Record interest in QLS Council

QLS CEO Rolf Moses congratulated the incoming Deputy President Genevieve Dee and President Rebecca Fogerty. Photo: Natalie Gauld

A record number of nominations in the Queensland Law Society (QLS) 2023 election was matched by a record voter turnout.

QLS Corporate Secretary Louise Pennisi declared the poll closed at 4pm yesterday and wanted to thank all the candidates and members who voted.

“We are also pleased to announce the voter turnout exceeded the voting participation from the 2021 and 2019 Council elections,” Louise said.

“Thank you for participating in the 2023 QLS Council Election. It was a well run, thoughtful, supportive and collegial election. I commend every candidate in their campaign.

“The complete results for the 2023 QLS Council Election now on our website.”

Office bearers for 2024 are President-elect Rebecca Fogerty, Deputy President-elect Genevieve Dee and Vice President-elect Peter Jolly.


QLS Councillors will be Bridie Edwards, Chris Kahler, Jim Conomos, Mia Behlau, Phil Ware, Samantha Bolton, Sarah-Jane Macdonald and Sheetal Deo.

The newly elected QLS Council will take office on 1 January 2024.

“We look forward to working with the new Council over the next two years who lead the solicitors branch of the Queensland legal profession,” Louise said.

QLS Council elections are held biennially. The next QLS Council election will be September 2025.

While Rebecca Fogerty’s election as 2024 President was announced last week, the Deputy President and Vice President roles were decided yesterday.

Meet your new QLS Council

Rebecca Fogerty – President elect

Rebecca is one of Australia’s leading criminal defence lawyers and an Accredited Specialist in criminal law. She is a founding partner of Jasper Fogerty Lawyers, an award-winning criminal defence firm. Rebecca has been a QLS Councillor since 2021. She was elected as Vice President in July 2022. She sits on the Executive and Finance and Risk Management Committees.


Rebecca was the first female Chair of the Criminal Law Committee, and sat on the Criminal Law Specialist Accreditation Committees in 2018, 2020 and 2022. She was the Queensland Member for the Professional Standards Councils in 2020 – 2022. She is highly regarded in the legal community for her policy acumen and vigorous advocacy on members’ behalf. Rebecca’s active involvement has made her acutely aware of the issues affecting solicitors in Queensland.

What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

The concept of service performs a guiding role in my personal and professional lives. I believe that a commitment to serving others is fundamental to achieving a stronger, fairer system of justice. Through service, we strengthen our profession.

How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

I wish to use my experience to contribute more meaningfully to the legal and wider community. I believe that I have the necessary intellectual, personal and ethical qualities to fulfil the position requirements. I will continue to advocate for our profession and participate in professional and community discourse about our justice system in an intelligent and responsible manner.

Genevieve DeeDeputy Presidentelect

Genevieve is an accredited specialist in family law and partner at Lander & Rogers. She has practised exclusively in family and relationship law for more than 18 years. Genevieve is a contributing author to several CCH publications on family law.


She is the President of Women’s Legal Service Queensland (WLAQ). She has served as councillor of the Queensland Law Society for the last two years and two previous terms on council, as a young lawyer. Genevieve is the current chair of the Committee of Management and a member of the Professional Conduct Committee. She has experience in management of QLS committees and the role of councillor supporting and advocating for the profession.

What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I consider honesty, integrity, and compassion to be at the core of our work as legal practitioners. I model those values in my practice and my interactions with other practitioners and clients. I would apply those values to my work as Councillor and Deputy President and the work of the society.

How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

The incoming Council and Deputy President will play an important role in supporting the President and the incoming CEO. I look forward to listening to practitioners as they tell me what is important to them.

Peter JollyVice President-elect


Peter was admitted in 1985. He was a partner of Biggs & Biggs from 1989 and, when that firm merged with Thynne + Macartney in 2008, Peter became a partner in Thynne + Macartney’s Business Advisory group. He is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist in Business Law. Peter has an interest in corporate governance and is an experienced company director.

He was a member of Thynne + Macartney’s Executive Board from 2014 until stepping down in 2021 and was the Chairman of Partners at Thynne + Macartney from July 2017 to June 2021. Peter has been the Chairman of an unlisted public company and a director of not for profit corporations. He was a member of the inaugural Business Law Specialist Accreditation Committee and am the current Chair of the Queensland Law Society Specialist Accreditation Board. Peter was elected to Council in 2021.

What ideals or values motivate you as a solicitor and how will you bring those to Council?

I have a deep respect for the profession and a keen interest in its future. Maintaining the highest levels of professional standards, giving our colleagues courtesy and respect and acting at all times in the best interests of our clients are vital to the future of the profession.

How will you contribute to Queensland Law Society’s vision of leading solicitors in Queensland and the Society’s purpose of good law, good lawyers, for the public good?

My values and leadership experience underpin my contributions as a current Council Member. My extensive experience as a law firm partner and my knowledge of professional standards, governance, and strategic planning skills gives me the opportunity to contribute to Council and to pass that knowledge and experience on to my fellow Councillors and the lawyers who follow me.



