400 George Street
400 George Street
Founded in 1980.
About Cooper Grace Ward
Founded in 1980.
Cooper Grace Ward was established in 1980 and has quickly become one of the largest independent Brisbane based law firms, with more than 20 partners and 200 team members.
We offer a full range of commercial legal services to our clients focusing particularly in the areas of corporate and commercial, property, litigation, insurance and family law. Our key practice areas are among the largest Brisbane-based teams in their respective areas.
We have highly specialised people who strive for excellence in everything they do. We work across many different industries for an array of clients, including listed companies, private companies and individuals, and local and foreign governments.
We invest heavily in technology that allows us to provide better service to our clients.
Cooper Grace Ward is known for its outstanding client service and internal culture. We see that both of those things are interrelated. We understand that practising law is not just about knowing the law; it is also about having people who are able to work with others to achieve the best outcomes for clients. This sets us apart from other law firms.
400 George Street
- Chris Ward
- Managing Partner
Chris has been a litigator for nearly all of his 42 years of practice, focusing on the areas of insurance law, commercial litigation, family law and de facto law cases.
Chris took the reins as managing partner in October 2005 in the shadows of the 25th anniversary of the firm’s formation. As the leader of the firm, Chris defines the essence of our culture, with a strong focus on values, team engagement and corporate citizenship. In addition, Chris continues to play a pivotal role in providing strategic advice to some of the firm’s largest clients, including litigation clients.
In 2019, Chris was elected as the President of ADVOC Asia. ADVOC brings together 93 law firms that benefits members and clients throughout the world.
- Rocco Russo
Rocco is an internationally recognised dispute resolution lawyer with expertise in court and tribunal matters, advocacy, negotiation, and alternative dispute resolution.
He works across Australia to resolve disputes in the corporate and commercial, construction, property, insolvency, defamation and intellectual property fields, as well as representing clients in corporate investigations and commissions of inquiry. He has specific experience in complex, high value, business critical disputes, and has led large multi-disciplinary project teams in significant and high profile cases.
- Scott Hay-Bartlem
Scott and his team specialise in advising on tax, superannuation, structuring and restructuring, and estate planning and succession. This includes assisting accountants, financial planners, lawyers and other professional advisers with helping their clients deal with these issues.
Scott regularly provides training sessions on superannuation, tax and estate planning and succession issues and is an SMSF Specialist AdvisorTM accredited by the SMSF Association.
In addition, Scott is on the board of the SMSF Association and a member of the Society of Trust and Estate practitioners.
- Tony Park
Tony has been workgroup leader of Cooper Grace Ward’s insurance team since 2008 and has been a member of CGW’s Board since 2015. Tony practises in personal injuries litigation, specialising in worker’s compensation claims. He is currently the Supervising Partner for our relationship with WorkCover Queensland and also acts for a number of major self-insured workers’ compensation clients.
He also advises self-insurers and other employers in relation to the statutory review process and represents those clients in the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and the Industrial Court.
Tony has special experience and interest in claims involving the health, retail and mining industries, including multi-party claims spanning the various Queensland personal injuries schemes. He also has a special interest in pure psychological injury claims.
- Andrew Corkhill
Andrew is an experienced corporate and commercial lawyer who acts for domestic and international clients, with a particular focus on the energy and natural resources sector. Andrew also regularly acts for participants in the alternative fuels, hydrogen development and waste-to-energy sectors.
Before joining Cooper Grace Ward, Andrew worked as a senior counsel for Eni in London, one of the world’s largest oil and gas companies, and at Corrs Chambers Westgarth, where he focused on corporate and energy and natural resources matters. Andrew’s experience also includes secondments with QIC and Senex Energy.
- Annie Smeaton
With many years’ experience as an advocate with a strong background in employment, industrial, safety, education (including pre-enrolment and enrolment) and anti-discrimination law, Annie provides her employer clients with strong representation and practical commercial advice.
Annie acts for large corporations and institutions as well as employers in the SMEs market and education and training, resources and energy, transport and logistics, manufacturing and professional services industries. Annie acts for a range of independent schools, training institutions and institutions in the pre-university market. Annie also undertakes employment and regulatory law work in the health sector including for registered medical practitioners.
