What did the webinar cover?
Lawyers are in the business of producing persuasive writing, but they often neglect a key dimension: document design and typography. Legal documents are professionally published materials and their readers—clients, judges, or the public—expect them to be of the same standard as other professionally published materials. And while a well-designed document cannot rescue a bad piece of writing, it can make good writing clearer and more compelling.Drawing on personal experience and professional typography texts, the presenters demonstrated the importance of document design and typography to persuasive legal writing. They covered the key text-level, paragraph-level, and document-level considerations, and dispelled the myths and bad habits that pervade this area. Sample documents illustrated the difference that good design and typography makes to the inherent persuasiveness of a document. We were fortunate to have his Honour Justice John Bond of the Queensland Court of Appeal chair the presentation and provide a perspective from the bench on the impact that an appropriately designed document can have in assisting the court.
A video and podcast recording of the webinar, as well as the speakers’ PowerPoint and a transcript of the session are published here.
The discussion aimed for lawyers at all stages in their career with litigation practices across all areas of law would leave with tips for improving the persuasiveness of their legal document writing.
The Hon. Justice John Bond (Judge, Queensland Court of Appeal)
Justice Bond began his career as a lawyer over 34 years ago, having set his sight on a legal path from an early age and later being strongly influenced by his time as an associate with Sir Gerard Brennan in the High Court of Australia. Prior to being called to the Bench, he practised as a barrister, exclusively in the areas of commercial litigation and advice at both trial and appellate level. Called to the Supreme Court of Queensland in 2015, His Honour was a part-time member of the Queensland Law Reform Commission for nine years and was elevated to the Queensland Court of Appeal in 2021.
Matthew Hickey OAM (Barrister, Level Twenty Seven Chambers)
Matthew has considerable trial and appellate experience in diverse practice areas, particularly in high-profile, reputation-sensitive litigation. He typically appears for or against multi-nationals, public companies, external administrators and government entities. He is named by Best Lawyers® in commercial law, insolvency & organisation, litigation, and construction & infrastructure law. Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession ranks him as a leading counsel in commercial litigation & dispute resolution, insolvency & restructuring, and building & construction (Qld and Australia). Matthew was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia, in the 2021 Queen’s Birthday Honours List, for service to music and to the law, and was awarded the Commonwealth Centenary Medal for distinguished service to the music industry, in 2001.
Mohammud Jaamae Hafeez-Baig (Barrister, Level Twenty Seven Chambers)
As a commercial and public barrister, Jaamae’s practice encompasses equity and trusts, civil fraud and asset recovery claims, contract law, administrative law, corporations law, consumer law, insolvency, and succession law. He has authored or co-authored 17 publications in international and domestic peer-reviewed law journals spanning private and commercial law topics. He is co-author of The Law of Tracing. Prior to coming to the Bar, Jaamae was the Associate to the Hon Justice Patrick Keane AC at the High Court of Australia, and the Associate to the Hon Justice John Bond and the Hon Justice Peter Lyons at the Supreme Court of Queensland.
Christopher Doyle (Barrister, Level Twenty Seven Chambers)
Chris has a broad commercial practice. Building on his time as a solicitor in commercial litigation and dispute resolution at a national Australian law firm he has an attuned sense of each client’s needs. He combines this client-centric approach with legal expertise drawn from acting for clients in a variety of industries, most notably the energy and resources, construction and infrastructure, and property sectors in all State and Federal Courts.