Council and Executive

The Council is the supreme decision-making forum of the Law Society of Tasmania. It is assisted in its deliberations by a number of Committees comprised of Council and Society members. The Council meets regularly to consider matters of policy. Council has the following key roles:

  • Decision-making on policies affecting the profession.
  • Representation or commentary on policy or legislation to Government and other organisations.
  • Approval of submissions or comments made on behalf of the Society.

Council has sixteen (16) members which must include:

  • Five Northern practitioners
  • Three North-Western practitioners
  • Eight Southern practitioners

Office bearers are: President, Vice President, Treasurer and members of the Executive Committee. Council elections Council members are elected by a vote of the entire regional membership and do not represent any particular category.

  • Elections for council are held each year in October.
  • Members are elected for a two-year term.
  • The Vice-President usually becomes President unless he or she does not wish to take up the position or the Council determines otherwise.

The President and the Vice President are elected after the annual general meeting. Elections for the Treasurer and other Executive members are held at a council meeting following the annual general meeting. These are all a one-year term commencing October.

2021/2022 Council Members

* signifies member of the Executive

Simon Gates* President
Barrister
Suite 5, Level 1, 3/15 Wilmot Street, Burnie, 7250
Tel: 0415 535 707
simon.gates@burniechambers.com.au

Simon Gates is the President of the Law Society of Tasmania and a barrister at the Tasmanian Independent Bar.  He is also the inaugural Chair of the Law Society’s Wellbeing Committee and was a member of Law Society’s Litigation Committee from 2017 – 2021.

Simon graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Laws with Honours in 2005 after having earlier graduated with a Bachelor of Science with First Class Honours in 2001. 

Prior to being called to the Bar, Simon was a Partner at McLean, McKenzie and Topfer Barristers and Solicitors for four years, where he had worked from 2013, specialising in workers compensation, personal injuries and administrative law. 

Before entering private legal practice, Simon held the position of Senior Legal Advisor (2012-13) and Legal Advisor (2011) to the Tasmanian State Attorney-General and Crown Counsel in the Office of the Solicitor-General for the State of Tasmania between 2007 and 2011, acting as Junior Counsel for the State in a number of High Court Constitutional Law cases.

Simon is a former Criminal Injuries Compensation Commissioner and a legal member of the Mental Health Tribunal.

Prior to entering the legal profession, Simon lived and worked in East Timor in 2005 and 2006, working primarily as an Australian Volunteers International funded legal and policy advisor in the minerals, oil and gas sector for the Timor-Leste Government.

Simon is married with 3 children and in his spare time enjoys fly fishing and running.

Amanda Thompson* Vice-President
Wallace Wilkinson & Webster
169 Liverpool Street, Hobart 7000
Tel: (03) 6234 8022
athompson@wwwlawyers.com.au
Amanda Thompson graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2011 with a Bachelor of Law/Arts with Honours and was admitted to practice in 2012. She is a Senior Associate at Wallace Wilkinson and Webster.  She has a diverse range of experience in both civil and criminal litigation, with a focus on insurance, personal injury and workers compensation.

Amanda is the Vice-President of the Law Society of Tasmania Council, a member of the Law Society Litigation Committee and is also a Director of the Centre for Legal Studies.

Amanda was the joint recipient of the Tasmanian Young Lawyer of the Year Award in 2017.  She is past Co-President of the Southern Young Lawyers Committee (2014-16) and former Tasmanian representative for the Australian Young Lawyers Committee (2014-16).

 

Julia Higgins* Treasurer
Bishops
19 Paterson Street, Launceston, 7250
Tel: (03) 6334 1667
juliahiggins@bishops.com.au

Julia is a Partner at Bishops Solicitors in Launceston. 

Julia graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Commerce and Laws in 2001 and was admitted to practice in 2002.

Julia practices in Family Law and Child Protection. Julia is regularly appointed by the Court as an Independent Children’s Lawyer in complex parenting
cases.

Julia is the current Treasurer of the Law Society of Tasmania Council.

Julia is the current Chair of the Family Law Practitioners Association Tas Inc and is a former Commissioner for the Legal Aid Commission of Tasmania. Julia is a
prior President of the Northern Young Lawyers Committee. Julia was recently appointed by Legal Aid Tasmania onto the Register of Legal Practitioners Tasmania – Family Violence ; Cross examination of Parties Scheme.

 

Ian Arendt
Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions
Level 8, 15 Murray Street, Hobart, 7000
Tel: 0437 567 449
Ian.Arendt@justice.tas.gov.au
Helen Bassett
Walsh Day James Mihal
18 King Edward Street, Ulverstone 7315
Tel: (03) 6425 2077
helenbassett@walshday.com.au

Helen Bassett graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Social Work in 1998 and from Deakin University with a Bachelor of Laws in 2015. Helen was admitted to practice in 2016 and has been an Associate at Walsh Day James Mihal since 2017, primarily practicing in the areas of Family Law, Child Safety and Criminal Law.  Helen was appointed to the council in 2019 and is a member of the Continuing Professional Development (CPD) Committee. Helen is the current chairperson of the North West Community Legal Centre Management Committee and a current member of the North West Young Lawyers and Family Law Practitioners Association of Tasmania.

