Megan Mahon, president of Queensland Law Society. Pic is contributed from the Law Society.
Megan Mahon, president of Queensland Law Society. Pic is contributed from the Law Society.

New legal boss appointed amid controversy

A FORMER Queensland Law Society president has been appointed Queensland's new Legal Services Commissioner, after a controversial selection process.

Megan Mahon, the principal and director of law firm Mahon Legal and former Law Council of Australia executive director, will take on the role from mid-October.

"This is a really important role in our legal system and Ms Mahon brings a wealth of experience, integrity and independence to the position,'' Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath said.

Ms Mahon, who was admitted as a solicitor in 1996, was Women Lawyers Association of Queensland's 2009 Woman Lawyer of the Year.

She received Queensland Law Society's President's Medal in 2017.

Ms Mahon replaces acting commissioner Robert Brittan, who has been in the role since Paul Clauson was replaced in 2017 while on holidays.

Her appointment comes after Mr Brittan recently claimed there was a clear perception of bias within the makeup of the selection panel.

 

Megan Mahon
Megan Mahon

 

 

 

Robert Brittan
Robert Brittan

 

The Legal Service Commission receives and deals with complaints against lawyers, law practice employees and unlawful operators.

The initial selection panel that included Queensland Law Society and Bar Association of Queensland representatives was disbanded after Mr Brittan provided advice from the Integrity Commissioner to Ms D'Ath in early 2018.

The Integrity Commissioner pointed to a potential conflict of interest.

However, after a second panel was disbanded, a third panel included Queensland Law Society president Bill Potts and Bar Association of Queensland president, Rebecca Treston.

Mr Brittan, who also revealed the pay packet for his replacement would be about $120,000 more after a review, did not apply.

Ms D'Ath said the appointment of a new Legal Services Commissioner followed an exhaustive recruitment process, which attracted quality candidates from around Australia.

Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath
Attorney-General Yvette D'Ath

The Attorney-General has also appointed a second deputy chief magistrate, Janelle Brassington.

Ms Brassington was appointed a magistrate in 2005 and has served in Southport and Innisfail.

She has recently been the Regional Co-ordinating Magistrate in Cairns.

The Attorney-General said Ms Brassington's extensive experience in regional areas would be a valuable asset in her new role.

"Ms Brassington has more than 25 years in the legal profession, much of it in regional Queensland," Mrs D'Ath said.

Ms Brassington has held roles within the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and Department of Justice and Attorney-General.

She joins Leanne O'Shea, the other deputy chief magistrate.


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