When Professor Harold Ford passed away in September 2012, Melbourne Law School and the broader legal community lost a leading scholar, teacher and law reformer. The Harold Ford Memorial Lecture celebrates the many contributions of Professor Ford to Melbourne Law School, the legal profession, and to the development of corporate law and trusts law. The inaugural lecture was held in 2013 and hosted by the Centre for Corporate Law.

Professor Ford spent almost his entire career at Melbourne Law School following his appointment to the Law School in 1949. He was Dean of the Law School in 1964 and from 1967 to 1973. In 1974, the first edition of Principles of Company Law was published (now called Ford, Austin and Ramsay's Principles of Corporations Law and in its 16th edition with Dr Robert Austin and Professor Ian Ramsay as the authors). Professor Ford also co-authored a leading text titled Principles of the Law of Trusts and other influential books. Professor Ford made many important contributions to law reform, including chairing the Companies and Securities Law Review Committtee from 1984 to 1990.

Professor Ford is remembered as a gifted teacher by several generations of law students. In 2010, Melbourne Law School established the Harold Ford JD Scholarships in his honour and earlier established the Harold Ford Chair of Commercial Law.