Queensland Law Society

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Facilitators

 

Renee Bidwell

Head of Client Development, Corrs Chamber Westgarth

Medium to Large Practice Focus: Business development and client service

Renee has built her career with domestic and international law firms. Renee has experience across all aspects of marketing and business development including business planning, pitching, sales coaching and client account management.

Renee has developed great insight into the challenges faced by practitioners and brings a client centric approach to business development. Renee has a Bachelor of Business in Management and Public Relations and often contemplates finishing her law degree.


Adam Bloom

Principal, Bloom Costs: Costs Lawyer and Court Appointed Costs Assessor

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Costs & billing
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Costs & billing

Originally admitted in NSW in 1987, Adam practised in a range of commercial litigation firms in NSW until 1999, when he changed career direction and moved into legal costs consulting.

For the last twenty years, Adam has practised and specialised exclusively in all aspects of legal costs law, ranging from assessment of costs in all Queensland and Federal courts, to advice on costs agreements and law firm costs management, to becoming a court appointed Costs Assessor in 2008.

Adam regularly presents costs seminars for various professional bodies and in-house at law firms, and has established himself as one of the pre-eminent costing specialists in Brisbane and Queensland generally.


David Bowles

Special Counsel, QLS Ethics and Practice Centre, Queensland Law Society

Medium to Large Practice Focus: Ethics

David is responsible for providing ethical guidance to Queensland legal practitioners.

David was admitted as a solicitor in 1996 and worked in private practice before joining QLS in 2012. His experience includes crime, property, litigation and estate planning. David has a Bachelor of Arts and Law. He is a trusted ethical advisor and regularly delivers relevant leadership initiatives to the legal profession.


Shane Budden

Special Counsel, QLS Ethics Centre and Practice Centre, Queensland Law Society

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Ethics

Shane is a Special Counsel at QLS providing ethical guidance and instruction to practitioners. He contributes significantly to Proctor through his regular column and by authoring feature articles. Shane was admitted in 1992 and worked in general practice with a focus on criminal law, before moving to in-house work, initially with the Ipswich City Council internal legal team. Prior to joining QLS, he headed up the internal legal team at the Queensland Building Construction Commission/Queensland Building Services Authority and was Chair of the Society’s government lawyers committee.


Mylton Burns

Principal, Commercial Litigation and Insurance, McInnes Wilson Lawyers

Medium to Large Practice Focus: Business planning

Mylton has over 30 years' experience and is recognised as one of Australia's leading commercial litigation and dispute resolution lawyers. Mylton joined McInnes Wilson as a Principal in 1996 where he advises the firm's commercial and professional service clients on how best to protect their businesses from claims.

Mylton has a Bachelor and Master of Laws, is a past President of the Australian Professional Indemnity Group, a member of the Law Council of Australia and QLS, and a member of QLS' PMC Committee. He also runs McInnes Wilson's internal CLE program.

Leyton Cronk

Legal Risk Solicitor, Lexon Insurance

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Risk and compliance

Leyton is a Legal Risk solicitor in the Risk Team at Lexon Insurance. He assists in the development of risk management tools and publications, and is a presenter of Lexon’s Risk workshop series for insured practices. Prior to joining Lexon, Leyton practiced extensively as a solicitor, with a particular focus on financial services, disputes and litigation, and restructuring.

Leyton has a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and Bachelor of Business (Accountancy) from QUT and a Master of Laws from UQ.


Randal Dennings

Lawyer and Member, QLS Banking and Financial Services Law Committee

Randal is a Fellow of the Governance institute of Australia and is a contributing author to its publications, as well as a regular facilitator and lecturer for a number of its governance risk and compliance related forums and activities.

Randal chairs UQ's Law School Pro Bono Centre, is a regular lecturer for UQ and USQ Law Schools, an Adjunct Professor of UQ's Schools of Business and Law and is convenor of UQ Law’s Adjunct and Honorary Professors.

Before retirement in 2016, Randal was the lead partner of Clayton Utz’s national governance and compliance division. In this role he advised extensively in the public, private and NFP sectors on governance, legal risk and compliance issues including the establishment and enhancement of compliance management systems (particularly those focussing on financial services reform, anti-money laundering, privacy, retail credit and related issues).

