QLS Council 2022-23

Queensland Law Society would like to thank all members who participated in the 2021 QLS Council election.

The newly elected QLS Council will take office on 1 January 2022 and includes the following members:


President

Kara Thomson

Deputy President

Michael Brennan

Vice President

Chloe Kopilovic

Ordinary member of Council (listed in the order automatically drawn in accordance with the Rules)


President

Duly elected as President of the Queensland Law Society commencing 1 January 2022, in accordance to the rule 33(1)(a) of the Legal Profession (Society) Rules 2007.

Kara Thomson


I am an accredited specialist in personal injury law, working for both plaintiffs and defendants in a small Brisbane based practice. I have also worked in Logan and Townsville, including being involved in the Townsville DLA. I have experience in National practices too. My current role takes me all across the State. Since 2016 I have worked as a Council member and sat on various committees, dedicating my time and efforts for the advancement and protection of Queensland solicitors. I thoroughly enjoy giving my time freely and for the benefit of the profession, having worked with some amazing and selfless leaders in that time. I am looking forward to continuing to support Queensland solicitors as we negotiate uncertain times, creating confidence and clarity, working closely with stakeholders and leveraging the extensive experience of our advocacy team, Council members, leadership team and past leaders. Collegiality, confidence and trust is key.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I was admitted in 2006 with experience in insolvency, retail leasing litigation and insurance. I am an accredited specialist. I have worked in Logan, Townsville and Brisbane. I have experience with National firms, large Queensland and small Queensland firms. I have previously been nominated as a mentor of the year and really enjoy working with others to develop their careers.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I believe in fairness and equality as part of the justice system. My balance motivates me to ensure that all sides are considered and interests advanced accordingly. I believe in maintaining strong professional standards to ensure confidence in our profession.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

As demonstrated over the last six years, I am committed to the Society's vision and operating plan, having been part of the team which developed same. I will continue to keep our vision and purpose at the forefront of all interactions on behalf of the Society and its members to advance Queensland solicitors and ensure collegiality, confidence and trust.


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Deputy President

Duly elected as Deputy President of the Queensland Law Society commencing 1 January 2022, in accordance to the rule 33(1)(b) of the Legal Profession (Society) Rules 2007.

Michael Brennan


As a current and long standing QLS Councilor, I am not afraid to challenge the status quo and I’m dedicated to advocating for and on behalf of members to ensure the highest ethical and professional conduct within the Queensland legal profession. I am a Principal of Offermans based in Townsville. With offices in Cairns, Townsville, Mackay and Brisbane I have a unique understanding of the profession across regional Queensland. Our State and our profession are disparate across so many geographic and economic aspects. Regional representation is vital to provide a voice for practitioners outside of the South-East. Admitted in 1999, I practiced in commercial law before becoming an insolvency practitioner. In addition to maintaining my Practicing Certificate, I am a Liquidator and Bankruptcy Trustee. I sit on the Insolvency Committee of the Law Society and I am a Board member of ARITA, the nation’s peak insolvency body.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I have been lucky enough to spend nearly six years learning what the Society does, how it does it and who the people are behind the scenes that do the heavy lifting. It is incumbent upon me to make sure that the knowledge I have gained is best utilised to help the QLS work for members.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I believe deeply in the importance of the Rule of Law. As Solicitors we must ensure that the judicial arm of government is protected and allowed to operate without fear or favor. The QLS is ideally placed to ensure that Solicitors can discharge this role.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

The QLS has a long tradition of finding the balance between guiding the Government, leading Solicitors to assist the Judiciary and educating the Public on important legal issues. These elements embody the concept of good law, good lawyers and public good. My role if elected, is to help guide the strategic direction of the QLS in this crucial job.


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Vice President

Duly elected as Vice President of the Queensland Law Society commencing 1 January 2022, in accordance to the rule 33(1)(c) of the Legal Profession (Society) Rules 2007.

Chloe Kopilovic


Chloe is a director of FC Lawyers leading its Wills and Estates team. Shortly after admission in 2013, Chloe found her passion in succession law and went on to complete her masters. Chloe enjoys the confidence of fellow practitioners and clients in relation to her expertise in the field.

