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National Portrait Gallery shines a light on “giant of the law” Alan Goldberg AO QC

Goldberg name on boardroom

As part of the National Portrait Gallery of Australia’s “About Face” series, Nathan Faiman has written an enlightening and touching tribute to accompany a portrait of his late grandfather, Alan Goldberg AO QC, captured by renowned Australian photographer Jacqueline Mitelman in 2014. The portrait was acquired by the gallery the following year, just 12 months before Alan passed away after a long illness.

The essay is an edited version of a larger research piece Nathan compiled about his grandfather after interviewing friends and colleagues, and scouring library collections and court registers. Nathan describes the exercise as “a gratifying mission, both for me and my extended family, yielding new insights into the character behind that blue and gold bow tie.”

There is much in the essay that resonates with partners and staff at Arnold Bloch Leibler, including a reference to the Alan Goldberg Scholarship instituted by Melbourne Law School and launched at Arnold Bloch Leibler in 2015, and a mention that one of the firm’s boardrooms is dedicated in the great lawyer’s honour.

At a special event in 2018 to mark the room dedication, senior partner Mark Leibler explained that, as a barrister, Alan had assisted Arnold Bloch Leibler in solving some of our clients' most difficult matters and, as a judge, even when our clients lost cases, they always felt Justice Goldberg had given them a fair hearing.

“It was clear to the partners that this room should be dedicated, in perpetuity, to this giant of the law,” Mark said at the time. “Not only did Alan have an encyclopaedic knowledge of the law, he also had a finely tuned commercial instinct, he was practical, passionate, compassionate and outcome-focused, just as we seek to be at Arnold Bloch Leibler.”

To read Nathan Faiman’s essay on Alan Goldberg, and view the portrait, click here.

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