Amber Cohen
Rae & Partners
Level 3, 113 Cimitiere Street, Launceston 7250
Tel: (03) 6337 5555
amber.cohen@raepartners.com.au

Amber became a member of the Law Society of Tasmania Council in 2019. Amber graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Arts and Laws degree in 2002 and was admitted to practice in 2003. She has extensive experience in property law, litigation and mortgages and securities work and a special interest in mentoring young solicitors, employment law and estate litigation. Amber has worked in private practice in Launceston for most of her career and is currently a Principal at Rae & Partners, Lawyers. She also spent some time in London in 2008 and 2009 doing various legal roles. Amber has past experience in local committee of management roles and with the University of Tasmania Social Sciences and Human Research Ethics Committee and is a current member of the Mental Health Tribunal. Amber also sits on the board of trustees of a Charitable Trust.

Rohan Foon
Douglas & Collins
9-13 George Street, Launceston 7250
Tel: (03) 6332 3400
rohanf@douglascollins.com.au

Rohan graduated from the University of Tasmania in 2004 with a combined degree in Economics and Law with first-class honours in law.

In 2005, he completed a Graduate Certificate of Legal Practice and was admitted as a practitioner of the Supreme Court of Tasmania. Upon his admission, he spent a year as Associate to the Honourable Justice Crawford of the Supreme Court of Tasmania.

Rohan has been a practitioner at Douglas & Collins since August 2006 and became a principal of the firm in January 2013. He practices in civil and criminal litigation and advises in many areas of the law, including general commercial disputes and estates litigation. He has also been a member of the council of the Law Society of Tasmania since 2010.

In addition to practice, Rohan is currently:

  • A Director of the Law Council of Australia;
  • A member of the Disciplinary Tribunal for the Tasmanian Legal Profession;
  • A Criminal Injuries Compensation Commissioner;
  • A member of the Board of the Tasmanian Law Reform Institute;
  • A member of the Finance and Risk Committee of Law Council of Australia
  • Member of the Solicitors Accounts Rules Committee;
  • Member of the Board of Encore Theatre Company; and
  • Chairman of the Launceston Touch Football Association Tribunal

He is a former President, Vice President and Treasurer of the Law Society of Tasmania and was a member of the Executive Council of the Law Society of Tasmania from 2013 to 2019.

Rohan has also previously been President of Law Foundation, Deputy Chairman of the Tasmanian Racing Appeals Board (2013-2015), a member of the Northern Tasmania Football Association Tribunal (2006-2012), a board member of the Time Out House, on the Disciplinary Panel for Touch Football Australia, and a former committee member of the Tamar Churinga Hockey Club.

Robert Hegarty
Douglas & Collins
9-13 George Street, Launceston 7250
Tel: (03) 6332 3400
roberth@douglascollins.com.au

Robert graduated from the University of Tasmania in December 2007 with a combined degree in Commerce and Law. He obtained a Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice from the University of Tasmania in 2008.

 

In August 2008, Robert was admitted as a Practitioner of the Supreme Court of Tasmania and joined Douglas & Collins as a graduate in February 2009. Robert became a director of the firm in July 2017.

 

Robert generally practices in property law, commercial law and estate law areas.

 

Robert was a past member of the Northern Young Lawyers Committee (2011–2015) and was the committee’s Treasurer for 2011/2012. Robert became a member of the Law Society of Tasmania’s Council in May 2018. He is also a currently a member of the Property and Commercial Law Committee.

Carey Higgins
Land Titles Office
1/134 Macquarie Street, Hobart 7000
Tel: 6165 4444
carey.higgins@dpipwe.tas.gov.au

Carey is a member of the Law Society of Tasmania Council and was first appointed to Council in 2014.

Carey graduated from the University of Tasmania with a Bachelor of Laws degree in 2000 and was admitted to practice in 2001. She has extensive experience in property and commercial law, wills and estate planning and mortgages and securities work.

Carey worked in private practice in Hobart for around 16 years and currently works for the Department of Primary Industries, Parks, Water and Environment as the solicitor for the Land Titles Office.  She also worked for 2 years as a Manager and senior lawyer at Glenorchy City Council responsible for several core areas of its business and managing various projects. This included leading the legal, property and procurement teams and expanding her local government, management, corporate governance and board experience.

