2024 Intensive Conference: Bringing the Balance

Join us for an enriching experience at the ACT Law Society CPD Intensive Conference in 2024 and rediscover the equilibrium in your legal practice.

Beyond meeting your CPD requirements, our keynote speakers and Balance Room stream will delve into the realms of wellness and mental health within the legal field, offering invaluable insights. Uncover the latest legal changes and gain an understanding of what's current in our property, elder, and government law streams, or join the Tips and Tricks room for useful tools for all areas of practice. 

Hosted at the Novotel Canberra, this conference is not just about staying informed; it's about embracing a balanced and proactive approach to the legal profession.

This year, the 2024 CPD Intensive provides flexibility and customisation with two-day, one-day, and half-day ticket options. Craft your own program and seamlessly navigate between three concurrent breakout rooms. No need to commit during registration; we value your preferences and offer a session registration form closer to the event, ensuring your experience is tailored to your needs.

Join us for a dynamic exploration of legal insights, well-being, and the future of our profession.

 

Key Highlights:

Discover over 20 dynamic sessions: Customise your experience by choosing from 18 breakout sessions and 4 plenaries spread across two action-packed days. 

Esteemed Presenters: Engage with respected industry leaders and legal experts who have left their mark on various fields of law. Benefit from their insights, tips and strategies, gaining valuable knowledge. 

Fulfill your CPD Requirements: Earn 10 CPD points in just two days, accelerating your professional development and staying ahead of the curve. Fulfilling your requirements before the March 31st deadline with this intensive learning opportunity

Networking Opportunities: Forge connections with fellow legal professionals during catering periods and interactive sessions as well as the daily debrief drinks and nibbles. Share experiences and build a network that extends beyond the conference.

Day 1 Schedule - Wednesday 13 March

8:30am  Registration opens
  Plenary Session
9:00am  Welcome Address by Attorney General Shane Rattenbury MLA
9:30am

Keynote Address :
Insights into Mental Wellness: Exploring Challenges in the Legal Field

Presented by Carrie Leeson, CEO Lifeline ACT

Join us for an illuminating session as Carrie Leeson sheds light on mental health challenges within the legal profession. Discover valuable insights into recognising signs of distress, navigating stress, and offering support. Don't miss this opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding mental wellness in the legal world.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

10:30am  Morning Tea
11:00am

ACT Legal Ethics Cases - 2023 Year in Review
Presented by Athol Opas, Blackburn Chambers

Athol Opas, barrister at Blackburn Chambers Canberra, will review 2023 ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) and ACT Supreme Court decisions dealing with legal ethics issues.  The presentation will be a practical one, reviewing the conduct, principles and sanctions applied in each case.  Attendees will obtain one CPD point in legal ethics.

Core Area: 1
Points: 1

12:00pm Lunch
12:00pm Lunch
  Balance Room Property Law Room Tips and Tricks Room
1:00pm

Fair Work Act Update
Presented by Gabrielle Sullivan, BAL Lawyers

There’s been a lot of changes to the Fair Work Act (Cth) in recent months, and still more to come over 2024. Come along to this whistlestop tour of the most relevant changes for workplaces in the capital region.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Navigating Key Updates: Contract for Sale & The Planning Act 2023 (ACT)
Presented by Adam Peppinck, Clayton Utz and Chris Wheeler, King & Wood Mallesons

Learn about the latest changes to the Contract for Sale (including essential updates on swimming pool disclosure requirements) and a general update from the Property Law Committee. Then, dive deep into the new concepts within the Planning Act 2023 (ACT) and the Territory Plan and understanding their impact on property development and regulation.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Binding Financial Agreements: What you and your clients need to know
Presented by Averil Foster, Foster Johnson Family and Collaborative Lawyers and Kasey Fox, Farrar Gesini Dunn

An interactive session with two senior family lawyers aimed at educating lawyers outside of family law practise on the basics around Binding Financial Agreements including what they are, how they work, who should get one and how a BFA may help your clients protect their assets.  We will also touch on processes that may assist your clients to have ‘the hard conversation’ with their partner around firstly having a BFA and then negotiating its contents. We will keep this interesting and pepper our session with some good old fashioned war stories.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