- Belinda Winter
Belinda is a partner in the workplace relations and safety team of Cooper Grace Ward specialising in employment, industrial relations, discrimination and safety law.
Belinda provides strategic advice to employers about various matters including restructures, enforcing restraints of trade, managing long term ill and injured employees, employee misconduct, poor performance and effecting termination of employment. She also provides assistance to clients in managing industrial issues such as enterprise bargaining, right of entry and industrial action.
Her work includes advising employers on policies and procedures to create strong cultures and safe workplaces. Where allegations of misconduct arise, including claims of discrimination, bullying or harassment, Belinda advises employers on their response to these claims and any disciplinary action required.
- Brady Cockburn
As a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s insurance team, Brady’s practice focuses on workers’ compensation claims on behalf of WorkCover Queensland and Wesfarmers Group TeamCover. He also represents RACQ Insurance in CTP claims and manages the firm’s CTP practice.
Brady is an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injury Law and a member of the Personal Injuries Specialist Accreditation Advisory Committee for the Queensland Law Society.
He has represented both corporate and private clients in all areas of injury litigation, including claims involving work accidents, motor vehicle accidents, defective products, medical negligence, public liability and criminal compensation.
- Charles Sweeney
Charles is a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s corporate and commercial group. Charles provides wide-ranging general commercial advice to clients, with particular areas of focus including corporate advisory and intellectual property / information technology.
Acting for listed and unlisted public and private clients, Charles advises across a broad range of industries, including agribusiness, financial services, technology and mining.
Charles has served as a non-executive director of an ASX listed company (including during its ASX listing) and has practical experience of the issues faced by boards in relation to corporate governance, dealings with regulators (especially ASX and ASIC), major transactions and capital raisings. Charles is also a regular presenter on these topics.
- Clinton Jackson
As part of Cooper Grace Ward’s commercial team, Clinton advises his clients on an extensive range of commercial and corporate matters, business mergers, acquisitions and sales, tax and structuring issues, self-managed superannuation, asset protection and succession, restructuring and exit strategies.
Clinton’s unique range of expertise enables him to assist his clients with both their personal and business legal issues and to advise through all phases of the business/investment lifecycle – from start up, growth, expansion, transition and exit.
He is passionate about ensuring his clients receive the most accurate, cost effective and commercial advice.
- Clive Nichol
Clive is a very pragmatic lawyer and makes sure he is accessible to his clients. He has a deep understanding of the retail sector and through industry experience, has built long-term relationships with developer clients and investors.
Clive has a well-earned reputation as an expert in the field of shopping centre leasing and management. In addition, he is an experienced general property lawyer and has acted in the sale and purchase of some of Queensland’s major shopping centres. He has also assisted a large number of high-profile investors and developers with their matters.
His general commercial advice has helped some of Queensland’s most successful small-to-medium sized enterprises through every stage of the business development cycle.
- Fletch Heinemann
Fletch draws on his experience managing tax and customs disputes to provide his clients with clear, practical tax advice across a range of commercial issues.
Fletch’s technical specialisations include income tax (including international tax and residency issues), GST, payroll tax and customs duties. In managing clients’ tax and customs disputes, Fletch helps with the audit stages, ATO interviews, notices of objection, appeals in the AAT, QCAT, Federal Court and Supreme Court.
- Graham Roberts
Graham is a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s litigation and dispute resolution team. He acts for commercial clients, major suppliers and secured creditors. He specialises in enforcement of securities, lending disputes, insolvency and bankruptcy matters, company and partnership disputes and commercial litigation.
He also has considerable experience in mortgagee sales, receiverships, statutory demands, winding up applications, voluntary administration, liquidation and bankruptcy matters. Graham also acts for liquidators and trustees in bankruptcy.
- Greg Thorne
Greg leads the Cooper Grace Ward banking and finance workgroup.
His group annually completes upwards of $2 billion in loan transactions across all eight Australian states and territories. He has developed long standing ‘partnering’ relationships with the firm’s banking and finance clients, with many of the appointments enduring for periods of 10 to 25 years.
