Queensland Law Society

Our history

Our history

1873

First Queensland law society formed at a meeting of 15 solicitors held at the Supreme Court in Brisbane on 7 August. Support dwindled due to inability to act on important issues.

1883

Queensland Law Association formed.

1927

Association continued until it became incorporated and was named Queensland Law Society. Comprised 312 members. President R J McNab.

1928

Queensland Law Society Incorporation Act.

1931

The Society introduced the Fidelity Guarantee Fund to protect clients of defaulting solicitors. The Rules which governed the Fund were gazetted in April. Amendments made to the Trust Accounts Act followed.

1935

Queensland’s first university law school established – Faculty of Law, University of Queensland.

1939

Initiated by Queensland Law Society, solicitors prepare soldiers’ wills and powers of attorney free of charge.

1940

The Society implements wartime legal aid schemes for servicemen and their dependants at the request of Northern Command, part of the Australian Defence Force.

1941

Beryl Donkin became the Society’s first full time employee on a salary of £4 a week. She went on to serve the Society for more than 40 years. Beryl was chief administrative officer and solely responsible for all Society affairs until the 1975 appointment of an Executive Officer.

1952

Queensland Law Society Act.

1964 Queensland Law Society held its first annual Symposium. It became known as the ‘Queensland Law Society Symposium’ in 1964.

1966

Queensland Legal Assistance Act – legal aid available to general community.

1966

LAWASIA started – an international organisation of lawyers’ associations in the Asia Pacific region.

1977

Continuing legal education (CLE) officially commenced, borne from a series of postgraduate discussion groups and seminars.

1978

Compulsory professional indemnity insurance (PII) scheme introduced after Society members overwhelmingly voted in its favour.

1980

CLE department used new technology – audio and video tapes – to distribute material to rural areas.

Queensland Law Society Act amended to reduce the Presidency from a two year to a one year term.

1981

First Law Society House established at 96 Albert St, Brisbane.

1982

Proctor magazine launched.

1986

Library services started.

1987

Law Claims Levy Fund established to provide PII. While not an insurance company, the fund retained the primary layer of risk.

The Society moves into the second Law Society House (purpose built for QLS) at 179 Ann St, Brisbane.

1988

Practice Management Course (PMC) for solicitors who intend to practise as principals started.

1991

Each staff member received a computer for work.

Membership records entered on a computerised database.

1993 QLS bought back second floor of Law Society House, which is now the home of our reception, auditoriums and meeting and mediation rooms, from Rider Levett Bucknall.

1995

Law Claims Levy Fund ceased and St Paul Insurance Company (who covered solicitors for their Professional Indemnity Insurance) formed.

Specialist accreditation program established.

Queensland Law Foundation endorsed by Queensland Law Society Council to support new initiatives that benefit members, in particular: business developments, diversification and commercial activities.

1996 Queensland Law Society Journal ceased publication – Proctor expanded.

2001

Lexon Insurance Pte Ltd (Lexon) (formerly QLS Insurance) established to help protect solicitors from rises in PII premiums (replaced the St Paul Insurance Company).

2004

Commencement of the Legal Profession Act and Legal Services Commission.

QLS Authorised Nominating Authority established.

2005

Dispute Management Centre started.

Annual Continuing Legal Education (now Continuing Professional Development) becomes mandatory.

2007

Legal Practitioners Admission Board established.

2008

LawCare introduced - a member assistance program which provides free, confidential and voluntary counselling services to Queensland Law Society members, their immediate family and legal support staff.

2010

Limitation of Liability Scheme introduced that limits the amount of damages that can be awarded against a practice in court.

Ethics Centre established.

2011

First Advocacy Annual developed.

2012

Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules introduced. Queensland Law Society had substantial involvement in their development.