Roger is a leading silk with a strong and wide-ranging commercial and equity practice. He also specialises in administrative and public law. Roger is a former President of the Bar Association of Queensland.
He is an experienced appellate and trial advocate and has appeared as leading counsel in the High Court, the Queensland Court of Appeal, the Full Court of the Federal Court, the Federal Court, the Land Court of Queensland, the Supreme Courts of Queensland, the Planning and Environment Court, and before a number of Commissions of Inquiry.
Roger is a qualified mediator and mediates a wide range of disputes involving, inter alia, commercial matters, trust and succession law, banking law and mining law.
Administrative Law and Public Law
Roger has a broad range of experience in administrative law cases, including in particular cases with a mining and resources element, and involving the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act. Recent cases of interest include: Lee v Crime and Corruption Commission  QSC 226; Agripower Australia v J & D Rigging Pty Ltd  QSC 164, a case concerning the BCIPA (application for special leave refused); Wright & Anor v Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining for the State of Queensland & Ors  QCA 141, a decision of the Court of Appeal concerning the principles applicable to the renewal of a mining lease (application for special leave refused); Board of Trustees of the State Public Sector Superannuation Scheme v Edington  FCAFC 8, a decision of the Full Court of the Federal Court of Australia concerning the Superannuation Complaints Tribunal; and Heslop v Secretary, Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs  FCA 1345.
Roger has been asked to act as expert decision maker and has otherwise been involved in a number of arbitrations. The confidentiality of the arbitration process does not permit the disclosure of the participants.
Commissions of Inquiry
Roger has extensive experience in Commissions of Inquiry, acting as counsel assisting the Inquiry and appearing for persons of interest to and witnesses in the inquiries. Roger has acted as Counsel Assisting the Parliamentary (Judges) Commission of Inquiry (1989); Counsel Assisting the Cooke Trade Union Inquiry (1991); Counsel for Mr Nichol, Connolly/Ryan Inquiry into the Criminal Justice Commission (1996) and Counsel for members of the Queensland Public Service, Queensland Department of Health Payroll Inquiry (2013).
Roger has appeared regularly in cases involving compensation upon the compulsory acquisition of land. His extensive experience in valuation law, and in planning law, is of value in his practice in this area.
Contract Law and Commercial Law
Roger practices extensively in the area of contract law and commercial law. He frequently provides advice in respect of commercial contracts, contracts for the sale and development of land, commercial leases, contract of loan and partnership disputes. Recent cases include: Agripower Australia Ltd v J and D Rigging Pty Ltd and Ors  QSC 164, a case concerning the application of the Building and Construction Industry Payments Act 2004 (Qld) and its application to building work on land the subject of a mining lease (special leave refused); Hansen Yuncken Pty Ltd v Ian James Ericson trading as Flea’s Concreting and Anor  QSC 51, a case concerning the Taxation Administration Act 1953 (Cth), statutory charges created thereby and the priority of charges; and Hyatt of Australia Limited v Coolum Resort Pty Limited & Ors  QSC 049, a case concerning management rights over the Palmer Resort.
Roger has been invited to present papers on topics relating to commercial law, including: “Misleading or deceptive conduct and circumstances relevant to the interpretation of contracts”; “Conditions Precedent and Promissory Obligations in the Context of Guarantees”; “Guarantees and Assignments of Leases”; and “Directors’ Liability for the Execution of Corporate Guarantees”.
Equity and Trusts
Roger practices in the area of equity and trusts. Recent cases include: Aion Corporation Pty Ltd v Yolla Holdings Pty Ltd and Anor  QSC 191; Herrod and Ors v Johnston and Anor  QCA 360; and Hack v Kettering Pty Ltd and Ors  QSC 27 and subsequent related proceedings.
Roger has been asked to present papers to professional organisations on topics relating to equity and trusts including: “Constructive Trusts and Unconscionable Conduct”, paper delivered to Master of Laws Course, University of Queensland 2011, 2012; “Equitable interests in estates and equitable remedies” and “Testamentary Promises, Estoppel and Remedies“, paper delivered to University of Queensland Master of Laws Course, 2015.
Roger has extensive experience in the area of insurance law. He has acted in a number of cases for professional indemnity insurers and for and against insurers of business interests.
He has been invited to present papers to specialist insurance profession groups including the following: “The extent to which an insurer is based by a judgment or settlement against the insured“; “Defence Costs Clauses in Insurance Policies”; “Liability Insurance and Defence Costs”; and “Recent Developments in Respect of Section 54 and Section 48 of the Insurance Contracts Act”.
Land Law and Planning Law
Roger has had significant experience in the area of land law and planning law. Recent cases include Aion Corporation Pty Ltd v Yolla Holdings Pty Ltd and Anor  QSC 191; Cox v Brisbane City Council  QPEC 44; and McDonalds Australia Ltd v Logan City Council  BC201215011.
