Honouring a community leader

CBD resident and lawyer John Corcoran was on January 26 appointed as a member of the Order for Australia.

Mr Corcoran, who has been the chair of Russell Kennedy Lawyers on LaTrobe St since 2007 and partner since 1986, was recognised on Australia Day for his “significant service to the law, and to the legal profession, through a range of executive roles, and to the community”.

“They say it’s an honour, and it really is an honour to be recognised,” Mr Corcoran said.

Mr Corcoran has worked at Russell Kennedy Lawyers since 1982 and he and his wife moved into a Spring St apartment three years ago.

“I just love the life in the city,” he said. “Every night of the week is so vibrant. We live within walking distance to the gardens. You can walk to the theatre. Last night I walked to a function for Chinese New Year. The CBD is so much more exciting than it was when I started out as a lawyer.”

Mr Corcoran has had an impressive and extensive career in the law. He has held many positions including president and life member of the Law Institute of Victoria, president of the Law Council of Australia, councillor of the International Bar Association and director of Mercy Health.

Despite his many awards and achievements, Mr Corcoran remains humble in his recognition and says he’s accepting it on behalf of the people he has worked with.

“It’s not just for yourself – it’s for a whole lot of different people in your life,” he said.

“I’ve been fortunate to lead organisations like the Law Institute and the Law Council of Australia, but those organisations do so much for the community. Although there might be a president who’s the figurehead, there’s so much work done by so many for the betterment of our society, so you accept it for all of those people.”

Mr Corcoran lists heading up the law associations as career highlights.

“It’s really important that we have an independent legal profession, independent of government, particularly. It’s important that we have a body that is able to speak out on rule of law issues, promote the rule of law and speak out against any denials of access to justice,” he said.

“They do a lot of unsung work. They’ve got expert committees in every area of the law that assist the government write legislation and amend legislation and do things that are purely for the betterment of society.”

“I also have to give Russell Kennedy a big tick. They’ve allowed me to pursue all these extra interests which, in turn, has made me more passionate about my legal practice. It’s been a really great place to work.”

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