Randal is the co-author of the Standards Australia official guide on AS3806 (the Australian Standard on Compliance Programs), the consulting editor of the loose-leaf services "Australian Legal Compliance” (CCH), the co-author of the Compliance chapters in the leading CCH texts "The Essential Guide to Financial Services Reform" and "The Essential Guide to Australian Anti-Money Laundering Reforms” and was the Law Council of Australia’s nominee to the technical drafting committee that developed an International Compliance Standard for the International Standards Organisation (AS/ISO 19600:2015)


Uditi (Dee) Desai

Legal Risk Solicitor, Lexon Insurance

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Risk and compliance
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Risk and compliance

Lexon’s Knowledge Manager, Uditi is responsible for managing all updates to, and creation of new, risk management tools, including keeping up-to-date with the latest cases, claims and legislative changes. Working with QLS and leading experts in each practice area, Uditi ensures that Lexon tools implement cutting-edge neuroscience research while incorporating critical legal information and updates to help Insured practices reduce the risk of a claim and achieve better client outcomes.

Uditi was admitted as a solicitor in 2014 after obtaining her Bachelor of Law and GDLP and has worked in several areas of law previously including family, succession, conveyancing and migration.


Michael Drinkall

Team Leader, Trust Account Investigations, Queensland Law Society

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Trust Accounting
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Trust Accounting

Michael is highly experienced in conducting examinations of solicitors’ trust accounts and is recognised as a market leader in providing advice on trust accounting.

Before joining QLS, Michael was a manager at a private accounting firm in the business services and audit sector. Michael has a business degree and is a member of CPA Australia. He regularly provides presentations and training sessions on trust accounting to the profession and universities.


Midja Fisher

Midja Fisher

Corporate Facilitator, Speaker, Author, Coach; Member QLS PMC Committee

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Leading others: Essential skills for inspiring leadership
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Leading others: Essential skills for inspiring leadership

LLB(Hons.) B Info Tech

Midja is a leadership expert, corporate facilitator, mentor and keynote speaker. She is a lawyer and former partner of Shine Lawyers, an ASX listed company and one of Australia’s largest compensation law firms. Midja began her career as an IT consultant for PricewaterhouseCoopers, before practising law and then finding her passion in the field of learning and development.

During her career she has mentored leaders and facilitated hundreds of corporate workshops, from webinar series and induction programs to 6-day residential leadership programs.

Midja understands the challenges clients face in building leadership capability within their organisations. She works with their leaders to leverage their strengths to gain the skills and self-belief they need to inspire top performance.

Midja specialises in the areas of authentic leadership, building career confidence and women’s mentoring programs. Her clients include the Toyota North Queensland Cowboys, SAP, James Conomos Lawyers, Gouldson Legal, Sentinel Property Group, Queensland Law Society, WSP, Merthyr Law, Australian Trade College, QLD RSL and Australasian Legal Practice Management Association (ALPMA).

Midja is the author of two books ‘Confidence – How to be your most Authentic, Courageous and Unshakeable Self’ and ‘Great Lawyer to Great Leader’.

Midja lives on the Gold Coast with her three children.

Find out more about Midja and her practice at www.midja.com.au 


Mark Illidge

Mark Illidge

Practice Support Solicitor, Queensland Law Society Ethics and Practice Centre, Queensland Law Society

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Appropriate Management Systems

Mark was admitted as a solicitor in 1990 after completing a Bachelor of Laws at Queensland University of Technology. Following admission he practiced law in the United Kingdom, New South Wales and Victoria before returning to practice in Queensland. In 2002 Mark gained specialist accreditation in property law from Queensland Law Society (QLS). Prior to joining QLS in 2014, Mark was a sole practitioner for about 10 years. Mark is currently the Practice Support Solicitor in Queensland Law Society’s Ethics Centre. He is also an adjunct lecturer at The College of Law in the Practical Legal Training course.


Helen Johannsen

Consultant

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Business planning

Helen is an experienced solicitor, who has practised in the professional indemnity arena acting for solicitors, architects and engineers. Helen has previously worked for the Australian Institute of Architects providing risk management seminars and practical advice to a range of construction professionals on documents, procedures and strategies. Since completing her TAE40110 Certificate IV in Training and Assessment in 2013, Helen has worked at Queensland Law Society contributing towards the learning and development of those working in the legal sector. She was responsible for programming continuing professional development events for solicitors and training and assessing students undertaking the Society’s Diploma of Legal Services and the Certificate IV in Legal Services. Helen recently managed professional development courses and events for members and directors at the Australian Institute of Company Directors in Queensland.


Jeremy Jones

Partner – Private Business and Family Advisory, Pitcher Partners

Medium to Large Practice Focus: Practice finance

Jeremy Jones has over 20 years of experience as a Chartered Accountant in public practice. Throughout this time he has continued to broaden his skill set to gain experience in all aspects of accounting, taxation and business advisory. He combines a solid knowledge of the taxation laws with a strong commercial footing to provide valuable and practical advice to his clients.

