Trust on agenda for coming year

QLS President Rebecca Fogerty addresses the audience at Banco Court. Photos: Your Photographer

Building trust is one of Queensland Law Society (QLS) President Rebecca Fogerty’s aims this year.

More than 150 people attended Thursday’s New Year Profession Drinks at The Gallery, Banco Court, which was a chance to meet the new President and connect with fellow practitioners.

“One of the themes for this year that I want to touch on is the concept of trust, and what that means in the context of the profession,” Rebecca said to the audience, which included Chief Justice of Queensland Bowskill (pictured below), Magistrate Hughes and fellow QLS Councillors.

Rebecca shared 2022 statistics from New South Wales which stated that just 60 per cent of the public trusted lawyers and the legal profession.

“These figures capture our current moment of plummeting trust in institutions, two of the defining features of our era, our suspicion, driven by social isolation, and misinformation amplified by social media,” she said.

“In 2024, we have the troubling spectacle of the archetype of democracy, the United States, heading into elections where a significant plurality of the population no longer accepts the legitimacy of elections.

“As lawyers, turning to the topic at hand, we have a duty to act in our clients’ best interests and the paramount duty to the court, and so I worry then, that there’s such distrust.


“Unfortunately, this is probably one of the dangers of an adversarial system of law. Because whilst we as the daily participants might see it as a fundamentally liberal way of hashing out everyone’s interests for the common good, we should be mindful that to the public experience of the courts can be confusing and stressful.”

And addressing stress in the profession is also on Rebecca’s agenda.

“Next month, we have our pilots of something very special, indeed. Informal professional peer support groups. Based on the medical profession use of Balint groups, we are exploring how to adapt these for lawyers and for private practice,” she said.

“We have been engaging with the Law Society of Ireland, who have also implemented systematic peer-to-peer support groups, but to our knowledge, what we’re doing is a first in the southern hemisphere.

“Do keep an eye out for our first proof of concept in March, in which some very senior barristers and solicitors have kindly agreed to be our lab rats in a public session.”

Rebecca said she was humbled by the trust placed in her as QLS President.


“I’ll work my hardest, and I’ll try my very best to serve and represent you with humility, passion, and a generous heart,” she said.

“I’m grateful to have the support of Deputy President Genevieve Dee, Vice President Peter Jolly, and a team of councillors all of whom are motivated by a desire to serve you. I encourage everybody here to get involved with the Law Society. It’s through service, that we strengthen those precious bonds of trust.”

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