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Victorian Legal Awards honour profession’s best

Victorian Legal Awards honour profession’s best

By Contact: Karen Michael, Media Advisor Phone: 03 9607 9597 Email:



Outstanding achievements in the legal profession have been recognised through the presentation of 18 awards at the Victorian Legal Awards gala dinner.

The event on Friday night was the Law Institute of Victoria’s annual public recognition of the work of outstanding lawyers.

LIV President Stuart Webb presented the awards.

“We proudly celebrate our high achieving solicitor colleagues who have toiled long and hard on behalf of their clients,” he said.

“As president I am privileged to meet and talk to incredible lawyers doing incredible things.”

The Access to Justice Award was won by Gerard Brody, CEO of Consumer Action Law Centre. The Centre supported 5 clients to give evidence at the Royal Commission into Banking Misconduct. It also made significant policy submissions about law reform to assist with redress for those who lost money.

The Rising Star Award, sponsored by Lex Medicus, recognises the achievements of early career lawyers. There were 10 finalists and the winner was Blake Connell, a solicitor at Herbert Smith Freehills. Mr Connell is passionate about designing, building and implementing legal software solutions.

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers took out the Large Law Firm of the Year Award. Keypoint Law won the Medium Law Firm of the Year Award. Keypoint used a series of innovations to respond to entrenched problems in the legal profession, such as the attrition of women from law, the marginalisation of older lawyers and a fixation with financial metrics.

Boutique Law Firm of the Year Award went to Fortitude Legal, a personal injury law firm which uses innovative initiatives such as cloud-based systems to overcome geographical challenges presented by regional practice.

The Legal Reporting Award was won by Anthony Dowsley from the Herald Sun for his work on the Lawyer X scandal and his probe into the investigation of the murders of police officers Silk and Miller.

The Mentor of the Year Award was won by Judge Martine Marich of the County Court. Her Honour has supported the development of young lawyers through her role as lecturer at Monash University’s Faculty of Law. She was also recognised for her work the LIV committee which oversees the curriculum for criminal law specialisation.

We would like to thank our major sponsor of this event, legalsuper.


Full List of Award Winners


1. Access to Justice Award 

Consumer Law Action Law Centre 


2. Accredited Specialist Achievement Award

Catherine Brooks, Law Squared; AND Dennis Liner


3. Community Lawyer or Organisation of the Year Award

LGBTIQ Legal Service - St Kilda Legal Service


4. Government Lawyer of the Year Award

Chris Stafford, Legal and Governance Division, Department of Environment, Land, Water and Planning Office


5. In-house Counsel of the Year Award

Freyja McCarthy, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman


6. Innovation Award

Polaris Lawyers


7. Boutique Law Firm of the Year Award Sponsored by Clarence, Workplaces for Lawyers

Fortitude Legal


8. Medium Law Firm of the Year Award

Keypoint Law


9. Large Law Firm of the Year Award Sponsored By Macquarie Bank

Maurice Blackburn Lawyers


10. Law Student of the Year Award

Beau Arnfield, Deakin Law School and

Khashie Tilak Ramesh, La Trobe University


11. Legal Reporting Award

Anthony Dowsley, Herald Sun


12. Mentor of the Year Award

Her Hon. Judge Marich, County Court Victoria


13. Regional Lawyer of the Year Award

Jacqui Brauman, TBA Law


14. Suburban Lawyer of the Year Award

David Davis, David Davis & Associates


15. Top 10 Rising Stars of the Year Award, Sponsored by Lex Medicus

Blake Connell


16. Well Being Award sponsored By legalsuper

Rankin Business Lawyers


17. The Paul Baker Award

Merys Williams, County Court of Victoria


18. The Rogers Legal Writing Award

Tom Burgoyne, Fortitude Legal for his article “Cyclists Beware”


19.Certicates of Service

Adam Wakeling

David McKenzie

Erica Contini

Fabian Horton

Frank Lynch

Hubert Algie

Jamie Bedelis

John Spender

Joseph Monaghan

Josh Taaffe

Lily Tell

Louise Dorian

Malwina Peacock

Maria Kourtis

Melinda Walker

Michael Morrow

Patrick McQuillen

Paul Ryan

Reto Hofman


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