Obituary & Celebration - Michael Adams QC



It is with deep regret that the Bar Council informs members of the death on 22 June of Michael Anthony Adams QC.  Michael was 68 (born 10 March 1949).

Michael Adams was educated at St Mary’s Primary School, St Gabriel’s Secondary College and Castlemaine High School. He joined the Criminal Law Branch of the Victorian Crown Solicitor’s Office in 1967; then the Office of Chief Parliamentary Counsel in 1970; he was Legal Assistant to Victorian Attorneys-General Sir George Reid QC and Vernon Wilcox QC; to the Standing Committee of Attorneys-General; and to the Victorian Delegation to the Constitutional Convention.

He completed the RMIT Council of Legal Education Articled Clerks Course and was awarded the Supreme Court Prize as the best student in his year in that Course. He was admitted to practice on 3 December 1973. He then served as Associate to the Honourable Sir Alistair Adam on the Victorian Supreme Court.  Michael came to the Bar, signed the Roll on 10 April 1975 and read with William Ormiston (later Judge of Appeal).

Following 10 years of general practice, he specialised in Public and Constitutional Law, Equity and Commercial Law in the Supreme, Federal & High Courts – later practising also extensively at VCAT. He had one Reader, Justin O’Bryan; and took Silk on 24 November 1992.

He served as Chief Magistrate of Victoria for more than four years, introducing significant innovative reforms and playing a major role in the design and building of the new Children’s Court; then resumed practice at the Bar in 2002.

Michael Adams served on the Victorian Bar Council and its Committees. He was on the Advisory Panel that established the Essoign; was a Founding Member & Director; sometime Chairman; Director of the Essoign Art Exhibitions; and honoured with Life Membership. In 1987, He drew the first Constitution of the Victorian Bar that replaced the “Counsel Rules”; and served on the Constitution Committee that finalised and implemented it.

He was an Independent Tutor in the RMIT Articled Clerks Course in Crime, Procedure, Equity and Executors & Trustees; lectured at Leo Cussen in Commercial Law; and taught in the Bar Readers Course.  

A Memorial Gathering and Celebration of Michael’s Life is to be held on Saturday 22 July 2017 at 12 noon at his home, Ashgrove, 82 Cabbage Tree Lane, Gisborne South.

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