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Law society president pushed out

Christine Smyth was pushed out as Queensland Law Society president. Picture: AAP/Ed Jackson
Christine Smyth was pushed out as Queensland Law Society president. Picture: AAP/Ed Jackson
A BITTER war for control of the state's powerful law society has ended with current president Christine Smyth being ousted after almost 50 per cent of the organisation's leadership team resigned during her tenure. 

Ms Smyth and immediate past president Bill Potts had teamed up on the same ticket to try and secure another two years at the helm of the Queensland Law Society, only the third time in almost 100 years a past president has run again.

Christine Smyth and immediate past president Bill Potts.
Christine Smyth and immediate past president Bill Potts.

While Ms Smyth was unsuccessful in her bid to retain her post after the votes were counted Monday afternoon, Mr Potts has been re-elected as deputy president, which means he will take over as president in 2019 under the QLS election system.

Townsville-based solicitor Ken Taylor will be president next year after leading a powerful bloc of lawyers in the fight to run the QLS, which operates a multimillion-dollar budget, helps select judges and lobbies the government on legislation.

Bill Potts said it was a “great disappointment” members were swayed. Picture: Mike Batterham
Bill Potts said it was a “great disappointment” members were swayed. Picture: Mike Batterham

Legal sources claimed the 2017 election was played out more publicly this year via scathing social media posts critical of the organisation's high staff turnover after 50 per cent of the senior executive and two council members resigned this year.

Yesterday, Ms Smyth conceded her loss via LinkedIn, acknowledging Mr Taylor's win and congratulating Mr Potts and newly elected vice-president Chris Coyne.

"I especially thank you, our members, for being engaged and determined to ensure the QLS was an organisation of which you could be proud," she said.

Mr Potts commented on the post and said it was a "great disappointment that the members of the QLS were swayed.

He said just 27 per cent of the group's 12000 members voted.



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