QC as the next Solicitor-General, the state’s most senior legal adviser and advocate.

Ms Orr has spent nearly 20 years as a barrister – a career that includes several impressive milestones, most notably her role as senior counsel assisting the Commissioner in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry in 2018–19.

She led a team of senior and junior counsel who conducted hearings across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland and the Northern Territory to examine and expose misconduct in the sector and its impact on the most vulnerable people in our community.

Ms Orr signed the Bar Roll in 2002 and was appointed Senior Counsel in 2014, before taking the title of Queen’s Counsel in 2015.

She has regularly appeared in the High Court, Supreme Court, Federal Court and various tribunals on constitutional, criminal, commercial and administrative law matters.

Prior to the Bar, Ms Orr was a senior solicitor with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecution, and associate to both former High Court justice Michael McHugh AC QC and former Queensland Chief Justice John Macrossan AC QC.

Ms Orr has a Master of Philosophy (Criminology) from the University of Cambridge and holds degrees in law and economics from the University of Queensland.

Ms Orr is currently chair of Australian Bar Association’s ethics committee, a member of the advisory panel to the Australian Law Reform Commission’s Inquiry into Judicial Impartiality and chair of the public law section of the Victorian Bar’s Commercial Bar Association.

Ms Orr is the third woman in history to be appointed Victorian Solicitor-General and replaces The Honourable Kristen Walker QC, who was recently appointed as a judge of the Court of Appeal. Ms Orr will commence on 10 May.

Quotes attributable to Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes

“Rowena Orr’s impressive career is testament to her tireless work ethic, relentless drive and dedication to justice – attributes that will serve her well as Victoria’s next Solicitor-General.”

“We’re privileged to have the benefit of Ms Orr’s breadth of experience and legal ability to advise and guide the Government on important matters.”

“I’d like to thank Kristen Walker for her measured counsel and frank advice to the Government during her time as Solicitor-General and wish her the best for the next chapter of her career on the Court of Appeal.”

Reviewed 04 May 2021

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