I was born in Penang, Malaysia and lived on the island till about 5 years old. When I was 7 years old, my parents moved to Kuala Lumpur where I began my primary and secondary school education at St John's Institution.
In 1982, I commenced my tertiary education at Monash University where I gained the degrees of Bachelor of Science (majoring in computers), Bachelor of Laws, and Master of Laws. In 2009, I completed a Master of Entrepreneurship and Innovation at the Australian Graduate School of Entrepreneurship and was presented the dux award for 2009.
In 1988, I signed the Roll of Counsel at the Victorian Bar. I am also admitted to legal practice in all the States and Territories of Australia. For many years, I was the only barrister of Chinese Malaysian heritage at the Victorian Bar.
On 29 November 2018, I was appointed Senior Counsel in and for the State of Victoria.
My legal practice involves advising and representing local and international clients in complex commercial, corporate, technological, property and intellectual property matters. I am also an Accredited Mediator; an appointed arbitrator on the Foreign Arbitrators panel of the Shanghai International Arbitration Center; and was a Victorian Bar Conciliator.
As part of my ongoing contribution to the Victorian Bar, I founded the Asia Practice section of the Commercial Bar Association of Victoria. In 2010, I also founded the inaugural “Engaging the Asian Economies – Law & Practice” conference held at Banco Court, Supreme Court of Victoria.
I am also one of the founding members of the Asian Australian Lawyers Association that seeks to promote cultural diversity in the law. I believe that where there is diversity of thought in an inclusive environment, the best outcomes can be achieved for the benefit of the community. I have privileged to serve as AALA's national Vice President and continue to work collaboratively with a dedicated and passionate team of Asian Australian lawyers to build the AALA as a premier association representing Asian Australian lawyers.
William Lye, OAM S.C. 威廉 黎, 資深大律師
Barrister at Law
In the period spanning more than 30 years, I have developed experience and knowledge across law, technology, marketing, education, entrepreneurship, corporate strategy and governance, cross cultural engagement, and directorships in the private, public and not for profit sectors. These experiences have enabled me to gain expertise in projects requiring innovation and creativity management, and provide a culturally diverse perspective on international engagement and development.
I am a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors; have held extensive non executive positions including at the Victorian Bar and Commercial Bar Association; a Sessional Lecturer in Law and Entrepreneurship; an Australia Day Ambassador; a Language Ambassador; a national board member of The Order of Australia Association Ltd; and the Chair of the Membership Task Force of the Victoria Branch of the Order of Australia Association Ltd.
My experiences have enabled me to form an extensive network, particularly in South East Asia, gained through living in Malaysia and liaising, building and conducting business relationships with people from Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand, Hong Kong, China, Indonesia, Philippines, India, New Zealand, United Kingdom and United States.
I work strategically to Find the Right Answers for my client's legal, business, and corporate issues and at the same time seek to Deliver Practical Solutions for better outcomes.
I am also passionate about education and contribute to the development of the next generation of young Australian lawyers.
My great grandfather settled in Malaysia in the early 1800s. One of the amazing things I learnt in recent years is that my grandfather Lye Sye Cheong’s brother, Dr Lye Hong Cheong, was married to Ng Foong Lin the niece of Dr Wu Lien Teh (伍連德) the first medical student of Chinese descent to study at the University of Cambridge and the first Malaysian nominated to receive a Nobel Prize in Medicine in 1935. Dr Wu Lien Teh is regarded as the first person to modernise China’s medicine services and medical education.
I am particularly honoured to be the holder of the Order of Australia Medal.