Commonwealth Law Reports – Editorial Appointments

Thomson Reuters Legal Australia is pleased to announce the formal appointment of barristers Mr Christopher Horan QC and Dr Paul Vout as Co-Editors of the prestigious Commonwealth Law Reports.

The Commonwealth Law Reports (CLRs) are the authorised reports of the High Court of Australia.

Mr Horan and Dr Vout have been acting co-editors since last September, following the passing in August 2016 of the respected and distinguished former editor, the late Mr James Merralls AM QC.

Prior to their editorial appointments, Chris and Paul were senior reporters for the Commonwealth Law Reports, with more than 30 years’ collective experience working on the series.

In a joint statement, the new Co-Editors said:

“We are delighted to work together as co-editors of the Commonwealth Law Reports, after having each spent 15 years as reporters.

“We are equally humbled to be invited to follow in Jim Merralls AM Q’s monumental footsteps and to be entrusted with his legacy,” Mr Horan and Dr Vout said. “We look forward to working with the Justices, associates and staff at the High Court and with Thomson Reuters to maintain the highest standards of law reporting for the CLRs.”

The Managing Director of Thomson Reuters Legal Australia and New Zealand, Ms Jackie Rhodes, said:

“I warmly congratulate Mr Chris Horan QC and Dr Paul Vout on their formal appointment as Co-Editors of the Commonwealth Law Reports.

“The prestige, heritage and authority of the Commonwealth Law Reports is very important to Thomson Reuters,” Ms Rhodes said. “The series has been a flagship of our publishing program since 1903 and is an essential resource for the legal profession”.

“The staff of Thomson Reuters look forward to working closely with Chris, Paul and the High Court on continuing the great editorial and law reporting traditions that are embodied in the pre-eminent Commonwealth Law Reports of Australia.”

For more information:

Tim Pollard
General Manager, AU Legal Portfolio
Thomson Reuters
+61 2 8587 7372

Mr Christopher J Horan QC

Chris Horan QC practices in all areas of public law, including constitutional law, judicial and merits review of administrative decisions, immigration and taxation.  He signed the bar roll in November 2000, and was appointed as senior counsel in November 2015.

Before coming to the Bar, Chris worked for the Commonwealth Attorney-General’s Department, in the office of General Counsel and later as Counsel Assisting the Solicitor-General.  He was also an Associate to Justice Brennan in the High Court of Australia in 1993.

Areas of expertise

  • Administrative Law
  • Constitutional Law
  • Immigration
  • Taxation
  • Equity and Trusts
  • Commercial Law
  • Native Title
  • Superannuation


  • ‘Judicial Review of Non-Statutory Executive Powers’ (2003) 31 Federal Law Review 551.
  • Commentary on ‘Sue v Hill: The Evolution of Australian Independence’ in Stone and Williams, The High Court at the Crossroads: Essays in Constitutional Law (2000).
  • Entry on ‘Territories’ in the Oxford Companion to the High Court of Australia.

Dr Paul T Vout

Dr Paul Vout advises and appears in all areas of equity and commercial law. His areas of specialty are statutory construction, contract law and unconscionable conduct, including unconscionable dealings and constructive trusts. Paul holds a doctorate (SJD) from the University of Sydney for his thesis on international project finance law.

Before joining the Bar, Paul was Blake Dawson Waldron’s first Chief Representative in China and a Senior Associate in that firm’s Banking and Finance Group.

Before joining that firm, Paul was an Associate to the Hon. Justice Michael

Kirby AC CMG, President of the New South Wales Court of Appeal (as he then was). Paul has appeared in the High Court of Australia, the Supreme Court of Singapore, as well as most other Federal and Victorian courts.

Areas of expertise

  • Commercial Law
  • Corporations & Securities
  • Equity & Trusts
  • Trade Practices & Consumer Protection
  • Banking & Finance
  • Corporate Insolvency & Reconstruction
  • Property
  • Constitutional Law
  • Human Rights/Victorian Charter


  • Reporter, Commonwealth Law Reports 2002 ­ present (Thomson Reuters)
  • Co­author, Appeals and Appellate Courts of Australia and New Zealand (LexisNexis Butterworths, 2014)
  • Editorial Advisory Board Member, American Law Reports International 2010 – present (West/Thomson Reuters)
  • Co­author, The Laws of Australia: Contracts ­ Breach (Thomson Reuters)
  • Co­author & editor, The Laws of Australia: Unconscionable Conduct (Thomson Reuters, 1e 2006; 2e 2009)
  • Co­author & editor, The Laws of Australia: Torts (Thomson Reuters, 2e 2007)
  • Co­author & editor, The Laws of Australia Vol. 33 ­ Torts (Thomson Reuters)
  • Co­author & editor, The Laws of Australia Vol. 35 ­ Unfair Dealings (Thomson Reuters)
  • Co­author, China Contracts Handbook (Sweet & Maxwell, 1e 1997, 2e 2000)
  • Correspondent, Asian Commercial Law Review 1995 ­1996