- Justine Woods
Justine Woods is a partner at Cooper Grace Ward and leads the family law team. She has been an accredited family law specialist for nearly two decades.
Having practised exclusively in family law for more than twenty years, Justine has extensive experience in all aspects of family law – children’s arrangements and parenting matters (including surrogacy), property settlement and spousal maintenance issues for both married and de facto couples, binding financial agreements and their international counterparts, together with child support and child maintenance trusts. An accredited specialist for more than a decade, Justine regularly presents at industry and professional education seminars for a range of bodies, including TENS, the Taxation Institute of Australia, Women in Aviation and the Property Institute.
- Kim Teague
Kim has been a lawyer in the property industry for more than 30 years. He specialises in sales, purchases and development of commercial property, including Brisbane CBD buildings, shopping centres, service stations and hotels.
Kim advises on community title scheme developments (both commercial and residential) and on sales and purchases of businesses. He has a large leasing practice covering all types of leasing (both for landlord and tenant) including commercial property, retail shops, industrial properties, vacant land and lots in community title schemes.
Kim is also involved in conveyancing of residential property including vacant land, rural and crown leasehold properties.
- Leanne O’Neill
Leanne advises on all aspects of land access, management and use for developers, resources companies, government and agribusinesses.
Leanne brings 15 years’ experience, including nine years as a solicitor representing the State of Queensland in negotiations and litigation. She held several senior legal roles in the Queensland Government and provided high level advice and representation in land management and resources sector law.
Leanne advises developers on planning and development approvals and appeals under the Planning Act 2016, and compulsory acquisition and valuation law. She provides strategic advice and legal support to petroleum and resources companies on environmental, water, vegetation and biosecurity compliance, as well as native title and cultural heritage, and landholder access and compensation agreements. Leanne also advises agribusinesses and other major landholders on the diversification of land use and income streams, including environmental offsets, carbon sequestration, agistment, timber management, quarries and solar farms.
- Linda Tapiolas
As a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s commercial team, Linda specialises in providing tailored advice and support services to accountants, financial planners and other professional advisers.
Linda provides technical advice on complex tax, capital gains tax (CGT) and Division 7A issues, and acting on business sales and acquisitions to ensure clients achieve commercial and tax effective outcomes.
Prior to joining Cooper Grace Ward, Linda worked as an accountant for 18 years, advising clients on capital gains, business acquisitions, and restructuring, providing her with a unique insight into her current clients’ business environment. She also regularly conducts seminars and training on topics including business structuring, CGT small business concessions and Division 7A issues.
- Marcus Ford
Marcus is the head of property development within the property, planning and environment team at Cooper Grace Ward.
Marcus has been actively involved in the development industry for more than 25 years. His practice areas include strategic advice for property developers of large master planned communities, including commercial, retail and residential; infrastructure agreements and arrangements for master planned communities; community title scheme developments; legal structures such as development agreements; and complex tenders for acquisition of raw sites.
His focus is to provide legal advice of the highest calibre, ensuring commercial and practical results. Marcus achieves these results through a commitment to strategic planning of his clients’ ventures, taking into account not only the myriad of legal issues but also the financial imperatives of his clients and the political issues they often face.
- Neil Hawthorne
Neil leads the property, planning and environment team at Cooper Grace Ward and advises a wide range of property owners and tenants on the acquisition, disposal, leasing and development of residential, commercial, retail and industrial properties.
Neil’s clients include public and private corporations, institutions, investors, developers, landlords and major tenants.
Neil has been involved in landmark Queensland property transactions, including the acquisition and disposal of properties with individual sale values in excess of $370 million.
- Sam Adam
Sam is a partner in Cooper Grace Ward’s corporate and commercial advisory team.
Sam has developed a broad range of experience working as a lawyer in Australia and the United Kingdom, and as a board director, general counsel and CEO.
Sam has specialised expertise in the sports, wagering / gaming, technology, real estate and aviation industries.
Drawing on his broad business experience, Sam is engaged as a strategic business adviser to many of our clients’ boards and senior management teams,