Conference Program

The Convergence 2019 conference committee has expertly curated a commercial law-focussed program providing both thought provoking keynote and panel sessions designed to encourage discussion and law reform.

This program is current at the time of publication and subject to change.  

Updates will be published as soon as possible. 

All delegates will be provided with a ‘build your own agenda’ link via email once successfully registered.  Please ‘opt in’ to breakout sessions so that rooms can be allocated according to demand.

CPD Accreditation

The conference sessions will be CPD-accredited in relevant competency areas for both Australia and Singapore.  

WEDNESDAY 10 JULY 2019 – optional leisure activities and arrival drinks

6:00 – 7:30pm



8:30 – 9:00am


9:00 – 9:05am

Conference Opening Remarks
Jennifer Batrouney QC, President, Australian Bar Association

9:05 – 9:15am

Plenary I: Welcome Address – Australia in the Asian Century
Kate Duff, Deputy High Commissioner to Singapore

9:15 – 10:00am

Plenary II: Convergence Joint-Keynote

The Hon Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of Australia

The Hon Sundaresh Menon, Chief Justice of Singapore

10:00 – 10:30am


10:30 – 11:30am

Plenary III: Working with Corporate Counsel – Tips for a win/win relationship
Matthew Howard SC, Vice-President, Australian Bar Association (Panel Leader)
Wong Taur Jiun, Head of Legal, Rabobank Singapore; President, Singapore Corporate Counsel Association
Cameron Ford, Senior Corporate Counsel, Rio Tinto, Singapore
Connie Carnabuci, General Counsel, Australian Broadcasting Corporation
Michelle Quigley, Group Manager – Legal and Risk, AusGroup

11:30 – 12:30am

Plenary IV: Ethics in Advocacy – How Far Can You Go?
Michael McHugh SC, Vice-President, Australian Bar Association
Dinesh Dhillon, Partner, Allen & Gledhill, Singapore
Sashi Maharaj QC, Victorian Bar
Cate Heyworth-Smith QC, Bar Association of Queensland

12:30 – 1:30pm




1:30 – 2:15pm

Deep Dive I:
Third Party Funding: A Whole New World?
proudly sponsored by Vannin Capital
[speakers to be announced]

Deep Dive IV:
The New Singapore International Mediation Convention

George Lim SC, Chair, Singapore International Mediation Centre

2:15 – 3:00pm

Deep Dive II:
Risk and Regulation
Jimmy Chan, Partner, Clifford Chance
(former Director, International Enforcement & Policy, HK SFC)
Kathryn Haigh, General Counsel, AUSTRAC
Professor Michael Legg, UNSW Law (Moderator)
[further speaker to be announced]

Speed Speak I:
Hot Topics in International Commercial Arbitration
Jonathon Redwood, NSW Bar (Panel Leader)
V. K. Rajah, former Attorney-General of Singapore
Amanda Lees, Partner, Simmons & Simmons, Singapore
Mark Dempsey SC, NSW Bar 

3:00 – 3:30pm


3:30 – 4:15pm

Speed Speak II:
Hot Topics in International IP & Technology Disputes
Helen Rofe QC, Victorian Bar (Panel Leader)
Edward Heerey QC Victorian Bar
Katrina Howard SC, NSW Bar
David Webber, Principal, Davies Collison Cave

Intensive I:
ABA Report on Opportunities for Australian Barristers in International Arbitration
The Hon Susan Crennan AC QC, former Justice of the High Court of Australia (Chair)
The Hon Roger Gyles AO QC, former Justice of the Federal Court of Australia

4:15 – 5:00pm

Deep Dive III:
Comparative Issues in Contract Law

Michael Whitten QC, Victorian Bar (Panel Leader)
The Hon Justice Andrew Phang, Supreme Court of Singapore
Dr Elisabeth Peden, NSW Bar & University of Sydney
Professor Bryan Horrigan, Monash University

