Despite the Queensland Law Society President’s plane being turned around on the way to Mackay, Tuesday night’s Celebrate, Recognise, Socialise event went ahead with Stuart Naylor of Macrossan & Amiet Solicitors receiving his 25-year membership pin.
Stuart was one of several senior practitioners in attendance at Rydges Macky Suites and he said enjoyed practising in North Queensland.
“Relationships with clients tend to be ongoing rather than transitory. The profession is quite collegiate – I think more so than in the big cities,” he said.
Stuart graduated from James Cook University in 1995 with degrees in Law and Commerce. He joined Macrossan & Amiet in 1996 and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in February 1998.
Stuart became a Partner in Macrossan & Amiet on 1 August 2004 and was appointed Managing Director in June 2015. He works primarily in litigation and also provides advice on workplace issues, business sales and purchases.
Stuart said he had seen many changes in the past 25 years.
“Hard to know where to start there have been so many. Twenty-five years ago, most communications were by post and computers were only just starting to be commonplace on solicitors desks,” he said.
“The last three years post-COVID has seen more rapid changes many of which were long overdue such as electronic conveyancing settlements and increased use of telephone and video for court appearances and mediations.
“I only hope there are more to come such as electronic filing of documents in our state court system.”
Outside of work Stuart is a director on the Board of Whitsunday Anglican School. Stuart is also Secretary of the Macrossan & Amiet Charitable Foundation, which makes annual distributions in support of local charities. To date the foundation has distributed more than $1.05 million to charities in the region.
QLS CEO Rolf Moses, who stepped in to present the pin, said the senior practitioners had built a highly competent and well-regarded profession in Mackay whose contributions to their clients, the broader community and economy had been significant but often were unrecognised.
“To take the opportunity to acknowledge amongst colleagues significant milestones and achievements allows us to reflect on the value and purposefulness of our chosen profession. Lawyers such as Stuart show commitment and dedication sustained over decades,” he said.
Accredited specialists celebrating 25 years were also recognised at the event.
Bradley Shanahan and Jennifer Hamilton.
Jennifer Hamilton is an accredited specialist in Family Law, QLS Senior Councillor and Principal of J. Hamilton and Associates. Jennifer is also a Nationally Accredited Mediator, Nationally Accredited Family Law Arbitrator and an Independent Children’s Lawyer.
Bradley Shanahan is an accredited specialist in Personal Injury Law, QLS Approved Mediator, QLS Senior Councillor and Partner at Wallace & Wallace Lawyers. Bradley was listed as a recommended practitioner in Doyles Guide for Compensation Law in 2020 and 2021.
Rolf said: “Tonight is about pausing and recognising Mackay’s practitioners. In addition to our 25-year pin recipient, I acknowledge the significant work of the volunteers from the Mackay area. Thank you all for giving your time for the benefit of the profession and community.
“I would also like to acknowledge the QLS Senior Counsellors here tonight – Jennifer Hamilton, Peter McLachlan and Bradley Shanahan – who was also a 25-year pin recipient in 2016.
“This is an incredible place to live, work, and practise law – and the numbers tell the story.
“The Mackay District Law Association is the ninth largest DLA in Queensland, with 142 current practising certificate holders across the region.
“This region also boasts the highest percentage of female practitioners compared with the rest of the state, outstripping the likes of Brisbane, and both the Sunshine and Gold Coast DLAs.
“It’s only fitting at this juncture that I also acknowledge the women at the helm of the Mackay District Law Association – President, Ms Tamyka Caputo, and Secretary, Ms Rosie Varley.”
Members of the Mackay District Law Association.
He also acknowledged two newly admitted solicitors – Daniel Lane and Justine Sturgiss.
Also attending were accredited specialists James Bailey, Louise Sawtell and Samantha Sticklan, and Sara Sugars, who received a 25-year pin in 2021.
Magistrate O’Dwyer gave to the toast to the profession. He congratulated the milestone recipients and recognised the early career lawyers as the future who needed time to fill the shoes of current leaders in the profession. He encouraged them to continue their good work and commitment to the profession.