2:00pm 10 minute break
2:10pm

Navigating Stress and Cultivating Success in Legal Practice
Presented by Malcolm Heath, Lawcover

Delve into the dynamics of stress and performance in legal settings. Explore how stress impacts professional effectiveness and personal wellness and reflect on stressors encountered in legal work and their effects on individuals and their environments. Discover practical approaches to infuse meaning into work, develop essential skills, and prioritise self-care.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Understanding Updates: Land Titles Office & Property Developers Bill
Presented by Alfonso del Rio, Clayton Utz

Receive a brief update on the latest from the Land Titles Office, essential for property transactions. Then, delve into the implications of the Property Developers Bill. Gain valuable insights to navigate changes effectively, ensuring compliance and success in your property endeavours.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Mastering Communication: Strategies for Complaint Mitigation
Panel session led by Rob Reis, ACT Law Society

Join a panel led by Rob Reis, Professional Standards Manager, ACT Law Society for an insightful session on effective communication skills. Explore practical strategies to enhance communication and minimise the risk of complaints. Through real case studies, uncover the importance of clear communication in avoiding common pitfalls. This session offers a valuable opportunity to refine your communication toolkit and foster professional growth.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

3:10pm  Afternoon Tea
3:30pm

Time Management for New Lawyers
Presented by Averil Foster, Foster Johnson Family and Collaborative Lawyers

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Recent property law cases
Presenter: Danielle Mildren, Terracon Legal

Stay abreast of recent property law cases in this concise session. Explore pivotal rulings, precedents, and their implications on property transactions and disputes. Analyse key decisions and their impact on property rights, contracts, and regulatory compliance.

Core Area: 4
Points: 0.5

Dispute Resolution - Tips and Tricks
Panel discussion with members of the ACT Law Society Dispute Resolution Committee - Debra Parker, Claire Naidu, Graeme Blank, Drew Buckley and Richard Calver

Join members of our Dispute Resolution committee for insightful tips and tricks. Learn practical strategies and expert insights for effective conflict resolution. Explore negotiation, mediation and more with seasoned professionals. No matter your area of practice, this panel offers valuable tools to enhance your practice.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

Ethics for property
Presented by Pria O'Sullivan, Maddocks

Explore ethics in property law in this concise session. Navigate real-world dilemmas and gain strategies for ethical decision-making. Perfect for property law practitioners seeking to enhance ethical decision-making skills in a focused session.

Core Area: 1
Points: 0.5

4:30pm  Networking Drinks and Canapes
 

Day 2 Schedule - Thursday 14 March

8:30am Registration opens
  Plenary Session
9:00am

Keynote Address : Survival of the Kindest
Presented by Hugh Mackay AO

Renowned psychologist and author Hugh Mackay delves into human nature, stressing the significance of social connections, especially in workplace communities. He explores the repercussions of disconnection on mental health, emphasising the importance of nurturing supportive networks for resilience and emotional stability. His insights inspire reflection on the value of human relationships.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

10:00am Morning Tea
10:30am  

Legal Ethics Hypothetical
Panel discussion

Robert Reis (ACT Law Society Professional Standards Manager), Katie Binstock (Partner, Thomson Geer Lawyers, Canberra) and Athol Opas (barrister, Blackburn Chambers) will join forces as a panel to discuss legal ethical issues based on an imaginative and possibly entertaining hypothetical scenario.  This is a new ethics presentation format for 2024 and all attendees will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion as the panel works through the hypothetical scenario.

