Ian Spry

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Dr. Ian Spry is a retired Melbourne Queen's Counsel, perhaps best known for featuring as a litigant in the High Court decision of Kennon v Spry [2008] HCA 56.[1] This was a landmark case that Spry lost to his ex-wife in a dispute involving family trusts. Following this event, some controversial letters were circulated criticizing the judges who made the decision, in which Spry appeared to accuse them of bias or incompetence (see below).

Spry was previously well-known as the author of a highly regarded legal reference book Equitable Remedies (Thompson Reuters, 9th edition, 2013). Sir Owen Dixon, former Chief Justice, described it as "the best legal book to have come out of Australia." It is a more opinionated book than one usually finds in law, in which Spry makes some pointed criticisms of the famous equity judges of the past.

He is the son of Brigadier Sir Charles Chambers Fowell Spry, CBE, DSO (26 June 1910 – 28 May 1994) who, from 1950 to 1970, was the second Director-General of Security, the head of the Australian Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO).

Letter to Justice French, 5 January 2009[edit]

"I was associate to Sir Owen Dixon, who as well as being probably Australia’s greatest judge was a model of ethical propriety. He would have been highly dismayed both by the reasoning of the court in these matters and by the justices’ allowing personal considerations to affect their decisions. I would add that I would not have written this letter if the opinions set out in it were merely mine. But senior members of the Bar etc. to whom I have spoken all find the majority’s conclusions and reasoning highly unsatisfactory..." [2]