University of Sydney: Honorary Fellowship awarded to distinguished lawyer

Adjunct Professor Richard Fisher AM, former University General Counsel, has been awarded the title of Honorary Fellow of the University.
Adjunct Professor Richard Fisher AM was conferred as an Honorary Fellow of the University in a ceremony last week, presided over by the University’s Deputy Chancellor, Richard Freudenstein.

Before his retirement in late 2021, Professor Fisher was the University’s General Counsel for over 15 years, as well as an Adjunct Professor in the University’s Law School, where he lectured and supervised undergraduate and postgraduate law students.

A distinguished lawyer, Professor Fisher has expertise in commercial law, focusing specifically on insolvency and corporate reorganisation, for which he was awarded a Member of the Order of Australia in 2007. Before taking up the General Counsel role he was a Partner – and Chairman of Partners – at Blake Dawson (now Ashurst), one of Australia’s leading law firms. He has held directorships at Sydney Water and InvoCare, been a consultant for the Asian Development Bank, a commissioner at the Australian Law Reform Commission, and a member of the Library Council of New South Wales.

Since joining the University over a decade ago, Professor Fisher has built the University’s legal team from a single solicitor to the larger Office of the General Counsel, which is widely regarded as one of the public sector’s best in-house legal teams. Today, the University’s legal team has significant capabilities across areas such as labour law and industrial relations, trusts, construction and property law, intellectual property, policy documentation and commercial law – meaning much more legal work can be completed in house.

“Professor Fisher has made an immense contribution to the University in his role as General Counsel over the last decade and a half,” Deputy Chancellor Freudenstein said.

“Not only has he transformed the way the University conducts legal services work, he has also built a highly-regarded, comprehensive in-house legal team from the bottom up.”

In addition to his legal responsibilities, Professor Fisher has helped establish the University’s Trust office and Risk Management function, restructured the University’s Internal Audit function, and been Chair of the Working Group responsible for developing the University’s Charter of Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom.

Honorary degrees are awarded to individuals who have made an outstanding contribution to the wider community or who have achieved exceptional academic or creative excellence. Adjunct Professor Richard Fisher AM has been awarded an Honorary Fellowship.

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