Saul Holt QC
P 07 3369 5907
M 0437 834 441
F 07 3369 7098
Saul Holt QC took silk in 2012. He holds a Masters Degree with first class honours in Public Law. Saul was Chief Counsel at Victoria Legal Aid until 2013 and was a Victorian Law Reform Commissioner until 2014. He is a Board member of the Australian Advocacy Institute, a member of the Australian Bar Association Ethics Committee, a General Editor of Butler & Holt’s “Indictable Offences Queensland” and a contributing author of O’Callaghan’s “Federal and Victorian Regulators”.
Saul lives in Brisbane and appears in courts and tribunals in all States and Territories as well as in New Zealand. He is a member of both the Queensland and New Zealand Bars. Saul is included in the category of pre-eminent Senior Counsel in Criminal Law for Queensland and Leading Senior Counsel in Criminal Law in Australia in Doyles Guide (2019).
Saul is available to be briefed for advice or appearance work, particularly in appellate, public law, criminal and regulatory law, environmental law and medical law cases. He also has a strong interest in human rights and public interest law.
Qualifications and Appointments
Member of the Australian Bar Association Ethics Committee (2019)
Board Member of the Australian Advocacy Institute (since 2016)
Victorian Law Reform Commissioner (2012 – 2014)
Senior Counsel (Victoria) (2012)
Chief Counsel – Victoria Legal Aid (until 2013)
Accredited Specialist (Criminal Law) (Law Institute of Victoria) (2013)
Accredited Advocacy Trainer (Australian Advocacy Institute) (2013)
Admitted as a Legal Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Queensland (2007)
LLM (Public Law) (Hons) (Auckland) (2006)
Senior Crown Counsel (NZ) (2005)
Admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand (1998)
BA/LLB (Auckland) (1998)
Experience and Expertise
Saul appears regularly in all Australian courts including the High Court of Australia, the Federal Court, Courts of Appeal and Supreme Courts of the States and Territories. He has recent experience in all aspects of public law with a particular focus on regulatory, criminal, inquiry and environmental work. He has appeared in many complex criminal and regulatory cases for both prosecution and defence.
Before moving to Australia in 2006 Saul was Crown Counsel in New Zealand. As well as appearing as prosecuting counsel in a large number of jury trials, he appeared and advised on regulatory prosecutions for government agencies, public law proceedings for the Attorney General and appeared for the Crown in the Court of Appeal. As Chief Counsel at Victoria Legal Aid Saul appeared in significant administrative law, human rights and criminal cases.
In environmental law, Saul has appeared in Queensland’s two largest coal mine objection hearings relating the Adani Coal Mine and the New Acland Coal Mine as well as associated appeals and judicial review proceedings. He is presently briefed to defend senior manager of Linc Energy Ltd in relation to allegations of pollution from underground coal gasification, but often appears to prosecute environmental cases. He recently appeared pro bono for the Humane Society International successfully challenging the Queensland Government’s lethal shark control program in the Great Barrier Reef.
Saul has a strong background in medical law. He has advised and appeared in cases involving substituted decision-making including in the parens patriae jurisdiction. He has published on legal issues in assisted reproductive technology and he sat for 5 years as a legal member on the Royal Children’s Hospital Human Research Ethics Committee in Melbourne.
Examples of Significant Cases
Administrative, Regulatory and Human Rights
Briefed as Senior Counsel for Victoria Police in the Royal Commission into the Management of Police informants
Briefed for affected families the Grantham Floods Commission of Inquiry
Department of Environment and Science (Qld) prosecution of Linc Energy senior managers for alleged underground coal gasification pollution (ongoing)
Australian Conservation Foundation Incorporated v Minister for the Environment and Energy  FCAFC 134 (Dowsett, McKerracher and Robertson JJ)
New Acland Coal Pty Ltd v Ashman & Ors (No 4)  QLC 24
New Acland Coal Pty Ltd v Smith & Ors  QSC 88
Humane Society International (Australia) Inc and Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (Qld)  AATA 617.
Complex high profiles jury trials including for homicide, fraud and sexual offending (examples available on request).
Significant appeals to the High Court, Victorian Court of Appeal and Queensland Court of Appeal (examples available on request)
Selected Publications and Presentations
Legalwise Human Rights Symposium 2019, “Litigating Under Human Rights Legislation”
Auckland University Law Review, “Climate Change Litigation: is the common law up to the task?”, Holt and McGrath
Australian Gynaecology, Endsocopy and Surgery Society Annual Conference, “Informed consent after Montgomery”
Legalwise seminar: administrative law, “The Government’s Duty of Care”
Legalwise seminar: administrative law, “How to avoid a legally unreasonable decision”
Butler and Holt, “Indictable Offences Queensland”, Thompson Reuters (loose leaf and text service)
Fertility Society of Australia 2013 Annual Conference, “Post-mortem Sperm Retrieval – the legalities” (Sydney 1 – 4 September 2013)
Australian Institute of Administrative Law Annual Conference, “The automation of criminal justice” (Canberra 18-19 July 2013).
Australian and New Zealand Journal of Obstetrics and Gynaecology, “Postmortem Sperm Retrieval in Australasia” (August 2012).
'Issues and Challenges for Judicial Administration', “Life after Deitrich: Legal Defence and Legal Aid” (Sydney 8-9 September 2011).
AIJA – Criminal Justice in Australia and New Zealand - 'Issues and Challenges for Judicial Administration', “the forensic implications of jury research” (Sydney 8-9 September 2011).
Australasian Human Rights and Policing Conference, “Reverse onus provisions in human rights litigation” (Melbourne 8-10 December 2008).
Journal of Law and Medicine, “Medico-legal secrecy in New Zealand” (2008) 15 JLM 602.
NZ Post-Graduate Law E-Journal (Issue 4, 2006), “Television Coverage of Election Campaigns: Do Broadcasters have Public Law Obligations?”
NZ Post-Graduate Law E-Journal (Issue 3, 2006), “Appellate Sentencing Guidance in New Zealand”
Fees are by negotiation.
Liability limited by a scheme approved under Professional Standards Legislation