Life member in role reversal

Trent Wakerley's dedication to the SCLA and profession were recognised with life membership recently. Photos from Create Develop Legal Marketing

Roles were reversed when former Sunshine Coast Law Association (SCLA) President Trent Wakerley found himself on top of the life membership list instead of drafting it.

The Director of Kruger Law, who was born and raised on the Sunshine Coast, was recently presented with the honour at this year’s Justin Crosby Memorial Bursary Dinner.

The award was presented at the Bursary Dinner.

In a social media post, the SCLA said: “Trent has been extensively involved with the SCLA as President, Vice President and Secretary. He is a wonderful mentor to many and a friend to all. The Sunshine Coast legal profession, and community more broadly is richer for having Trent around!”

Many of his colleagues and fellow practitioners sent posted tributes in a SCLA video.

Kruger Law Special Counsel Cec O’Dea said the honour was “thoroughly deserved” and some recognition of the “many, many hours” spent serving the association “from those young days as a leather-jacket wearing, motorbike-riding article clerk” to “the seasoned and well-respected practitioner that you are today”.

Cec recalled Trent’s service to the association had been at all levels, even donning the “notorious Santa suit” at a Christmas party to ensure everyone had a great time.


Queensland Law Society Immediate Past President Chloé Kopilović said it was a “huge and beautiful recognition of your contribution on the Sunshine Coast and wider legal profession”.

“It is one thing to be a great lawyer but it’s also another thing to be a great lawyer who gives back and you have given back in truckloads,” she said.

Video tributes followed the event.

Trent said: “Thank you so much to the SCLA for the honour of being awarded a life member. When helping out with awarding the first life membership to Richard Hyett all those years ago, I never imagined I would be on the list one day.

“I’m proud to be part of the legal profession on the Sunny Coast, great lawyers – great people.”

QLS Council member Samantha Bolton said: “I honestly can’t think of a better recipient for the award.

“When you actually look at all the criteria and why this award was formed in the first place, you really just epitomise everything.


“You are really supportive of all of your colleagues and fellow practitioners. You are so courteous to everybody that you deal with and most importantly, and significantly, you are most encouraging to the next generation of lawyers that are coming through with your contributions to the university.”

Before entering the law, Trent was a registered nurse. He developed a passion for elder law while supporting his parents as they navigated aged care, seeing first-hand the challenges faced.

Trent was awarded a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) from QUT in 2005. He started working with Sunshine Coast’s largest firm at the time, Schultz Toomey O’Brien Lawyers, from 2005. Trent was admitted as a solicitor in September 2006 and remained there until 2015 gaining experience in wills and estates, elder law, commercial and property law.

Trent assisted in developing and writing the Elder Law and Succession Law elective at the University of Sunshine Coast in 2016 and has been a sessional lecturer in this course since 2016. He remains a member of the university’s external advisory committee.

In 2015, Trent became a Partner at Kruger Law. In addition to leading the wills and estates team, he continued to assist clients with his expertise in retirement living, lifestyle resorts and aged care matters. In July 2021, he became sole Director.

Trent is a member of the Queensland Law Society Elder Law Committee.

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