Barrister James Glissan QC recognised in 2019 Queen's Birthday Honours

Barrister James Glissan, QC, who has a reputation for having one of the sharpest minds at the NSW Bar, has been recognised in the Queen's Birthday Honours,

Mr Glissan, of Oyster Bay, was appointed a Member (AM) of the Order of Australia for "significant service to the law in NSW".

He was admitted to the Bar in 1971, began working as a barrister four years later and was appointed a Queens Counsel in 1985.

Mr Glissan continues an active practice in H B Higgins Chambers.

He grew up in Oyster Bay, attended Jannali High School and studied law at the University of Sydney with the help of "very supportive parents" and a Commonwealth Scholarship.

Over 48 years, Mr Glissan has filled a range of legal roles, including four years as the NSW Public defender and two years as an acting District Court judge.

Advocacy is his passion.

"The only thing I wanted to do from when I was about 12 years old was to be a barrister," he said.

"I was influenced by the fact that my grandfather, a businessman, was involved in a case at the very beginning of the Commonwealth, which went to the High Court and Privy Council.

"I have always loved, and still love, advocacy.

"It is the interface with people trying to solve their problems.

"You can't always win, but you try to get the best result you can.

"It's still exciting and I look forward to it on a day to day basis."

Mr Glissan's active areas of practice are in criminal, administrative, industrial and environmental matters, where his interests, legal and personal, lie.

He has spent the last several years representing the Transport Workers Union at the Trade Union Royal Commission and the Banking Royal Commission in Melbourne "with very successful outcomes'.

Mr Glissan has passed on his knowledge and experience in many publications.

When not in the courtroom, he is a volunteer in Marine Rescue NSW's Botany Bay-Port Hacking unit, where he regularly skippers a rescue boat.

He is also involved in the state-wide management of the organisation, as the chair of its board.

"I have sailed since I was a boy growing up in Oyster Bay, and joined Marine Rescue to improve my skills when I bought a larger boat," he said.

"I joined at the time the three volunteer maritime rescue organisations merged and, when they discovered my background, I was persuaded to help with the legalities.

"Because of the goodwill on all sides, we were were able to do it one year, instead of the three years the government had anticipated.

"Marine Rescue NSW has gone from strength to strength, and being a member has added a new dimension to my life and legal practice.

"I am one of 3200 volunteers dedicated to saving life on the waters of NSW, and I can't speak more highly of the people who are involved."