A significant proportion of Jeremy’s client base operates in the Legal Profession including acting for both the Legal Practice and their owners. He therefore understands the differing commercial needs of both business and owner.


Tim Jones

Director – Business Advisory, Vincents Chartered Accountants

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Practice finance

Tim advises legal firms on start-up structuring, restructuring and complying arrangements throughout the many associated stages of ATO intervention. Assisting firms to improve their efficiencies and profitability is a particular interest. Tim is often engaged to assist in dispute resolution with a focus on achieving equitable compliant outcomes.

Tim has a Bachelor of Accounting and applies a sharp commercial approach to problem solving.


Janelle Kerrisk

Principal, Helix Legal

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Business planning

Janelle spent six years as a partner in a national law firm, where she was the youngest ever partner appointment to the firm and the first female partner appointed within her office. Over the past 16 years, Janelle has worked as a construction lawyer and in September 2016 she established the ‘new law firm’ Helix Legal exclusively servicing Construction and Infrastructure.


Ben Lowry

Strategy and Solutions Specialist, Tickbox

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Demystifying information technology
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Demystifying information technology

Ben has been working exclusively with small and boutique law firms, as part of a legal vertical within Tickbox, a local, comprehensive IT outsourcing organisation. During his four years, Ben has grown the legal client base consistently year on year, by enabling clients to gain access to big law technology service and support, through a cost effective and scalable model.

Prior to this, Ben spent over 15 years working for local, national and international law firms, in senior in-house technology roles. During this period, Ben gained an immense amount of experience in assessing and deploying technology, which aligned with organisational requirements, to deliver successful project outcomes.

As part of his work within the industry, Ben regularly engages with vendors, membership organisations, and other value add third parties to ensure his clients receive an independent and qualified view of the legal technology landscape.


Robert Mackay

Senior Risk Solicitor, Lexon Insurance

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Risk and compliance
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Risk and compliance

Robert plays an active role in the development of risk management tools and is heavily involved in the effective management of services offered to the legal profession. Robert has helped develop and runs a system testing program focused on high-value claim areas, and has run hundreds of these workshop programs at legal practices across Queensland.

Robert was admitted as a solicitor in 2005 and has worked in both private practice and in-house. He has a Bachelor of Law and Arts and is often asked to present to Queensland practices and other organisations on legal risk management.


Josip Matanovic

Director - Business Advisory, Vincents Chartered Accountants

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Trust Accounting
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Trust Accounting

Josip Matanovic is a Director with Vincents’ Business Advisory division working across the areas of business accounting and taxation compliance. His key focus is establishing effective financial controls for clients, management advice and business valuations. Josip joined Vincents in 2005 as a Senior Accountant, became a Senior Manager in 2006 and Director in 2012. Prior to joining Vincents, Josip was a management consultant for four years.

Josip holds these qualifications: Chartered Accountant Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ); Accredited Business Valuation Specialist (CA ANZ); Bachelor Business (Professional Accounting) (Queensland University of Technology) and is an Authorised Representative, Vincents Financial Advisory, ABN 40 010 855 991, AFS Licence No 236608. He is also an Associate Member of Chartered Accountant Australia & New Zealand (CA ANZ).


Emma-Jane McNicol

Solicitor, Legal Risk, Lexon Insurance

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Risk and compliance
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Risk and compliance

Emma-Jane plays an active role in the effective management of risk services offered to the legal profession in Queensland. Emma-Jane visits insured practices throughout Queensland in order to run Lexon’s system testing program focused on the areas where there have been high-value claims for practitioners. The strength of the program conducted by Emma-Jane is the focus on processes and file management Emma-Jane works with the insureds to achieve optimal results for the client and the practice. Emma-Jane also provides risk management advice and assistance in relation to other matters for all Lexon insureds.

Emma-Jane was admitted to practice in 1998 and holds a Bachelor of Law and Arts. She has worked in both private practice and in-house for major financial institutions. Her focus in work has always been to minimise risk for her clients within the required legal and regulatory framework.


Rebecca Niebler

Mindset and performance coach & owner, Mind Cultivation


Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Leading yourself: Understanding your leadership strengths and style and Leading wellbeing in the legal profession.
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Leading yourself: Understanding your leadership strengths and style and Leading wellbeing in the legal profession.


Rebecca is a mindset and performance coach and trainer working with legal professionals, leaders, teams and organisations.  

