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Welcome Justice Emilios Kyrou


Cite as: (2008) 82(7) LIJ, p. 37

Justice Emilios Kyrou was welcomed to the Supreme Court at a ceremony on 22 May. Among the speakers was LIV immediate past president Geoff Provis. This is an edited version of his speech.

I well remember attending the welcome of the last solicitor appointed to the Bench directly from the ranks of solicitors, Mr Justice Teague. It’s been a long time between drinks.

I won’t say “this culmination of your professional career”, because I’m sure that’s yet to come in your service as a judge – this culmination to date.

What a story – of an eight and a half-year-old coming to Australia without a word of English and achieving all you have at school, university, and as a solicitor – and in your family and community – and now you take your place as a judge of this Court.

And all of the solicitors appointed to the Court have roots in the firm that is now Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

You served articles with John Wilkin at Corrs. You were at Corrs for more than seven years – a partner for more than two of those years.

The decision whether to accept the Mallesons’ offer of a lateral move with partnership there was difficult because you genuinely liked Corrs.

On the other hand, you now have your beautiful house in East Malvern; you’ve done extensive renovations; and now, even with two children still in private schools, you’ve been able to take on appointment on a judicial salary.

Justice Teague served his articles at Corrs and was a partner there for some 25 years.

Justice Balmford served her articles at Whiting & Byrne and was admitted to partnership there – and that firm became part of Corrs Pavey Whiting & Byrne – later Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Mr Riordan spoke of the publication in 1985 of the first edition of Lewis and Kyrou, Handy Hints on Legal Practice.

1985 was only one year after your April 1984 admission to practice. You published Handy Hints on Legal Practice that year and also what later became Kyrou and Pizer, Victorian Administrative Lawlooseleaf service. You were sole editor of that for some 13 years (1985-93) and joint editor for another three years (1998-2001).

You were a leader in administrative law, FOI, legal professional privilege, directors’ and officers’ insurance, professional negligence, document retention, and professional ethics and discipline.

Beyond that, you practised in wide and diverse areas of law.

Needless to say, your Honour had the carriage of many prominent reported cases in your 23 years as a litigator.

No matter how busy, you have always made time for people. You made time to encourage and support, in particular, young solicitors. You took the time and trouble genuinely to engage with them, and patiently to guide them through analysis at their own pace.

You took your first articled clerk at Mallesons in 1992. Since then, you have taken 13 articled clerks.

You also saw all the firm’s articled clerks on their rotations through the Dispute Resolution Group.

And you singled out particular young solicitors to work with you on particular cases – and to co-author papers with you.

Thus, for example, you selected Melissa Daley (now Master Daley of this Court) to work with you in a major case in which you represented three LIV employees under personal and professional attack by the Legal Ombudsman – testing the limits of the Ombudsman’s powers. You took her from other commitments to work with you and counsel including, from time to time, James Merralls QC, Allan Myers QC and Robin Brett QC.

You also made time for good works. You were heavily involved in committee work for the LIV and the Law Council of Australia. For example, in 1998 you won the Paul Baker Award for your outstanding commitment to administrative law and on that committee. You chaired the Mallesons Charities Committee and worked on the Pro Bono Committee.

Externally, for example, you served some eight years on the board of the Royal Women’s Hospital and, since admission, have worked for various Greek community groups.

On behalf of the LIV, and the solicitors of this state, I wish your Honour long and satisfying and distinguished service as a judge of this Court.


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