Queensland Law Society

Government Lawyers Conference 2017

Friday 11 August 2017
Law Society House, Brisbane

The key professional development event in the Queensland calendar for legal professionals in the government, policy and administrative spheres, whether in federal, state or local jurisdictions, or in-house with government-owned corporations and universities. Hear from, and network with, experts in their field and fellow colleagues from a range of government departments. This year’s event will kick off with a keynote address by the Attorney-General and will include important substantive law and core CPD sessions tailored for government lawyers and advisors. The event will then wrap up with a panel discussion about what challenges and opportunities the future holds for government lawyers.

7 CPD points
Practical Legal Ethics
Practice Management & Business Skills
Professional Skills
Substantive Law
Member
$643 Earlybird
$805 Standard
Non-member
$842 Earlybird
$1051 Standard

Earlybird closes 14 July

Registration closes 08 August


Program

8am

Registration

8.20am

Welcome

Presenter:
Christine Smyth, President, Queensland Law Society; Partner, Robbins Watson Solicitors and Accredited Specialist (Succession Law) – Qld

8.25am

Keynote address

Presenter:
The Honourable Yvette D’Ath MP, Attorney-General and Minister for Justice and Minister for Training and Skills
Chair:
Andrew Harris, Executive Director, Business and Corporate Services, Office of Industrial Relations, Queensland Treasury and chair, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

8.40am

Vexatious litigants: Psychology and case update

Hear from the experts about a recent NSW case and what lessons can be learnt as well as the psychology behind vexatious litigants. This session will provide you with practical hints and tips to help you manage communications (verbal and written) with vexatious litigants as well as ideas to help de-escalate the situation.

Presenters:
Dr Anne Purcell, CEO, Resolutions Partners and Mediator
Sarah Davies, Director, Sarah Davies Legal Pty Ltd and Accredited Specialist (Commercial Litigation) – Qld
Chair:
Paula Freeleagus, Assistant Crown Solicitor, Crown Law and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

9.40am

The new Industrial Relations Act 2016 – what do I need to know?

The new Act took effect in March 2017, hear from our expert presenters about what:

  • you need to be aware
  • has changed
  • does this mean to you and your agency.
Presenters:
Kate Langdon, Principal Consultant, Public Sector Industrial Relations, Office of Industrial Relations, Queensland Treasury
Michael Anderson, Director, Public Sector Industrial Relations, Office of Industrial Relations, Queensland Treasury 
Chair:
Sian Ashford, Lawyer, Fair Work Ombudsman and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

10.25am

Morning tea

10.55am

Stream 1A

Electronic contracts and signatures

Electronic contracting and the use of electronic signatures is increasing in popularity. This session will include an examination of compliance with statutory requirements when contracting and signing electronically.

The session will provide you with practical tips and traps that you should be aware of when transacting electronically.

Presenter:
Andrew Smyth, Partner, Robbins Watson Lawyers
Chair:
Ian Commins, Head of Legal Services, Griffith University and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

Stream 1B

Government sector – Year in review: Q&A

This interview style session will interview presenters about the key legislative changes and case law updates this year, including:

  • child sex abuse limitations
  • update on human rights
  • iinstitutional racial discrimination
  • native title compensation
  • Crime and Corruption Act 2001
  • Public Interest Disclosures.
Presenters:
Lara Rega, Assistant Crown Solicitor, Insurance and Risk Team, Crown Law
Jackie Hamilton, Assistant Crown Solicitor, Workplace Law Team, Crown Law
Simon Grant, Assistant Crown Solicitor, Native Title and Resources Team, Crown Law
Rob Hutchings, Director, Legal Services, Crime and Corruption Commission
Facilitator:
Matt Dunn, Acting CEO, Queensland Law Society

11.55am

Stream 2A

What’s new in government procurement: Contracting and tendering?

This session will explore what’s new, including an update about the proposed implementation of new information communication technology procurement framework. This session will help you achieve best practice, whether it is being asked to review legal documents or look at the tendering process. It will help you ensure that the procurement process is undertaken in a way that ensures risks are minimised and the decision making process is protected.

