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LIV Legal Awards 2008


Cite as: (2008) 82(12) LIJ, p.22

LIV recognises shining stars of legal profession

Victorian lawyers have been recognised for their outstanding contribution to the profession and the general community at this year’s LIV Legal Awards.

LIV president Tony Burke said it was pleasing to recognise extraordinary lawyers who had demonstrated professional excellence and made outstanding contributions to the legal profession and general community.

“I would guess that for most legal practitioners, putting back into the community, whether it is through pro bono work, volunteering or joining community organisations or just sharing experiences, is the norm rather than the exception,” he said.

Mr Burke said the President’s Awards gave the LIV the opportunity to honour lawyers who have demonstrated professional excellence in legal practice and lawyers who have promoted or advanced the legal profession.

He also said it was a great privilege to be president of an organisation that had such a deeply entrenched and rich tradition of intellectual giving to the broader community and to participation in the important conversations of a civilised society.

The President’s Awards are one of the many award categories conferred under the annual LIV Legal Awards which recognise the contribution of lawyers in a range of categories and include the awarding of Honorary Life Memberships, Certificates of Service, Paul Baker Prize, Rogers Legal Writing Award and 50 Years in Legal Practice.

The President’s Awards categories are Access to Justice Award, Accredited Specialists Award, Community Lawyers’ Award, General Award, Government Lawyers’ Award, Legal Ethics Award, New Lawyers’ Award, Pro Bono Award, Regional Lawyers’ Award and from this year, the Mentor Award.

Major winners were former LIV president David Faram, who was made an honorary life member and Melbourne University Professor Tim McCormack, who received the Paul Baker Award for Administrative Law and Human Rights.

The prestigious Rogers Legal Writing Award was awarded to TressCox Lawyers partner Jason Newman for “Edukashonal negligence” (January/February 2008 LIJ, page 34).

More than 200 guests attended a special luncheon at Federation Square’s Zinc on 7 November.

A principal of the Shepparton-based firm Faram Ritchie Davies, Mr Faram said he was humbled by the award and said that in reality he “got far more from my association with the [LIV] than I believe the [LIV] has got from me”.

“The LIV gave me an association with a group of fantastic people that took me outside my square – it was challenging, intellectually stimulating, but most of all just great fun,” he said.

“As lawyers we have many opportunities to make a contribution to our community and we do so in many different ways – whether it be through local sporting clubs, manning legal services, staffing court duty solicitor schemes and providing pro bono services to the community.”

Mr Faram said his greatest achievements during his tenure as president were assisting the funding of legal aid and expanding the public profile and media image of the LIV.

Certificates of service, which are given to LIV members who have demonstrated professional excellence or made a special contribution to the legal profession, were awarded to four practitioners.

The legal profession also honoured 11 practitioners who have been LIV members for 50 years, nine of whom were in attendance.

The presentation ceremony and lunch was hosted by 3AW’s breakfast presenter and lawyer Ross Stevenson.

And the winners are ...

Awards recipients

Honorary Life Member

Faram Ritchie Davies partner David Faram

Access to Justice

Access Law principal solicitor Gabriel Kuek

Community Lawyers

Loddon Campaspe Community Legal Centre principal solicitor Peter Noble

Pro Bono

Baker & McKenzie pro bono partner Kenneth Gray

Accredited Specialists

McKean Park consultant lawyer David Brett

Government Lawyers

Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office Native Title managing principal solicitor Mary Scalzo

Regional Lawyers

Martin Irwin & Richards consultant John Irwin

Legal Ethics

Monash University associate professor in law Adrian Evans


Goddard Elliott partner Andrew Goddard


Maddens Lawyers partner Grenville Skewes

New Lawyers

Western Suburbs Legal Service solicitor Marika Dias

Paul Baker Award

Melbourne University Law School Professor Tim McCormack

Rogers Legal Writing Award

TressCox Lawyers partner Jason Newman

Certificates of Service

Retired Ballarat lawyer Peter Jacobs; McNamaras Lawyers principal Michael McNamara; Martin Irwin & Richards consultant Keith Richards; Stella Stuthridge & Associates principal Stella Stuthridge

50 Years in Legal Practice

William Blaire, Donald Cameron, Geoffrey Chambers, Marjory Coates, Imants Dizgalvis, Richard Hyett, Jane Jordan, Milan Kantor, Michael Kelly, Thomas Ryan and Bruce Wainwright

LIV legal Awards 2008

Honorary Life Member Award Winner

David Faram, Faram Ritchie Davies

David Faram was selected for this special award by the LIV Council for his significant contributions to the LIV which include his involvement in the Family Law and Criminal Law Sections, with the Goulburn Valley Law Association and with the LIV Council from 1999 to 2007.

During his time on the LIV Council, Mr Faram served as treasurer in 2000, as vice-president in 2001 and as president the following year, all while running a busy practice in Shepparton.

As only the second LIV country-based president, David brought a fresh perspective to two major issues: the long-running review of the Legal Practice Act 1996 and the provision of legal services to rural Victoria.

