The Queensland legal community has lost a highly regarded and valued member with the passing of barrister Stephen Fynes-Clinton.
Stephen’s role in the Planning and Environment Court and the Land Court is the work for which he is most likely to be recognised by members of the profession. Author of loose-leaf services on local government, planning and environmental protection law in Queensland for more than half of his professional life, his works provided the first port of call for legal practitioners and councils alike in addressing matters relating to the work of local government.
Before being called to the Bar, Stephen was a successful solicitor and partner at King and Co.
He was the principal legal advisor to the Local Government Association of Queensland in three of its major businesses, those related to procurement, mutual liability and self-insurance. He was a board member of two of these businesses for over 15 years.
From Cedric Hampson Chambers in Brisbane, his admission having been moved by the late Cedric Hampson QC in 2003, perhaps his favorite role as a lawyer was that of pro bono advocate of the only death row defendants in recent times in Queensland – dogs facing the ultimate consequence.
This was a task he took to with absolute commitment, determined to obtain a reprieve for, and the ultimate release of, his canine clients. It was at the same time both the most serious to Stephen, and the lighter, side of his practice as a barrister.
It would be easy to set out a list of Stephen’s achievements in his practice of law as a way of giving recognition to his life. But to do so would be to overlook the attributes he valued most.
A man of the highest standards of integrity in both his legal and personal life, he possessed a strong moral compass. He maintained a balanced and keen sense of humour. He tried not to take life at the Bar too seriously.
To Stephen, his relationship with his family was a matter of the utmost importance. As the eldest of four, he took great pride in the achievements of his siblings and was deeply fond of his nephews and nieces.
Stephen also maintained the firm friendship ties he developed at school, university and at work. He was the staunchest of defenders of his friends.
Away from the Bar he was a keen traveller and enthusiastic snow skier, who also had a deep-seated interest in fast cars and music.
Stephen’s achievements will survive him and provide a legacy of which he would have been rightly proud. Stephen will be missed.
– Brett Codd, Barrister-at-Law