Rowena Orr, QC, who is best known for her role in the federal government’s banking royal commission, has been appointed Victoria’s next solicitor-general.
Ms Orr will become the state’s most senior legal adviser after nearly 20 years as a barrister, a career which includes serving as senior counsel assisting the commissioner in the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry in 2018 and 2019.
Rowena Orr, QC, during the 2018 royal commission into banking misconduct.Credit:Eddie Jim
Recently, Ms Orr acted for the Commonwealth in a matter before the Court of Appeal in which drug kingpin Tony Mokbel had one of his convictions quashed because of the Lawyer X scandal.
Ms Orr took the Queen’s Council title in 2015, 13 years after signing the bar roll.
Before that she was a senior solicitor with the Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions, and an associate to both former High Court justice Michael McHugh, QC, and former Queensland Chief Justice John Macrossan, QC.
Ms Orr is currently the chair of various committees and panels with the Australian Bar Association, the Australian Law Reform Commission and the Victorian Bar’s Commercial Bar Association.
She will be the third woman ever appointed to the position and replaces Kristen Walker, QC, who was recently appointed as a judge to the Court of Appeal.
“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,” said Victorian Attorney-General Jaclyn Symes in her announcement of the appointment.
“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.”
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