Making a difference for human rights

QLS members who received 25-year and 50-year pins at the Celebrate, Recognise, Socialise event in Brisbane. Photos: Cam Hernandez, Event Photos

Susan Moriartys passion for human rights and fairness in the workplace led her to establish her own practice.

Susan was one of 22 Queensland Law Society (QLS) members to be acknowledged for her professionalism at the Celebrate, Recognise, Socialise event in Brisbane last week.

Before establishing her own law firm Susan Moriarty & Associates, she was chief of staff to the then Queensland Attorney-General Dean Wells and was responsible for promoting Queensland’s first civil rights legislation across 1991 to 1993.

Susan Moriarty receiving her silver pin.

Later she was a policy analyst in the Freedom of Information and Administrative Law Division.

And in 1996, she was appointed Principal Legal Adviser to the inaugural Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Karen Walters before being promoted in 1998 to lead the department’s Human Rights and Administrative Law Branch.

Nearly 25 years ago, she founded her firm as Principal specialising in human rights and workplace relations.


Susan holds degrees in Arts from Griffith University and Honours in Law from QUT graduating in 1989.

Other 25-year pin recipients at the event were:

Jennifer Wilson was admitted to practice in 1985 after completing articles at Howard Gill and Brown.

Post admission, Jennifer spent 10 years at Morris Fletcher & Cross/MinterEllison, primarily in construction litigation for large projects such as Aotea Centre in Auckland, Parliament House in Canberra and Sydney – culminating in a secondment to McKenna & Co in London.

After returning to Brisbane, Jennifer changed her area of specialisation and spent the next five years working in Wills and Estates under Gary Lanham, followed by two years at Biggs & Biggs.

In 2007, she started her current role as an Estate Planner (with a special interest in philanthropy) with Australian Executor Trustee, now known as Equity Trustees.


Jennifer is proud to have moved her daughter’s admission into the profession in 2021.

Richard Leahy completed his Law degree at the University of Queensland in 1993 and went on the complete the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at ANU in 1997.

Richard also holds a Master of Laws from the University of Queensland, completed 1998 and a Graduate Diploma of Insurance Law from Deakin University completed in 2005.

After spending a year working at Minter Ellison in Canberra, Richard was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in February 1998.

Post admission, he joined Barry Nilsson Lawyers as a solicitor in 1998, practising in commercial and insurance litigation. Richard became a Partner in the firm in January 2005.

After 12 and a half years at Barry Nilsson Lawyers, Richard departed in 2017 to establish his own, boutique firm, Cochrane Leahy Litigation where he is currently Legal Practitioner Director.


Richard is a member of the QLS Litigation Rules Committee.

Chris McManus completed his Law degree at QUT graduating in 1995.

In 1996, he started work at McInnes Wilson Lawyers before being admitted as a solicitor in March 1998. Chris spent a just over 20 years of his career at McInnes Wilson, including time as the firm’s Principal.

In 2016 he left McInnes Wilson Lawyers and took up his current role as Principal at Murphy’s Law Accident Lawyers.

Chris is a QLS Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury. 

He has been named in Doyle’s Guide as a Preeminent Qld Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation Lawyer, a Leading Qld Public Liability Lawyer, and a Leading Qld Work Injury Compensation Lawyer, in each of these categories from 2015-2022. In 2022, he was listed as a Leading Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation Lawyer in Australia. He has also received similar listings in Best Lawyers.


He was Director and Secretary of the Brain Injury Foundation from 2004-2016.

Glenn Caligaris (right) and David Schwartz (second right).

Glenn Caligaris is the National Head of the McInnes Wilson Lawyers’ Commonwealth Government Practice and National Head of McInnes Wilson Lawyers’ Dispute & Insolvency Division.

He began his career at Baker Gosling in Brisbane in 1996 and was admitted as a solicitor in February 1998.

Glenn joined McInnes Wilson Lawyers in 2006, as Partner of the firm’s Disputes and Insolvency team and then as principal from 2009, when the practice became incorporated.

David Schwarz studied law at the University of Queensland graduating in 1996.

He started as an articled clerk to Stephen Russell of Russell & Company (as the firm was then known) in 1996 and was admitted as a solicitor in March 1998.


In March 1999, David joined Tucker & Associates (later known as Tucker & Cowen), becoming a Partner in the firm in 2007 and a Principal of the firm when it became an incorporated legal practice in 2016.

In January 2022, the firm changed its name to Cowen Schwarz Marschke Lawyers, where David remains as a Principal of the firm.

David has been recognised in Doyle’s Guide as a leading lawyer for Insolvency & Restructuring and as a leading lawyer for Litigation & Dispute Resolution every year since 2015.

Leeha James completed her law degree at QUT graduating in 1998 and was admitted as a solicitor in July of that year.

She started an articled clerkship in 1994. During her articles she spent at Bennett Carroll Gibbons, Stubbs Barbeler Grant and Nall Payne (now Hall Payne).

Post admission, Leeha continued to work at Hall Payne and made Partner in the firm in 2004.


In late 2012, Leeha joined McInnes Wilson as Special Counsel and in June 2014 established the firm James Law in her current capacity as Director Principal.

Leeha is a QLS Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law, Non-Executive Director for SunWater and sits on the QLS Accident Compensation and Tort Law Committee and the QLS Professional Conduct Committee. She is the proud mother of two sons.

Trent Forno completed his Bachelor of Laws at QUT in 1998 and was admitted as a solicitor in September of that year. In 2020, he completed the Master of Laws program at the University of Sydney.

Trent began his career with Clayton Utz in 1998, practising in insurance and also commercial litigation.

He joined the insurance team at MinterEllison in 2000, and moved to the Employment Group in 2003. Trent was made Partner in the firm in 2005.

Trent spent three years as Office Managing Partner from 2016-2018. In 2020, he took up his current role as National Business Unit Leader of the Employment Practice.


Trent has been with MinterEllison for 23 years, 18 years as Partner.

Adam Raleigh completed degrees in Arts and Law at the University of Queensland, graduating in 1996.

He started Articles of Clerkship in July 1996 with Hogans Lawyers and was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in September 1998.

Adam went on to hold several senior positions (including as a Partner) with Hogans Lawyers as it merged to become Hogan Besley Boyd and Broadley Rees Hogan as it is now known.

In 2021, he started in his current position as Special Counsel at Plastiras Lawyers.

Keep an eye on Proctor for more CRS feature articles.

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