Lawyer had bigger picture in mind

Elizabeth Catton, Kathryn Hodges, Don Boyd and Kyle Kimball were congratulated by QLS CEO Rolf Moses and President Chloé Kopilović. Photos: Supplied

Don Boyd may have studied law at the University of Queensland in the 1970s but he is also known as being something of an ‘architect’.

And Don’s contribution to the profession was recognised on Tuesday night at the Queensland Law Society (QLS) Sunshine Coast Celebrate, Recognise, Socialise event. He was awarded the QLS 50-year membership pin.

Don started practising at Cannan & Peterson in 1973 and was appointed a partner in 1974, remaining so until 2011 when he retired as Chief Executive Partner of Norton Rose. His executive legal career began in 1989 when he was elected Managing Partner of Cannan & Peterson.

Don was joined by his wife Annie.

Over the next two decades, he was widely regarded as the architect of the first international legal practice in Australia, Norton Rose Fulbright.

This came about through mergers with Sly & Weigall, Deacons Graham & James, Deacons and Norton Rose Fulbright, and developing nine offices in Asia.

Don was well known as mentor to staff and partners, supporting many into leadership positions and successful careers.


Indeed, Don employed and mentored two QLS CEOs, both of whom attended this week’s pin ceremony. They are past CEO Noela L’Estrange, who worked with Don at Cannon and Peterson, and current CEO Rolf Moses, who worked with him at Deacons and Norton Rose Fulbright.

Rolf said it was a particular privilege for him to be able to participate in Don’s 50-year pin ceremony given the role Don had played in supporting his career.

Carr, an Australian architecture and interior design studio, has also stated the firm enjoyed a long and valuable working relationship with Norton Rose Fulbright, featuring Don in a website feature last year.

“As well as being sensitive to the client’s needs, Carr was pleased to work with the likes of people such as Don Boyd, who had an appreciation of what a contemporary law practice requires, both in terms of aesthetics, but as importantly, planning.

“And even in the early noughties, when lawyers were still working from cellular offices, he encouraged collaboration between lawyers.”

Interior designer and Founding Principal Sue Carr said: “Don really wanted to squash the traditional approach lawyers had about their office expectations and the associated hierarchy. He had a vision of a different law practice where not every lawyer was in an office.


“Ultimately, he, like us, wanted to provide a better service.”

Don’s grandfather, great-uncle and father were partners before him at Cannan & Peterson.

With a background in tax law, he became a specialist lawyer in the agribusiness sector, acting for many agribusiness groups in mergers and acquisition transactions, negotiations with government and foreign investment approvals.

Don is a consultant and former Global Deputy Chief Executive of Norton Rose Fulbright.

He has acted as a non-executive director for many companies including Barclay Mowlem, SunCentral and Rohrig Group. He is particularly proud to have been a founding director of Ormiston College (a not-for-profit, greenfield school project) from 1987 to 2005 (and Chairman from 1993 to 2005).

Also receiving the 50-year pin this week is David Phipps from the Law Foundation Queensland.


Three 25-year milestones were also recognised on the night.

Elizabeth Catton

Liz graduated from QUT in 1990 with a Bachelor of Laws (Hons) and was admitted to practice in April 1993. She went on to complete the Master of Laws program at QUT, graduating in 1997.

Liz completed her articles of clerkship and began her career as a solicitor at McCullough Robertson.

Over the years she has spent time working in government and as in-house counsel in the banking and finance sector.

During her time in government, Liz was Principal Project Officer for the Water Reform Unit responsible for drafting the Water Act 2000 (Qld) which separated water allocation from land title in Queensland.


In 2004, she moved to regional Queensland and returned to private practice, and within a short time began practising exclusively in family law.

Liz is a QLS Accredited Specialist in Family Law. She is now Legal Practitioner Director and co-founder of Catton & Tondelstrand Lawyers in Maroochydore.

Catton & Tondelstrand was recognised as a leading family law firm in Doyle’s Guide in 2018 and every year since, and Liz as a leading family lawyer.

Liz has held many volunteer positions. She was a volunteer at Suncoast Community Legal Service for seven years. She is a current board member of Harmony House Children’s Contact Service, and was the Inaugural President of Mackay Regional Community Legal Service.

Kathryn Hodges

Kathryn studied Law at QUT, graduating in 1996. She completed two years of training as an articled clerk with Wight & Co on the Sunshine Coast before being admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in February 1998.


Over the first five years of her career, Kathryn worked at the firm then known as Boyce Garrick, before starting as a family lawyer with Legal Aid Queensland, returning to private practice at what was then known as Rimmer Lawyers.

Kathryn has been a Principal since mid 2004 taking Rimmer Lawyers through to its current life as Integrated Family Law. She has been a regular volunteer with the Suncoast Community Legal Service and a member of the Harmony House Board.

She is the author of Who gets the dog? A real conversation about separation, divorce and finding your happiness again, and has in recent years gained her qualifications an arbitrator, mediator and family dispute resolution practitioner.

Kyle Kimball

Kyle completed his Bachelor of Laws at QUT, graduating in 1994 and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland later that year.

Kyle completed a five-year articles of clerkship at Munro Thompson. In 1998, he completed the University of Queensland’s Practice Management Course with distinction. He established the firm Kimball Wood in 1997.


The firm was rebranded to Kimballs in 2000, when Tony Sowden joined the partnership with Kyle and Tom Wood. In 2004, the firm rebranded to become Sajen Legal, as it is known today. Kyle is the firm’s Managing Director.

Kyle holds Certificates in Executive Leadership and Professional Services Leadership (both with distinction) from the University of Oxford, Said Business School, completed in 2020 and 2021 respectively. 

He is a Past President of the Sunshine Coast Law Association and co-founder of the Sunshine Coast Art Prize. Over the years, he has provided pro bono services and other support to various charities including The Shack, Sunny Street and IFYS.

Other QLS members reaching their 25-year milestone are Craig Griffin, Shane Petersen, Leisa Toomey, Clifford Wirz and Matthew Yates.

Magistrate Kurt Fowler made the toast to the profession.

Former pin recipients joined the celebrations.

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