Vale – Michael James Ruddle


Bar Roll No: 961

It is with deep regret that the Bar Council informs members of the death of Michael Ruddle on 20 March 2021, one day before his 80th birthday.

Michael, known as Mick, was educated at St Kevin’s College, Toorak. After completing school, he studied law at the University of Melbourne. Michael completed his articles in Wangaratta and was admitted to practice on 1 March 1968. After articles he returned to Melbourne and practised as a solicitor for a short time with Ellison Hewison & Whitehead (now Minter Ellison).

Michael came to the Bar in July 1971 where he read with the Honourable Norman O’Bryan QC.

Michael established a practice in common law and compensation law. Michael was very much the plaintiff’s champion and worked hard to secure the best possible result for his clients.  He was a very clever barrister, who is remembered as a worthy opponent and a true gentleman.

Michael formally mentored three readers: Michael Scarfo, Timothy Ryan and Kenneth Billing. He informally mentored many more, always making himself available to junior members of the Bar with sage advice on the law, case strategy and dealings with the Court and opponents.

Michael served on a number of committees, including the Personal Injuries Bar Association and the Common Law Bar Association. Michael was appointed an accredited mediator on 12 August 2008.

Michael enjoyed his life at the Bar very much and he enjoyed the company of fellow barristers.  He was a great supporter of the Essoign Club and was an excellent lunch companion. Michael had a good sense of humour and a great love of life. Mick will be greatly missed by his many friends at the Bar.

Deepest sympathies are extended to Michael’s family.  His wife Dimity (Dec 2011) was his  one true love.  He was devoted to her and spoke lovingly about her often.  Michael is survived by their sons, Campbell and Fergus and their two grandchildren, two of his sisters and his brother James Ruddle (formerly Deputy Victorian Government Solicitor) and his niece Elizabeth Ruddle SC (Senior Crown Prosecutor).

A private funeral will be conducted with a memorial to celebrate Mick’s life after Easter.

News Category: