Queensland Law Society

2019 QLS Council Election Results

Queensland Law Society would like to thank all members who participated in the 2019 Council election.

The newly elected QLS Council take office on 1 January 2020 and includes the following members:

 


President

Duly elected as President of the Queensland Law Society commencing 1 January 2020 in accordance with rule 33(1) of the Legal Profession (Society) Rules 2007.


Luke Murphy, Murphy Schmidt

I am an Accredited Specialist (Personal Injuries), also practising in Succession law. I am currently a Council and Executive Member, Deputy Chair - Accident Compensation Committee and member - Specialist Accreditation Board and CPD Committee.

I nominate to work with and lead the new Council in improving QLS services to members and the public. I am enthusiastic about the contribution a unified, experienced Council can make in the continuation and implementation of initiatives to assist members professionally, personally and in their business management. I wish to continue the society’s work in liaising with Government on legislative and policy considerations.

I have served as Deputy President - Royal Lifesaving Society of Qld, Deputy Chairman - Holy Spirit Care Services and member - Salvation Army Red Shield Appeal Committee.

I have the full support of my wife Tracy, our three adult children and my partners at MurphySchmidt in my nomination.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    Integrity. A profession with integrity will be respected and respectful of others. Respect facilitates effective and efficient service of all stakeholders.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    I have learnt a great deal during my two years on Council and that acquired knowledge will assist the Society better serve its Members, the public and Government.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    I will promote and assist policy submissions and the making of pertinent public commentary. I will encourage ongoing improvement in both professional development and appropriate support for the Society’s members.


Deputy President

Duly elected as Deputy President of the Queensland Law Society commencing 1 January 2020 in accordance with rule 33(2) of the Legal Profession (Society) Rules 2007.


Elizabeth Shearer, Shearer Doyle Law

I am a QLS Senior Counsellor, Chair of the Access to Justice Pro Bono Committee, and a member of the Ethics and Professional Conduct Committees. Previously, I served as Chair of the Practice Management Committee, and on Council from 2014-17. I am a member of the University of Queensland Pro Bono Centre Advisory Board, and the Supreme Court Library Committee. I serve on the Law Council of Australia’s Access to Justice Committee and am appointed to the Professional Standards Councils in all States and Territories. I was admitted in 1986 and have worked in large and small private practices, legal aid, and community legal services. I now operate a small private practice in Brisbane CBD. This includes a specialist family law practice, as well as general practice work focussed on meeting the needs of “the missing middle” who are not accessing solicitors when they need help for everyday legal problems.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    Each of these values is essential, but service particularly resonates. QLS has given me the opportunity for service to the profession and, through policy committees, service to the community.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    I don’t want my generation to be the last general practitioners. Our community needs us. I want to ensure solicitors survive and thrive as trusted advisors to our clients.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    After more than 30 years in different roles in very different styles of practice, I can see how the pieces fit together. I will work hard to contribute this perspective.


Vice President


Peter Lyons, Consultant

I believe that I can bring to the Council the voice of a person with new ideas to assist the QLS to meet the challenges it faces over the next two years and to give voice to those members who may feel that are not being heard. In particular, I seek to be a voice to acknowledge the tireless work of CLC's and the unheralded pro bono work undertaken by QLS members (for CLCs and the wider general community). Having been a member of the QLS for over 27 years I have been able to observe with pride the growth of the QLS as a vital and influential voice for the solicitors of Queensland. I am seeking the opportunity to give something back to the legal profession and would be honored to be member of the next QLS Council.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    All the QLS core values are important that they support the vision, shape the culture and reflect what the QLS and its member's value.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    Funding cuts to CLC. It is important that the work of CLC's are not forgotten; nor the excellent pro bono work of QLS members helping disadvantaged members of our community.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    By seeking to be an active member of the Council, to listen to members and to support the rule of law.


Ordinary member of Council


Michael Brennan, Offermans

As a current and long standing QLS Councillor, 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 am the Deputy Chair of the Queensland Committee of ARITA, the nation’s peak insolvency body.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    Integrity. The standard you walk past is the standard you accept. Lawyers are the cornerstone of our system of law. If Lawyers act without integrity, our system fails.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    Members have invested four years into me learning the QLS ropes and I can add tremendous value to our Society as one of your Councillors repaying that investment.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    By asking the questions that many want to ask but don’t have the opportunity or courage. By holding Council to account and to ensure that we stick to our purpose.


Allison Caputo, Barry.Nilsson.Lawyers

I have practiced as a solicitor in the area of family law since my admission in 2006. During this time I have worked in private practice in Sydney, the Gold Coast and Brisbane and with the Legal Aid Commission of NSW. I hold a Master of Applied Law (Family) and I am a QLS Accredited Specialist in Family Law. As a current volunteer at the Women’s Legal Service, I provide legal advice to client’s of the service regarding family law and domestic violence. I am a member of the team at Barry.Nilsson. Lawyers providing advice to Lexon Insurance about risk issues for the profession. I have a particular interest in taxation issues in family law and I am a member of the Tax Institute of Australia. Outside of the law, I am a mother to two teenage daughters and I dream about one day being proficient at yoga and pilates.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    The value of service resonates with me. To be of service to others through the provision of advice and representation is what attracted me to the profession.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    A committed and stable Council is vital to representing the needs of the profession. I have previously been involved with the QLS Symposium and would like to further contribute to the interests of lawyers in Queensland.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    I would bring the commitment of my time, energy, ideas and experience over many years both outside the practice of law and as a lawyer.


Chloe Kopilovic, FC Lawyers

Chloe is an Associate Director with FC Lawyers leading the Wills and Estates team. After finding a passion for succession law not long after being admitted in 2013, she completed a Masters in Applied Law majoring in Wills & Estates. Chloe is an incumbent Council Member for the Queensland Law Society. She also a member of the CPD Committee and Innovation Committee and part of the QLS website redevelopment group. Outside the law, Chloe is involved in a number of not for profit organisations – she is a committee member of the Australasian Council of Women and Policing and the Finance and Risk committee for Girl Guides Queensland. She also serves on the board for Sunshine Hospice, Uniforms 4 Kids and Spark Bureau. On the weekends, you’ll generally find Chloe out climbing a mountain, or mapping out a hike, on the Sunshine Coast where she lives.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    In a world where many things are disposable, I feel sometimes people forget the fundamentals. Having respect for colleagues and clients is what will keep us in the long game.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    Technology is changing the dynamics of law practice rapidly. Being on Council allows me to put forward my ideas to help maximise the role of the QLS for our members.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    Being on Council is a privilege; you meet and learn from wonderful people in our profession. For me, being kind, collegiate and listening is embodying the attributes of the QLS.


Kirsty Mackie, University of the Sunshine Coast

I have been lucky enough to enjoy a varied legal career both in private practice, most recently at Pippa Colman & Associates and in the community legal sector. At present I am working with the University of the Sunshine Coast running their practical legal clinic at the Suncoast Community Legal Centre. I am also a sessional academic at QUT in the faculties of law, business and nursing. Until very recently I was Chair of the QLS Elder Law Committee before handing over the reins after 4 years. As Chair I developed a passion for law reform in the areas of capacity and elder abuse. I practice principally in family and elder law. My time on the QLS Council has left me with an enormous respect for the work done to advance the profession by the Society and its members. In my spare time I attempt to surf.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    Respect is an integral part of our profession whether it is for the law, for your colleagues or for yourself.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    In order to advocate for change, I believe you have to be part of the process and being on Council is an important part of the process.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    I would like the opportunity to continue to work as part of the Council and the Committees to advance law reform in the interests of the public and the profession.


William (Bill) Munro, Munro Legal Pty Ltd

I have been in active continuous private practice since admission in December 1978. In 1999 and again in 2018, I served as President of the Downs & South West Qld Law Association and remain a member of its Management Committee. Earlier this year, I was honoured with the award of Queensland First Nations Lawyer of the Year. I am a Legal Practitioner/Director of Munro Legal Pty Ltd in Toowoomba where I have practised for the past 22 years. I have also practised in NSW and the Northern Territory. I have been an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injuries since 1998. I also practise extensively in the Wills and Estates aspects of our practice. I am especially interested in ensuring our members in Rural and Remote parts of the State continue to be well served by the society and am committed to accessible service to all members of QLS.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    Obviously, each of these values is critical, but I believe that unless integrity characterises all that we do, our clients may doubt our service and respect will consequently be diminished.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    As President of the DLA I saw much more work remains to be done in the regional and remote areas of Queensland. I wish to assist in that challenge.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    A generation of experience for me brings with it awareness, flexibility, empathy and a determination, if successful, to advocate for the three great "goods".


Rebecca Pezzutti, Bell Dixon Butler Laywers

I am a Senior Associate in a regional law firm, and the immediate past President of the Fraser Coast DLA (2017 & 2018). I was the DLA Secretary in 2015 & 2016. During my tenure with the DLA my team revived communications, networking and social events as a key strategy to foster collegiality among local practitioners. The benefits for the local profession have been tremendous and ongoing. I am currently a member of the QLS Industrial Law Committee where I participate and contribute to law and policy in employment and workplace relations. I am passionate about enhancing the reputation of regional practitioners, and the strength of connection between the regions and the QLS city base. I am willing to contribute my efforts to ensure that regional lawyers are represented at the table, and to enhance opportunities to connect, contribute and learn, and to advance issues of importance to regional lawyers.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    Integrity. We ask to be trusted by clients who at times are vulnerable and have 'everything on the line'. Integrity requires us to be brutally honest with ourselves and regularly check our motivations to ensure they are aligned with that position

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    I want to contribute to the work of the QLS and ensure that the voice of Regional Members are well represented. I also want to learn and grow as a practitioner and leader in the profession.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    I will bring a uniquely regional perspective to the discussion and resolution of issues and the work of the QLS, ensuring that the issues of importance for regional lawyers are tabled and advanced.


Kara Thomson, DWF (Australia)

I have worked in insurance (personal injuries) for over 12 years in both plaintiff and defendant roles, with some previous insolvency experience. I have also worked in regional Queensland (Townsville) and have an appreciation of the needs and pressures of practitioners outside the CBD area. I maintain my connection with regional practitioners through my current work which sees me travel regularly into Central and North Queensland. I have, for the last four years worked as part of the QLS Council team, developing strategies to ensure that our profession remains valued, of excellent repute and empowered for the future. I am looking forward to continuing that work and making sure that the Society remains best placed to continue its advocacy work for the benefit of the profession. I am proud to be a Queensland solicitor and look forward to representing the profession in a meaningful way in 2020/21.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    Service is most important to me, it is at the core of our profession, providing access to services that ordinary members of the public need.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    I am motivated to drive our membership-based organisation so that we remain relevant, of benefit and advocate for good law for good lawyers.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    I will embrace a relationship of integrity and respect with the Society and support president, deputy and vice president to fairly represent and advance the profession.


Philip Ware, Stanwell Corporation

30 years in the law, 20 in-house and as a senior governance executive in a complex and highly regulated industry and policy environment. Committed to the maintenance of the Rule of Law, Good Law and Good Lawyers. Expert in governance and probity. Passionate about lawyer wellbeing and mentoring. Experienced Chair and committee member: QLS Senior Counsellor; Chair, Wellbeing Working Group (WWG); Chair, In-house Lawyers Committee; ADR Committee. Previously, Mining and Resources Committee. Proud of WWG wellbeing initiatives around the Practice Management Course, Mental Health First Aid training and Vicarious Trauma awareness. Member Queensland Committee and National Mentoring and Advocacy Committees of the Association of Corporate Counsel (ACC); accredited Probity Adviser (Resolution Institute); Graduate member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors (GAICD); member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators (CIArb); member of the Racing Queensland Training Disputes Tribunal; member of the QUT Alumni Board. Currently undertaking MBA studies at QUT.

  1. Which of Queensland Law Society’s values of service, integrity and respect is most important to you and why?

    Professional and personal integrity and respect are givens for a solicitor. Service to the Law, clients, the Profession and the community differentiates. So an ethic of service is paramount.

  2. What prompted you to nominate for a seat on Council?

    The opportunity to serve the Society and the profession, especially in relation to lawyer wellbeing and practice support. Provide my expertise in executive management and governance to the Society.

  3. How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

    Member services and public advocacy. I am very passionate about lawyer wellbeing and practice support, especially for the majority of our rural, regional, remote members in small practices.