Queensland has almost 14,600 solicitors practising across the state, providing legal services in heavily-populated city and urbanised spaces, as well as in regional and rural communities.
Queensland Law Society has this year recognised 11 exceptional practitioners and one organisation for exceptional service and outstanding contributions to the profession in the 2022 QLS Excellence in Law Awards.
A record number of nominations were received this year, and the standard of submissions was testament to the incredible work being done by solicitors state-wide. Over the coming days QLS Proctor will feature the 2022 winners from each award category.
A multi-award winning Brisbane law firm and a practitioner from Queensland’s Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women have been honoured for their commitment to equity, diversity and wellness initiatives at the 2022 Queensland Law Society Excellence in Law Awards.
Carter Newell Lawyers has been named this year’s winner in the category of Workplace Culture and Health (organisation), while pinnacle practitioner Tracey De Simone has been rewarded with the individual award for her dedicated service at Queensland’s Department of Child Safety, Youth and Women.
Individual practitioner: Tracey De Simone
During a stellar legal career spanning more than 15 years, Ms de Simone has served as a solicitor with Legal Aid Queensland, volunteered at Women’s Legal Service Queensland and for the past 6½ years worked as Official Solicitor for the Department of Children, Youth Justice and Multicultural Affairs.
Ms De Simone practises in child protection, family law and domestic violence cases, and has worked on domestic violence policy, legislation development and strategic legal and court reform projects.
Images provided by Jon W / Event Photos Australia.
This year’s nominees were chosen by their peers – with winners from the two workplace culture and health categories being selected from a field of nine eminent practitioners and firms. Ms De Simone’s nomination submitter said: “Tracey’s resolute commitment to inclusivity and wellbeing has created a healthy and positive workplace culture.”
“Tracey leads a multitude of initiatives which have positively contributed to high retention and wellbeing for (the Office of the Child and Family Official Solicitor’s) 60-plus lawyers.”
Organisation: Carter Newell Lawyers
Carter Newell Lawyers was nominated for its commitment to the cultivation and support of diversity and inclusion as part of its workplace culture.
“As a firm, Carter Newell Lawyers strives to be the best that it can be for its clients, its staff and its community,” its nomination entry said. “This philosophy has been part of the firm’s DNA for over 30 years.
“The partners and management team guide all behaviours to ensure (the firm’s) actions speak louder than words. (Carter Newell Lawyers) is collegiate, ‘one team’ and supports an inclusive culture and workplace.”
Other nominees included:
Individual: Ben Twomey – Twomey Dispute Lawyers, Deanne Drummond – Reaston Drummond Law and Jemma Keys – McCullough Robertson.
Organisation: Keypoint Law, Maurice Blackburn Lawyers, Thynne + Macartney and Twomey Dispute Lawyers.
In-house Counsel of the Year: Claudia Cameron
In the hotly contested In-house Counsel of the Year category – Queensland’s CS Energy General Counsel Claudia Cameron was bestowed the award after a “phenomenal year” in “making a substantial contribution to Queensland”.
Ms Cameron is a highly regarded General Counsel with more than 20 years’ experience in corporate legal governance and procurement, and has provided advice on some of Australia’s largest listed and publicly-owned energy corporations.
“Claudia has had a phenomenal year with a huge workload, successfully juggling everything from substantial litigation to ground-breaking new energy projects, making a substantial contribution to the state of Queensland,” her peer award nominator said. “She is a credit to the profession and, I believe, a worthy recipient of this award.”
Other in-house counsel nominees were: Suzanne Marlow – UnitingCare Queensland, Donna Borthwick – Wyndham Destinations Asia Pacific, Philip Ware – Stanwell Corporation Limited and Nicky Humzy-Hancock – Mutual Marketplace.
Keep an eye out for more QLS Proctor articles in coming days highlighting this year’s QLS Excellence in Law Awards winners. Meet Queensland Law Society’s 2022 Solicitors of the Year.