Will Alstergren
Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Justinian in Australian Bar Association, On the Couch, Victorian Bar, Will Alstergren

Will Alstergren QC - the crowned head of the nation's briefs ... A Norwegian with milk in the refrigerator ... Who does the president of the Australian Bar Association fear and admire? ... On the Couch with a surfing barrister  

Alstergren - "I wonder"

Will Alstergren QC is based in Victoria and has a flourishing Supreme and Federal Courts practice.

He has advised on large commercial matters and is often brought in to lead in specialist areas including company law, trusts, industrial, tax, intellectual property, construction and ASIC litigation.

Alstergren is a founding member of the committee that established the Melbourne Arbitration Centre and is a current board member of the Australian Centre for International Arbitration in Sydney.

He was the founder of the Victorian bar's duty barristers scheme and won the bar's pro bono award in 2012. He is currently completing a PhD that examines pro bono cases in superior courts, the rise of the self-represented litigant and what that means for the courts. 

He is a former chairman of the Victorian Bar Council and a vice-president of the Victorian Olympic Council. 

He has also conducted substantial inquiries for the Royal Australian Navy and is a serving member of the Navy Reserve Legal Panel with the rank of Lieutenant Commander. 

He has recently stepped-up to the position of president of the Australian Bar Association. We now find him on Justinian's Couch ... 

Describe yourself in three words.

Optimistic, determined and considered. 

What are you currently reading? 

"Barbarian Days a Surfing Life" – William Finnegan. 

What's your favourite film?

Pulp Fiction. 

Who has been the most influential person in your life? 

My grandfather - a Norwegian immigrant who came to Australia in 1924. 

When were you happiest? 

Surfing with my family. 

What is your favourite piece of music? 

Rodriguez – I wonder

What do you propose to do as president of the ABA for the next 12 months? 

Focus on alternative practical solutions to the challenges presented by the legal assistance budget; more effective and earlier briefing of barristers by corporate counsel and law firms; getting clients to make informed decisions; and finding ways to potentially reduce legal fees overall. 

What is in your refrigerator? 

Milk. 

What makes you frightened? 

Fear of Missing Out. 

Who would you most like to be with in a lift that has broken down? 

My wife. 

Why law, and not another worthwhile pursuit in life? 

Wigs. 

What is the case of which you are most proud? 

Jeffrey-Potts v Garel - the recovery of interest property for an 80 year old woman. 

What was your most interesting case? 

Crazy Johns v Telstra. 

What was the most important opportunity you didn't take? 

Learning Norwegian. 

If you were on death row, what would you request for your last meal?  

Roast chicken. 

If you were a foodstuff, what would you be? 

 Ice-cream. 

Who do you most admire professionally?

Sue Crennan QC.

What is your favourite word?

Reason. 

What would you change about Australia?

The Green and Gold - who picked those terrible colours?!

What would your epitaph say?

It is just a temporary setback. 

What comes into your mind when you shut your eyes and think of the word "law"? 

Fees. 

Article originally appeared on Justinian: Australian legal magazine. News on lawyers and the law (http://justinian.com.au/).
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