The Hon. Stephen O’Ryan QC Barrister


T +61 2 8218 3000

F +61 2 8218 3001



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Dates of Admission

  • Solicitor 1972
  • Barrister 1975
  • Silk 1990
  • Judge 1994
  • Year of Admission as an Australian Lawyer 1975
  • Year of Admission to the NSW bar 1975
  • Year of Appointment as Senior Counsel 1990
  • Professional Memberships

  • NSW BAR Association
  • Family Law Committee
  • Expertise

  • Binding Financial Agreements
  • Child Abduction
  • De-facto Relationships
  • Financial/Property Settlement
  • Maintenance and Child Support
  • Children and Parenting Proceeding
  • Family Provision
  • Family Law
  • The Hon. Stephen O’Ryan QC is a leading Family Law barrister whose legal career spans
    more than four decades.

    Mr O’Ryan graduated from the University of Sydney in 1972 with a Bachelor of Laws degree.
    He then spent three years as a solicitor, 19 years at the Bar, and became a Queen’s Counsel
    in 1990. In 1991 he was appointed an acting judge of the NSW District Court. In 1994, he
    was appointed a Judge of the Family Court of Australia.

    For a number of years Mr O’Ryan was the Family Court Judge Administrator for New South
    Wales and the Australian Capital Territory. He was also the chairperson, or a member, of
    many judicial committees including:

    • The Chief Justice’s Consultative Committee
    • The Family Court Simplification of Procedures Committee
    • The Family Court Future Directions Committee
    • The Family Court Law Reform Committee, and
    • The Family Court Judicial Remuneration Committee.

    Mr O’Ryan had a significant role in relation to the reform, and administration, of case
    management of cases, and trial management of cases, before the Family Court of Australia.
    Mr O’Ryan had a significant role in relation to the initiation and development of the less
    adversarial approach to the determination of parenting cases. He also chaired the committee
    responsible for the successful introduction of this approach.

    In 2011, when Mr O’Ryan retired from the Bench, he was a member of the Full Court of the
    Family Court.

    In 2011, after Mr O’Ryan retired from the Bench, he resumed practice at the Bar. His judicial
    background prohibited him from appearing in the Family Court and the Federal Circuit Court
    for a stipulated period, however, that prohibition period has now expired. He is now using his
    experience, and passion for advocacy, mediation and arbitration, to achieve the best possible
    outcomes for his legal teams and his clients. He also continues to have a keen interest in the
    reform of Family Law and the case management of cases and trial management of cases
    before the Family Court of Australia.

    Mr O’Ryan’s many professional achievements have included being a consultant to the
    Australian Reform Commission, a founding member of the Editorial Board of the Australian
    Journal of Family Law (Butterworths), and the Editor of Australian Family Law (Butterworths).

    Mr O’Ryan is now an accredited mediator through the Resolution Institute (formerly IAMA),
    and an accredited arbitrator through Australian Institute of Family Law Arbitrators and
    Arbitrators (AIFLAM). He is a director of AIFLAM. He is a consulting editor of Australian
    Family Law.

    If you wish to brief Mr O’Ryan QC, or enquire as to his availability, or fees, please do so by contacting his clerk, Tanya Roberts.  If you wish to email click here.