Obituary — Neville Bird


Bar Roll Number: 1984

It is with deep regret that the Bar informs members of the death of Neville R Bird on 25 January 2024. 

Neville was admitted to practice in 1968 and signed the Bar roll in 1985. Immediately following his admission Neville joined a small legal practice in Portland, the heart of the Western District of Victoria. Shortly after he became a Partner and grew the firm into more than a lucrative practice. It was the heartbeat of the community through which he became the local trusted advisor. This was recognised professionally when he became the President of the Western District Law Association and the area’s representative on the Law Institute of Victoria. 

In 1985 he joined the Victorian Bar, and from the first day of the readers’ course, Neville thrived in the professional and personal bonds he formed. Formerly his practice was focused on workers compensation that gave way to a robust personal injury practice, grounded in his understanding of the life of busy solicitors and their needs. He was a frequent flyer of the Western District circuit, remaining connected to the intricacies of regional law and the community he built. Irrespective of the area of law, Neville considered himself a jury advocate, and was at his brightest weaving words that captured juries over decades of connection with people and the law. 

Personally, Neville was the definitive appreciator, of wine, art, books, politics, current affairs, theatre and most of all people. He was the first and last to offer hospitality to anyone who spent time with his legendary cohort on the 13th Floor. He was the entertainer and speech maker of many parties, always with a ready ear for a friend, colleague, or emerging legal mind.  His desire to celebrate was limitless and a rare few could keep pace. 

He is survived by his beloved and devoted wife Jayne, her daughter Sarah, his four children, Cameron, Emma, Andy and Megan, 9 grandchildren and his former wife Leonie. There will be a Memorial in coming weeks with details to follow.

(This obituary was provided to the Victorian Bar by Neville’s family and we publish it in accordance with his wishes).

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