How did Sandy Dawson die? Sydney defamation barrister cause of death Explained



How did Sandy Dawson die? Sydney defamation barrister cause of death Explained

Sydney libel attorney Sandy Dawson passes away at the age of 50. Let’s see what happened to him and Sandy Dawson cause of death in detail.


What happened to Sandy Dawson?

After his away in Sydney at the age of 50, renowned defamation lawyer Sandy Dawson, SC, was recalled for his wit, generosity of spirit, legal acumen, and devotion to family and friends.

His death represents the Dawson family’s second tragedy in recent years. In the 2014 Lindt Cafe siege, Katrina Dawson, a barrister, and Mr. Dawson’s sister were slain.

Dawson was one of Sydney’s best-known libel barristers and appeared in a string of high-profile lawsuits for media platforms.

Sandy passed away quietly surrounded by his family, according to a statement released on Monday by Bar Association president Gabrielle Bashir, SC.

“His wife, kids, and the Dawson family are at the forefront of our thoughts, along with our deepest condolences. My thoughts also go out to his close friends and coworkers.

Sandy Dawson

The statement of the Chief Justice on the death of Sandy Dawson SC.

SANDY DAWSON SC (28 November 2022)

The Supreme Court of New South Wales expresses its deepest condolences to members of the Dawson family on the crushing news that Sandy Dawson SC has passed away.

His premature death is a tragedy and devastating loss for all who were touched by the magic, warmth, strength, and sincerity of his personality.

The legal profession has lost one of its finest. He was one of its most loved, respected, and esteemed members – not only a barrister profoundly accomplished in his broad areas of professional practice but a dear, dear friend of so many and a loving and devoted son, brother, husband, uncle, and father.

Sandy was a man of rare wit and a raconteur without parallel who would always light up any room he occupied, including the courtroom. But he was so much more: generous, courageous, brave, strong, thoughtful, and kind.

We honor his life and career as we struggle to cope with the unbearable sadness of his passing.

Andrew Bell Chief Justice of New South Wales

Statement from Banco Chambers on the death of Sandy Dawson, SC.

Statement from Banco Chambers on the death of Sandy Dawson, SC.



Sandy Dawson cause of death

Sandy Dawson SC, a well-known defamation lawyer whose sister Katrina Dawson was killed in the Lindt Cafe siege, passed away after losing his battle with a brain tumor.

With his “usual tenacity, tremendous perseverance, and loyalty to those he loved,” Bashir wrote of Dawson as he “fought his ultimate struggle with cancer.”

“Sandy was dedicated to the Bar, but his love for his wife, kids, and extended family came first for him. The Bar, the Bench, and our larger members grieve his departure terribly. She stated that the family of Dawson asked for privacy and that, if desired, donations to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation might be made in place of flowers or meals.

A memorial service will be performed later after a private service. Dawson was a founder member of Sydney’s Banco Chambers, which released a statement describing his passing as “a tragic loss.”

Who was Sandy Dawson?

He was hired to represent Nine in the defamation lawsuit filed by Ben Roberts-Smith due to stories about his service in Afghanistan that appeared in The Sydney Morning Herald.

However, he had to withdraw owing to illness two months before the trial beginning in June 2021. When he felt better, he continued to see portions of the protracted trial and would sit with the defense.

Mr. Dawson continued to be active even after being diagnosed as a member of the NSW Government’s expert panel on defamation reform. Mark Speakman, SC, the attorney general of NSW, claimed to have “significantly contributed to defamation law reform.”

Well-Experienced person

His knowledge “stretched to class actions, business issues, criminal law, racing appeals, and professional liability matters,” according to Ms. Bashir. She claimed, “Sandy was born to be a barrister. He was a master of our trade and loved the art of advocating. He had the keenest mind and was a great gentleman. Many people in the industry considered him to be an exceptional friend. His presence made our chambers and courtrooms more cheerful.

Many of us will always remember having to hold back laughter after Sandy whispered a joke at the bar table, Sandy captured the court, Sandy afterward amused colleagues with anecdotes when he returned to chambers, or Sandy pulling off a great imitation.

The field will “never forget Sandy’s strength and resilience throughout the Lindt siege, when Katrina died, and at the drawn-out inquest, all terrible in turn,” according to Ms. Bashir. “Sandy’s return to work demonstrated his bravery and commitment to his vocation.”

Director of the Katrina Dawson Foundation

Later, the family created a charity to aid female barristers. “Sandy supported women’s education for years as a director of the Katrina Dawson Foundation, working with the Foundation to fund scholarships for female undergraduates to attend the Women’s College at the University of Sydney.

“Sandy was also a member of the jury that chose the recipients of the Katrina Dawson Award, and through this role, he helped to identify and mentor a long line of outstanding female barristers. In our collective memory is the wonderful example Sandy provided in all facets of his professional career.

Illustrated portrait of Sandy Dawson, SC, presented to him on his 50th birthday this year by friends in the law and media. John Shakespeare

Sandy’s final cancer battle

“Sandy fought his final cancer battle with his characteristic strength, tenacity, and loyalty to those he loved. Although Sandy was dedicated to the bar, his wife, [four] children, and extended family came first in his life.

Ms. Bashir requested that the Dawsons’ privacy be respected. “The family has already dealt with being in the spotlight due to Sandy’s sister, our colleague Katrina, passing away.

“Sandy’s family requests privacy and suggests that instead of flowers or food if you so choose, you donate to the Cure Brain Cancer Foundation.”

About Cure Brain Cancer Foundation

We are the leading organization for brain cancer research, advocacy, and awareness in Australia, with a mission to rapidly improve brain cancer survival and vision to ultimately find a cure for brain cancer. 

Tributes to Sandy Dawson 

Andrew Bell, the state’s chief justice, expressed his sadness at the “heartbreaking news” and called Dawson’s passing “a terrible and devastating loss for everyone who was affected by the enchantment, warmth, strength, and honesty of his personality.”

“One of the best has left the legal profession. He was one of the organization’s most cherished, admired, and revered members. In addition to being a highly successful lawyer with a wide range of professional interests, he was also a good friend to a great number of people and a kind and dedicated son, brother, husband, uncle, and father.

Dawson, according to Bell, was “a man of extraordinary wit and a raconteur without equal who would always light up whatever place he occupied, including the courtroom.” But he was so much more than that: he was generous, bold, strong, considerate, and kind. 

While we try to come to terms with the utter tragedy of his departure, we honor his life and achievements. During the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney’s Martin Place in December 2014, Dawson’s sister Katrina, a fellow attorney, died.  Given “what… [the family] had already undergone in the public eye,” Bashir said it was especially crucial to preserve the family’s privacy.


Brad Hazzard

My heartfelt condolences to the family, friends, and colleagues of Sandy Dawson SC who passed away far too young. His intellect, insight, decency, humanity, and humor ensured he will be missed greatly. Vale Sandy.

Christie said,

Sandy Dawson may have been known as one of the best defamation barristers – but I will remember him for being so kind to me and giving me hope in times of darkness. My love to those who will miss him. Especially his wife and kids.



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