Intensive II:
Aspects of Advocacy in International Arbitration and Mediation

Kanaga Dharmananda SC, WA Bar (Panel Leader)
Judith Gill QC, 20 Essex Street, President, LCIA Arbitration Court
Fedelma C. Smith, Senior Legal Counsel, Permanent Court of Arbitration
Liz Macknay, Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

6:15 – 8:00pm

WELCOME EVENT: Aura, National Gallery of Singapore

DAY 2 – FRIDAY 12 JULY 2019



8:30 – 9:00am


9:00 – 10:00am

Speed Speak III:
Hot Topics in Commercial
Carrie Rome-Sievers, Victorian Bar (Panel Leader)Jane Anderson QC, NZ Bar
Peter Collinson QC, Victorian Bar
Peter Dunning QC, Queensland Bar

Intensive III:
Seven Deadly Sins of Oral Advocacy
Ian Robertson QC, Chair, Advocacy Training Council (Panel Leader)
The Hon Justice Judith Kelly, Supreme Court of the Northern Territory
Samuel Chacko, Legis Point, Singapore

10:00 – 10:45am

Deep Dive VI:
Expert Evidence: 21st Century Challenges
Julie Taylor, WA Bar (Panel Leader)
The Hon Justice John Vaughan, Western Australia Court of Appeal
Kathryn McMillan QC, Queensland Bar 

Intensive IV:
Embracing the Digital in Legal Practice
proudly sponsored by Palo Alto Networks
Sara Rayment, Founder, Inkling Legal Design (Chair)
Michael Green SC, Chair, IT Committee, NSW Bar
Sean Duca, VP, Regional Chief Security Officer – Asia Pacific & Japan, Palo Alto Networks

10:45 – 11:15am


11:15 – 12:00pm

Deep Dive VII:
Cross Border Insolvency & Restructuring: New Frontiers in Singapore and Australia

Farid Assaf SC, NSW Bar (Panel Leader)
The Hon Justice Jacqueline Gleeson, Federal Court of Australia
Meiyen Tan, Partner, Head of Restructuring & Insolvency, Oon & Bazul LLP
Scott Atkins, Head of Risk Advisory, Norton Rose Fulbright

Intensive V:
Going Global: Building your Legal Practice and Profile
Sue-Ella Prodonovich, Prodonovich Advisory
Tim Castle, NSW Bar (Chair)

12:00 – 12:30pm

Deep Dive V:
Case Management: Whose Case is it Anyway?
Philip Bambagiotti, Oceania Regional Secretary, Union Internationale des Avocats (Interviewer)
Dr Michael Hwang SC, former Chief Justice Dubai International Financial Centre Courts

Intensive VI:
Meet the Silks: Opportunity for Junior Counsel to meet in small groups with senior practitioners to discuss current issues in their practice and practice development

12:30 – 1:30pm


1:30 – 2:45pm

Plenary V:
An International Commercial Court for Australia?
The Hon Susan Crennan AC QC, former Justice of the High Court of Australia (Chair)
The Hon Justice Stephen Gageler AC, High Court of Australia
The Hon Justice Andrew Bell, President of the NSW Court of Appeal
The Hon Justice Craig Colvin, Federal Court of Australia

2:45 – 3:15pm

Plenary VI:
Shaping the Law and the Legal Profession: Insights from the Attorneys-General

3:15 – 3:45pm


3:45 – 4:45pm

Plenary VII:
Hypothetical: Ethical Issues in Domestic and International Litigation
An expert panel will consider an imaginary situation and discuss its ramifications, led by Matt Collins QC, President, Victorian Bar Association

4:45 – 5:00pm

Closing Conference Remarks

7:00 – 10:30pm

GALA DINNER: The Clifford Pier, Fullerton Bay Hotel

The Hon Susan Kiefel AC, Chief Justice of Australia
The Hon Sundaresh Menon, Chief Justice of Singapore