Core Area: 1
Points: 1.5

12:00pm  Lunch
12:00pm  Lunch
  Balance Room Elder Law Room Government Law Room
1:00pm

Tackling Imposter Syndrome
Presenter: Lucy Chapple, Thirve Advisory

The Imposter Syndrome is an experience whereby professionals doubt their abilities and fear they are not as competent as others perceive them to be. This experience affects many professionals across various stages of their careers impacting them both personally and professionally.  In this session, Lucy Chapple draws from her recent research into imposter syndrome and her experience as a lawyer to explain the characteristics and drivers of impostor syndrome, shedding light on the common thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to its manifestation. This presentation will provide practical strategies and coping mechanisms to help individuals recognise and manage feelings of self-doubt, fostering a more resilient and confident mindset both individually and in an organisational context.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Overcoming Challenges in Estate Administration
Presented by Andrew Freer, KJB Law

Explore strategies for managing executors, clarifying family trees, and obtaining necessary consents in estate administration. Discover essential evidence requirements and uncover tips to navigate potential pitfalls. Whether seasoned or new to estate practice, this session equips practitioners with insights to streamline processes and overcome administration challenges effectively.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Navigating the Shift: Transitioning between Government and Private Sector Roles
Panel discussion

Explore the transition between government and private sector roles in this insightful panel discussion. Our panelists will share experiences, challenges, and successes, offering practical insights for those contemplating a move. From understanding sector cultures to leveraging transferable skills, learn the essentials for a successful transition. Gain valuable guidance from our esteemed panelists

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

2:00pm  10-minute break
2:10pm

How mental health can affect legal professionals
In Conversation with Desi Vlahos, Wellceum and Owen Bradfield. University of Melbourne

Desi Vlahos and Dr. Owen Bradfield delve into critical issues across professions, drawing from recent reports like the IBA Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession 2021. Dr. Bradfield, with dual insights from medicine and law, along with his PhD research, will highlight shared challenges. They will explore organisational and personal factors affecting wellbeing, advocating for sustainable practices rooted in human rights. Emphasising the importance of managing risks and government regulation, they promote a future-oriented, ethical approach to professional practice.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Recent Developments in Estate Legislation and Case Law
Presented by Katie Binstock, Thomson Geer

Stay informed about the latest in estate legislation and case law. Explore recent developments shaping estate planning, probate, and inheritance laws. From significant court rulings to evolving legislative changes, gain insights into emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in navigating the complexities of estate law. 

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Government Lawyers and the Anti-corruption Commission
Presented by Commissioner Paul Brereton SC

Gain insights into their challenges, strategies, and successes in upholding integrity and combating corruption. Discover how legal professionals navigate complex legal landscapes while safeguarding public trust and promoting accountability within government institutions.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

3:10pm Afternoon Tea
3:30pm 

Psychosocial Risk in the Workplace
Presented by Desi Vlahos, Wellceum

The spotlight on psychosocial risks has seen a gradual but positive move towards ensuring workplaces improve psychosocial health and safety practices by proactively identifying and managing psychosocial hazards and risks in the workplace. Whilst preventing harm already exists in the duties, inclusion the new Regulations (model WHS Regulation 2023 now specifies how employers must undertake this duty. These laws apply to all sizes of practice, and are relevant to business owners, directors and those with managerial responsibility. The new Regulations create refined obligations for employers/people-leaders to prevent, monitor and manage hazards in a well-resourced and evidence based way.
The session looks to cover:
• What is the difference between psychosocial safety and psychological safety?
• How do you define psychosocial hazards and psychosocial risks, and what are some common examples?
• What are the impacts of the new psychosocial hazard regulations?
• What are the responsibilities of employers and employees?
• What recent decisions in addition to the legislation create positive obligations on leaders in how to prevent, monitor, manage employee work design and health?
• How do you manage psychosocial risks effectively?
• How important is assessment and measurement? What practical measures can be put in place to support positive workplace mental health?
• What are some examples of situations that may impact mental health at work?

