Peter Redlich AO
13 June 1936 – 3 January 2013
When Peter Redlich founded Holding Redlich, he began with a vision – to make high quality legal services available to all members of our community, from government and the biggest corporation to the humblest worker. His vision was rooted in his utter conviction that social justice is a precondition to a good and civilised society and that lawyers bear much of the responsibility for making our society fair.
Peter worked tirelessly for nearly 40 years to bring his vision to life. Peter was always full of ideas in pursuit of his vision. He often said that “chance is worth a thousand plans” and many of his ideas came from chance meetings or Peter seeing an opportunity before anyone else.
Although Peter was dedicated to the firm, he was a man of many other parts. As President and past-President of the Victorian branch of the ALP he was influential in both State and Federal politics. He was a mentor and informal adviser to a number of politicians, both those who had achieved senior positions and those starting out on their careers.
Peter also had a strong and enduring relationship with the union movement, particularly with ACTU Secretaries Bob Hawke and Bill Kelty and ACTU President Simon Crean. Many union officials still speak admiringly of Peter’s passionate and no-holds barred advocacy of their members’ claims.
Peter also had time to be, at various times, Chair of the Victorian Arts Centre, the TAB and Film Victoria, a director of the Australian Industry Development Corporation and Telstra and a member of the Monash University Council. He was made an AO for his services to the law, politics and the community – an appointment of which he rightfully was very proud.
Peter’s death will leave a big hole. But the firm he created, and the values he has instilled in everyone he worked with, will live on as a living and lasting monument to his rich life and determination to help build a better and fairer society.
Click here to read Peter's obituary, published in The Age on Wednesday, 30 January.