Sarah-Jane Macdonald

Sarah-Jane, a family lawyer based on the Darling Downs, is a strong advocate of regional practice and understands its nuances. She supports opportunities giving a voice to practitioners. During her three-year tenure as President of the Downs & Southwest Qld Law Association, she supported and advocated for practitioners, including during the COVID19 pandemic. With a legal career spanning more than a decade, her commitment to the legal community is evident. She is a member of the QLS Domestic & Family Violence Policy Committee. As a member of the QLS Practice Management Committee, she offers a regional perspective. Sarah-Jane is dedicated to upholding the values of the profession while serving her community. Outside of work, she enjoys netball and wine, but not at the same time.

Phil Ware

Phil has been in legal practice for 35 years, including 11 years in private practice at Feez Ruthning / Allens. He has been a senior executive (General Counsel) of a major energy utility for the past 22 years and is expert in organisational Governance and Probity. Phil is experienced at operating in a highly competitive, complex and fluid regulatory, prudential and public policy environment and can confidently liaise with government, regulators and stakeholders in relation to the most complex and contentious issues. He holds an LLB (Hons) and LLM and recently completed an MBA. He is a Graduate of the Australian Institute of Company Directors and is a certified probity adviser/auditor. Phil believes in the paramountcy of competent, independent, and ethical legal professionalism. He has previously served on the QLS Council promoting those matters in various ways.

Jim Conomos

Jim is the Managing Director and founder of James Conomos Lawyers Pty Ltd in Brisbane, and has more than 35 years’ experience in the legal profession. He practices predominately in the areas of commercial litigation and dispute resolution, commercial advice, and personal and corporate insolvency.

Mia Behlau


Mia is a past president of the Gold Coast District Law Association and current director of the board of the St Hilda’s Foundation and Gold Coast Basketball. She works in the area of commercial litigation and dispute resolution. Mia is an active member of the Gold Coast legal community and is an avid supporter of the profession and promotion of good law.

Bridie Edwards

Bridie is an Associate Director and Lawyer at Bradley and Bray Lawyers, practising predominantly in business, commercial and property law. She has a Masters of Applied Law majoring in Business Law and Transactions, completed shortly after being admitted in 2020. She has been a member of Council and various other QLS committees since January 2022. Bridie has enjoyed connecting with likeminded individuals and working collaboratively to advance the interests of Queensland solicitors. She is passionate about innovation in the legal sector, giving young/early-career lawyers a stronger voice in our profession, as well as promoting collegiality, the importance of forging meaningful connections and work-life balance. Outside of the office, she has a severe case of the travel bug and tries to ensure she always have a new destination booked at all times.

Samantha Bolton

Samantha has been elected for a second term on Council. Before being elected on Council, she served as a committee member of the Sunshine Coast Law Association for more than a decade, and during that time held the position of President from 2018 to 2020 and Vice-President from 2020-2021. From 2009 to 2018, she was involved with Suncoast Community Legal Service, including President between 2012 and 2014, and a Committee Member from 2011 to 2017, and was awarded life membership in 2021. She has been the Women Lawyers Association Ambassador for the Sunshine Coast Region since 2018. Samantha is also a Judiciary Member for the Sunshine Coast Rugby Union, and a sessional lecturer at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Her practice areas relate to Family Law and Domestic Violence matters. She is also a member of the Independent Children’s Lawyer Panel and Separate Representative Panel for Legal Aid Queensland.

Sheetal Deo


Sheetal is passionate about leveraging platforms and privilege to connect ideas, people, and opportunities to amplify underrepresented experiences and voices. She has a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy and political science from the University of the Fraser Valley (Canada), and a Juris Doctor, Master of Laws and Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from Bond University (Australia). She incorporates her political and social science training in her advocacy for equity and accessibility within the legal profession and the community it serves. Sheetal is the Principal and founder of Shakti Legal Solutions, an innovative, low-bono law firm designed specifically to improve access to legal assistance for everyday people. Outside of her legal practice, she offers diversity and inclusion training, is an anti-racism facilitator for the Diversity Council of Australia, and volunteers her time to various not-for-profit organisations and boards including the Centre of Legal Innovation’s Emerging Leaders Advisory Board.

Chris Kahler

Chris is the managing director of Kahler Lawyers, a small law firm situated in Far North Queensland with offices in Cairns and Innisfail, practising predominantly in criminal defence and traffic matters, commercial and civil litigation and personal injury law. With a family history in Far North Queensland spanning four generations, Chris is passionate in promoting the many benefits of legal practice in regional and remote areas. His passion extends to ensuring young lawyers, those working at the coalface of private practice, and regional/remote lawyers in particular are effectively represented at the highest level. He has occupied board and leadership positions in residential aged care, sporting, volunteer and church based not-for-profit and community organisations for more than 20 years. He is married to Michaela and they live on their rural property outside Innisfail with their two children, Hugh and Lars.

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