OLD PARADIAN APPOINTED MAGISTRATE
Old Paradian Simon Zebrowski (1984) is one of two new appointees to the Magistrates’ Court of Victoria. Simon, along with Sarah Leighfield, was recently named by Victorian Attorney-General Martin Pakula.
A Deputy Registrar of the Magistrates’ Court since the late ’80s, Simon was admitted to practice as a barrister and solicitor of the Supreme Court in 1999, and signed the bar roll as counsel in 2003 appearing in more than 50 jury trials and a number of plea hearings, bail applications, committal hearings, confiscation proceedings and coronial inquests.
In 2010, he joined the Victorian Office of Public Prosecutions (OPP) and rose to the most senior level for solicitors – Principal Solicitor Advocate – appearing almost daily in metropolitan and regional courts.
During this time, Simon regularly provided advice to Victoria Police and other OPP solicitors regarding the appropriateness of charges, evidentiary issues and sentencing laws.
He also acted as a mentor to junior solicitors and lecturers to the Victoria Police Detective Training Course.
“Sarah Leighfield and Simon Zebrowski both have extensive experience in criminal law and will be welcome additions to the Magistrates’ Court,” the Attorney-General said.
“Ms Leighfield has specialised experience in dealing with sexual offence matters, while Mr Zebrowski has a vast knowledge of jury trials. I congratulate them both on their appointments and look forward to seeing their continued contribution to the Victorian justice system.”
Currently, fellow Old Paradians Andrew Tenni (1993) and Peter Lauritsen (1967) serve the Court in the positions of Chief Executive Officer and Chief Magistrate.
Peter discovered Simon’s links to the College when seated beside him on the bench in Court 1 at his bench welcome on October 12. There, during a speech delivered by David O’Callaghan QC on behalf of the Victorian Bar, it was mentioned that Simon was an alumnus of Parade College, like the Chief Magistrate.
Reflecting on his professional vocation, Simon said recently: “It certainly never occurred to me over 30 years ago, while sitting in Mr John Nicholls’ Legal Studies class, that I would make a career in the law, let alone one day be appointed to the magistracy”.
“I have worked with a number of OPs during my career; as a registrar I worked with (now retired Magistrate) Noel Purcell, I appeared as counsel before Judges Russell Lewis, Michael McInerney, David Jones and John Jordan in the County Court, and juniored Philip Priest QC (now Justice Priest) in the Court of Appeal. Now I’m working with Chief Magistrate Peter Lauritsen in the Magistrates’ Court where Andrew Tenni is the CEO,” Simon said.
“It’s a great honour for me as another OP to make a mark on the law in Victoria.”