Chloe has served on the Council for the last 6 years and has been a member of the Executive Committee for the past 2 years. She also serves on the Committee of Management and Innovation Committee. Chloe passionately believes in the legal profession and its traditions.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I commenced on Council as an early career lawyer and understand the changing face of our legal landscape having worked in a practice which has both a city and regional perspective. I am familiar with the operation and business of the QLS and am committed to building pathways and alternative professional options for practitioners at any stage of their career.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I value communication and transparency. I love meeting other practitioners throughout the State, engaging with them and listening to their issues. I will continue to address the impact of change on the profession and advocate for the needs of our members.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

I have and will continue to be available to all members no matter where they are located and support and promote our profession as it continues to grow. It is important that we continue to provide cost effective education, advocacy and insurance for all our members.


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Ordinary member of Council


Samantha Bolton

Samantha Bolton


Samantha is a Director at Pippa Colman & Associates and has practiced in the areas of Family and Domestic and Family Violence Law for over a decade. Initially, Samantha practiced in general law for the first few years following her admission. Samantha has a particular passion for assisting the Children’s Court and the Family and Federal Circuit Court of Australia as a Separate Representative and Independent Children’s Lawyer. Samantha has extensively served the Sunshine Coast Region having acted as committee member for the Sunshine Coast Law Associate for over a decade, including as President and Vice President. She has prided herself during that time on building relationships with neighbouring DLA regions. She has also served on the Suncoast Community Legal Service Committee including as President. Samantha is also the current WLAQ ambassador for the Sunshine Coast Region and also serves as a Judiciary Member for Sunshine Coast Rugby Union.


  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

After having served my region for over a decade in various positions including President of the SCLA I believe that my communication and ability to balance the needs of our members, judiciary and various stakeholders has equipped me with the attributes necessary to serve on QLS Council.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

One of my priorities as a Solicitor has always been to give back to both my community and my profession through service. I consider myself a team player and believe that the values I hold will enable me to serve the profession on a wider scale beyond my region of the Sunshine Coast.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

My hope is to bring a well-placed perspective in relation of the regions. I will contribute by working with QLS at Council to support and assist its development with its regional members to ensure the QLS has a strong working relationship with them into the future.


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Allison Caputo

Allison Caputo


I am Special Counsel at Barry.Nilsson. Lawyers in their family law team in Brisbane. I have worked exclusively in the area of family law since my admission in 2006 both in public and private practice. Prior to my admission as a lawyer, I worked as a Judges Associate in the Family Court of Australia, Sydney Registry for a number of years. I have a Master of Applied Law (Family Law) and I obtained Specialist Accreditation from the Queensland Law Society in 2015. I have served one term as a QLS Council member and would like the opportunity to continue to build on the work that was started by serving another term.


  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I have had the good fortune to serve one term on Council and in that time have acquired a good understanding of the business of Council and the make up of our profession in Queensland. I believe my experience in practice and on Council will serve me well in a second term.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

Our client's best interests are served when practitioners can work together to create workable outcomes. I believe that I bring the same ethic of working together and looking for practical outcomes that are in the best in interests of the profession when exercising my responsibilities as a Council member.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

Understanding who our members are and how they practice is the first step in ensuring that the work of Council is always directed towards supporting lawyers and achieving our strategic goal. If I serve a second term, I will use this knowledge to inform my decision making on Council.


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Michele Davis

Michele Davis


I have been in private practice for 10 years in succession and elder law. I have held multiple leadership positions, including founding, and leading a district law association since 2015, leading a national team of lecturers in post-graduate education wills and estates and launching the Hello Law community mentoring initiative for students and early career lawyers. I strongly believe in authenticity and have a special interest in inspiring the profession to invest in education, mentorship, wellbeing, and kindness in law for our intrinsic benefit and the benefit of our society. I lead with compassion, embrace vulnerability, and focus on empowering practitioners to be the best version of themselves in their work with the view to organically espouse good law, good lawyers, and public good. I believe in supporting the people behind the practice.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I have strong people and communication skills that assist me to break down barriers and promote meaningful and purposeful engagement between people. My experience with top tier, mid-tier, boutique, micro and sole practices, and leading legal education providers have given me a unique appreciation for the differing experiences of practitioners across the profession.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I am motivated by the people behind the practice and believe strongly in the value of authenticity. I believe in finding meaningful integration between life and law to empower people to engage with their practice purposefully. I will continue to be an approachable and active listener for all corners of the profession to represent all voices of the profession.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

