TRIBUTES have been paid to a British lawyer who died in a landslide alongside his nine-year-old son while hiking in Australia’s Blue Mountains.
Mehraab Nazir, 49, was on a day out with his family in the Wentworth Pass area of the Blue Mountains, a national park west of Sydney last Monday (4) when they were caught in a rockslide.
His 15-year-old daughter raised the alarm and his and his son’s bodies were recovered the following morning.
Nazir was a partner at the law firm Watson Farley & Williams and was based in its Singapore office, where he had worked as a finance lawyer specialising in international transactions since moving from London a decade ago.
The company said in a statement, “It is with the greatest sadness that we share that our dear friend and colleague Mehraab Nazir, a partner in our Singapore office, tragically lost his life in a landslide in Australia earlier this week alongside his young son.
“We will be remembering and honouring Mehraab, however, with the surviving members of the family in serious conditions or in shock, we ask that you respect their privacy and grief at this incredibly difficult time.”
Colleagues paid tribute to Nazir on LinkedIn, with Martin Lucas, who joined the firm at the same time as him saying, “He welcomed me and was instantly likeable – just so grounded, kind, humble and good fun. The kind of person you want to spend time with. A loss and tragedy that is so hard to process. We pray for dear Mehraab and his family and friends.”
Another co-worker, David Hackett, talked about Nazir’s kindness, saying, “Mehraab was a brilliant, humble and incredibly generous guy who had time for everyone. I will remember with great fondness the beers together and all I learned from him on deals together – his memory will transcend the huge impact he has had on our asset finance world.”
Michael Cavers, whom Nazir had mentored, said, “Mehraab was one of my first mentors, colleagues and friends… He was a great lawyer and a genuinely good, kind person… It is a devastating tragedy.”
Speaking to the BBC, Blue Mountains Tour Guide Graham Chapman highlighted how unfortunate the incident was, “This beautiful family from England were just in the wrong place at the wrong time, it’s so sad…to know that that family has come to our country and that this has happened on our soil, man, it’s just heart breaking,” he said.
New South Wales’ premier, Dominic Perrottet, called the incident, “tragic” and said he would be seeking advice as to whether the walking track should have been open, given the recent heavy rain that fell on the area.
The University of Exeter, where Nazir was an alumni, also released a statement, saying, “We are extremely sorry to hear about this tragedy and send our condolences to Mr Nazir’s family, friends and colleagues,”
Nazir’s family are reported to be Zoroastrians, his surviving family are currently being supported by the local branch of the faith.
Zubin Appoo, president of the Australian Zoroastrian Association of New South Wales said in a statement, “Everyone is shocked and so many in our community are reaching out to offer support in any way they can.”
His wife remains in a critical condition in hospital, his other son underwent surgery and is now in a stable condition. The couple’s 15-year-old daughter, who was able to walk from the scene and raise the alarm, is under observation in hospital.