Volunteering part of Kathleen’s interests

Senior Associate Kathleen Dare received her 25-year QLS pin recently. Photos: Cam Hernandez, Event Photos

Kathleen Dare embodies the Queensland Law Society purpose of public good.

A Senior Associate at Michael Lynch Family Lawyers, Kathleen was one of 22 lawyers recognised for 25 years of QLS membership at the Celebrate, Recognise, Socialise function in Brisbane late last week. 

She has a “deep level of interest and commitment to social justice”, and has worked as a volunteer in a number of community legal centres and on various management committees including the Welfare Rights Centre, and Multi Cultural Centre for Mental Health and Wellbeing.

Kathleen was admitted in 1990 and started her legal career working in private practice in criminal and family law.

She has worked in the community legal sector, firstly as principle solicitor at the Queensland Tenant’s Union, followed by the South Brisbane Immigration and Legal Service and later Queensland Advocacy Inc.

In 2000, Kathleen was appointed as an inaugural legal member of the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal and later as an inaugural member of the Mental Health Review Tribunal.


Kathleen returned to private practice in 2005. She established her own practice in 2010, which she ran for 10 years.

Among her volunteer positions at community legal centres include the role of President of the Refugee and Immigration Legal Service (where she also spent time as Acting Director). She has also served on the QLS Elder Law Committee.

She also holds certificates in Mediation and Family Dispute Resolution from QUT.

Other 25-year members to be recognised on the night were:

Hiro Sano completed his law degree at Bond University graduating in 1993. 

After spending a year as a law clerk at Clayton Utz, Hiro completed the Graduate Diploma of Practice Legal Training at Bond University in December 1996 and was admitted as a solicitor in January 1997.


Following his admission, Hiro worked at Creswick Lawyers and Conomos Lawyers before establishing his own practice, Asahi Lawyers in 1998 as a sole practitioner.

In 2012, Hiro changed the name of his practice to Asahi Legal Practice as it is now known.

Hiro is proud to have spent the past 25 years dedicated to developing his practice, through which he has been able to assist countless clients.

Robert Garvey completed degrees in Arts (Philosophy) and Law (Hons) at the University of Queensland, graduating in 1994.

He began his career as a Paralegal at Freehills in Sydney in 1994, and then spent time as a tax consultant at Deloitte in Sydney in 1996.

Robert was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in August 1997, and joined Gadens as a solicitor. In 1998, he spent a year in London working at the London Stock Exchange.


Robert spent two years as a Solicitor at Deacons (now Norton Rose) before establishing the Law Practice of Robert Garvey at Dayboro in 2001, where he has been Principal for 22 years.

He is the founder and current secretary of Brisbane Social Chess Inc. est. 2015. 

Simon Brown completed his law degree at the University of Birmingham, England graduating in 1993. He was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in Nov 1997 after relocating to Australia.

In 2000, Simon joined Ashurst and spent over 23 years of his career with the firm, including many years as Partner.

Over the years, Simon has worked on many cross-border M&A deals and equity capital market transactions, including takeovers, acquisitions, disposals, capital raises, private equity investments, joint ventures and corporate governance matters.

He has been based in Brisbane and Singapore for the past 26 years.


In September 2023, Simon joined Jones Day as a Partner in the Global Energy team.

Scott Forster studied law at QUT graduating in 1994 and completed an Arts degree at Griffith University in 1995. He was admitted as a solicitor in Queensland in November 1996 after completing the Legal Practice Course at QUT.

Scott began his career Groom & Lavers in Toowoomba in November 1996.

Two years later, he joined the Tegg Group in Coorparoo, and in 2002 became In-house Counsel at The Trust Company where he remained for 17 years, working exclusively in succession law.

Scott joined Queensland Estate Lawyers in 2019, where he is currently a Senior Associate.

Elissa Mergard completed her law degree at QUT graduating in 1995 and was admitted as a solicitor in February 1998.


She started her career at Dobbyn Musgrave at Mooloolaba in general practice before joining Wheldon & Associates, specialising in plaintiff personal injuries and family law. 

Before her current role, Elissa worked at Neumann & Turnour Lawyers, also in plaintiff personal injuries and family law.

In 2002, Elissa joined HBM Lawyers, expanding her expertise into defendant personal injury.

Elissa joined the HBM partnership in 2010 and focuses on providing advice on the liability of local governments, statutory authorities and not-for-profit organisations.

Madeline Simpson holds a Bachelor of Laws and a Bachelor of Business (Accounting) from QUT graduating in 1995. She was admitted as a solicitor in February 1998.

Madeline joined Herbert Smith Freehills in 2001 and was appointed Special Counsel in 2009.


She has particular expertise in planning and environmental aspects of major infrastructure projects in Queensland including developments in the resources and property development sectors.

Madeline is a member of the Queensland Resources Council Environment Committee and the Queensland Law Society Planning and Environment Law Committee.

Bill Morgan completed an Arts degree at UQ in 1988, before starting Law at QUT graduating in 1997. He was admitted as a solicitor in February 1998.

Bill was admitted as a lawyer in England and Wales in 2002.

He also holds a Master of Arts from UQ completed 2015.

Bill has worked in several firms across his career, including King & Wood Mallesons, Lynch Morgan Lawyers and Turner Freeman Lawyers.


He established Morgan Mac Lawyers with Amie Mac in 2017, where he currently serves as a Consultant.

Bill specialises in commercial litigation and has extensive experience in franchise disputes, consumer protection, contractual disputes, property disputes, insolvency and bankruptcy proceedings.

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