Australia: Five minutes with Kate McQueeney
Last Updated: 23 April 2015

Kate McQueeney, Senior Associate in our Commercial team, shares some insights into life at Cooper Grace Ward, her past experiences and predictions for the upcoming year.

  1. What made you decide to become a lawyer?

A client asked me why I wasn't a lawyer – so I decided to go back to uni.

  1. How long have you worked at Cooper Grace Ward for and what brought you to that position?

Three years. I had been taking some time out and wanted to work for a firm that I felt did great quality work and were true to their values. I had been a 'fan' of Greg Cahill's for many years, having instructed him personally and worked with him for joint clients. I had also used CGW Structures, so I called Greg and here I am.

  1. If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive who would they be and why?

Bernie Siegel, the doctor who wrote Love Medicine and Miracles, so I could talk to him more about the ideas that he has seen in his practice with the body's ability to heal itself and the reasons why it works for some people but doesn't for others

Martin Luther King Jnr, to be able to talk to him about his faith and ability to forgive in the face of such unspeakable inequity, hatred and inhumanity against his people.

Mary Dwyer, a friend of mine who has for many years worked on creating emotionally intelligent leaders and CEOs. She works with the Folke Bernadotte Academy in Sweden, the Centre of Peace and Conflict Studies in Cambodia and the Asia/Pacific Leadership Circle. She works with others around the world to look at more creative solutions to bring peace in the world. It would be a change to catch up and have a conversation with her with these other two great men.

  1. You're from Brisbane – where's the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?

Olé at Southbank for tapas and sangria

  1. What's the best advice you've ever been given?

People choose to work with you because they trust you and they like you.

  1. Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?

The science behind the interaction between food and disease and how our minds influence our bodies. And cricket.

  1. Complete this sentence: If I wasn't a lawyer, I would be...

A psychologist. I think I have a head start because often in my area people ask me whether I am a lawyer or a psychologist, and my response is that sometimes you have to be both.

  1. What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2015?

Generally, the pressure to do more work for lower fees in a quicker turnaround time.

For my team, it will be helping advisers navigate the changes in regulation and legislation to deliver high quality advice, given the pressure to do more work for lower fees in a quicker turnaround time.

  1. What do you love about your job?

Working in a team where there is such a depth of knowledge and skill that is so readily shared. It allows me to give clients the peace of mind that they have put in place a plan that passes their assets to the right people in the right way on their death. Best of all, it is done in a practical way that is value for what they pay.

  1. Something you might not know about me is that ...

I grew up in New South Wales, not Tasmania as many people assume. I married a Tasmanian, which is why I spent many years there.

Winner – EOWA Employer of Choice for Women Citation 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012
Winner – ALB Gold Employer of Choice 2011 and 2012
Finalist – ALB Australasian Law Awards 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012 (Best Brisbane Firm)
Winner – BRW Client Choice Awards 2009 and 2010 - Best Australian Law Firm (revenue less than $50m)

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