Vale – The Honourable Frank Saccardo QC


Bar Roll No: 1738

It is with deep regret that the Bar Council informs members of the death of the Honourable Frank Saccardo QC on 16 September 2021. 

Frank was born on 24 March 1955. Frank’s parents immigrated to Australia from Italy shortly before the outbreak of the Second World War. Frank’s education was initially undertaken at St Patrick’s College in East Melbourne. In year 8, when the closure of that school was announced, Frank transferred to Xavier College, Kew, where he completed the balance of his education.

Frank was an outstanding sportsman at school, excelling in rowing and Australian Rules Football. He continued his sporting activities subsequent to school being actively and successfully involved in rowing and the coaching of rowing at university at an elite level. 

As Frank said at his own welcome in respect of his school days:

“I would come home with report cards that said A for rowing, A for football and D for everything else.”

Fortunately for the legal community, Frank turned his mind more diligently to his studies in HSC, graduating with sufficient marks to undertake a law/commerce degree at the University of Melbourne.

Frank undertook his articles at Galbally and O’Bryan. Whilst Frank was officially articled to Frank Galbally, he worked primarily under the direction and supervision of Peter O’Bryan. 

Frank was admitted to practice in April 1979 and signed the Bar Roll in September 1982. He read with Dyson Hore-Lacy SC. When Dyson was interstate, Frank spent a large portion of his reading period with Peter Galbally QC. 

Frank joined Dever’s List and embarked upon a highly successful personal injury career as both a junior and subsequently senior counsel. He was appointed Senior Counsel on 30 November 2004 subsequently becoming Queens Counsel. 

He was a mentor to four readers, Ms Amber Harris, Ms Niki Wilson, Mr Robert Harper and Dr Sharon Keeling. 

Frank specialised in cases involving medical negligence. Such was the level of his expertise and demand for his services that the vast majority of medical negligence cases in Victoria, particularly obstetric cases, were conducted by him, predominantly on behalf of the plaintiff. 

Frank was appointed a judge of the County Court on 2 February 2009.

Unfortunately, in 2019 Frank was diagnosed with MND. He faced the diagnosis and the consequences of that diagnosis with courage and stoicism. Typically, he was not concerned for himself nor bitter about the fact that he had been affected by this dreadful disease. Rather, his concern was for the impact that these events would have on others, most importantly his wife Jill and his children, Nadia, William, Alexander and his only grandson, Francesco, to all of whom he was entirely devoted.

This was an approach that exemplified Frank as a person. It typified the way in which he practised at the Bar, his career on the Bench, and the way in which he led his life generally.  His concern for others was always paramount in his thoughts and in his actions.

He will be sorely missed by all members of the Bench and Bar.

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