Swearing-in of Kevin Andronos as a Judge of the District Court

Ian Pike SC

On 24 October 2022 Kevin Andronos was sworn in as a judge of the District Court of NSW. A small mark of the professional respect for his Honour is evidenced by the fact that the ceremony was attended by the Honourable Chief Justice Dr Bell, the President of the Court of Appeal, the Honourable Justice Ward, his Honour’s former pupil master the Chief Judge in Equity, as well as several other Supreme Court judges.

Also in attendance was his Honour’s wife Elizabeth Frizell and their children Ben and Louisa, as well as his brother Perry and niece Isabella. His Honour’s mother, Mary was watching online.

His Honour grew up in Dundas, one of two sons of parents who emigrated from Greece in the 1950s. He was educated at Dundas Public School and Macquarie Boys High School, being school captain of both.

His Honour has a deep love of music which was fostered at an early age and is shared with his more famous brother. This love led to his Honour working as a roadie for various bands in Sydney in his early years, including Rose Tattoo, the Electric Pandas and the Delltones. His Honour’s own band was apparently known as I’m Drinking.

Following the advice of his parents, a career in the law was pursued instead of one in the music industry. After school his Honour studied at Sydney University where he completed Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws degrees. In 1989 he became the associate to the Honourable RF Loveday, then a justice of the Supreme Court of New South Wales. In 1990 he began as a solicitor with Allen, Allen & Hemsley, working in commercial litigation, media and intellectual property, including a stint as in-house counsel at Channel 9. His Honour moved to Gilbert+Tobin in 1995 and became a partner in 1997. He was called to the Bar in 2000 and had chambers on Eleven Wentworth. His Honour read with David Hammerschlag, now the Chief Judge in Equity. His Honour took silk in 2014.

His Honour’s practice was extremely broad, covering areas of contract, equity and trusts, intellectual property, real property, corporations and consumer law. Notable among many of the cases his Honour worked on was Diab Pty Limited and Yum! Restaurants Australia Pty Limited, Federal Court class action proceedings involving important questions regarding franchising and unconscionable conduct.

A particular speciality of his Honour was commissions of inquiry. In 2001 and 2002 he appeared for the liquidators of HIH Insurance Group at the HIH Royal Commission before Commissioner Neville Owen. In 2007 and 2008 he appeared for the Australian Quarantine Inspection Service at the Equine Influenza Inquiry before the Honourable Ian Callinan KC. His Honour also appeared at a number of ICAC inquiries, including Operation Vestea in 2011 in relation to the Sydney Harbour Foreshore Authority, Operation Cavill in 2013–2014 into certain conduct at the Ryde Council and most recently Operation Dasha in 2018–2019, being an 18-week hearing into certain conduct at Canterbury City Council.

For several years prior to his appointment, his Honour was a senior part-time member of NCAT.

His Honour spent the entirety of his career at the Bar on Eleven Wentworth and was its chairman at the time of his elevation to the Bench. He was known around chambers for his self-effacing manner, his thoughtfulness and kindness.

One little known fact about his Honour that emerged at his swearing-in was that he holds the unofficial record for the longest conference of a junior counsel with Martin Einfeld KC of 19 hours!

Outside of the law, his Honour’s great loves are his family, travel and music. His Honour is married to Elizabeth Frizell, formerly a talented barrister, now a French translator and tutor. Their two children, Ben and Louisa, both share their father’s love of, and talent for, music.

His Honour has travelled widely throughout the world and was in high demand in chambers for his advice and services as a travel agent. His Honour has a large array of electric guitars, the precise number of which appears to be a closely guarded secret.

His Honour’s remarks during his swearing-in demonstrated his strong sense of family, regretting that his father was not able to observe his elevation to the Bench, having passed away only a few weeks prior. His Honour also recounted his gratitude for the assistance that his professional colleagues had given him in his last 30 years as a solicitor and barrister.

His Honour concluded his remarks with typical modesty, by observing that he will do his best to do his part in the important work of the District Court. His Honour’s personal qualities, deep sense of fairness and broad experience as a lawyer will ensure that his Honour excels as a judge of the court. BN

Ian Pike SC

Eleven Wentworth Chambers