Liv Honours Leaders In The Legal Profession

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5th November 2010, 05:54pm - Views: 2080

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Friday 5 November 2010


Lawyers who have shown exceptional commitment to victims of sexual abuse, police

misconduct, human rights abuses and people with disabilities are among those recognised in

the LIV Legal Awards 2010 presented today.

And twice-former President of the LIV, Geoff Provis, has been honoured with Life Membership. 

LIV President Steven Stevens said there was a common theme amongst award recipients –

they gave freely of their time and expertise to others.

“These awards recognise the outstanding achievements of legal professionals over the past

year. I am impressed by the breadth of talent and depth of compassion demonstrated by these

leaders amongst our 14,000 lawyers,” Mr Stevens said.

Honorary Life Membership Award: Geoff Provis - Russell Kennedy


Geoff has worked in banking, insurance and injury litigation acting for plaintiffs and defendants. 

He has represented government departments and employees in a variety of disputes including

public liability and occupational health and safety matters. Geoff is also a trained mediator.

Geoff has been a representative on the Law Council of Australia, involved in national legal

issues including Legal Aid Funding, a national structure for the legal profession, human rights

and flexible legal business structures. He was an LIV Council member between 1990 and 2008.

Paul Baker Award:

Phillip Lynch -  Human Rights Law Resource


Phil has been Executive Director and Principal Solicitor of the Human Rights Law Resource

Centre since 2006 and was the founding Coordinator of the PILCH Homeless Persons’ Legal

Clinic.  Phil is on the Federal Government’s Human Rights Grants Scheme Expert Panel, and is

a member of the Victorian Attorney-General’s Human Rights Leadership Forum. He has also

worked as a commercial litigator.

LIV President’s Awards 2010

Access to Justice Award : Paul Holdway - Lewis Holdway Lawyers

Paul has a high level of expertise in insolvency and general commercial litigation. He


devoted countless hours to the assistance of victims of sexual abuse to achieve justice. Paul’s

work in this area is predominantly pro bono . Paul has continued to work tirelessly to promote

justice for people who have been injured and psychologically

damaged and is an outstanding

contributor to the community.

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Accredited Specialist Award: Roger Batrouney - Slater & Gordon

Roger is a member and former Chair of the LIV Specialisation Board. He also holds Specialist

Accreditation in Mediation and Environmental, Planning & Local Government Law. He served

as an inaugural member of the Environmental, Planning & Local Government Law Advisory

Committee. Roger has been a great supporter of the Specialist Accreditation scheme since its

inception 20 years ago. He

recognized the benefits for solicitors in improving their skills, their

contacts and their standing within the profession and with clients and has encouraged many

lawyers to become specialists.  

Community Lawyer Award: Tamar Hopkins - Flemington and Kensington CLC

Tamar is the Principal Solicitor at the Flemington and Kensington Community Legal Centre and

is a leading practitioner in the areas of policing and human rights. She is committed to victims of

police ill-treatment, and demonstrated innovation in case work, research, community education,

policy and law reform.

General Award: Dan Simmonds - Harwood Andrews

Dan is a director and managing principal of Harwood Andrews. He is an outstanding practitioner

with a deep commitment to access to justice. He was central to the establishment of the

Homeless Persons’ Legal Clinic at Geelong where he also volunteers. Dan, a former president

of the Geelong Law Association, holds several community positions.

Managing Partner Award: John Denton - Corrs Chambers Westgarth 

AS CEO, John has implemented a change agenda.

He began with a focus on tighter financial

controls and more effective business practices. It saw Corrs Chambers Westgarth move into a

position of financial strength. From there, the firm was redefined, focusing on quality and

commerciality ahead of size. ‘Making Business Sense’ became its new mantra. A range of new

initiatives saw revenue increase by 13 per cent for the 2009 financial year. 

Government Lawyer Award: Phil Grano - Office of the Public Advocate

Phil was honoured with a Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) in the 2010 Queen’s Birthday

List for service to people with disabilities through advocacy organisations, and to the law. He

has worked at Villamanta Disability Rights Legal Service and

at the OPA as principal legal

officer since 2002. As well as contributing to disability advocacy groups, Phil is the chair of the

LIV’s Elder Law Section,

a member of the Administrative Law and Human Rights Section's

executive and Disability Law Committees.

Legal Ethics Award: Gordon Lewis, former County Court Judge

His Honour Gordon Lewis AM, was appointed to the bench in 1990 and retired in 2004. He is

also the deputy chair of the Victorian Commission for Gambling Regulation.

Judge Lewis’ passion for ethics and the law continues with

his willingness to present on the

topic of ethics to senior and junior practitioners alike.

Green Initiatives of the Year Award: Melanie Szydzik - Victorian Bar

Melanie is Vice President of the LIV’s Young Lawyers’ Section and is co-Chair of the

Community Issues Committee of the YLS.  She is Treasurer of the International Commission of

Jurists, Chair of the Green Practice Project and founder of the Australian Legal Sector Alliance 

(“AusLSA”) which provides a coordinated approach to sustainability.

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Mentor Award: Kay Martin - Martin, Irwin and Richards – Mildura

A senior consultant, Kay practices in Family Law, Commercial Law and Local Government and 

oversees the firm’s education program. She provides advice to the firm’s lawyers on particular

issues and how careers can be developed.

New Lawyers’ Award: Daniel Webb - Victoria Legal Aid

In his first year of legal practice, Dan has run complex and significant public interest litigation,

including two Charter of Human Rights test cases in the Supreme Court. Before doing his

Articles at VLA in 2008, Dan volunteered at the Cambodian Centre for Human Rights in Phnom

Penh, Transparency International in Port Moresby (PNG) and Cape York Land Council in



is in

Kiribati on a 12 month Lawyers Beyond Borders/Australian Volunteers

International role as the Kiribati Peoples’ lawyer.

Pro Bono Award: Craig Delphine - Superpartners

Craig volunteered at the HIV/AIDS Legal Centre (HALC) for two years, combining a passion for


disadvantaged clients with technical acumen. He

brought a wealth of corporate

experience in superannuation to the volunteer work, enabling clients to access funds to support

themselves after leaving their jobs due to illness. He also drafted wills and advised on probate.

Regional Lawyer Award: John Adams -

Dawes and Vary, Kyabram

Goulburn Valley legal icon John Adams is a solicitor of impeachable integrity whose enthusiasm

for the law is undimmed after 50 years’ service. He has helped thousands of clients, mentored

many lawyers and contributed significantly to the development of Water Law in Victoria.

Roger’s Legal Writing Award: Anthony Burke and Sam Coupland

Anthony Burke is a principal of Burke & Associates Lawyers Pty Ltd and Sam Coupland is a

principal of FMRC Legal. Their article “So tell me, what’s your plan? Succession issues for

small practices” appeared in the August 2009 LIJ. 

Certificate of Service:

Certificates of Service for contribution to the LIV, the legal profession and the wider community

were also awarded to:

Bruce Paterson, Senior Legal Policy Officer Department of Justice

Vanessa Twigg, Assistant Director Office of Police Integrity

Verna Cook, Principal Verna A Cook.

For further information about the winners or photos contact Kerry O’Shea, Public Affairs

Manager Ph: 03 9607 9373,  0401 107 103,

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