In the family: Celebrated pin recipient’s legal lineage dates back to 1800s

QLS President Luke Murphy and pin recipient Charles Lumsden
QLS President Luke Murphy (right) and 25-year pin recipient Charles Lumsden (left)

We’ve all heard of members of the profession following in their family’s footsteps but when the legal lineage dates back to the 1800s, it’s in your blood.

Emerald sole practitioner Mr Charles Lumsden was recognised last night in Rockhampton (Thursday 19 November) for his 25-year membership to the Queensland Law Society.

During an appreciation evening and pin ceremony held at Headricks Lane, QLS President Luke Murphy thanked Charles for his contribution.

“Charles, you are a wonderful example of what it truly means to be a solicitor serving your community and it is a privilege to honour and thank you for your contribution to our profession tonight,” Mr Murphy said.

For Charles, the pursuit of a legal career never felt out of reach. Charles’ family history of law in fact, dates back to 1861. At the time, his great-grandfather, James Lumsden was a solicitor and sheriff clerk deputy of Banffshire, Scotland.

Charles’ grandfather, Captain Charles Lumsden, also followed in the family footsteps of his father, pursing the study of law.  Captain Lumsden studied arts law at Kings College Aberdeen where his studies were interrupted by World War I, during which he served in Mesopotamia and France.


Charles’ love for law not only spanned family blood lines but also country and state borders. His grandfather Captain Lumsden eventually graduated in 1922 with a Master of Arts and Bachelor of Laws before moving the family to Australia.

Charles grew up on the family farm in Victoria but the path to law which was paved his forefathers beckoned. Charles served in the Victorian Police as a police prosecutor for 4 years, then moving to Hobart, where he studied law at the University of Tasmania.

After his admission in 1995, Charles opened Charles Lumsden Solicitor in 1997, servicing Emerald, Blackwater, Barcaldine and Longreach.

“Charles has been honoured to serve the people of Central Queensland for whom he has the greatest respect and affection,” Queensland Law Society CEO Rolf Moses said during the pin ceremony.

Charles was not the only pin recipient honoured this year with a family history of law. Partner of wilson/ryan/grose, Mr Paul Martinez, received his 50-year membership pin in Townsville on Thursday 15 October.

The father of Paul, Domingo (Dom) Martinez, entered partnership of what was then called Wilson, Ryan & Grose, on 1 June 1946. Dom Martinez was held in the highest regard throughout his career, not only by his fellow solicitors but also by the Bar and judiciary.


Paul is the eldest of five siblings, three of which practice the law today. Proudly, Paul moved the admission of daughters Merissa and Lucy in 2001.

“Law has always been a family affair,” Paul said.

An avid historian, Paul assisted in the proofing of Wilson Ryan & Grose: A Vintage Century which details the history of the Townsville firm. As he looked back into the archives of his father’s career, Paul came across a photo from 1959. The photo features then QLS President, James Drake along with solicitors honoured for their 50 years in the profession, one of which was, the namesake of wilson/ryan/grose, Guy Penefather Ryan.

Left to right: G. Suthers, A.E. Dean, QLS President (1959) James Drake, G.V. Roberts, G.P. Ryan. Photo provided by Paul Martinez

“These men were the fabric of the legal profession in Townsville… Mr Ryan would have been practising since 1909,” said Paul.

As he pulled the photo from his archive, preparing for his own 50-year membership ceremony, Paul could not help but to reflect on his career and that of his father.

“It’s been a wonderful time. It’s fantastic to see that [Queensland Law Society] is still putting on these sorts of events after all these years,” Paul said.


For QLS, moments like these are what membership ceremonies are all about.

Congratulations to all pin recipients this year including husband and wife 25-year pin recipients Tony and Julie Bligh of Townsville, 50-year pin recipient Neil Maxwell and 25-year pin recipient Darren Lewis of Towoomba and 25-year pin recipients Peter Apel, Daniela Parlapiano and Tricia Price of Cairns.

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