Queensland's Leading Wills and Estates Lawyer
With more than 10,000 highly skilled solicitors in Queensland, it can be difficult to distinguish yourself. Christine Smyth has done this. In 2009 Christine was among a handful of solicitors who achieved the coveted qualification of Accredited Specialist in Succession Law. Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist programs are a rigorous, peer reviewed testing program designed to identify extraordinary skills in specialist areas of law. In 2009 Christine achieved this qualification. Passionate about Succession Law, Christine has built a reputation as one of Queensland’s foremost experts in wills and estates. In 2015, and again in 2016 her expertise and specialised skills were further recognised by the prestigious Doyles Guide, naming Christine Smyth as Queensland’s Leading Wills & Estate Litigation Lawyers.
Christine is a problem solver, taking a direct and practical approach to the resolution of issues. Her philosophy (and indeed the firm's) is that people who consult the firm are entitled to know from the beginning their rights, the risks, the cost, and their chances. She keeps her clients' goals at the forefront and will not hesitate to recommend solutions that will achieve those goals.
Areas of Legal Experience
At the commencement of her career, Christine's work involved the conduct of commercial conveyancing, body corporate management rights and development contracts. During that time she wrote a comprehensive paper on the then newly drafted Residential Tenancies Act and the impact it had on Property Managers. She also wrote a critical analysis of the then pro forma residential tenancies lease. Christine's eye for detail was then applied to the area of litigation, successfully engineering outcomes in building disputes, monetary claims, personal injury claims, licensing and government authority appeals, claims for equitable recourse, commercial disputes, and family law.
Queensland Law Society's President 2017
Christine was elected as the 2017 Queensland Law Society President, and acts as the primary spokesperson for the Society both in the media and in communications with government stakeholders. Christine is responsible for making official public statements of policy on behalf of the Society in compliance with written Society policies. She represents the Society before parliamentary committees and other inquiries, with representatives of the appropriate policy committees. While in her presidency, Christine also liaises with district law associations, community legal and pro bono organisations, universities and other relevant associations and bodies.
Christine is also one of only five people appointed to the Queensland State Government's Better Regulation Task Force. The Taskforce has been established as a sub-committee of the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council and will continue the work of the former Red Tape Reduction Council.
Manager of the Inheritance Law Division
Over the years Christine has noted increased issues arising from our ageing population and the impacts upon families and their legal relationships as a result. Since 2004, Christine has practiced solely in succession and elder law managing our Inheritance Law Division (also known as "Succession Law", or "Estates law"). Her experience provides the following advantages in her Estate work:
- Plain English drafting is applied to drafting wills and court documents;
- Commercial & Property experience provides capacity to analyse & resolve the affairs of deceased persons;
- Litigation experience enables her to take and/or defend court actions that arise in challenges to wills; and
- Family law experience gives her valuable insights into emotional aspects of changing nature of family relationships.
Author and Seminar Presenter
Christine is a sought after author and seminar presenter having written numerous papers, presentations and articles relating to her specialist field of Inheritance Law. Queensland Law Society Proctor Magazine - Christine writes a regular column on succession law for the QLS professional body magazine Proctor, circulated amongst 8900 solicitors; General Editor Retirement & Estate Planning Bulletin – REP is a specialist publication, produced by LexisNexis, providing succession and estate planning professionals the latest developments in all matters concerning retirement and estate planning. She drove the content development of the newsletter and acted as chief participant and thought leader in informing and communicating the latest developments, relevant to the retirement and estate planning industry in Australia.
Seminar Presenter – Christine regularly presents at seminars and conferences for industry bodies including:
- Queensland Law Society;
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners;
- Television Education Network;
- Cemeteries and Crematorium and Funeral Director Associations.
Christine believes in giving back to the community. In her student days she volunteered with the Brisbane Women's legal Service, the Southport Domestic Violence Service and various other organisations. While starting her family she assisted with charity events - raising money for the Cancer Foundation and being a mentor for the Smith Family Learning for Life program. She now provides her time and experience as a mentor for the Queensland University of Technology student mentoring program, Women Lawyers Association (Qld) mentoring program and the Queensland Law Society mentoring program, and providing voluntary seminars for community organisations.