CGW celebrates 40 years of legal excellence

Cooper Grace Ward celebrates its 40th anniversary at a dinner event last week ... from left, front row, Peter Cooper, Chris Ward, James Rimmer; back row, David Grace, Charles Sweeney, Linda Tapiolas, Tony Park.

Queensland law firm Cooper Grace Ward is celebrating 40 years of providing legal services.

Established in 1980, Cooper Grace Ward (CGW) is now one of the largest independent Queensland-based firms, serving clients across Australia and internationally.

“As a firm, we’re incredibly grateful to our clients and our wonderful team whose contribution and many achievements have made CGW what it is today,” Managing Partner Chris Ward said.

“When I think back to our humble beginnings in 1980, it’s been quite the ride, but it’s been our relationships with our people, our clients, our suppliers and even our competitors, that have carried us through the good times and the more challenging ones.”

Founding partners Peter Cooper, David Grace and Chris Ward met in the early ’70s while partners at a local Brisbane firm. They noticed a gap in the market and decided to band together and, on 22 December 1980, launched Cooper Grace Ward as a new firm with a fresh approach.

In the 1980s, Brisbane was starting to step up on the world stage, hosting the Commonwealth Games in 1982 and the World Expo in 1988.

“We witnessed a real surge of government and business investment coupled with increased tourism, and suddenly monumental change was happening in Queensland and the Australian economy,” Chris Ward said. “Cooper Grace Ward was positioned well to benefit from that, and we began to grow exponentially.

“When the ‘recession we had to have’ kicked in, it put the brakes on our growth for a while. It was a challenging time for us and our clients, but we adapted and made it through while many of our competitors did not.”

Over the 40 years of growth, the firm saw several major firms and partners merge into the Cooper Grace Ward fold, including Power & Power, Thompson King & Connolly and Bain Gasteen. The firm also had an association with Hunt & Hunt Lawyers.

Chris Ward addresses guests at last week’s anniversary dinner.

CGW prides itself on looking after team members who, with a greater level of support behind them, go the extra mile to look after the firm’s clients.

The firm has been named a finalist in the Financial Review Client Choice Awards in eight out of the past 11 years, and a winner in three of those years.

Over the past decade, the firm has dedicated significant resources to ensuring it remains at the forefront of the diversity and inclusion spectrum, including forming a diversity committee which drives a range of initiatives around gender, age, impairment and cultural diversity.

The firm proudly totes a generous parental leave policy, diversity team and wellness committee. In addition, it was one of the first law firms in Queensland to have a domestic violence policy and to provide paid domestic violence leave.

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