Roger is a qualified mediator and mediates a wide range of disputes involving, inter alia, commercial matters, trust and succession law, banking law and mining law. He frequently mediates disputes between mining companies and land owners concerning compensation upon the grant of a mining lease.
Roger has a keen interest in topics relating to the law relating to the medical profession and the relationship between the medical and legal professions. He was briefed on behalf of a number of health department employees in the recent Health Payroll Inquiry.
He has presented papers at a number of medical conferences, and was invited to present a paper at the conference of the Australasian College of Surgeons held in Hong Kong in 2008. Papers include: “Common Challenges for the Legal and Medical Professions”, Hearsay, August 2009; “Legal Responsibility for the Poorly Performing Surgeon and Organizational Responses to Minimize Risk and Improve Performance”, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Scientific Congress, Hong Kong, 16 May 2008; “Science and Truth in the Courtroom. Does it Matter?”, Royal Australasian College of Surgeons Annual Scientific Congress, 7 May 2003; and “Making the Most of an Expert Witness”, Medico Legal Society, 17 November 2001.
Mining Law, Compensation upon the grant of mining tenements
Roger has appeared in a number of important cases concerning the grant of mining leases and the administrative review of decisions relating to mining leases. These include contested applications for the grant of a mining lease and applications on compensation. He appeared recently in the Queensland Court of Appeal and the High Court (special leave refused) for the tenement holder in Wright & Anor v Minister for Employment, Skills and Mining for the State of Queensland & Ors  QCA 141, a decision concerning the judicial review of a decision to grant renewal of a mining lease.
Roger frequently mediates disputes between land owners and mining companies concerning compensation payable on the grant of mining tenements.
Roger was invited to present a paper, “Chasing the (w)right decision” at the AMPLA Conference in May 2014.
Roger has had a long standing interest in the issue of professional ethics. He has taught Ethics for many years to legal practitioners intending to be admitted as barristers at the Bar Practice Course. He has also delivered a numbers of papers and seminars to the profession on topics relating to professional ethics. He is the Chairman of the Bar Association of Queensland’s Ethics Committee.
Roger was honoured to be invited to present a paper on “Ethics in Mediation” at the Third International Ethics Conference, Gold Coast, July 2008.
Other papers and presentations to the profession include: “Professional Ethics”, Bar Association Annual Conference, February 2013; “Professional Ethics”, Bar Association Annual Conference, February 2012; “Professional Ethics”, Bar Association Annual Conference, March 2009; “Professional Ethics”, Bar Association Annual Conference, March 2006; “Professional Ethics”, Bar Association Annual Conference, March 2005.
Roger has appeared in a number of cases in the area of equity, trusts and succession law and related areas concerning equitable rights of action. Recent examples include Mark Joseph O’Donnell v Colleen Mary Gillespie and Anor  QSC 22 and McPherson v Byrne and Ors  QSC 394.
Roger has been invited to present papers at conferences of equity and succession Law specialists on topics including “Breaches of trust, negligence of trustees and the exercise of discretion by trustees of discretionary trusts” (Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners Conference, Kingscliff, September 2012) and “When time is of the essence”, a Queensland Law Society Conference held to mark the centenary of a statutory right to family provision.
Roger has appeared in the Land Court of Queensland, Land Appeal Court and Court of Appeal for major land owners in the Brisbane CBD and for the owners of major south-east Queensland shopping centres. He has developed particular expertise in land valuation and valuation law. These cases include long running and important appeals in respect of shopping centres and high value commercial and high-rise residential property in the Brisbane Central Business District which resulted ultimately in the enactment of new laws concerning the valuation of land in Queensland. Roger was engaged on behalf of the land owners to discuss and negotiate changes in those laws, which have seen the basis for the valuation of land in Queensland change from unimproved value to the site value of land. Cases of interest include: PT Limited v Department of Natural Resources and Mines  QLC 0068; Kent Street Pty Ltd & Ors v Department of Natural Resources and Mines  QLC 0011; Kent Street Pty Ltd & Ors v Department of Natural Resources and Mines  QLAC 0221; Chief Executive, Department of Natural Resources and Mines v Kent Street Pty Ltd  QCA 399; Multiplex 240 Queens Street Landowner Pty Ltd & Anor v Department of Natural Resources, Mines and Water  QLC 0030; and GPT RE Limited (as responsible entity) & Anor v Department of Natural Resources and Water  QLC 0078. Roger continues to appear in the Land Court on valuation matters.
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession – Leading Insurance Barristers Queensland – Recommended Leading Counsel (2016)
Doyle’s Guide to the Australian Legal Profession – Leading Planning & Environment Barristers Queensland – Recommended Leading Counsel (2017)
Australian Financial Review’s Best Lawyers – listed for Planning & Environment (2018)
Professional Leadership and Public Life
2014–current Chairman, Bar Association of Queensland Ethics Committee
2014 Australian Bar Association, Advanced Trial Advocacy Course: Roger was invited to teach at the Australian Bar Association “Advanced Trial Advocacy Course for Excellence in Advocacy”. This advanced advocacy course is open to barristers throughout Australia. Teachers are selected from members of the judiciary Queen’s Counsel and Senior Counsel throughout Australia. In addition, for many years Roger has lectured pupils sitting the Bar Practice Course on the subject of Professional Ethics.
