Queensland Law Society

President's update

President's Update

Anyone who has been paying attention to the weather reports of late will know that the beaches at my home city of the Gold Coast have been pounded by unseasonable and enormous waves. I have lived here a long time and struggle to recall the surf being any bigger, or seeing so many ‘beach closed’ signs.

Of course, that doesn’t stop many surfers from getting out there, quickly adapting to the huge conditions and indulging in their passion. In fact, there is a bit of a lesson there for us.

We are facing changing conditions in our profession, some of which are rolling towards us like a fresh set of waves generated by a three-metre swell, and they will be just as difficult to negotiate. However, if we are flexible, agile and innovative, we can handle these changes and even profit from them, much as surfers enjoy the bigger waves.

To do this, we need to develop every skill in our set, acquire new ones and look outside of our own profession. If we combine that with a genuine passion for the law, we can prosper. It is for that reason that the Society is launching its Aspire Leadership Lecture Series this month.

This series is very close to my heart and a very personal project. I have never forgotten how hard it was starting out in my own firm, or having to find and acquire leadership skills and tactics by basically stumbling into them. My hope with this series is that you won’t have to find out the hard way (like I did!) and that it will help members gain the skills to lead the way in confronting the waves of change rolling towards us.

You can register for the first lecture in the series here. Don’t delay, spaces are filling fast! If you can’t make the event in person, it will be available to view on Facebook Live. We have been very lucky to secure Isabelle Reinecke of Grata Fund and I am looking forward to hearing what she has to say about leadership and agility.

We also have some of our biggest conferences coming up. The Conveyancing Conference on 1 August and the Criminal Law Conference on 2 August. Both conferences have a great line-up of speakers, including many who are accredited specialists in their fields. Registration for these conferences closes at the end of the month, so now’s the time to register.

I am again pleased to note that I have been busy welcoming yet another magistrate to the bench. Again it is from our side of the profession, with the swearing-in of her honour Magistrate Trinity McGarvie. Magistrate McGarvie brings a wealth of experience to the position, having had a long career in criminal and family law, and significant involvement in pro bono work. I wish her Honour well in the new role. I am confident that her blend of integrity, compassion and competence will ensure her success.

On the flipside, that same day the Magistrates Court lost a great servant with Chief Magistrate Judge Rinaudo stepping down from the role. His Honour is moving to sit in the District Court after five productive and successful years leading the Magistrates Court. Given that the role involves organising lawyers, a task I have compared to herding cats (as long as we are talking about particularly cantankerous and headstrong cats), it is no mean feat to do it so well for so long.

I would like to express my personal thanks, as well as the thanks of the profession, to Judge Rinaudo and wish him well at the District Court. I note with pride that Judge Rinaudo is a former solicitor and President of Queensland Law Society, and he has discharged his duties with great competence and empathy. I hope his success will see the Government look to solicitors more often when appointing people to the Bench, and also when considering candidates for leaders of courts.

Finally, I’d like to send a big shout-out to all the solicitors out there who are also parents—navigating the school holiday period as we speak. No doubt the constant outbreaks of ‘I’m bored!’ and ‘He keeps touching my side of the car!’ occasionally make herding cats an appealing prospect. The good, however, outweighs the bad, and these are the times to cherish. Of course, I say that with the confidence of a man whose kids are adults and these days almost never fight over who gets to ride in the front seat…

Bill Potts, QLS President

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