Queensland Law Society

Medal honours Morcombe family lawyer

Date 22 Feb 2016
Contact Tony Keim
Phone 07 3842 5835
Mobile 0488 433 884
Email t.keim@qls.com.au

The humble small-town lawyer whose tireless tenacity helped secure the conviction of Sunshine Coast school-boy Daniel Morcombe’s killer has won the coveted 2016 Queensland Law Society’s President’s Medal.

Nambour solicitor Peter Boyce OAM was announced the winner of the prestigious President’s Medal at the annual Legal Profession Dinner – hosted by the Society at Brisbane’s Sofitel Ballroom Le Grand on Friday night.

Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts said: "Peter stands as a leader in our profession and is one of countless lawyers who selflessly toil for little or no reward in the pro bono space within their communities."

"Peter has quietly and fiercely acted on the behalf and in support of the Morcombe family, as well as other parents who have tragically lost young children, and this medal recognises and celebrates the work of a truly outstanding individual.

"The Society supports not only Mr Boyce, but the large numbers of our State’s lawyers for the often unacknowledged work and time they dedicate to their local communities across a range of legal and community service matters."

Mr Boyce, whom for no fee,  acted as the Morcombe’s solicitor throughout their nine-year-ordeal and was instrumental in questioning Daniel’s killer – serial child sex-offender Brett Peter Cowan – and smashing his alibi during a lengthy coronial inquiry that kicked off in 2010.

Cowan, now aged 46, was sentenced in March 2014 to life imprisonment with a non-parole period of 20 years for murdering the young teen.

Mr Boyce’s  close relationship with Bruce and Denise Morcombe also prompted him to help them set up the Daniel Morcombe Foundation – an organisation dedicated to educating children in a bid to protect  them from suffering a similar fate as Daniel.

More recently, Mr Boyce represented the family of Thomas Olive – who died at the Nambour General Hospital from a rare disorder called rhabdomyolysis after doctors failed to disagnose the condition in time to treat him.

He also represented the family of six-year-old  Lilli Sweet at a coronial hearing in November last year following her death at the same hospital due to a delay in administering antibiotics for an infection.

In nominating Mr Boyce for the Medal, his Butler McDermott Lawyers colleague Alan Clark said: "Peter’s involvement in coronial inquests is an enormously time intensive and involved process."

"There is no doubt that the Morcombe, Thomas and Sweet families benefited greatly from  the legal work Peter undertook for them during a difficult time.

"His dedicated representation of the (Morcombe) family … was instrumental in bringing Daniel’s killer to justice."