Ruth Higgins SC is a leading commercial silk specialising in competition law, class actions, energy, media, corporate criminal and corporations matters. She has been included in Best Lawyers Australia since it commenced in 2008 and was included in 3 categories and named Lawyer of the Year for ADR (Sydney) in 2020. Ruth has been included in Chambers Global since 2011 and was described in the 2019 edition as a "very thorough force to be reckoned with." She is listed in Doyle's Guide as a preeminent silk in competition law, and is also listed in commercial litigation, insolvency law, and media and telecommunications law.
Competition law: Ruth acts for both private parties and the ACCC. She has appeared unled and led in the High Court in Flight Centre, the CMFEU case concerning agreed civil penalties, and in Part IIIA proceedings concerning the Port of Newcastle. Ruth appeared in the first two modern criminal cartel prosecutions and is regularly briefed in such matters. Her merger appearances include being counsel for AGL in the successful Macquarie Generation acquisition, for Pacific National in the Aurizon/Pacific National proceedings, and for TPG in its proposed merger with Vodafone. She has acted for Apple, Cement Australia, the Australian Jockey Club and many others in contested Part IV proceedings.
Consumer and regulatory matters: In consumer and regulatory matters, Ruth has acted for parties including Telstra, Qantas, Woolworths, Westpac and the ACCC, ASIC, and APRA. Ruth's wider regulatory experience includes advising CBA and acting for Tabcorp and Westpac in respect of allegations under the AML/CTF Act, and acting for banks and other institutions defending proceedings flowing from the Financial Services Royal Commission.
Class actions: Ruth has acted for various defendants in major class actions, including: Westpac, VW, Audi and Skoda in respect of diesel emissions; in the Takata air bags proceedings for Nissan; Infigen in respect of a bushfire class action, and for IOOF in the Provident debentures class action.
Energy law: Ruth has acted in the Federal Court, Australian Competition Tribunal and in private arbitrations, for clients including: AGL, ActewAGL, BP, Origin, Epic Energy, Energy Australia, South Australia Power Networks, and Hydro Tasmania. She also acts for the AER.
Corporate crime: including insider trading, bribery of foreign public officials and related areas.
Corporations law: including insolvency proceedings and schemes of arrangement.
Public inquiries and commissions: Senior Counsel for the CBA in the Banking Royal Commission; for CPH in the IGLA's inquiry into the Crown Casino; as counsel assisting the ACCC East Coast Gas Enquiry; and in private and public hearings of the ICAC.
Ruth is a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, an Assistant General Editor of the Australian Law Journal, a director of the Bar Association of NSW and Chair of a Professional Conduct Committee of the NSW Bar. She is the author of various books, including The Moral Limits of Law (OUP, 2004), three collections of essays co-edited with Justin Gleeson SC, and a forthcoming monograph, Law's Candour (all through Federation Press).
Ruth won the Glasgow University medal in law. Thereafter she completed a doctorate in legal philosophy at Balliol College, Oxford University, lectured at Corpus Christi College, Oxford, and was a visiting Scholar at Columbia University. She has recently been elected a Visiting Fellow at each of New College and Harris Manchester College, Oxford University.
Chambers & Partners Asia Pacific Guide – Band 3 Dispute Resolution Senior Counsel – “a very thorough force to be reckoned with,” "a future leader of the Sydney Bar," "an extremely intelligent, dedicated and hard-working trial lawyer with a strong academic background, though no ivory tower theorist," and "phenomenal – intellectually second to none and probably the most user-friendly silk I have ever worked with; always available, always prepared and always presents well."
Doyles Guide (Australia Wide) – Preeminent Competition Law Senior Counsel
Doyles Guide – Leading Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution Senior Counsel
Doyles Guide – Recommended Insolvency & Restructuring Senior Counsel
Doyles Guide – Recommended Technology, Media & Telecommunications Senior Counsel
Best Lawyers – ADR Lawyer of the Year (2020)
Best Lawyers – Bet the Company Litigation
Best Lawyers – Litigation