Tributes flow for Sandy Dawson, high profile defamation lawyer, after death aged 50


High-profile defamation lawyer Sandy Dawson SC has died from brain cancer aged 50.

The New South Wales Bar Association said in a statement Dawson died surrounded by his family and will be remembered as a barrister with “impeccable integrity”.

“Our heartfelt condolences and the thoughts of the profession are first and foremost with his wife, children and the Dawson family,” said President Gabrielle Bashir SC.

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“His exceptional talent, breadth of knowledge, practical and tactical genius, and legendary wit and sense of humour all marked Sandy out as a great leader of our profession.

“Sandy was born to be a barrister. He loved the practice of advocacy and was a master of our craft.”

Sandy Dawson’s (left) sister, Katrina was a victim of the 2014 Lindt Cafe siege. Credit: DAVID MOIR/AAPIMAGE

Dawson’s sister, Katrina, was also a barrister before she died in the 2014 Lindt Cafe Siege.

Sandy founded the Katrina Dawson Foundation, a mentoring program for young women, in her memory.

“The profession will never forget Sandy’s fortitude and resilience during the Lindt siege, following Katrina’s death and at the lengthy inquest, all excruciating in turn,” Bashir said.

Dawson was admitted to the bar in 2003 and was appointed senior counsel in 2016.

He represented several major media publications in their disputes over his career.

Family of siege victim Katrina Dawson, (L-R), brother Sandy Dawson, father Alexander and husband Paul Smith leave the Lindt Cafe siege inquest in 2015. Credit: DAN HIMBRECHTS/AAPIMAGE

Dawson also acted for Labor MP Emma Husar in her case against Buzzfeed where allegations of misconduct were made against her by staff.

The case reached settlement in 2019.

In a tweet on Monday, Husar described Sandy as “clever, witty and with the heart of pure gold”.

“Lawyers don’t often come with such regard, you, my friend, were a great.

“My love to your family, your amazing kids and my gratitude indebted to you always for the sensitivity in which you conducted my defamation case.”

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