Obituary — Arthur William Adams KC


Bar Roll No.: 750

It is with deep regret that the Bar informs members of the death of Arthur William Adams KC. Arthur attended Xavier College and then Melbourne University before signing the Bar Roll on 22 April 1965 and reading with the Honourable Kenneth Joseph Jenkinson.  He had five Readers, Timothy Doherty, William Calanchini, Reginald Egan, Grant Fraser and Kerry Clancy, and was appointed silk on 05 December 1995.

Arthur, who was affectionately known as the "Towering Inferno" had an extensive practise in Plaintiff's personal injuries, particularly on circuit.  He appeared in the County and Supreme Courts on the Geelong circuit for over 50 years.  For much of this time, he led Philip Misso (later Judge Misso of the County Court).  At his Honour's Welcome when Arthur was asked for some humorous anecdotes about his Honour, he responded ".. there are none, he wasn't allowed to be funny - that was my role".

Named the "Towering Inferno" in part because of his significant physical stature and in part because of his at times robust and passionate form of advocacy, he was one of the Bar's leading jury advocates for decades.

In 2015 he was named a Bar Legend which was a fitting recognition of his contribution to the Bar.  He was one of the great characters of the Bar, the likes of whom we are unlikely to see again.

He had  a life-long passion for rowing.  He was a member of the Mercantile Rowing Club for over 60 years and also a member of the Melbourne University Boat Club for a similar period.  He rowed Masters until the mid-2000's.

Arthur was also an enthusiastic cross-country skier and trout fisherman.

He will be dearly missed by his wife Alison (née Bennett); children Alice, Lilly and Arthur; and eight grandchildren. 

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