Appointment of Craig Everson SC to the NSW District Court

Ken McKay SC

Craig commenced his legal career as a solicitor with the Aboriginal Legal Service and was called to the Bar in 1996.

In 2005 he was appointed a Crown Prosecutor and has been a Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor at the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions since 2014. Craig was appointed Senior Counsel in 2021. As a Crown Prosecutor and Deputy Senior Crown Prosecutor he has appeared exclusively for the Crown in trials in the Supreme and District Courts including some of the State’s most high profile and complex trials. Craig has also been an effective advocate for the Crown in appeals before the Court of Criminal Appeal.

Craig’s court advocacy is the public side of his career, but it is only part of his story. There would be few Crown Prosecutors and solicitors with the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions who have not been the beneficiary of his words of wisdom and advice, his many in-house presentations or his teaching with the Advocacy Institute. Craig has also made an enormous contribution to the wider Bar with his legal presentations and membership of the NSW Bar Association’s Accessibility Panel. Victims of crime, the citizens of NSW, the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the NSW Bar have all greatly benefitted from his service as a barrister.

As the Senior Crown Prosecutor, I have been the beneficiary of weekly catch-up sessions with Craig during which he would provide wise advice and arm me with the latest information to ‘keep me ahead of the curve’.

Away from the law, Craig is devoted to his partner Annette and their children and their dog Sampson. Craig is a keen surfer, skilled exponent of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and a talented musician, his instrument of choice being the ukulele.

Perhaps his longest lasting passion apart from family is the game of rugby league and the Balmain Tigers. His love of rugby league led to a brief appointment as one of the counsels assisting the NRL Judiciary. I have no doubt that this was his dream job as it combined his love for the game and his legal skill. I fondly recall many occasions listening to Craig as he explained and demonstrated the grapple tackle or chicken-wing tackle in his upcoming case before the judiciary. He claimed his ability to analyse the offending tackles was enhanced by his mastery of Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

Craig has an engaging personality and a keen sense of humour. I recall an occasion where I appeared for the Crown in a District Court sentence hearing. My instructing solicitor had provided a well compiled sentence brief to hand up to the judge. Unbeknown to me, a small piece of paper had been inserted within the pages of the brief. Shortly after handing up the brief the judge returned to me the small piece of paper. It was a ticket to the West Tigers and Titans match at Leichhardt Oval. Fortunately for me the match had been played some weeks before the sentence hearing and so had no monetary value save for the paper itself. Craig denied responsibility but the circumstantial evidence was overwhelming, and his guilt sealed by his demeanour, namely, the beaming smile and feigned surprise.

During his career Craig has demonstrated the ability to act impartially, that he has an innate sense of fairness, an even temperament and a keen sense of humour which are all necessary attributes of a successful judge. BN

Ken McKay SC

Senior Crown Prosecutor- Crown Prosecutors Chambers – Sydney