Queensland Law Society

Council profiles

Queensland Law Society (QLS) is governed by an elected Council of members and provides the Society’s policy directions.

Council 2018

Ken Taylor (president)

Ken Taylor

Ken is president of the Queensland Law Society. He is a director of Purcell Taylor in Townsville having been admitted in 1989. Ken is also a current member of the TDLA and the ALA, holds specialist accreditation in personal injuries law and he is a member of the S.193A Workers Compensation Review Panel.

He was awarded life membership with the Townsville CLC and is a director of Mater Health NQ. Ken supports the maintenance of high professional and ethical standards in the profession and the promotion of the value of solicitors to the general community. He recognises the challenges that are facing QLS members across Queensland.

Ken is focused on the service that QLS can offer its members as being central to the growth of the organisation and to the QLS remaining relevant to all of its members in rapidly changing and challenging times.

Bill Potts (deputy president)

Bill Potts

Bill is the deputy president of Queensland Law Society and a criminal law director of Potts Lawyers.

Bill is a Queensland Law Society Senior Counsellor who provides confidential guidance on professional and ethical problems. He previously served as president of the Society in 2016 and is currently a director of the Law Council of Australia. Through these roles, as a leader of the profession, he has worked to support the rule of law in a time of significant change and has advocated for better resourcing of the courts to improve efficiencies in the management of matters.

Bill is passionate about promoting QLS as a dynamic and respected membership organisation. As a member and leader of Council, he has achieved successes in advocacy, reductions in insurance premiums and invigorated our engagement with government.

Christopher Coyne (vice president)

Chris Coyne

Christopher Coyne is the 2018-19 Queensland Law Society vice president and was admitted to practice in 1979. Previously a partner at Clayton Utz, Christopher now practices on his own account.

As a member of Council since 2014, his commitment has been to the continued development of the practice of law as a financially viable and sustainable business. Christopher’s other QLS roles have included chair of the Governance Committee, management of the Legal Practitioners’ Fidelity Guarantee Fund, membership of the Ethics and Continuing Legal Education Committees, director of the Specialist Accreditation Board and nominee solicitor – members’ advice on disciplinary matters.

Previously Christopher was a Director of Lexon Insurance Pte Ltd (2005 – 2015), director/president of the Australian Insurance Law Association, and president of the Medico Legal Society.

Christopher’s community and academic roles include: director of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting, chair of the Professional Indemnity Committee for LawAsia, deputy chair of QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, director of QPharm Pty Ltd, sessional member of the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal (formerly the Commercial and Consumer Tribunal, and adjunct professor of law at the University of Queensland (1999-2006).

Christine Smyth (immediate past president)

Christine Smyth

Christine Smyth is the immediate past president of the Queensland Law Society, an Accredited Specialist (Succession Law) and partner at Robbins Watson Solicitors, a highly respected Gold Coast law firm.

In addition to her roles on the QLS Council, Christine's leadership contributions include membership of the STEP Mental Capacity Global Special Interest Group, and has been recognised over three consecutive years as one of Queensland Leading Wills and Estates Litigation Lawyers. Christine’s other QLS leadership contributions include membership of the QLS Executive Committee, Executive Management Committee, Audit and Investment Committee, Proctor and Symposium planning committees, and past member of the Succession Law Committee. Christine was also the inaugural chair of the Corporate Governance committee.

Christine’s other previous leadership positions include the STEP Queensland committee and general editor for Lexis Nexis’ Retirement and Estate Planning Bulletin.

A highly regarded succession law expert, Christine is widely published, having a regular succession law column in Proctor, the Tax Institute of Australia’s journal and various publications in STEP worldwide Journal. In October 2017, Christine was awarded the Creating Change Award by Women in Business Awards of Australia. In November 2016, Christine was one of only five people appointed to the Queensland State Government’s Better Regulation Task Force with a view to giving back to the community.

Christine is also a regular seminar and conference presenter for industry bodies including QLS, STEP, Legalwise, TEN and the Cemeteries and Crematorium and Funeral Director Associations.

With a legal career spanning over 25 years, Christine is a passionate advocate for solicitors (with a focus on their welfare), a long-standing mentor, utiliser of technology and flexible work practices – all while honouring tradition and experience to achieve ethically grounded business viability.

Michael Brennan

Michael Brennan

Michael is managing principal of Offermans Partners. Admitted in 1999, Michael practiced in commercial law before becoming an insolvency practitioner. In addition to maintaining his practising certificate as a lawyer, Michael is a liquidator and bankruptcy trustee.

Now in his second term on the QLS Council, he also sits on the QLS Audit & Investment Committee, QLS Continuing Professional Development Committee, the Law Council of Australia Insolvency & Reconstruction Committee (Qld Div.) and is deputy chair of the Queensland State Committee of Australian Reconstruction, Insolvency and Turnaround Association.

Michael believes solicitors are ideally placed to capitalise upon the government recognition of the future of Northern Australia and the export of professional services. He strongly advocates the perfect vehicle to take advantage of this is a combination of local knowledge and contacts inherent with regional firms strategically combined with the specialisation found in metropolitan practices. He passionately believes in the potential for regional and metropolitan firms working together to unlock value from the new services frontier.

Chloe Kopilovic

Chloe Kopilovic

Chloe Kopilovic is a senior associate leading the wills and estates team at FC Lawyers.

Chloe moved from Western Australia to Queensland in 2011 and joined Ferguson Cannon Lawyers as a trainee solicitor. 

