Queensland Law Society (QLS) is governed by an elected Council of members and provides the Society’s policy directions.
Ken Taylor (president)
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)
A proven energetic leader of the profession, with a strong history of achievement for QLS members. As the 2016 President I travelled throughout Queensland speaking for and to our members and can claim to have given persuasive voice to the aspirations of members for good law good lawyers for the good of the community.
I stood on a publicly declared platform, as a dynamic team with Christine Smyth through 2016-2017, and transformed QLS as the peak legal body in Queensland. I can proudly claim to have achieved successes in advocacy, reductions in insurance premiums and invigorated our engagement with government. But there is unfinished business. So why would we do it again? The QLS needs continuity solidifying the successes and building on them.
I have the drive, energy and skill set to reach across all practice types to ensure the progress of the QLS as a dynamic and respected membership organisation.
Christopher Coyne (vice president)
Christopher Coyne was admitted to practice in 1979. Previously a partner in Clayton Utz and now practices on his own account as Lexon Legal.
As a member of Council his commitment has been to the continued development of the practice of law as a financially viable and sustainable business.
QLS roles include current member of Council (2014 – 2015); of Management (Fidelity Fund); Ethics Committee; LCLE Committee; Director of the Specialist Accreditation Board and Nominee solicitor - members advice on disciplinary matters.
Previously he was Director Lexon Insurance Pte Ltd (2005 – 2015); Director/President Australian Insurance Law Association; President Medico Legal Society.
His community and academic roles include: Director, Incorporated Council of Law Reporting; Chair, Professional Indemnity Committee for LawAsia; Deputy Chair, QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute; Director, QPharm Pty Ltd; Sessional Member, QCAT/CCT 2004 – 2011; Adjunct Professor of Law, University of Queensland 1999 – 2006; Graduate Bar Practice Course and the Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School.
Christine Smyth (immediate past president)
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 where she leads a team of 30+.
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.
Christine's QLS leadership contributions include:
- Member of the QLS Executive Committee, Executive Management Committee, Audit and Investment Committee and QLS Council
- Member of Proctor and Symposium planning committees
- Inaugural Chair of the Corporate Governance committee
- Past member of the Succession Law Committee.
Other previous leadership positions include STEP (QLD) 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, Australian Institute of Taxation Journal and various publications in STEP World Wide Journal. Christine’s expertise is sought after as a presenter for QLS conferences, and other industry bodies.
In 2013, LexisNexis recognised Christine as one of their Top 10 Influential Women. Christine's leadership has resulted in her being nominated for the Queensland Law Society President’s Medal. In 2015 and 2016, Christine was awarded the prestigious Doyle’s Guide of Queensland’s Leading Wills and Estate Litigation Lawyer.
In November 2016, Christine was one of only five people appointed to the Queensland State Government’s Better Regulation Task Force. The Task Force has been established as a sub-committee of the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council (QSBAC) and will continue the work of the former Red Tape Reduction Advisory Council.
Christine believes professionalism hinges on integrity and collegiality.
Michael Brennan is a current QLS Councillor who is passionate about supporting and guiding the industry through the many challenges which it is currently facing. Michael is Managing Principal of Offermans Partners. With offices in Brisbane and across regional Queensland, Michael has a unique understanding of the profession across the State.
Admitted in 1999, Michael practiced in commercial law before becoming an insolvency practitioner. In addition to maintaining his Practising Certificate, Michael is a Liquidator and Bankruptcy Trustee.
Michael sits on the Queensland Insolvency Committee of the Law Society and is the Deputy Chair of the Queensland Committee of ARITA, the nation’s peak insolvency body. He is a Past President of the TDLA.
Chloe is an Associate with Sajen Legal practicing in succession law. Having moved from WA to Queensland in 2011, Chloe joined Sajen Legal (formerly Ferguson Cannon Lawyers) as a trainee solicitor. After working and studying full time, Chloe was admitted in 2013. She identified an area of growth for her practice in succession law and has been focussed on developing her skills and expertise in this area. She is currently completing her Masters in Wills and Estates with the College of Law and is committed to completing her specialist accreditation. Chloe served as the youngest council member for the QLS in 2016/2017.
