Obituary & Service - Brian William Collis QC



It is with deep regret that the Bar Council informs members of the death last Thursday 29 March 2018 of Brian William Collis QC. Brian was 74 (born 8 October 1943 in Foster). 

A Memorial Service will be held next Thursday 12 April 2018 at 2 pm at the Catholic Church of St Thomas More, 313 Canadian Bay Road, Mt Eliza.

Brian’s secondary education was at St Joseph’s College, Geelong, from which his nickname “Stick” followed him to Newman College – thence to the Bar. He was a resident student at Newman for the four years of his Law course. He was an outstanding tennis player and represented the College in Tennis, Athletics and in the First XVIII.

He graduated in Law from the University of Melbourne and served Articles with Alexander Grant Dickson & King. He was admitted to practice in April 1967 and remained with the firm as a Solicitor for a year, signing the Bar Roll in March 1968. He read with Haddon Storey (later The Honourable Haddon Storey AM QC, Attorney-General for Victoria in the Hamer government).

Brian practised in Common Law; and had considerable experience also in Administrative Law, Criminal Law, Commercial Law and Insurance Law. For decades, he was a force on the Sale Circuit of the Supreme and County Courts and was a noted bon vivant. He was a founding member and long-time Head of Seabrook Chambers.

He was accredited as a Mediator under the Victorian Bar Scheme in July 1995 and under the National Scheme in July 2008 upon its establishment. He had eight Readers. He took Silk in 1992. His article on Exemplary Damages: The Australian Experience was published in the Australian Law Journal; articles on passive smoking and hearsay evidence were published in the Law Institute Journal.

Brian was Chairman of the Victorian Football Association Football Tribunal for 16 years (1978-93); a Member of the Australian Football League Tribunal for some 9 years (7 of those as Chairman) (1996-2004). Since 2005, he has been Vice-Chairman of the Australian Football League Appeals Board. He is a Life Member of AFL Victoria.

His outstanding service to Australian Rules Football was recognised by the award, in 2001, of the Australian Sports Medal.

Brian has been a Member of the Court of Arbitration for Sport since 2004. He was an Appeals Consultant for the Australian Olympic Committee in relation to disputed team selections in 2004, 2006, 2008 and 2012. He was Chairman of the Anti-Corruption Commission for the Australian Tennis Open in 2008; and Advisor to Tennis Australia for the Davis Cup Competition and Chairman of the Tennis Australia Disciplinary Tribunals in 2009.

He was the foundation Governor-in-Council appointment as Chairman of the Harness Racing Victoria, Racing Appeals & Disciplinary Board in March 2010; then served as transitional Deputy Chair from March 2017 until 1 January 2018.



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