NSW Local Court welcomes Keisha Hopgood and Stephan Herridge as new magistrates

The solicitors join the bench of Australia's busiest court

NSW Local Court welcomes Keisha Hopgood and Stephan Herridge as new magistrates

Attorney General Michael Daley has appointed solicitors Keisha Hopgood and Stephan Herridge to the bench of the country’s busiest court, the NSW Local Court.

Hopgood has over 14 years of experience as a practising solicitor. She started her career working at the Children’s Legal Service at the Legal Aid Commission NSW, where she represented children and young people, gaining extensive experience in criminal law jurisdiction. Her practice encompasses bail and sentence matters, diversionary applications, and hearings.

Hopgood has worked with the Aboriginal Legal Service (ALS) for six years. She held various leadership positions at the ALS, including principal solicitor, justice projects, police and practice. Before her appointment to the bench, Hopgood was the acting principal legal officer responsible for the ALS NSW and ACT Legal Practices across criminal law, care and protection, family law, and civil law.

Herridge’s legal career started in England. He served as the head of a civil and family litigation department in a suburban London practice, where he also assisted with criminal advocacy and police representation matters. He eventually gained substantial experience, specialising in child protection. He has represented children and adults at all levels of the court, including the United Kingdom High Court.

Herridge returned to Australia in 2005. Since then, he has held various positions, including with the then Department of Community Services, now Department of Communities and Justice. Herridge also worked with the Hawkesbury Nepean Legal Centre. Shortly before he joined the bench, Herridge worked in private practice as a principal solicitor, specialising in children’s court care and protection proceedings.

The new magistrates will be sworn in early in June. They are among the 149 judicial officers in the jurisdiction serving 131 courthouses across the state.

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