Proctor : February 2019
17 PROCTOR | February 2019 Profile When the name ‘Bill Potts’ is mentioned in Queensland, many will recognise him as a Gold Coast criminal lawyer, often called upon by the media to explain the law. Many in the legal profession, media and government will also know him as 2016 and now 2019 Queensland Law Society President. Bill is no stranger to the Society, having been involved with QLS for decades through committee membership, as a QLS Senior Counsellor and presenting at events. He is now in his eighth year on QLS Council – a role he says has given him great insight into the workings of QLS. “The Society is a membership organisation, with many moving parts,” he said. “One of our key roles is in listening to our members, finding out the key issues of importance to them and providing the best solutions and training to get the job done.” A strong foundation Bill is only the second practitioner in the Society’s 146-year history to hold the office of President on two occasions – the first being George Roydon Howard Gill (1887- 1974), who served in 1934-36 and 1943-44 . When asked how it felt to be the only living President to serve twice, Bill said that it was “an amazing honour to be working with an active and committed Council to serve our members”. While he returns with the same foundational priorities and passions for the role and the profession, Bill outlined a few other key issues he wishes to bring to the fore in 2019. “Think words such as diversity, integrity, transparency, active partner, active leader, purpose, uncompromising, advocacy and service,” he said. “I’m in a unique position as I am well known to many members throughout the length and breadth of Queensland, and I have had significant contact with government, Opposition and the judiciary. “This contact has seen me furthering the interests of our profession and I have a history of standing up for the independence of the judiciary, lobbying for further court resources and reinforcing society’s respect for the rule of law. “This year, I can progress the many goals of QLS, through continuing to build on the work of past presidents and by prioritising the voices and values of our diverse membership.” Bill outlined his key priorities across several areas. He is passionate about promoting not only the value of solicitors in Queensland but also the Society as the peak professional legal body in Queensland, and a leading legal professional body in Australia. “In Queensland, we have some of the most experienced and passionate solicitors who work diligently for their clients day-in day-out with little recognition,” he said. “At the Society, we draw upon not only their knowledge and expertise, but also the skills of our QLS Council and staff to provide the best services possible. We need to promote this great work wide and far.” Bill remains committed to representing the interests of professional solicitors and QLS members through this advocacy, while championing the value of members to community, government and judiciary. “Our members’ success is not only success for QLS but also the wider profession and the community we serve. “While we ensure our members remain at the top of their game, we also will continue to lead and proclaim the profession’s high-level of standards, whether it be through regulation of licensing to practise, trust accounting or ethical support.” Queensland Law Society President Bill Potts reveals his priorities and passion for 2019. Report by Melissa Raassina.