President’s Awards

Community Lawyers Winner
Peter Noble, Loddon CampaSPe Community Legal Centre (LCCLC) principal solicitor

In his work with the LCCLC and before that the Fitzroy Legal Service, Mr Noble has made an outstanding contribution to access to justice and the community legal sector. He was integral to the establishment of Victoria’s first specialist advocacy service for senior Victorians and guided important research into the legal needs of homeless people in the Loddon Campaspe region.

Pro bono Winner
Kenneth Gray, Baker & McKenzie pro bono partner

Mr Gray has been Pro Bono partner in Baker & McKenzie’s Melbourne office since 2002. He is the pro bono lawyer to the Peter MacCallum Foundation and the partner in charge of Baker & McKenzie’s Peter MacCallum Cancer Patients’ Legal Service, a first of its kind that provides pro bono legal services to cancer patients, run in partnership with the Peter MacCallum Cancer Institute.

Access to Justice Winner
Gabriel Kuek, Access Law principal solicitor

Admitted to practice in 1983, Mr Kuek has a long history of pro bono with some of the more marginalised sections of the community. He was a volunteer at the Springvale Legal Service for five years until 1987 and from 1984-1988 he worked for Victoria Legal Aid.
In 1989 he began practice on his own, which he built around the notion of “access to justice”.

Legal Ethics Winner
Adrian Evans, Monash University associate professor in law

Mr Evans has taught, practised law and consulted in a clinical legal education context for 20 years at La Trobe and Monash Universities, with teaching responsibilities in legal ethics. He has been a member of the LIV Ethics Liaison Group since it began in 2003 and is a bi-monthly author of the LIJ ethics column.

Government Lawyers Winner
Mary Scalzo, Victorian Government Solicitor’s Office (VGSO) Native Title managing principal solicitor

Before her career in the law, Ms Scalzo studied linguistics, and was recording local Aboriginal language at Victoria River Downs in the NT when the High Court handed down its Mabo decision. She spent four years at Phillips Fox as a solicitor before joining the VGSO in 2001.

Accredited Specialists Winner
David Brett, McKean Park consultant lawyer

Since 1996, Mr Brett has been the sole organiser of the Commercial Litigation Specialists study group. He commits a significant amount of his own time and resources to the LIV Accredited Specialists Scheme and gives other practitioners the benefit of his extensive experience in a wide range of commercial litigation matters.

Regional Lawyers’ Winner
John Irwin, Martin Irwin & Richards consultant

Exemplifying the important role lawyers play in the regional areas is the involvement of Mr Irwin in the Mildura community. A former partner of, and consultant to, Mildura law firm Martin Irwin & Richards, Mr Irwin is actively involved in the development of many major projects in the Sunraysia Mallee area.

Certificates of Service

Certificates of Service recipients McNamaras Lawyers principal Michael McNamara, Stella Stuthridge & Associates principal Stella Stuthridge, Martin Irwin & Richards consultant Keith Richards and retired Ballarat lawyer Peter Jacobs

Paul Baker Award Winner
Professor Tim McCormack, Melbourne University

This award is in recognition of the extensive contributions that Prof McCormack has made to human rights law.

Prof McCormack is the Foundation Australian Red Cross Professor of International Humanitarian Law at the Melbourne Law School. He was a national vice-president of Australian Red Cross from 1999-2002 and chaired the Australian Red Cross National Advisory Committee on International Humanitarian Law from 1994-2002. In 2001 he was awarded the Australian Red Cross Medal for outstanding volunteer service to the organisation. 

Prof McCormack has developed an international reputation for his scholarship in international humanitarian law and international criminal law. 

Mentor Winner
Grenville Skewes, Maddens Lawyers partner

Having practised in the Western District and more specifically at Maddens Lawyers for 44 years (as a partner for 38 years), Mr Skewes brings a wealth of experience and knowledge to his clients, support staff, peers and articled clerks. He has worked in property, wills and estates and probate for his entire professional life. He has contributed to the profession and his community but is distinguished by his unfailing willingness to be a mentor to his articled clerks, young lawyers at the firm and in the community, his fellow partners, senior associates and principals.

New Lawyer Winner
Marika Dias, Western Suburbs Legal Service solicitor

Ms Dias began her legal career as a paralegal at the Fitzroy Legal Service. She was admitted to practice in early 2004 and in that year joined the Brimbank Melton Community Legal Centre as a community lawyer. In 2006 she moved to the Western Suburbs Legal Service in the same role. She has been extremely active in the relatively new area of anti-terrorism laws.

General Winner
Andrew Goddard, Goddard Elliott partner

For more than three decades, Mr Goddard has been a leading family lawyer in the south-east suburbs. He was a founding member of the Family Law Specialisation Committee and founding president of the Eastern Suburbs Law Association in the late 1970s. He was a member of the LIV Council for about five years in the 1980s and for some years was the eastern suburbs representative on Council.


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