I will advocate for authenticity, connection and meaning in what our profession stands for and contribute to a positive voice for the profession, particularly those are unrepresented. I will my voice to inspire the profession, be the voice of reason, passion, and purpose, speaking with positivity and passion for the people of our profession and society.


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Genevieve Dee

Genevieve Dee


I am an accredited specialist in Family Law and partner at Lander & Rogers. I have practiced exclusively in family and relationship law for over 15 years. I am a contributing author to a number of CCH publications on family law. I am privileged to also be a member of the Management Committee for Women's Legal Service Qld (WLAQ). My focus is providing clients with practical and strategic advice to assist in the early resolution of matters and to avoid litigation whenever possible. As a young lawyer I was fortunate to serve two terms as councillor of the Queensland Law Society. During that time, I was a member of the Committee of Management and the Specialist Accreditation Board, including a term as Chair. I am a proud two-time Dancing CEO for WLAQ, helping to raise much needed funds to support women and children experiencing family violence.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I have previously served as QLS Councillor and understand the work required to undertake the role. I have an interest in risk and compliance matters impacting the profession. As a partner in a new practice, I am keenly aware of the challenges practitioners face embracing new ways of working and try to attract and retain young lawyers in the profession.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I consider honesty, integrity, and compassion to be at the core of our work as legal practitioners. I model those values in my practice and my interactions with other practitioners and clients. I would apply those values to my work as Councillor and the work of the society to progress the 2021-25 strategic plan.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

By listening to practitioners as they tell me what is important to them.


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Sheetal Deo

Sheetal Deo


Sheetal is the Principal of Shakti Legal Solutions, an innovative law firm designed to bridge the justice gap. The firm operates on a ‘pay what you can’ model and focuses on servicing members of under-represented and marginalised communities with particular focus on NDIS appeals, anti-discrimination, and wills and estate planning. Prior to launching her own firm, Sheetal worked at QLS and with the support of the CEO, Executive and Council, helped create and served as QLS’s inaugural Relationship Manager – Future Lawyers, Future Leaders, where she focused on supporting students and early career lawyers. Outside of legal practice, Sheetal delivers diversity, inclusion and equity training with The Diversity Collective, and volunteers her time as the President and Co-Founder of Ethnic+ (a not-for-profit organisation supporting members of the culturally and linguistically diverse LGBTIQA+ community), State Director (Queensland) for Out for Australia, and Management Committee board member for the LGBTI Legal Service.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I’ve worked within QLS in a role which actively engaged in meaningful dialogue with stakeholders ranging from managing partners from mid to top tier firms, QLS Senior Counsellors and Accredited Specialists, emerging leaders and law students. I will utilise this experience and networks to continue advocating on their behalf and to ensure meaningful representation within QLS Council.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I strongly believe that the profession needs better representation and inclusion of people of diverse backgrounds and experiences. As someone with intersecting identities and experiences, and having undertaken studies in political science, gender and race studies, I am acutely aware of the need to recognise these issues to better support the diversity of the Queensland legal profession and its members.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

As a QLS Council Member, I will listen and learn from QLS members, to understand the changing needs of the profession and work with QLS to meet these needs. I will use my position on Council to advocate on behalf of QLS members who have elected me to represent them and the communities we serve.


