Billard Leece Partnership (BLP) recently completed the new $3 million courtrooms to accommodate the East Kilmore Class Action trial which stemmed from the Royal Commission into the Black Saturday bushfires.

Red heart eucalypt timber panels were re-used from the existing fit out and repurposed to suit the courtroom. The decision to reuse the timber was not solely based on sustainability but also for the aesthetic appearance of the grain.

A study was undertaken to establish how the timber could be redesigned to work in the courtroom and the existing form was bookend matched panels, refashioned into 100mm variegated timber strips.

The Supreme Court engaged BLP to assist in assessing the feasibility of a number of courtroom options for the East Kilmore Class Action trial and following a review and Suitability Report, a purpose fit out within a commercial space at William Street in Melbourne's CBD was selected.

The courtroom is one of the largest courtrooms in Victoria, and will be utilised for different jurisdictions, as a large flexible courtroom.

According to Maurice Blackburn which launched the class action, the trial is set to run for six to nine months, with more than 7500 claimants that are registered, seeking compensation for personal injury and losses that are expected to total into the hundreds of millions of dollars.