Venerated Sunshine Coast lawyer Rick Jones has seen many changes in his 40-years in the legal profession, but none bigger than the revolutionary evolution of technology and communication.
As one of the nation’s most experienced commercial litigation, insolvency, finance and property law exponents, the JHK Legal Director was last night (Thursday 5 November) recognised for his 25-years of Queensland Law Society membership and his stellar contribution to the state’s profession.
Mr Jones, who was first admitted as lawyer to the High Court of New Zealand in 1980, was one of four practitioners acknowledged by the Society for their quarter-century of membership and service to the law during a ceremony and dinner at the Maroochy Surf Club.
Currently based on the Sunny Coast with his equally talented lawyer wife and long-time business partner Rhonda King, Mr Jones told Proctor it did not seem long ago that official correspondence could only be delivered on carbon-copied paper in a letter sent by post as opposed to today’s instantaneous electronic delivery.
“There weren’t even (the now almost obsolete) facsimile machines around when I started in the profession,’’ Mr Jones said.
“During my almost 40-years years of practice we have gone from (drafting) one original letter and three carbon copies to sending an email.
“Technology and communication have definitely been the most significant changes (I’ve experienced).’’
In 1993, Mr Jones and Ms King set up their Brisbane practice–Jones King Lawyers and were the first legal firm to be incorporated before it was sold on the Australian Stock Exchange in the early 2000s.
Queensland Law Society President Luke Murphy presented Mr Jones with his pin, while CEO Rolf Moses acknowledged the myriad achievements of Mr Jones and Ms King.
“Rick and his wife (Rhonda) moved to Adelaide (from New Zealand in the early ‘80s) and were in practice there for 12-years… before moving to Queensland in late 1992 with their (then) two young children,’’ Mr Moses said.
“The practice (Jones King Lawyers) grew organically into a national practice in all states and territories of Australia (except Tasmania) employing over 150 staff.’’
Mr Jones and Ms King, after selling out of JKL, set up JHK Legal in 2011 and two-years ago moved from the firm’s Brisbane City office to its beachside bureau with an eye toward it becoming the ideal location to maybe one day retire.
Apart from being a passionate sports fan and avid fisherman, Mr Jones represented South Australia in rugby union and has sailed in most of the offshore ocean races around Australia (including Sydney-Hobart) and the China Cup out of Hong Kong and Shenzhen.
Other QLS members acknowledged during the ceremony included Helen Spain, Damien Coghill and Mitchell Devine.
QLS Chief Executive Office Rolf Moses, while addressing the honourees including Senior Counsellors, Accredited Specialists, District Law Association members, QLS Council, Committee members, and judiciary, said the evening was one of the first Society member events that could be staged since the COVID-19 lockdown in March.
“Tonight, we celebrate leaders of the profession in this region and give thanks to those who have dedicated valuable time and energy to the Society and legal community as a whole, particularly during this challenging and extraordinary year,’’ Mr Moses said.