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Will Drafting
Presented by Timothy Morton, Farrar Gesini Dunn

A concise yet comprehensive session on effective will drafting. Gain insights into identifying estate assets, understanding essential content, and implementing practical drafting tips.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

Procurement and Contract Management Cybersecurity
Presented by Annie Haggar and Amanda Wescombe, CyberCG

This session will educate you on how to defend against supply chain breaches. With an emphasise on integrating 'security by design' into procurement processes and equipping lawyers to manage cybersecurity obligations effectively. Transforming the supply chain from a significant risk to a valuable asset.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

4:30pm Networking Drinks and Canapes
 

Details

  • When: Wednesday 13 and Thursday 14 March 2024
  • Where: Novotel Canberra, 65 Northbourne Ave, Canberra ACT 2600
  • Cost: Various options available including two-day, single-day and half-day
  • Catering will be provided throughout
  • Registrations close COB Thursday 29 February 2024. 

If you are a small firm or sole trader and would like to send multiple people, please contact events@actlawsociety.asn.au for group pricing. 

Event registration terms and conditions

The Law Society is enforcing covid-safe measures as set out by ACT Health at all our face-to-face events. 

If you are a close contact of an active covid case, or feel unwell in the lead up to the event, we kindly ask you not to attend. 

In these circumstances, please advise us by email prior to the event start time and we will issue you a full refund. Contact us on events@actlawsociety.asn.au.

Fees are payable upon registration. 30 days payment invoices are available to members at the discretion of the Law Society. A 1.2% surcharge may be incurred on payments processed via credit/debit card. The Society reserves the right to cancel or alter events at its discretion, and in such circumstances, attendees will be notified via email. 

Definitions — 'Registration' means any booking given to the Society in writing, on our website, or by phone. 'Member' means any member of the ACT Law Society, including associate members and honorary members. 'New Lawyer' means any member who has held a practising certificate for five years or less. 'CLC' means any member working for a recognised community legal centre, or holding a volunteer practising certificate. 'Student' means any member holding a student membership.

All cancellations must be made in writing, and all cancellations will incur a fee, however, no charge will be incurred for substituting another person. Outside of the cancellation periods given below, a $10 administration fee will be incurred for any cancellation made. If a registered attendee fails to attend without notifying the Society in writing, no credit or refund will be offered and 100% of the total cost will be retained by the Society. 

CPD Events — In the case of CPD events held at an venue other than the Law Society, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event. In the case of CPD events held at the Law Society, for cancellations made within two working days of the event, 50% of the total cost will be retained by the Society as a cancellation fee and the balance may be used as a credit towards other CPD events or be refunded. If you choose to keep a credit it will remain valid for 12 months from the event date, after which time it will expire. 

Webinars — In the case of live or on-demand webinars, as connection details are sent when registration is completed, no refund or cancellation is available. 

Social events — In the case of social events, no refund can be made after the RSVP date of the event.

 

 

Registration

Member Rate (Full 2 day registration) $800.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Non-member Rate (Full 2 day registration) $1,120.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Student + CLC Member Rate (Full 2 day registration) $230.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Single Day Member Rate (Day one - Wednesday 13 March only) $450.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Single Day Non-member Rate (Day one - Wednesday 13 March only) $630.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Single Day Student + CLC Member Rate (Day one - Wednesday 13 March only) $130.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Single Day Member Rate (Day two - Thursday 14 March only) $450.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Single Day Non-member Rate (Day two - Thursday 14 March only) $630.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Single Day Student + CLC Member Rate (Day two - Thursday 14 March only) $130.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Morning Member Rate (Day 1 - Wednesday 13 March) $200.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Morning Non-member Rate (Day 1 - Wednesday 13 March) $280.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Morning Student + CLC Member Rate (Day 1 - Wednesday 13 March) $115.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Morning Member Rate (Day 2 - Thursday 14 March) $200.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Morning Non-member Rate (Day 2 - Thursday 14 March) $280.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Morning Student + CLC Member Rate (Day 2 - Thursday 14 March) $115.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Afternoon Member Rate (Day 1 - Wednesday 13 March) $300.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Afternoon Non-member Rate (Day 1 - Wednesday 13 March) $420.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Afternoon Student + CLC Member Rate (Day 1 - Wednesday 13 March) $115.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Afternoon Member Rate (Day 2 - Thursday 14 March) $300.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Afternoon Non-member Rate (Day 2 - Thursday 14 March) $420.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
Afternoon Student + CLC Member Rate (Day 2 - Thursday 14 March) $115.00(GST incl.) Add to Cart
 

