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Rolf leaves legacy after COVID

Departing QLS CEO Rolf Moses played a major role in the Law Society House refurbishment. Photos: Geoff McLeod

Law Society House, the home of Queensland Law Society (QLS), looks different from the outside now, but inside there have also been changes.

The changes are not just architectural. They are cultural, strategic and operational – thanks in large part to departing QLS CEO Rolf Moses, whose last day is next Tuesday, 5 March.

The former Director, People and Development, at Norton Rose Fulbright Australia took the QLS reins in March 2018, expecting to remain in the role for the initial four-year term.

Then COVID happened. With the disruption and profession-wide impacts, Rolf committed to a six-year term to see through major projects including the Law Society House refurbishment.

Rolf was already familiar with the Society before he took on the leadership role.

“I had been a volunteer with QLS for many years chairing the Mental Health and Wellbeing Working Group and as a faculty member of the Practice Management Course. I was keen to make a bigger contribution to the Queensland profession,” he said. “I had spent two decades working in large global law firms and I was keen to utilise my experience and skills within the Queensland legal community.

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“I was also attracted by the challenge in the role given the breadth of work done by QLS as the peak body across regulation, policy advocacy, education and membership services.”

Almost two years into the job, Rolf faced the uncertainty of the pandemic and dramatic changes to the profession. The QLS leadership team and Council had to come together to deliver financial and well-being support to the membership as well as guide staff and workplace changes.

“The two COVID challenges were supporting the QLS staff through the various COVID changes and hardships, and supporting the QLS membership and Queensland practitioners through commercial, operational and legal practice unknowns brought on by lockdowns and many restrictions,” Rolf recalled.

“The key moment for us was sitting down as a leadership team and brainstorming what we could do as a regulator and membership body to support practitioners during COVID.

“The financial relief package QLS developed was significant and I was told widely regarded as the most complete and comprehensive response to COVID offered to practitioners in Australia.  The QLS staff were productive and dedicated and operated as per normal, including hosting mediations on site during the lockdowns.”

He said the unique Practice Advice Service came to the fore during this time, and continued to “support firms with personal visits to hundreds of member businesses each year and provide referral services to practice experts where needed”.

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Rolf said the strength, commitment and talent of the leadership team and staff had placed QLS in a strong position for the future.

“This means we can better serve our members and practitioners, keep developing, innovating and improving what we do for the benefit of the profession and their beneficiaries,” he said.

And the commitment to see through strategies and the professionalism of the team has helped drive key results in several areas over the past six years.

“We have made substantive strategic investment in technology and information management to deliver a positive digital experience to members and practitioners, which will be realised in 2024,” he said.

“This has been very difficult, required us to hold the course for several years, learn from mistakes, deal with cyber issues, talent shortages and time pressures.

“We have developed industry leading training content targeted at improving the culture of the profession across Australia – particular in areas like sexual harassment, bullying and discrimination and mental health.

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“Developing nationally relevant and critical research into the job readiness of graduate lawyers and future readiness of law firms is informing major national reforms into admission requirements and education of legal practitioners and in the impact of new technology on the profession.”

And while the Job Readiness and Future Ready projects look to the future of the profession, so too does the introduction of Future Leaders Committee (FLC), a democratically elected young lawyers committee based on models in Victoria and NSW.

“This has given young lawyers a legitimate platform and ensures QLS is able to serve the needs of this large cohort of practitioners,” Rolf said.

Rolf has not only spent time with the FLC, he has regularly travelled the state by car and plane to deliver CPD workshops, attend conferences and regional events, as well as recognise and celebrate 25-year and 50-year membership milestones. He says it is an honour to celebrate these achievements and recognise hard work and dedication to the profession.


Rolf at a membership ceremony in Cairns.

“Queensland is a vast state and I have been privileged to see the strength, quality and diversity of profession. The CEO has a unique opportunity to experience and work with all branches of the profession. I can say that I have met and worked with hundreds if not thousands of practitioners who have volunteered and contributed to the strength of the profession, through education, advocacy, regulation, mentoring and pro bono work,” he said.

“I sense the engagement from members to support the profession is at an all-time high. This is a great indicator of the strength of the profession and acknowledgement of the privilege we have in serving our communities as members of the profession.   

“I am also pleased two issues I have spent my career focused on – that awareness of appropriate workplace conduct and culture, and mental health and well-being are now well understood and key agenda items for the profession.”

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He is also proud of the Society achieving citation as an Employer of Choice for Gender Equity by the Federal Workplace Gender Equality Agency – in fact achieving this milestone “two times running” and “positioning QLS with an elite groups of employers in Australia who have achieved this pinnacle standard”.

Staff and members can now enjoy the refurbished Law Society House, which was a four-year project.

“It seemed like an impossible dream four years ago,” Rolf said at the building opening late last year.

“It has secured the future of the members’ biggest asset, provided a modern workplace and contemporary spaces for members, education, networking and dispute resolution.”

Incoming CEO and General Manager – Advocacy, Guidance and Governance Matt Dunn said it had been an honour to work with Rolf over the past six years,

“Rolf is an impressive leader and has spent many hours working closely with the membership and leadership team,” he said.

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“He is leaving QLS in a strong position, and I look forward to continuing his good work.”

Rolf is taking a sabbatical, before planning to continue his work in the legal sector and will remain on several charitable and advisory boards.

And Rolf can leave the building knowing that during his term that QLS has been reshaped and repositioned with many long-term strategies delivered and is now well-positioned for the future.

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3 Responses

  1. Best wishes for your break Rolf

    To add to your list of achievements may I mention your ongoing fabulous support of the Australasian Legal Practice Management Association both before and during your term as CEO

  2. Thank you, Rolf, for your commitment to QLS and the profession. You have achieved a lot in six years for which I’m sure many of us are very grateful.

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