Vale Terry Willis

25-11-2019    |    News

Last Friday, 22nd of November 2019, Terry Willis, a former director of Lamrocks Solicitors, passed away.

Terry was a former partner, and director, of Lamrocks. He left Lamrocks to take up practice as a Barrister at the bar in 1988.  He practiced as a barrister from that time, up to the time of his unfortunate death. Many people in Penrith will remember Terry from the time he spent living and working in Penrith.

He recently returned to Penrith for a Lamrocks reunion of those staff who could be located and who worked in Lamrocks' Office in Penrith since 1882.  Terry was joined by over 135 former and present staff in the celebration.

Recently Terry contracted a rare blood cancer. He was extremely positive about beating the cancer. He was expected to have a bone marrow transplant. Apparently, he had a round of chemotherapy, in preparation for the bone marrow transplant, and had a very bad reaction to the chemotherapy.  Unfortunately, his internal organs shutdown, and he passed away, denying him of the opportunity to take up the fight.

Terry had a long career in the law.   He was originally an articled clerk at White Barnes & McGuire, solicitors, in Castlereagh Street, Sydney. Whilst working as an articled clerk he studied and completed the Solicitors Admission Board (SAB) exams at Sydney University to attain his legal qualifications It involved a significant amount of study whilst working full-time, with long hours, for demanding Master Solicitors. It was an extremely difficult way to obtain legal qualifications, but he managed, and still managed to have a lot of fun during those years.

Terry came to Penrith to work as a solicitor for Brian Lamrock in the late 1970s. The firm was called A.S. Lamrock & Son in those days. Terry and his then girlfriend/wife bought a block of land in a new subdivision at Werrington and built a house. He settled down in Western Sydney.  Terry became a partner of the firm soon after joining Lamrocks.

Terry built up Lamrocks' Personal Injury practice, with the help of Steve Groves who joined Lamrocks in 1981, to become one of the most respected Personal Injury Practices in New South Wales.   The work that Terry undertook at that time is still reflected today with Lamrocks recently being recognised on the Doyle's list of Personal Injury Practices.

Terry was a keen swimmer, water polo player and Rugby Union player. He became a stalwart of the Penrith rugby scene and played many games for the Penrith Emu’s.

Prior to moving to Penrith Terry played his rugby for Eastwood Rugby Club.  He was a particularly combative back rower which saw him come to the attention of the Rugby Judiciary on numerous occasions.   It was probably the familiarity with the Rugby Judiciary that ultimately led to him being appointed in 1992 as Chair of the NSW Rugby Judiciary. 

When Rugby became professional, he also sat as a member of the Australian Rugby Judiciary.   Terry also served on the international Judiciary through four World Cups.   His decisions were highly respected, and his involvement had much to do with the development of the international process for cases involving Rugby players appearing before the Judiciary.

In 1988 when Terry decided to leave Lamrocks' to practice as a Barrister, he moved into the city and conducted a successful practice at the bar, specialising in personal injury work. For many years he has had chambers on level 55 in the MLC Centre in Martin Place.

Terry is survived by his three sons and his wife, Susie.

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