After working full time and studying full time, Chloe was admitted to practice in 2013.

Chloe is currently completing her Masters in Applied Law majoring in Wills and Estates with the College of Law, and is committed to becoming an accredited specialist in succession law with the Queensland Law Society.

Outside of the law and in the community, Chloe is a committee member for the Australasian Council of Women and Policing, the first female lawyer to achieve a place on the committee. She is also a director of Sunshine Coast accelerator, Spark Bureau. In her pastime, Chloe enjoys being outdoors on the weekend, especially on the Sunshine Coast where she lives.

Peter Lyons

Peter Lyons

Peter is the director/principal solicitor at the Prisoners Legal Service Inc.

Working in partnership with other community organisations, the private legal profession and government, Peter leads a team dedicated to providing high quality legal advice and assistance to advance the conditions and human rights of people who are incarcerated in Queensland. 

Having been a member of QLS for over 25 years, Peter has observed with pride the growth of Society as a vital and influential voice for the solicitors of Queensland. He brings to Council the voice of a person with new ideas and to gives a voice to members who may feel they are not being heard in the profession.

Kirsty Mackie

Kirsty Mackie

Kirsty practises in the area of family law and elder law and was elected in 2018 as a QLS Councillor. Kirsty coordinates the University of the Sunshine Coast Law School’s clinical placement program at the Suncoast Community Legal Service and practises as a family and elder lawyer with Pippa Colman & Associates in Maroochydore.

Since 2014, Kirsty has been the chair of the Queensland Law Society’s Elder Law Committee.

Kirsty tutors part-time for the Law Faculty at QUT where, together with colleagues, she is contributing to a series of articles, and a text on elder law in a human rights framework.

Luke Murphy

Luke Murphy

I am an Accredited Specialist (Personal Injuries) and also practise in Succession law. I am Deputy Chair of QLS’s Tort Law/Accident Compensation Committee, and have served on the Practice Management Committee and Personal Injuries Conference Committee.

I have represented QLS at Parliamentary inquiries and committee hearings, in negotiations with the Motor Accident Insurance Commission and WorkCover, CTP reviews, WorkCover Stakeholders’ Reference Groups and QIRC interest groups. I am committed to serving the profession.

Outside the law I have held the following positions: Deputy President, Board Member of Royal Life Saving Society (1994-2004), Deputy Chairman, Board Member Holy Spirit Care Services (2007-2014), and Member Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Committee and Chairman Inaugural Young Professionals Committee.

Travis Schultz

Travis Schultz

Travis is the principal of Travis Schultz Law and has expertise as a commercial litigation and personal injury lawyer in the areas of workers’ compensation, motor vehicle and public liability law. Travis’ career has seen him become managing partner of an established firm (by the age of 27) and then continued to grow that entity to a total staff of 76 at the time it was sold in 2014.

His service to profession includes two terms as president of the Sunshine Coast Law Association, life membership of the Sunshine Coast Legal Service, membership of the Human Research Ethics Committee of University of the Sunshine Coast, and membership of the QLS Personal Injuries Specialist Accreditation Committee and Accident Compensation Committee.

Currently, Travis serves as a board member of the Sunshine Coast Turf Club, as a board member of Lifeflight Foundation (previously known as Careflight), as deputy chair of the board of Matthew Flinders Anglican College, as a councillor of the Queensland Law Society and as chairman of the Matthew Flinders Foundation. He is a life member of the Sunshine Coast Community Legal Service and remains involved in a range of charities and not for profit groups such as Wishlist and Sunnykids. He is the ambassador for Coastline BMW on the Sunshine Coast and continues to write a weekly wine column for the Life & Style Magazine (published by Newscorp) in the weekend edition of the Sunshine Coast Daily.

Travis is highly motivated to ensure access to justice is accessible for everyone in the community.

Karen Simpson (Attorney-General's nominee)

Karen Simpson

Karen is the Queensland head of personal injuries for Gordon Legal. She has extensive experience practicing as a solicitor in Queensland, working exclusively in the area of personal injury applying state legislation and common law. Karen previously gained experience working on Council as the Attorney-General’s nominee in 2016 and 2017. She is also a member of the Governance Committee.

Having previously gained valuable experience working in rural Queensland locations, Karen has a deep understanding of the needs of regional legal and wider communities. Karen is a strong advocate for equal opportunity employment and providing career pathways to develop and empower young people within the community.

Kara Thomson

Kara Thomson

Practising as a solicitor since 2006, Kara is an Accredited Specialist (Personal Injuries Law) and has worked across commercial litigation, retail leasing, and insurance. Kara has worked within large practices, in-house for a Queensland insurer, and across regional areas.

Kara has been a QLS councillor since 2016 and, throughout her career, a member of numerous committees and associations. Combined these roles have allowed her to promote and advocate on behalf of regional practitioners and build an understanding of issues facing the profession now and risk areas on the horizon.

Paul Tully

Paul Tully

Paul is a principal and practice chairman of McInnes Wilson Lawyers Pty Ltd. He is an Accredited Specialist (Personal Injuries Law) and has practised in the area of insurance litigation for the majority of his professional career.

Paul is a long-standing QLS Councillor and member of the Finance and Risk Committee.

Paul promotes and supports the profession and has been integral to the reduction of insurance premiums, increased access to services and the consistent promotion of good law. His experience in personal injuries law is his foundation for supporting a pragmatic approach to the continuation of common law rights for the injured.