Presenter:
Jonathan Corby, Partner, Clayton Utz
Chair:
Aimee de Pass, Legal Counsel, Queensland Rail and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

Stream 2B

Evidence-based policy making and development of legislation

In order to ensure laws are well-founded, just and workable and do not drive mere opinion, an evidence-based approach is required. Hear from the expert about some fundamental aspects of this rigorous approach including:

  • evidence being reliable and validated
  • the outcome of the accurate collection of appropriate data
  • transparent analysis of that data and public and professional debate.

This session will help you develop your analysis and creation of policy to support the development of legislation.

Presenters:
Annette O’Callaghan, Parliamentary Counsel, Office of the Queensland Parliamentary Counsel
Chair:
Mark Crofton, Official Solicitor, Public Trustee and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

12.40pm

Lunch

1.25pm

What’s new in constitutional law?

Over the past year, a lot has happened. This session will give you a succinct overview of what is new, to ensure that you can advise your clients of any changes. This session will explore:

  • constitutional right to trial by jury
  • freedom of political communication
  • Kable further developments
  • constitutional status of State civil and administrative tribunals
  • validity of State revenue legislation against Commonwealth superannuation legislation
  • State governments’ prerogative powers to deal with Crown lands.
Presenter:
Philippa Mott, Assistant Crown Solicitor, Crown Law
Felicity Nagorcka, Senior Principal Lawyer, Crown Law
Chair:
Connie Seeto, General Counsel, University of Queensland and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

2.10pm

If Not Me, Then Who? The solicitor as Moral Compass

Government lawyers perform a unique role within their organisations, often having both operational and legal duties. However, regardless of role, they remain bound by their ethical obligations. This session will examine the crucial role solicitors play in shaping the morals of their organisations, and explore the ways in which ethical principles can help navigate the minefield of conflicting and competing agendas and instructions. This will include consideration of the application of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012 and the totality principle.

Presenters:
Stafford Shepherd, Director, QLS Ethics Centre, Queensland Law Society
Shane Budden, QLS Ethics Solicitor, Queensland Law Society
Chair:
Connie Seeto, General Counsel, University of Queensland and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

3.10pm

Afternoon tea

3.30pm

Privacy issues for government lawyers: Practical steps

With the recent move of thousands of civil servants to open plan at 1 William Street and the organisational culture shift to sharing information between departments, how do you practically manage communication between departments? What are key issues you need to consider in an open plan workplace? Hear from the experts about what things you need to be aware of and learn about practical strategies.

Questions on notice to the presenters are welcomed.

Presenters:
Chris Maxwell, Special Counsel, Commercial and Property Team, Crown Law
Michael Anastas, Partner, HWL Ebsworth and deputy chair, QLS Banking and Financial Services Law Committee
Phil Green, Privacy Commissioner, Office of the Information Commissioner
Chair:
Cecelia Christensen, Deputy General Counsel, Queensland Treasury and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

4.15pm

Effective legal project management for government lawyers

This session will provide you with an overview of legal project management techniques and tools. The expert presenter will share tips and traps about best practices for scoping projects, managing teams and budgets, communicating to stakeholders, addressing scope creep and conducting post-project reviews. This session will help you avoid time, cost and team burnout.

Presenter:
Jemima Harris, Managing Counsel, Lexvoco
Chair:
Jill Petrie, Director, Legal Services Coordination Unit, DJAG and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

4.45pm

Future Trends: Impact on government lawyers

This panel discussion will look to the future and identify key issues and challenges that government lawyers will be facing. The panel will discuss how technology is changing the delivery of legal services and challenging the traditional legal services model, how can government lawyers demonstrate value, how can you do more with less and what can your external legal advisers do for you to help you manage change?

Questions on notice for the panellists are welcomed.

Panellists:
Barry Dunphy, Partner, Clayton Utz
John Flood, Professor of Law and Director of the Law Futures Centre, Griffith University
Cecelia Christensen, Deputy General Counsel, Queensland Treasury and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee
Tony Keyes, Senior Deputy Crown Solicitor, Crown Law
Moderator:
Julie Fotheringham, Lawyer, Legal Aid Queensland and member, QLS Government Lawyers Committee

5.30pm

Closing remarks

Presenter:
Christine Smyth, President, Queensland Law Society; Partner, Robbins Watson Solicitors and Accredited Specialist (Succession Law) – Qld

5.35pm

Networking drinks

6.35pm

Close