Queensland Law Society

President's update

Appreciation. This has been what the last month has focused on for us at the Society – amongst many other important areas. I have been pleased to present membership pins to those celebrating 25 or 50-years with the Society in 2018.

We have travelled throughout Queensland this year, acknowledging our regional and city members on this milestone achievement, along with their dedication to our profession. It is important to QLS that we not only acknowledge these practitioners, but also that we celebrate them. Our members are core to the success of not only the Society but the wider legal profession in Queensland. Our long-term members are the backbone of QLS and contribute greatly to the reputation of our solicitors.

Recently, we acknowledged practitioners in Rockhampton, Mackay and Brisbane who have been with us for 25 and 50 years. It was inspiring to hear snapshots of their careers read out, and to reflect on the changes in our profession over the decades. Our members who have weathered over 25 years of changes, are indeed stalwarts of the solicitors’ branch. The mentorship, contributions to the profession and community, and their own personal and professional achievements are of great note. It was wonderful to be a part of these celebrations, and I congratulate everyone who has received their pin or will in the remainder of the year.

Along with recognising our long-term members, we have also held our annual appreciation evening. Among those in attendance were members of our policy and membership committees and working groups, boards, planning committees, presenters and chairs from our events, QLS Councillors and staff. It was a privilege to share with the room the achievements we have had this year with their assistance. This speech is available on the QLS website for those who could not be with us.

There are, of course, many who were not able to be with us on the night due to other commitments or location. To them I would like to say “thank you”. I have attempted to thank our regional members when we have visited, but there is no way to get to everyone unfortunately. Each word in the speech is also directed at those who could not attend. You – our members – contribute to our success and motivation each and every day.  All of the great work that we carried out in 2018 is on behalf of our members and the wider profession. The contribution our members make is what the Society stands on, and what truly makes us your Society. Thank you.

One last item I would like to update you on this week, is the ongoing media coverage I’m sure you’ve seen on the Crime and Corruption Commission’s Operation Stockade arrests. I addressed this in last week’s special President’s Message and I would like to provide you with a further update. You may have seen further media coverage over the weekend, following two letters we wrote on the issue to the CCC and our Attorney-General. You can find these in the advocacy section of our website. We requested the CCC to share evidence of the charges with us, and reiterated that our role in regulation did not allow us to take action until we have sufficient information about individual charges.

In this context evidence beyond the mere fact of charge is needed to take action against any solicitor. Additionally, I have written to both the CEO of Legal Aid Queensland and the Acting Legal Services Commissioner to seek to meet with them together to discuss the role of preferred suppliers in light of the reported alleged conduct. We remain committed to cooperating in this and any other matters with the relevant authorities, and the Government of the day.