The Hon. Thomas Hughes AO QC (Honorary Member)

Admission Year: 1949

Year taken Silk: 1962

Contact Details

Tel: (+61 2) 9232 3850
Fax: (+61 2) 9221 5103


Clerk Details

Kristen Sproule

The Hon. Thomas Hughes AO QC (Honorary Member)

Professional Career

Thomas Eyre Forrest Hughes AO QC is a former Australian politician. He was a Liberal member of the Australian House of Representatives from 1963 to 1972. He was Attorney-General of Australia from 1969 to 1971. Admitted in 1949, he is currently the longest serving member of the NSW Bar.

He was president of the New South Wales Bar Association between 1973 and 1975. As an advocate, he has always been recognised as a leader in the areas of constitutional, commercial and defamation law, but, in the modern age of specialisation, he is set apart by the breadth of his practice. He has appeared as counsel in many significant and famous cases. They include Jones v Skelton (1963) 63 SR (NSW) 644, the Concrete Pipes case (1971) 124 CLR 468, Nationwide News Pty Ltd v Wills (1992) 177 CLR 1, one of the seminal cases in establishing a right to freedom of communication on government and political matters under the Constitution and the Super League case (1996) 64 FCR 410. Recently he appeared in the case of International Finance Trust Company Limited v New South Wales Crime Commission (2009) 240 CLR 319 in which the High Court declared that section 10 of the Criminal Assets Recovery Act 1990 (NSW) was invalid.

In 1988, Tom Hughes was made an officer of the Order of Australia for services to the legal profession.  In 2012 he was awarded a degree of Doctor of Laws honoris causa from the University of Notre Dame Australia.