Schedule

 

Day 1 - Wednesday 13 March 2024

Time Activity
8:30am  Registration opens
  Plenary Session
9:00am  Welcome Address by Attorney General Shane Rattenbury MLA
9:30am

Keynote Address :
Insights into Mental Wellness: Exploring Challenges in the Legal Field

Presented by Carrie Leeson, CEO Lifeline ACT

Join us for an illuminating session as Carrie Leeson sheds light on mental health challenges within the legal profession. Discover valuable insights into recognising signs of distress, navigating stress, and offering support. Don't miss this opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the complexities surrounding mental wellness in the legal world.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

10:30am  Morning Tea
11:00am

ACT Legal Ethics Cases - 2023 Year in Review
Presented by Athol Opas, Blackburn Chambers

Athol Opas, barrister at Blackburn Chambers Canberra, will review 2023 ACT Civil and Administrative Tribunal (ACAT) and ACT Supreme Court decisions dealing with legal ethics issues.  The presentation will be a practical one, reviewing the conduct, principles and sanctions applied in each case.  Attendees will obtain one CPD point in legal ethics.

Core Area: 1
Points: 1

12:00pm Lunch
  Balance Room Property Law Room Tips and Tricks Room
1:00pm

Fair Work Act Update
Presented by Gabrielle Sullivan, BAL Lawyers

There’s been a lot of changes to the Fair Work Act (Cth) in recent months, and still more to come over 2024. Come along to this whistlestop tour of the most relevant changes for workplaces in the capital region.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Navigating Key Updates: Contract for Sale & The Planning Act 2023 (ACT)
Presented by Adam Peppinck, Clayton Utz and Chris Wheeler, King & Wood Mallesons

Learn about the latest changes to the Contract for Sale (including essential updates on swimming pool disclosure requirements) and a general update from the Property Law Committee. Then, dive deep into the new concepts within the Planning Act 2023 (ACT) and the Territory Plan and understanding their impact on property development and regulation.
Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Binding Financial Agreements - what you and your clients need to know
Presented by Averil Foster, Foster Johnson Family and Collaborative Lawyers and Kasey Fox, Farrar Gesini Dunn

An interactive session with two senior family lawyers aimed at educating lawyers outside of family law practise on the basics around Binding Financial Agreements including what they are, how they work, who should get one and how a BFA may help your clients protect their assets.  We will also touch on processes that may assist your clients to have ‘the hard conversation’ with their partner around firstly having a BFA and then negotiating its contents. We will keep this interesting and pepper our session with some good old fashioned war stories.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

2:00pm 10 minute break
2:10pm

Navigating Stress and Cultivating Success in Legal Practice
Presented by Malcolm Heath, Lawcover

Delve into the dynamics of stress and performance in legal settings. Explore how stress impacts professional effectiveness and personal wellness and reflect on stressors encountered in legal work and their effects on individuals and their environments. Discover practical approaches to infuse meaning into work, develop essential skills, and prioritise self-care.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Understanding Updates: Land Titles Office & Property Developers Bill
Presented by Alfonso del Rio, Clayton Utz

Receive a brief update on the latest from the Land Titles Office, essential for property transactions. Then, delve into the implications of the Property Developers Bill. Gain valuable insights to navigate changes effectively, ensuring compliance and success in your property endeavors.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Mastering Communication: Strategies for Complaint Mitigation
Panel session led by Rob Reis, ACT Law Society

Join a panel led by Rob Reis, Professional Standards Manager at the ACT Law Society for an insightful session on effective communication skills. Explore practical strategies to enhance communication and minimise the risk of complaints. Through real case studies, uncover the importance of clear communication in avoiding common pitfalls. This session offers a valuable opportunity to refine your communication toolkit and foster professional growth.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

3:10pm  Afternoon Tea
3:30pm

Time Management for New Lawyers
Presented by Averil Foster, Foster Johnson Family and Collaborative Lawyers

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Recent property law cases
Presenter: Danielle Mildren, Terracon Legal

Stay abreast of recent property law cases in this concise session. Explore pivotal rulings, precedents, and their implications on property transactions and disputes. Analyse key decisions and their impact on property rights, contracts, and regulatory compliance.