In the community, Chloe is a committee member for the Australasian Women and Policing organisation, the first female lawyer to achieve this. She is also a director of start-up accelerator, Spark Bureau.
I am the Director/Principal Solicitor at the Prisoners Legal Service Inc. I believe that I can bring to the Council the voice of a person with new ideas to assist the QLS to meet the challenges it faces over the next two years and to give voice to those members who may feel that are not being heard.
Having been a member of the QLS for over 25 years I have been able to observe with pride the growth of the QLS as a vital and influential voice for the solicitors of Queensland. I am seeking the opportunity to give something back to the legal profession and am honoured to be member of the next QLS Council.
Since admission, I have practised both in private practice and the community legal sector in family law and elder law. I have been Chair of the QLS Elder Law Committee since 2014 and have been extensively involved in advocating to government for legislative change in elder law and guardianship issues.
Since 2015 I have been working with law students from the University of the Sunshine Coast at Suncoast Community Legal Service in a practical legal clinic where we assist and represent vulnerable clients in courts and tribunals in the areas of domestic violence, family law and minor civil law.
Currently, I am tutoring equity and trusts at QUT and have partnered with QUT law school colleagues to write a book on elder law from a human rights’ perspective.
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.
My career has seen me become Managing Partner of an established firm (at 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.
My service of the community and profession includes: two terms as President of the SCLA; life member of Sunshine Coast Legal Service; Human Research Ethics Committee of USC; QLS Personal Injuries Specialist Accreditation Committee and Accident Compensation Committee, speaker at dozens of conferences for QLS, LexisNexis, Law Associations and the ALA; serving on committees of numerous charities including Wishlist, SunnyKids, Coast to Bay Housing, Cystic Fibrosis Qld and others; Board Member Sunshine Coast Turf Club and Matthew Flinders Anglican College (Deputy Chair).
Karen Simpson (Attorney-General's nominee)
Karen has extensive experience practicing as a solicitor in Queensland, working exclusively in the area of personal injury applying State Legislation and Common Law.
Her experience managing the Queensland personal injury business for a listed company and international law firm has provided her with extensive business management experience. Karen directly managed the consolidation of the Slater and Gordon businesses in Queensland requiring the implementation of a highly structured changed management program. She is a member of the Slater and Gordon Australian Executive allowing her to actively participate in the strategic planning and operational decision making to be delivered to Board for approval.
Karen is a director of the Schultz Toomey O'Brien business and has gained valuable experience dealing with a number of acquisitions and mergers in Queensland. As General Manager she has overseen the firm's growth from three offices to 18 offices across the state.
Having previously gained valuable experience working in rural Queensland locations. Practicing law in regional Queensland has provided her with a deeper understanding of the needs of regional communities.
Karen is a strong advocate for equal opportunity employment and providing career pathways to develop and empower young people within the community.
Practising as a solicitor since 2006, I have worked across commercial litigation, retail leasing, insurance and personal injuries. I have worked within large practices, in-house for a Queensland insurer and had fantastic opportunities to work across regional areas.
I have worked as an elected Councillor during the 2016 and 2017 years, gaining experience across a variety of committees and building a better understanding of what issues face our profession now and what risk areas there are into the future. Our profession is ever evolving and it is important to ensure that our good community standing is upheld and that we continue to advocate for evidence based, good law.
Paul is a Principal and Practice Chairman of McInnes Wilson Lawyers Pty Ltd. He is a present Councillor of 7 years standing and seeks re-election. He is a member of the Finance & Risk Committee of the QLS. Paul is keen to promote and support the profession and has been integral to the reduction of insurance premiums, increased access to services and the promotion of good law. Paul is a personal injuries accredited specialist and 30 years of practical experience is the foundation for the QLS to support a pragmatic approach to the continuation of common law rights for the injured.