About Sydney

Sydney comes from a legal family, with his late father Marcus a busy solicitor in the Eastern Cape of South Africa. 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.

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 Minter Ellison, and then Deacons (now Norton Rose Fulbright) in the construction divisions. He represented several major clients, including State Rail, Abigroup,  Qantas and Polynesian Airlines.

Sydney was called to the Bar in 1997. Shortly after being called, he had a successful easement case, Stepanovski v Chen, which sparked the beginning of his specialisation in property-focused law. From that point on, Sydney has received a constant stream of cases involving easements & covenants, conveyancing, leasing and options. Complementing his commercial work at the Bar, Sydney regularly gives lectures and writes two loose-leaf services for Thomson Reuters. In his personal life, Sydney is an avid snowboarder.

Sydney’s experience in easement matters includes:

  • Acting as mediator.
  • Applications to restrain servient owners from obstructing the use of an easement.
  • Applications to be granted easements e.g. access/carriageway/services under Sec 88k of the Conveyancing Act NSW
  • Applications for declaratory relief in respect of easement rights.
  • Whether easements have become obsolete or have been abandoned (Sec 89 CA).
  • Whether covenants have been overridden by planning instruments.
  • Issues pertaining to both common law and Torrens title.
  • Whether a legal practitioner has been negligent by not giving advice in the context of the purchase of land, that there was no easement securing the right of the purchaser to retain a particular utility in place.
  • Whether there is an equitable easement, or easement by estoppel, to maintain in situ valuable signage and services.
  • Construction of development consents which make provision for easements, including deferred commencement conditions.
  • Comparing strategies under Sec 88k Conveyancing Act / Access to Neighbouring Land Act /Encroachment of Buildings Act.

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 – Construction Department


Admitted to the Bar of New South Wales: 1997

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

BarADR Approved Arbitrator & Expert Determiner: 2017

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

Master of Laws: University of Cambridge, UK: 1986

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

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


Sydney’s CV can be accessed here.

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