Law Week 2018 Justice Journeys

Ken Taylor

Ken’s Justice Journey has brought him to the Presidency of the Queensland Law Society.

Ken is the 2018 president of Queensland Law Society – the State’s peak legal representative body for the solicitors of Queensland. The Society celebrates 90 years of incorporation this year, and the president leads the way for all advocacy, media and stakeholder engagement.

Ken Taylor’s justice journey came as a slight surprise to him when, as a young man, the opportunity to undertake articles arose. Never having planned on becoming a solicitor, Ken decided to take the opportunity to enter into articles which enabled him to work full time while completing a law degree as an external student.

When asked about his initial interest in the law, Ken explained that the advantage of completing his articles was that he received not only a feel for the law, but also the opportunity to work across all areas of the law.

“I spent five to six years working in articles, finding out what happens in the law and loved it,” he said.

He studied law in Townsville via correspondence through the Queensland Institute of Technology, graduating in 1989 and continuing to work for a local firm.

Opening of firmFirm opening with business partner Michael Purcell

In the early ‘90s he travelled and worked in London and then established his firm with a business partner, Michael Purcell in 1999.

It was that same year that Ken decided to formalise his specialisation in personal injuries law through the Queensland Law Society’s Specialist Accreditation scheme.

“It was a real advantage to have the experience of having acted for both insurance companies and claimants,” he said.

“It gave me a good balance of both sides and you could see how injuries affected claimants and their families, while also seeing the insurer’s side. Just the way that you could connect with people – the individuals and the claim managers and staff at insurance companies – was quite fulfilling and fascinating to me.”

Ken has practised for nearly 30 years, also being a QLS Councillor for a couple of terms. He decided to run for president of the Law Society in the 2017 election, after being encouraged by colleagues and previous presidents. With a background as a solicitor working in North Queensland, and as a member of various boards, he has developed a great insight into the issues facing lawyers, and in particular, regional lawyers.

His year has been busy so far and his hope is that if members and the profession remember one thing from his presidency, it would be that,

”What I, and the Council, did was always in the best interests of both our members and the Society.”

Ken has been touring the regions and listening to stakeholder and solicitors’ concerns and ideas for the profession in 2018. He signs off on all Parliamentary submissions, speaks to the profession and students at various events, and explains the law to the media.

His advice for young people considering a career in law is to focus on learning and finding out everything they can about their chosen career.

“Regardless of where your studies take you, should you choose to study law you will learn many things that will assist you in some way in the future.

Business partner

“Studying law will teach you so much more than just law itself and there are many avenues you can go down.

“As a solicitor you become an integral part of your community, with the ability to help others.

“I have worked with organisations such as the Mater Health North Queensland, and volunteered with local law associations, community legal centres, sporting groups and schools. Solicitors deal with clients ranging from mums and dads, to single people, to small businesses and big corporations.

“Our solicitors are as diverse as the communities we work in. We assist people in buying a new home or an investment property, starting their business, fighting for human rights or the environment, representing a spouse in divorce proceedings and many other legal situations.”

You can find out more about Queensland Law Society and student membership at qls.com.au.