Queensland Law Society

President’s update

Christine Smyth

It is a pleasure to report that our Modern Advocate Lecture Series is continuing to break records.

Last Wednesday’s event, the third in our 2017 series, set a new record of 163 in-person registrants along with more than 500 online viewers via Facebook Live.

These numbers show that we are engaging in a meaningful way with our members, the broader profession and the public, and having these lectures live on Facebook means that members of the public get an insight into the complexities of the work we do, and they learn to value our role in society.

Our thanks go to Justice Peter Applegarth for his insightful address on ‘Issue framing in oral and written submissions’. I also acknowledge QLS staff Shane Budden, Stafford Shepherd and Matt Dunn, along with immediate past president Bill Potts, for their commitment to ensuring the terrific success of this series.

Stand by for 2017 lecture four, to be delivered by Justice Roslyn G Atkinson AO on 26 October. Don’t forget that you can view all lectures in our Modern Advocate Lecture Series at qls.com.au.

Last week I also had the opportunity to meet with Law Council of Australia president Fiona McLeod for a positive and productive discussion on the common areas of interest for the LCA and QLS.

This was followed on Thursday by the QLS Senior Counsellors dinner and then the annual conference the next day. It was great to note the enthusiasm that our QLS Senior Counsellors have for their roles. They provide an important service that is both valued and valuable, enabling members at all stages of their careers direct access to the practical wisdom of many years of practice.

Last night it was great to be a guest at the Griffith Law School’s 25th anniversary gala, and on behalf of members I wish the school and its staff all the best for the next 25 years!

Last Thursday QLS Council accepted the resignations of members Kara Cook and Jennifer Hetherington, acknowledging their contributions over the last 20 months. Council appointed Chris Coyne to fill the role of vice president until the end of the calendar year.

Thanks and acknowledgements

There are many unsung heroes at QLS, and this week I’d like to acknowledge the members of our trust account investigations team.

The team has five full-time and three part-time members, and while their role is to investigate law firm trust accounts for erroneous or wrongful activity, just as important is their task of providing guidance and helping law firms to follow best practice in the management of their trust accounts.

In line with this is the team’s consultancy service, introduced recently to assist new law practices in ensuring that they have proper record-keeping and procedures in place for trust account operations.

The team puts in a great effort, which provides significant reassurance to both law firms and the public that money passing through trust accounts is being properly safeguarded.

Christine Smyth

QLS president