Chris Behrens wins ACT Law Society Government Law Award 2017

Chris Behrens wins ACT Law Society Government Law Award 2017

On Friday 25 August 2017, Chris Behrens was presented with the Government Law Award of the ACT Law Society. As only the third recipient since the award's establishment in 2015, Chris is recognised for his leadership, legal expertise and commitment to serving the Commonwealth, as well as his community involvement.

'This is a tremendous accolade for Chris and a fitting recognition of his many achievements and contributions over a distinguished career,' said the Australian Government Solicitor Michael Kingston.

Below is an extract from the ACT Law Society media release:

The President of the ACT Law Society, Sarah Avery, awarded the 2017 Government Law Award to Chris Behrens. The Award recognises the achievements of outstanding lawyers working in or for government.

Chris Behrens is a Senior Executive Lawyer working for the Australian Government Solicitor as a commercial litigation specialist. He has almost 30 years post-admission experience.

Chris leads AGS Dispute Resolution's Civil Claims team, comprising approximately 50 lawyers dispersed nationally in AGS offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and Canberra. In the last 2 years, he has overseen growth of about 40% in the volume of the team's work, with commensurate growth in the complexity and diversity of matters.

Chris's skills as a leader, manager, supervisor, mentor and capacity builder mean he has been able to attract, develop, and retain excellent staff.

He has been responsible for several significant legal projects, including in the last 2 years, representing the Commonwealth in the landmark Federal Court class action brought by residents of Williamtown about PFAS firefighting foams contamination, tenancy agreements over land at the site of the proposed Second Sydney Airport, and claims arising from the early closure of the Home Insulation Program.

He delivers internal training to AGS lawyers on commercial litigation topics, including a very well-received seminar on contract termination. He is well-regarded in the department as a supervisor and mentor, and is always willing to share his expertise, and to guide junior lawyers, helping them find solutions and develop their knowledge, skills, and confidence.

Chris was a founding member of the Law Society's Government Law Committee, serving as its inaugural chair from 2009 to 2013.

Chris has had a long association with the Canberra Southern Cross Club, a not-for-profit organisation with over 83,000 members that has contributed over $14 million to the Canberra community over the last decade. He is the Vice President of the Club, as well as the chair of its Risk and Audit Committee, and has been a director of the Club for the last 10 years.

He is also a talented musician and valued member of choral groups, not least of which is the AGS Dispute Resolution Christmas choir.

We congratulate Chris on this outstanding achievement.