From working in a fish’n’chip shop to becoming Queensland’s newest District Court Judge, His Honour Judge Nicholas Andreatidis KC is renowned for his work ethic and welcoming manner.
Judge Andreatidis KC was warmly welcomed to the bench this morning by a large crowd, who heard about his strong family ties, colourful personality and contributions to the legal profession in Queensland.
Judges from Maryborough, Townsville, Rockhampton, Ipswich, Beenleigh, Southport, Mackay and Toowoomba attended the welcome ceremony at the Banco Court.
Judge Andreatidis thanked all those who had travelled to Brisbane, saying he “was overwhelmed by the warmth and assistance” and was “deeply moved” by the confidence shown in him.
Chief Judge Brian Devereaux SC welcomed the guests, who included family and friends, saying his Honour “enriches the court” and had “a winning combination of demonstrated intelligence and capacity for work, and was held in high regard”.
“He is a fine lawyer with keen interpersonal skills.”
Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Yvette D’Ath congratulated Judge Andreatidis on his appointment and shared that he is “an unabashed fan of formula one” and “displayed some of the attributes of world champion drivers”.
Minister D’Ath said Judge Andreatidis’ time in the fish’n’chip shop had helped to teach him time management, and to balance work and study.
“You wanted to be a lawyer from the age of eight or nine,” she said. “You accompanied your father to a solicitor’s office and were impressed by the respect your dad showed the lawyer.”
Minister D’Ath also shared an anecdote about Judge Andreatidis’ love for coffee. During a trip to Mexico, he ordered coffee in Spanish so well that the locals thought he was fluent. They would try to continue conversations in the local language, only to hear a “nah mate”.
She also mentioned that he had appeared at several high-profile inquiries, including the Robodebt Royal Commission; Queensland’s Grantham Floods Inquiry; the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Violence, Abuse, Neglect and Exploitation of People with Disability; and the Paradise Dam Commission of Inquiry.
Judge Andreatidis has also served on the Queensland Bar Association council since 2017, been chair of the New Bar Committee since 2019 and the association’s director representative on the Law Council of Australia since 2021.
President of the Queensland Bar Association Damien O’Brien KC said Judge Andreatidis was “a giver not a taker” and had been a mentor to many, as well as holding positions on legal committees and charities.
“There is always a smile on your face and, care and concern in your manner,” Mr O’Brien said.
“You are not perfect though, and there has been an uncomfortable moment or two as you go for a hug rather than the traditional handshake.”
QLS President Chloé Kopilović said his Honour was called to the bar in 2003 and had taken silk in 2018.
“This fusion of experience will stand your Honour in good stead in this new role,” she said. “But there is more to this story, and your Honour, there is quite a road to this point.
“I note you are one of four children of Greek migrant parents from a small village in Kythera in southern Greece known as Fratsea.
“Your Honour’s parents, Costa and Froso, were not able to finish school due to conflicts in Europe and they had both lost family at an early age.
“But knowing the value of education, your Honour’s parents, I am told were focused on their four children obtaining a solid education, which is common among migrant families.
“With that support, Your Honour and your three siblings, Nina, Chrissy and Dimitri each obtained university education and have experienced successful careers in their chosen fields.
“There is no doubt this is a day for celebration. I am confident you bring to this role your renown legal acumen but also compassion for those seeking the aid of the court as well as for their legal representatives.”
Judge Andreatidis acknowledged the sacrifices his parents had made moving to Australia in the early 1920s – “not speaking a word of English and only with a handful of family members here”.
“They came from a very poor background and were orphaned very young,” he said. “They gave up everything for us. They knew it would be miserable and hard, and the road would be difficult but they did it for the benefit of the children.”
His Honour said he had been enjoying his time on the bench from his appointment on 26 May, and spoke with fondness of his time as a barrister.
“It was fabulous to stand up for the first time behind the bar president, as you have done today,” he said.
“Even on the worst days, it’s absolutely fun. The first few weeks on the bench have been fun. I wish you all you a fab and groovy day.”