Prior to setting up her own business, Mind Cultivation, Rebecca was the Organisational Culture and Support Officer at the Queensland Law Society where she developed and facilitated QLS resources and materials in the resilience, wellbeing,  leadership development and workplace culture space. She was also the Secretary of the QLS Wellbeing Working Group and the Equity and Diversity Committee. 

Over the course of her career, Rebecca has worked across a range of industries in Australia and has more than 10 years of diverse experience in organisational learning & development roles as well as facilitating cultural change programs. In addition to her psychology degree, she is accredited in the Hogan assessment tool and holds a Certificate IV in Training and Assessment. 


Marko Novakov

Manager, Professional Advancement, Queensland Law Society

Medium to Large Practice Focus: Course facilitator; Welcome and Assessment recap
Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Course facilitator; Welcome and Assessment recap

Marko is the Manager of the Practice Management Course at QLS and he chairs the PMC workshops. Marko and his team are the main contacts for the QLS PMC participants to ensure the smooth operation of the workshops. Marko is also responsible for working collaboratively with the PMC Committee to develop strategy, course content and service delivery to ensure the PMC workshops are designed to meet the legislative requirements of the Queensland Law Society Administrative Rule 2005 and also deliver on the quality service expectations of the participants.

Prior to becoming the Manager of the QLS PMC, Marko worked as a solicitor with the QLS in-house Legal department and was responsible for management of all litigation. Marko also worked for several large National law firms in Brisbane City before joining QLS.


Stafford Shepherd

Director and Principal Ethics and Practice Counsel, Queensland Law Society

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Appropriate management systems

Stafford oversees a team that that provides ethics and practice support and guidance to QLS members, the profession and students (whether at university or practical legal training).

Stafford was admitted as a solicitor in 1987. After admission he practised for a number of years in partnership and subsequently as a sole practitioner before selling his practice in 2004. Between 2004 and 2008 he worked as a consultant to a number of law practices.

In 2008 he joined QLS as an Ethics Guidance Officer. In 2015 Stafford was appointed as Director, QLS Ethics and Practice Centre and now holds the title, Principal Ethics and Practice Counsel and further serves as secretary to the Society’s Ethics Committee. He is also the Society’s representative on the Professional Ethics Committee of the Law Council of Australia.

Stafford is the executive editor of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012 in Practice: A Commentary for Australian Legal Practitioners. He has written extensively on legal ethics and is a sessional member of QUT.

He holds a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws (Commercial and Corporate) from UQ, a postgraduate certificate in arbitration and mediation from the University of Adelaide. Stafford is also a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). Stafford’s areas of interest are land transactions, trust, succession law and the equitable doctrine underpinning legal ethics.


Tracy Skellern

Deputy Risk Counsel, Lexon Insurance

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Risk and compliance
Medium to Large Practice Focus: Risk and compliance

Tracy has been extensively involved in creating and updating legal risk tools provided for the Queensland legal profession. Prior to Lexon Insurance, Tracy worked in various positions in the legal industry including private practice, as a consultant for legal practice management software, as a precedent lawyer and as general manager of a specialist law firm.

Tracy has conducted over 1000 risk management workshops for Queensland firms and holds a Bachelor of Laws.


Giles Watson

Practice Management Consultant

Medium to Large Practice Focus: Business planning

Giles Watson helps law practices realise their potential through coaching, consultancy and tailored professional development. He specialises in client-facing challenges such as positioning and strategy, pricing, marketing & business development, customer experience & client service.

Prior to setting up his own consultancy in 2015, he managed the PMC at QLS, ran a practice management quality mark scheme for the Law Society of England and Wales, and was a business development manager for three London law firms.

Giles has a degree in Politics, a Masters in Marketing and an MBA. He lectures on costs communication at the QUT Legal Practice Course, and on 'Dynamic strategy and disruptive innovation' for Kaplan Business school's MBA course.


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Kimberley Wiegand

Founder, Julip Advisory; and Partner, beaton Research and consulting

Sole Practitioner to Small Practice Focus: Business development and client service

Kim has extensive experience advising on the full scope of marketing and business development within law firms. She has developed keen insight into the skills required by modern lawyers through several senior marketing and business development roles in both global top tier and national firms across Australia and the UK. Kim works with micro to medium law firms as their outsourced advisor, supporting them to achieve business success through purposeful marketing and business development activity.

Backed by over 18 years of industry experience, Kim brings a practical approach to coaching and guiding lawyers through an often challenging landscape. Kim has a Bachelor of Business in Marketing.


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