Saul Holt KC


Professional History

Saul Holt KC 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 the sole member of the “market leader” category for Senior Counsel in Criminal Law for Queensland in Doyles Guide (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022),  and is one of very few in the “pre-eminent” category of Senior Counsel in Criminal Law for Australia in Doyles Guide (2019, 2020, 2021 and 2022).

Saul Holt


Saul is available to be briefed for advice or appearance work in the following areas:

  • Appeals and Judicial Review

  • Criminal and Regulatory

  • Commissions of inquiry and Inquests

  • Constitutional and Human Rights cases

  • Resources law, Land Court proceedings and Planning and Environment cases

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.

Saul has extensive recent experience in commissions of inquiry including as Senior Counsel for Victoria Police in the ‘Lawyer X’ Royal Commission, Senior Counsel for Anglo American in the Queensland Coal Mining Board of Inquiry and Senior Counsel for affected families in the Grantham Floods Commission of Inquiry.

In criminal law, Saul is often briefed in Queensland’s most significant cases.  He appears regularly before the Queensland Court of Appeal and the High Court in important criminal and regulatory cases. 

Saul’s appellate practice extends into all areas of law.  For example, he has appeared in significant personal injuries appeals in Goondiwindi Regional Council v Tait [2020] QCA 119 (5 June 2020) and TRG v The Board of Trustees of Brisbane Grammar School [2020] QCA 190.

In the area of Human Rights, Saul was counsel in a number of significant Victorian Human Rights cases including Victorian Toll & Anor v Taha and Anor [2013] VSCA 37 Slaveski v Smith & Anor [2012] VSCA 25.

Saul’s environmental law cases include major Land Court Objections Hearings in Pembroke Olive Downs Pty Ltd v Sunland Cattle Co Pty Ltd & Ors [2020] QLC 27, Adani Mining Pty Ltd v Land Services of Coast and Country Inc & Ors [2015] QLC 48 and New Acland Coal Pty Ltd v Ashman & Ors (No 4) [2017] QLC 24.

In addition, Saul is briefed in the Planning and Environment Court and has appeared in other environmental cases including Australian Conservation Foundation Inc v Minister for the Environment [2016] FCA 1042 (Griffiths J), Australian Conservation Foundation Incorporated v Minister for the Environment and Energy [2017] FCAFC 134 (Dowsett, McKerracher and Robertson JJ), New Acland Coal Pty Ltd v Smith & Ors [2018] QSC 88 and Humane Society International (Australia) Inc and Department of Agriculture & Fisheries (Qld) [2019] AATA 617.

Selected Publications and Presentations


QELA seminar, August 2020, “Regulatory Prosecutions”
Legalwise Seminar, February 2020, “Appeals based on unreasonable verdicts”


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, Endoscopy 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”