MEMBERS of the legal profession yesterday packed Court No 1 in the Supreme Court to pay tribute to former Hongkong Queen's Counsel, Mr Sam Gittins, who recently died in Australia after a long illness. Mr Gittins, 84, was a member of an old and distinguished Eurasian family. He was called to the Inner Temple in England in 1947 and the Hongkong Bar two years later. During the war, he held the rank of lieutenant-colonel and was attached to British intelligence. Working under him was Mr Murray MacLehose (former governor of Hongkong and now Lord MacLehose), whom he later assisted in the corruption commission that subsequently became the ICAC. He took silk in 1967, and was one of the first Queen's Counsel to sit as a commissioner of the High Court, now called deputy judge, and also commissioner in the Court of Appeal in the late 70s and early 80s. He retired in 1985. He died on March 2 at the age of 83 in Melbourne. Short speeches praising Mr Gittins for his illustrious career in law, his integrity and his honesty were yesterday given by the Chief Justice Sir Ti Liang Yang, chairman of the Bar Ms Jacqueline Leong, QC, Acting Solicitor-General Mr Anthony Duckett, QC,and chairman of the Law Society, Mr Ambrose Lau. They also offered condolences to his wife Jan, daughter Ann and sons Barry, Simon and Mark. Sitting alongside the Chief Justice on the bench were Vice-President of the Court of Appeal Mr Justice Silke, High Court Judge Mr Justice Liu, Judge Evans of the District Court and Chief Magistrate Mr Gerard Muttrie.