2011–2012, 2012–2013 President, Bar Association of Queensland: During his time as President of the Bar Association of Queensland Roger oversaw a number of initiatives including a significant reassessment of the position of the Bar in the Queensland legal market; the introduction of a Legal Aid Queensland junior barrister scheme; a more intensive programme of continuing professional education; the establishment of a better and more effective electronic presence for the Bar Association and members; the relocation of the Bar Practice Course to the premises of the Bar Association; more economic access by members to legal information services; a reassessment of the role of Chamber groups in the upkeep of professional standards and the organisation of barrister’s practices; closer relations between the Bar and corporate counsel; a reinvigorated professional development programme in regional areas; submissions to government on a wide range of legislation and proposed legislation; the reintroduction of the appointment of Queen’s Counsel; initiatives by the Bar Association of Queensland on behalf of members into the Asian legal market; reinvigoration of initiatives relating to indigenous practitioners and efforts by the Association to encourage indigenous barristers; and the provision by the Queensland Bar of pro bono education in the South Pacific and Papua New Guinea. Roger represented the Bar Association of Queensland on the Law Council of Australia and the Australian Bar Association.
2010–2011 Vice-President, Bar Association of Queensland
2011–2012 Director, Law Council of Australia
2011–2012 Member, Council of the Australian Bar Association: As such, Roger was responsible for representing the interests of the Queensland Bar on the Australian Bar Association Council.
2010–2011 Chair, Professional Discipline and Conduct Committee, Bar Association of Queensland: As Vice-President of the Association and Chair of the Professional Discipline and Misconduct Committee, Roger was responsible for the co-ordination and oversight of investigations into and recommendations by the Committee into complaints against members of the Association. He was also responsible for liaising with the Legal Services Commissioner in relation to disciplinary complaints against members of the Association and professional standards generally.
2007–2009 Honorary Secretary, Bar Association of Queensland
2003–2013 Member, Bar Council
Community Involvement and Leadership and Public Life
2011–present Director, Cancer Council of Queensland & Member, Management and Finance Committee, Cancer Council of Queensland. The objects of Cancer Council of Queensland are to support, fund and conduct research activities into cancer control; to provide support and information to individuals diagnosed with cancer, their families and communities; to provide supportive accommodation facilities for cancer patients; to educate the community about prevention and early detection of cancer; to assist in the provision of facilities and services for the diagnosis and treatment of cancer; to obtain monies through fundraising programs or by any other lawful means and to invest those monies and hold those investments; to acquire and disseminate knowledge on all matters relation to cancer control; to communicate and advertise the activities of the Company using all available media; and to become a Member of, establish or cooperate with any organisation (both within Australia and overseas) having objects whole or in part similar to the object of the Company.
2002–2014 President, Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland (previously Breast Cancer Association of Queensland): For the last eleven years Roger has chaired the Board of this charitable and voluntary organisation the object of which has been to assist the sufferers of breast and prostate cancer; to fund research into breast and prostate cancer and to fund education for breast and prostate cancer nurses throughout Queensland. The Breast Cancer Association of Queensland was the first charity in Queensland to fund breast cancer nurses in rural and regional Queensland. Since its establishment the Association has centred its efforts on rural and regional areas, where studies show mortality rates and radical treatment rates exceed rates in major metropolitan centres. The recent addition of prostate cancer to its mission (and the amendment of its name to the Breast and Prostate Cancer Association of Queensland) has permitted the multi-skilling of nurses in regional and rural areas to be able to look after breast cancer and prostate cancer sufferers in rural and regional centres. During his Chairmanship, Roger has overseen the significant decentralisation of the services and organisation of the charity, such that now sub-committees for the Association exist and are active in Emerald, St George, Charleville, Toowoomba, Mitchell, Barcaldine, Goondiwindi and Yeppoon. The Association sponsors a number of breast cancer nurses throughout Queensland and is looking forward to expanding its services further into the area of prostate cancer. It sponsors university courses for nurses who wish to qualify as breast care nurses and prostate cancer nurses.
1993–1994 President, University of Queensland Cricket Club
2013 Appointed Queen’s Counsel
2003 Appointed Senior Counsel
1985 Barrister at Law, admitted
1985 Associate to the Honourable the Chief Justice, Sir Walter Campbell
1981–1982 Queensland Sheffield Shield Cricket
1997 Master of Laws, Queensland University of Technology
1985 Bachelor of Laws (Hons), University of Queensland
1983 Bachelor of Arts, University of Queensland