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Bridie Edwards

Bridie Edwards


I was admitted as a Lawyer in June 2020 and I practice in Business and Commercial Law. I am committed to the development and growth of the law students in our firm and on the Sunshine Coast. I live by example and encourage them to do the same. I assist them with creating their personal brand, introduce them to other lawyers in the profession and try to provide guidance and support for them in any way I can. I also create and deliver all of the legal content for our firm's social media which we use to share free information to our network, potential clients and colleagues. I believe this instils collegiality across the firm by sharing knowledge and experience, and empowering others to do the same. I love connecting and interacting with likeminded people.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I am young and filled with passion, energy and drive. I am confident, honest, approachable and am committed to helping others achieve their goals, succeed and to be the best versions of themselves. I have grown up in leadership roles which has shaped the person I am today, which I believe is a good leader.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I value being part of a team and I believe we can achieve more together. Being surrounded by strong, passionate and like-minded people motivates me. A good firm culture and work-life balance is important to me and I want to instil these values in the profession. Being surrounded by strong levels of experience and guidance can assist me.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

I will encourage living by example, collegiality, networking and being in touch with one another which provides for a better profession, relationships and client outcomes. Whilst I am an early career lawyer, I am in an experienced team and can draw on their expertise, experience and receive assistance. They are all very supportive of this move by me to apply.


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Peter Jolly

Peter Jolly


I was admitted in 1985. I was a partner of Biggs & Biggs from 1989 and, after that firm merged with Thynne + Macartney, I have been a partner in Thynne + Macartney's Business Advisory group. I am a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Business Law. I have an interest in corporate governance and am an experienced company director. I was a member of Thynne + Macartney's Executive Board from 2014 until stepping down in 2021 and was the Chairman of Partners at Thynne + Macartney from July 2017 to June 2021. I was the Chairman of an unlisted public company and am currently a director of a not for profit corporation. I was a member of the inaugural Business Law Specialist Accreditation Committee and am the current Chair of the Queensland Law Society Specialist Accreditation Board.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I have 36 years experience as a practitioner and as a leader in the profession. I have held leadership and governance roles in the firm, on Queensland Law Society committees and Boards, in the private sector and in the community I am highly regarded by peers and clients for my commercial expertise and collaborative approach.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I have a deep respect for the profession and a keen interest in its future. Maintaining the highest levels of professional standards, giving our colleagues courtesy and respect and acting at all times in the best interests of our clients are vital to the future of the profession.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

My values and my leadership experience will underpin my contributions as a Council Member. My extensive experience as a solicitor and law firm partner - my expertise, client service, knowledge of professional standards, governance, and strategic planning skills - gives me a unique opportunity to pass that knowledge and experience on to the generation of lawyers who follow me.


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Rebecca Pezzutti

Rebecca Pezzutti


I am a Senior Associate (PAE 15 years) employed in an insurance and employment law practice in Brisbane. I have served on the QLS Council as an ordinary member in 2020/21 and am keen to contribute as an ordinary member for another term in 2022/23. I also contribute to the work of the QLS Industrial Law Committee, and have served as a member of that committee since 2016. I am a former DLA President (Fraser Coast DLA 2016 - 2018) and believe very strongly in the importance of cultivating healthy workplaces, respectful and collegiate relationships within the profession, and protecting the good reputation of solicitors. I am proud of the work of that QLS does for its members and the profession more broadly, and which the QLS Council contributed to in 2020/2021. I seek re-election and wholeheartedly endorse the re-election of those current council members who have nominated for re-election.

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  • What special skills, attributes or experience do you possess that makes you stand out as a candidate for Council?

I possess a high EQ (self assessed) which is essential when working with a diverse group of lawyers with different perspectives (sometimes passionately held). My experience as a regional lawyer, and DLA President, also inform my understanding of how the work of QLS impacts lawyers beyond SEQ and the importance of cultivating strong relationships with solicitors in the regions.


  • What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

Ideals - everyone has something valuable to contribute. Kindness always wins. Values - service, excellence, consistency of effort and continuous improvement. I will bring these ideals and values to Council by being prepared to: 

  • contribute my perspective; 
  • hear and respect the perspective of others, and
  • consistently give my best efforts to the work of Council and learn from my experiences.


  • How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading Solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

Ensuring that the work of QLS Council is guided by and aligned to the strategic plan 2021 - 2025 which is designed around QLS' objective of achieving this purpose.


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