Vale his Honour Chester Keon-Cohen AM


Bar Roll No: 874

It is with deep regret that we inform members of the passing of His Honour Chester Keon-Cohen AM, who died on 9 March 2020 at the age of 78 years.

Family and friends are invited to attend the memorial service for Chester Keon-Cohen AM to be held at Emily Hill Farm, Beaconsfield-Emerald Road, Cnr Banks Creek Road. Thursday 19th March at 3pm.

Mr Keon-Cohen was born in 1941 in Melbourne.  Educated at Scotch College, he went on to Law School at Melbourne University, living at Trinity College.  He was a talented rower, representing Scotch College, Trinity College and the University, in the tradition of the previous two generations of his family.  He was well known for his great passion for playing golf throughout his life.

Mr Keon-Cohen graduated in law in 1964 and undertaking articles at Rodder Ballard and Vroland, being admitted to practise law in March 1966. He signed the Bar Roll in April 1969, reading in the chambers of Glen Waldron (who went on to become the Honourable Chief Judge of the County Court). 

Mr Keon-Cohen developed a large personal injuries practice, particularly on the Mildura and Ballarat circuits during the late seventies and eighties, with the firm conviction that cases were there to be settled, and golf courses were there to be played.

Mr Keon-Cohen was appointed to the County Court in August 1988.  He adjudicated in civil and criminal jurisdictions and was known for his firmness, but fairness, not fearing to speak out against improper practices in business or government alike.

Mr Keon-Cohen retired from the County Court in August 2001. He is remembered as hard-working, vigorous and enthusiastic.

Mr Keon-Cohen died at the family house at Pt Lonsdale after a year-long, and painful struggle with Motor-Neuron Disease for which there is no known cause, nor cure.  He made a courageous and very proper decision pursuant to the Voluntary Assisted Dying Act 2017 (Vic). He passed peacefully, with dignity and only after much consideration for his family and many friends.

The Bar offers our condolences to Mr Keon-Cohen’s friends and family, particularly his brother Dr Bryan Keon-Cohen AM QC, who is a member of our Bar.