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Vale Patrick Lim

Patrick Lim was President of the Eastern Suburbs Law Society in 2007, 2008, and 2009. At each dinner seminar, he greeted us all with a joke. He stood at the lectern, steadily delivered each line slowly and purposefully whilst the room fell quiet. When the punch line was complete, his lips curled up at each corner as his audience chuckled and he allowed himself to enjoy the relaxed atmosphere he had created.

At the conclusion of his Presidency, Patrick continued his service to our Law Society as a committee member and as its Treasurer from 2012 to 2017. He was also a founding member of both our Family Law Practice Group and our Probate & Conveyancing Practice Group. Patrick undertook so much quiet work for our law society, his colleagues, and the profession at large, that he was awarded life membership of ESLS.

Patrick spent his entire legal career working as a private practitioner in the Eastern Suburbs. He attended university at UNSW, graduating in 1984. He worked at Giles Payne & Co Lawyers from 1986 until 1995, where he was made a Partner of the firm. In 1995, Patrick commenced his own own practice, Patrick Lim & Associates, which he operated until his retirement due to ill health in 2019. The firm was opened in Maroubra, before relocating to the then new Eastgardens Office Tower. Patrick enjoyed having his own firm. His incorruptible disposition and organised, calm, and diligent nature made him an excellent leader. He prized being able to make himself available for his family – to attend parent/teacher interviews and the like.

Patrick had a strong sense of vocation to the Law. He obtained his Accredited Specialisation in Family Law. He was generous in sharing his time and his knowledge with his colleagues – writing articles for the Law Society Journal and reaching out to colleagues when they needed help. His clients felt safe when they were in his hands. His approach to the Law was an extension of his approach to the community. He was a member of the Rotary Club of Maroubra, serving as President in 2004, 2005, 2016, and 2017, and as Secretary from 2013 to 2016. In this capacity, he spearheaded the establishment of the Rotary Police Awards.

Patrick enjoyed teaching and guiding newcomers to the profession. He was a mentor to many, including me. He established a law firm that functioned as a family. He was patient and kind and his door was always open. He led by example, and had a willingness to entrust his employees with responsibility, whilst also ensuring they felt protected. He knew his employees as human beings, and took joy and in their personal successes.

For birthdays and Christmases, Patrick hand-wrote each of his employees lengthy and thoughtful cards, complimenting them on their growth an achievements. When I commenced my own practice, three years after I had finished working for Patrick, he visited me at my new office to congratulate me. He handed me a card in which he had written: “…There will doubtless be many challenges and crises but they will only be as daunting as you allow…”. Words as wise as his always were.

Patrick passed away on 22 January 2020, after receiving a heart transplant which had only short lived success. He was 58. He is survived by his wife Agnes, and children Brendan and Eilise, who wish to raise awareness of the importance of blood and organ donation and the life-changing impact that such donations can have on recipients. Patrick’s legacy in the Law lives on through those whom he taught, and his friends in the Eastern Suburbs Law Society.

Jennifer Croker


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