Introducing Garry Barnsley – published author of legal templates


Garry Barnsley, OAM LLB practised law at Bowral in the NSW Southern Highlands for 40 years. He retired from legal practice in 2011.


The quality of his advice, from a broad base of legal knowledge and life experience, gained him a reputation among his clients for soundness and practicality.


Mr Barnsley has long championed the avoidance of legalese in letters and documents. Instead, he uses ‘plain language’ for clarity and understanding.


In 1993 he was commissioned by the Law Society of NSW to be the primary draftsman of a new Law Society lease, the first of its kind to be written in

plain-language style.


Today, the prototype Law Society Lease, from which later forms have emerged, remains the template for the most widely used business leases in NSW.


A prolific writer on topical legal issues, Mr Barnsley’s informative columns and articles have appeared regularly in newspapers, bulletins and journals.


His first book – a groundbreaking collection of plain-language templates for use by lawyers in land title transactions – was published in 2000 by Federation Press. The book has completely sold out and surviving copies are tightly held.


He then published two more books of legal templates – on powers of attorney and on the use of a caveat to protect a buyer’s interest between contract and completion.


All these publications sought to improve the legal profession’s access to practical tools for efficiency and thoroughness.







Garry Barnsley’s published works:


  • Letters for Lawyers – Conveyancing Federation Press  (2000)
  • Letters for Lawyers – Powers of Attorney (2004)
  • Letters for Lawyers – Caveats for buyers after Black v Garnock (2009)



Significant papers and presentations:


  • (1994) The Law for Retail Shop Leases in NSW.

                  The Law Society Lease – What it says and how it deals with the

                   Retail Leases Act 1994 .

  • (2004) The Country Lawyer as Adviser – A Premium Brand

                   (Law Society of NSW Rural Issues Conference)

  • (2006) Ten Top Tips from Best Practice Lawyers

            (NSW State Legal Conference)

  • (2011) An Irreverent Look at Some Modern Law Office

                   Management Practices

                   (The Armidale Law Conference)


Honours and awards:


  • (2000) Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM)

                    for services to the community of the Southern Highlands.

  • (2001) Centenary Medal

                    for services to Australian society.

  • (1999) Life Member, The Bradman Foundation.
  • (2013) Life member, Law Society of New South Wales