Carey was a member of Committee of Management of the Hobart Community Legal Service Inc for almost 15 years including serving several terms as President. Carey was a member of the Law Society Property and Commercial Law between 2014 and 2019, a past Chair and current member of the Continuing Professional Development Committee and has been a member of the Law Society Pro-Bono Clearing House since 2010 including acting as Chair in 2017. Carey is a  past president and committee member of the Southern Young Lawyers Committee.

Ameila Higgs
Dobson Mitchell Allport
59 Harrington Street, Hobart 7000
Tel: (03) 6210 0000
amelia.higgs@doma.com.au

Amelia is a Senior Associate at Dobson Mitchell Allport and practises in family law. As well as being a Council member, Amelia is currently the Chair of Employment, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Law Society of Tasmania, the Chair of the Family Law Pathways Network Steering Committee,  and a board member of Women’s Legal Service Tasmania. She is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and the Family Law Practitioners Association of Tasmania. She was a joint recipient of the Law Society’s 2017 award for Young Lawyer of the Year.

Amelia is a Senior Associate at Dobson Mitchell Allport and practises in family law. As well as being a Council member, Amelia is currently the Chair of Employment, Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the Law Society of Tasmania, the Chair of the Family Law Pathways Network Steering Committee,  and a board member of Women’s Legal Service Tasmania. She is also a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, and the Family Law Practitioners Association of Tasmania. She was a joint recipient of the Law Society’s 2017 award for Young Lawyer of the Year.

Evan Hughes
Rae & Partners
Level 3, 113 Cimitiere Street, Launceston 7250
Tel: (03) 6337 5555
evan.hughes@raepartners.com.au

Evan has been a member of Council since 2013 and is the Chair of the Society’s Litigation Committee of which he has been a member since its inception and a member the Tasmanian Bar Association which preceded it. He is a member of the National Criminal Law Committee, member of the University of Tasmania Learning and Teaching Committee (School of Law) and part-time lecturer at the School of Business.

Evan began his career as a commercial lawyer before then practicing in family and criminal law with the Legal Aid Commission for over 12 years.  He was admitted to the Roll of Practitioners in 1998 after completing studies at the University of Tasmania.  He is a Principal and litigator with Rae & Partners Lawyers which is the largest Launceston and North-West Coast based firm.

Evan practices in both criminal and civil litigation and has an extensive court based practice. He served as the Society’s President in 2018-2019 after serving as the Society’s Treasurer and Vice-President. He is proud of the work completed during that term

 

Will Justo
Wallace, Wilkinson & Webster
169 Liverpool Street, Hobart 7000
Tel: (03) 6234 8022 
wjusto@wwwlawyers.com.au
Will was admitted as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Tasmania in 1995. He joined Wallace Wilkinson and Webster in 1997 and has been a Partner since 2002. Will practices in all aspects of commercial and contract law, residential and commercial conveyancing and property development, leasing, finance and wills and estates. His clients include many well-known Tasmanian businesses, associations, national financial institutions and individuals. Will is a past President of the Law Society of Tasmania and past Chair of the Law Foundation of Tasmania. He has also been the Vice President and Treasurer of the Law Society of Tasmania and the former Chair of the Law Society Property and Commercial Law Committee. He continues to be an active member of that Committee as well as still remaining an executive member of the Council of the Law Society of Tasmania. Will was one of the principal draftsman of the REIT/Law Society Standard Form of Contract for the sale of a property in Tasmania. Will is a former Officer in the Australian Army Legal Corp (Reserve). In his spare time Will likes nothing more than to spend time with his family and sailing on the River Derwent and surrounding areas. He is the Rear Commodore of the De

Dinesh Loganathan
Logan & Partners
Level 4, 147 Macquarie Street, Hobart, 7000
Tel: 0468 457 654
dinesh@loganpartners.com.au

Trevor McKenna (Immediate Past President)*
Ogilvie Jennings
Level 4, 39 Murray Street, Hobart 7000
Tel: (03) 6235 0800
trevor.mckenna@ogilviejennings.com.au

Trevor is the immediate past President of the Law Society of Tasmania. He is a Senior Associate at Ogilvie Jennings, practicing principally in the area family and relationships law. Trevor is:

  • a member of council and a member of the executive committee of the Law Society of Tasmania;
  • Chair of the CPD Committee of the Law Society of Tasmania;
  • a member of the Law Foundation of Tasmania
  • a member of the Executive of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia
  • lecturer in Family Law at the Tasmanian Legal Practice Course; and
  • a contributing author (family law) of the Legal Practice Manual Western Australia and formerly a case note writer and contributing editor of the Family Law Review Journal (decommissioned in 2019).
Callum Purcell
Matthe Verney Lawyers
26a Rooke Street, Devonport, 7310
Tel: 03 6423 6669
callumpurcell.verney@outlook.com

Alison Wells*
Butler, McIntyre & Butler
20 Murray Street, Hobart, 7000
Tel: (03) 6222 9444
awells@bmbtas.com