Member Profiles

Contact Details

Tom Anderson
William Forster Chambers

Level 1
26 Harry Chan Avenue

GPO Box 4369

Tel: (08) 8982 4700

Tom Anderson is a barrister at William Forster Chambers in Darwin, Northern Territory.

Year and Place of First Admission

1991, Victoria

Other Jurisdictions

High Court, Federal Courts and Tribunals, Northern Territory

Degrees, Appointments and Awards

  • BA (Melb), LLB (Hons) (Melb)
  • Leo Cussen Institute Advocacy Award, 1991
  • Chairman of the AFLNT Tribunal (since 1999)



Following admission, Tom joined Victoria’s largest regional legal practice (based in Ballarat) in January 1992 as in-house counsel. Courtroom advocacy has been a large part of his practice ever since.

After four years in regional Victoria, Tom moved to the Territory in 1996 to take up a position with the Solicitor for the Northern Territory working on the first native title cases to go to trial before the Federal Court. After two years Tom was lured to the Darwin office of Clayton Utz where he worked for a range of private and government clients in a diverse range of litigious matters – from tort and contract disputes to employment and industrial matters, licensing and regulatory crime.

Tom returned to the Northern Territory Crown in 2003 where he took charge of a range of significant litigation.  In April 2008 Tom joined the chambers of the Northern Territory Solicitor-General as Crown Counsel, where he continued to provide high level advice and representation to Northern Territory Government Ministers, agencies and instrumentalities in a wide range of matters.

Tom joined William Forster Chambers in October 2009.  Since then he has acted for a wide range of government and non-government clients in a diverse range of matters before the Northern Territory Supreme Court and Court of Appeal, the Federal Court and Federal Circuit Court.  Tom also continues to appear in specialised criminal matters in the Local Court and was briefed in many of the first matters to come before the recently established Northern Territory Civil and Administrative Tribunal.

Major Reported Cases

  • Alcan (NT) Alumina Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Territory Revenue (2009) 239 CLR 27 – appeal against statutory interpretation of the Taxation Administration Act (NT) by the NT Court of Appeal
  • Commissioner of Territory Revenue v Alcan (NT) Alumina Pty Ltd (2008) 156 NTR 1 (Court of Appeal) – appeal and cross appeal concerning interpretation of the Taxation Administration Act (NT) and the value of the goodwill of a mining enterprise
  • Alcan (NT) Alumina Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxes (2007) 19 NTLR 153 (NT Supreme Court) – complex trial concerning valuation of a bauxite mine and refinery for stamp duty purposes and related issues
  • Tourism Holdings Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxes (2007) 210 FLR 80 (NT Supreme Court) – appeal against assessment of stamp duty on the transfer of the goodwill of a vehicle hire business
  • Tourism Holdings Australia Pty Ltd v Commissioner of Taxes (2005) 15 NTLR 80 (Court of Appeal) – appeal against pre-trial interlocutory rulings going to the nature of the appeal from the Commissioner’s assessment
  • The Wandarang, Alawa, Marra and Ngalakan Peoples v Northern Territory (2000) 104 FCR 380 (Federal Court) – native title trial
  • Lansen v Olney (1999) 100 FCR 7 (Full Court of the Federal Court) – review of a decision by the Aboriginal Land Commissioner not to hear a land claim over a pastoral lease held by a statutory corporation

Other Major Recent Cases

    • Carroll v Alcan Gove Pty Ltd [2008] NTMC 61 – complex prosecution of refinery operator following the death of an employee of a maintenance contractor
    • Carroll v Tom’s Gully Mining Pty Ltd [2007] NTMC 33 – the prosecution of multiple occupational health and safety offences by a gold miner
    • Lim v ABC, Martin and Kilgariff [2006] NTMC 71 – pleadings skirmish in defamation proceedings against the Chief Minister and others
    • Milatos v Clayton Utz [2005] NTSC 57 – major claim for damages by the Lake Bennett developer against his solicitors and the Territory (the Territory settled and withdrew from the proceedings prior to judgment)
    • DPP v Murray – the first unexplained wealth application under the Criminal Property Forfeiture Act (NT) to go to trial (settled before judgment)
    • DPP v Burnett and Others – a major criminal property forfeiture matter settled before trial
    • Carroll v ERA – the high profile prosecution of a uranium miner over a water contamination incident
    • Franklin v Keith Simpson Transport – the prosecution of a Queensland transport company and its principal following the death of 300 goats transported from Bourke to Darwin for live export


  • At the Cole Royal Commission into the building industry Tom appeared for the Territory Construction Association, Barclay Mowlem and the Northern Territory Government.