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New Solicitor-General named

Brisbane silk Gim Del Villar QC was this afternoon named as Queensland’s 14th Solicitor-General – the state’s second highest law officer.

Mr Del Villar will replace incumbent Solicitor-General and former Bar Association of Queensland President Sandy Thomson QC, who will retire later this month after three years in the role.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said Mr Del Villar had clearly demonstrated his credentials for this important position over a long period of time.

“His track record gives us the utmost confidence that Queensland’s legal representation is in safe hands,” Ms Fentiman said. “A barrister since 2008, Mr Del Villar has specialised in five areas – constitutional law, administrative law, native title, proceeds of crime, and electoral law – all of which are central to the interests of government bodies.

“Such is his standing, Mr Del Villar has appeared with current Federal Solicitor-General Dr Stephen Donaghue QC in several matters.

“This includes defending a 2019 challenge to the Australian Electoral Commissionpractice of publishing an indicative two-candidate preferred vote before the polls had closed throughout Australia.

“As senior counsel, Mr Del Villar was also regularly briefed to appear with outgoing Queensland Solicitor-General Sandy Thompson QC in a 2020 High Court challenge to the State’s COVID border restrictions.”

In total, Mr Villar has appeared in the High Court on more than 50 occasions, including several matters where he represented the Attorney-General for Queensland.

Before joining the Bar, Mr Del Villar was Counsel Assisting then Commonwealth Solicitor-General David Bennett QC. After coming to the Bar in Queensland, he was briefed as junior counsel to then Solicitor-General Walter Sofronoff.

The Solicitor-General is recognised as the state’s second law officer and provides expert legal advice to the Attorney-General and the Crown.

“Mr Thompson performed his duties to the State with the professionalism and skill that befits the position, and we wish him well for the future,” Ms Fentiman said. “Mr Thompson provided sound, expert advice to the Queensland Government in an unprecedent period marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of the Human Rights Act 2019.

“He appeared in numerous significant matters in both the High Court and intermediate Courts of Appeal and retires with the many thanks of the State.” 

Mr Del Villar commences his position as Solicitor-General on 25 July.

Other eminent lawyers to serve as Queensland Solicitor-General include current High Court of Australia Justice Pat Keane AC, former Queensland Court of Appeal President Walter Sofronoff and Supreme Court judges Ken MacKenzie and Geoff Davies AO, as well as popular Brisbane barrister Peter Dunning QC. 

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