Proctor : May 2017
48 PROCTOR | May 2017 Practical, personal guidance for members The QLS Senior Counsellor experience QLS Senior Counsellors provide confidential guidance to practitioners on professional or ethical issues. The service has been operating for more than 40 years and today there are 50 highly experienced practitioners across Queensland who can assist with professional or ethical issues and career advice. This month, we profile three QLS Senior Counsellors who practise in Brisbane – Suzanne Cleary, Wendy Miller and Bill Loughnan Suzanne Cleary What motivated you to become a QLS Senior Counsellor? I wanted to give something back to the profession. Many senior lawyers have supported and mentored me throughout my career. I am glad to be in a position now to do the same. One of the best parts about being a QLS Senior Counsellor is the interaction will my fellow practitioners. What do you like to do during your time off? Watch Game of Thrones. I came to it late but I am hooked. I am part way through series five, so I can’t wait to find out if Jon Snow avenges Ned Stark’s death. What is your favourite area of practice? I don’t have a favourite. Litigation can be fun (and at times no fun at all). If you could give one piece of advice to a solicitor just starting their career, what would it be? Make yourself indispensable. You want your bosses and clients to trust you to handle any given task. You may not always know the answer, but you need to be willing and proactive. Make sure you understand the task. Clients want commercial, practical advice – not a regurgitation of the law. Learn to write well and succinctly. Never underestimate the power of Google. Wendy Miller What motivated you to become a QLS Senior Counsellor? I chose to be a QLS Senior Counsellor to help other practitioners. The experience has been very rewarding and I like the fact that practitioners can feel ‘safe’ in contacting a QLS Senior Counsellor. I am also one of the many volunteers at Women’s Legal Service as a very small contribution to the community. What is your favourite area of practice? I am an accredited specialist and practice only in family law. I find this area of law very interesting and challenging as it requires knowledge across many areas of law such as commercial, estate, equity and tax. Family law also has an ever-growing international aspect in both parenting and financial matters. In short, the work is never boring. What do you like to do during your time off? I like old historic pubs and particularly country pubs; I find stories, pictures and drawings of Brisbane in the early days say, before 1900, fascinating. What do you like about your region? I really like the (warm) weather in South-East Queensland. We who live in South-East Queensland are very fortunate in that there are so many wonderful places to visit in the region that are within two to three hours’ driving distance from Brisbane. And then there is the wonderful Moreton Bay and Brisbane River. Bill Loughnan What motivated you to become a QLS Senior Counsellor? I consider myself very fortunate to have great mentors, not only during my two-year articles at Cannan & Peterson, but also later in my career. Becoming a QLS Senior Counsellor is one way I can repay part of the debt I owe to others who have gone before me. I suspect lawyers in today’s environment face greater challenges in any number of respects than previous generations, such as the increased pressure on professionals, rapidly increasing rate of change, increased competition, work/life balance, etc.