Sydney Jacobs

Sydney specialises in commercial equity, including real property, conveyancing, easements, covenants, strata, building and construction law, partnership disputes, insolvency, and leasing.

He is also an NMAS accredited mediator, and a BarADR accredited arbitrator and expert determiner.

Complementing his practice as a barrister and mediator, Sydney authors two major loose-leaf services published by Thomson Reuters – Commercial Damages and Injunctions: Law & Practice – and part-authors two leading loose-leaf services, Commercial Arbitration: Law & Practice, and International Commercial Arbitration. Sydney is a frequent presenter of CPD Seminars, a sample of which can be found under the “CPD” tab.

Prior to being called to the Bar, Sydney was a solicitor in the Construction Divisions of Minter Ellison Morris Fletcher (now MinterEllison) and Deacon Graham & James (now Norton Rose Fulbright).

Sydney appears before the Supreme and Federal Courts, NCAT, and has represented clients in the Industrial Relations Commission, Crime Commission and the Independent Commission Against Corruption as well as at technical references, arbitrations and mediations.

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Professional Experience

1997 – Present: Barrister, 13 Wentworth Chambers

1995 – 1997: Senior Associate, Deacons Graham & James (now Norton Rose Fulbright) – Construction Department

1994 – 1995: Solicitor, Levingstons – Commercial Litigation and Maritime Law Department

1991 – 1994: Solicitor, Minter Ellison Morris Fletcher (now MinterEllison)  – Construction Department



2018: Accredited Mediator, National Mediation Accreditation System (NMAS)

2017: BarADR Approved Arbitrator & Expert Determiner

1997: Admitted to the Bar of New South Wales

1990: Higher Diploma in Company Law: University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

1986: Master of Laws: University of Cambridge, UK

1984: Bachelor of Laws: University of Cape Town, South Africa

1982: Bachelor of Arts: University of Cape Town, South Africa


Sydney comes from a legal family, with his late father Marcus a busy solicitor in South Africa and then a top silk at both the Cape Town Bar and later in Australia. Some of Sydney’s earliest memories are attending his father’s law firm on the weekends, just after they had gone deep sea fishing or horse riding. Sydney’s father went on to become a QC in a number of countries. 

His own personal legal journey began at the University of Cape Town. After completing this law degree there, Sydney went on to read for his Masters at Cambridge University on commercially focused topics, including restitution.

Sydney practised in South Africa briefly before moving to Australia. There, Sydney worked at both MinterEllison and Deacons (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in the construction divisions. He represented several major clients, including State Rail, Abigroup,  Qantas, Polynesian Airlines, the Samoan Government and its former Prime Minister personally.

Sydney was called to the Bar in 1997. Shortly after being called, he acted in a successful easement case, Stepanovski v Chen, which sparked the beginning of him being briefed in property and conveyancing cases. From that point on, Sydney has received a constant stream of cases involving easements & covenants, conveyancing/specific performance, leasing and options.

This is underscored by his ongoing matters, including an application under section 88K of the Conveyancing Act for imposition of an easement for agricultural purposes, and another under section 89 of that Act for modification of an easement. Sydney’s practice encompasses wider areas of commercial equity, demonstrated by a matter in which he has been briefed in relation to a director’s guarantor, and another relating to an alleged trespass. A more comprehensive record of Sydney’s past and ongoing matters can be found under the “Selected Cases” tab.

Complementing his commercial work at the Bar, Sydney regularly gives CPD lectures and writes two loose-leaf services for Thomson Reuters. In his personal life, Sydney is an avid photographer, swimmer and snowboarder – see a photograph Sydney took on Mt Nishimori at APPI Kogen, left.