Core Area: 4
Points: 0.5

Dispute Resolution - Tips and Tricks
Panel discussion with members of the ACT Law Society Dispute Resolution Committee - Debra Parker, Claire Naidu, Graeme Blank, Drew Buckley and Richard Calver

Join members of our Dispute Resolution committee for insightful tips and tricks. Learn practical strategies and expert insights for effective conflict resolution. Explore negotiation, mediation and more with seasoned professionals. No matter your area of practice, this panel offers valuable tools to enhance your practice.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

Ethics for property
Presented by Pria O'Sullivan, Maddocks

Explore ethics in property law in this concise session. Navigate real-world dilemmas and gain strategies for ethical decision-making. Perfect for property law practitioners seeking to enhance ethical decision-making skills in a focused session.

Core Area: 1
Points: 0.5

4:30pm  Networking Drinks and Canapes

 

Day 2 - Thursday 14 March 2024

Time Activity
8:30am Registration opens
  Plenary Session
9:00am

Keynote Address :
Survival of the Kindest

Presented by Hugh Mackay AO

Renowned psychologist and author Hugh Mackay delves into human nature, stressing the significance of social connections, especially in workplace communities. He explores the repercussions of disconnection on mental health, emphasising the importance of nurturing supportive networks for resilience and emotional stability. His insights inspire reflection on the value of human relationships.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

10:00am Morning Tea
10:30am  

Legal Ethics Hypothetical
Panel discussion with Athol Opas, Blackburn Chambers; Katie Binstock, Tomson Greer and Rob Reis , ACT Law Society

Robert Reis (ACT Law Society Professional Standards Manager), Katie Binstock (Partner, Thomson Geer Lawyers, Canberra) and Athol Opas (barrister, Blackburn Chambers) will join forces as a panel to discuss legal ethical issues based on an imaginative and possibly entertaining hypothetical scenario.  This is a new ethics presentation format for 2024 and all attendees will be encouraged to contribute to the discussion as the panel works through the hypothetical scenario.

Core Area: 1
Points: 1.5

12:00pm  Lunch
  Balance Room Elder Law Room Government Law Room
1:00pm

Tackling Imposter Syndrome
Presenter: Lucy Chapple, Thirve Advisory

The Imposter Syndrome is an experience whereby professionals doubt their abilities and fear they are not as competent as others perceive them to be. This experience affects many professionals across various stages of their careers impacting them both personally and professionally.  In this session, Lucy Chapple draws from her recent research into imposter syndrome and her experience as a lawyer to explain the characteristics and drivers of impostor syndrome, shedding light on the common thought patterns and behaviours that contribute to its manifestation. This presentation will provide practical strategies and coping mechanisms to help individuals recognise and manage feelings of self-doubt, fostering a more resilient and confident mindset both individually and in an organisational context.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Overcoming Challenges in Estate Administration
Presented by Andrew Freer, KJB Law

Explore strategies for managing executors, clarifying family trees, and obtaining necessary consents in estate administration. Discover essential evidence requirements and uncover tips to navigate potential pitfalls. Whether seasoned or new to estate practice, this session equips practitioners with insights to streamline processes and overcome administration challenges effectively.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Navigating the Shift: Transitioning between Government and Private Sector Roles
Panel discussion

Explore the transition between government and private sector roles in this insightful panel discussion. Our panelists will share experiences, challenges, and successes, offering practical insights for those contemplating a move. From understanding sector cultures to leveraging transferable skills, learn the essentials for a successful transition. Gain valuable guidance from our esteemed panelists.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

2:00pm  10 minute break
2:10pm

How mental health can affect legal professionals
In Conversation with Desi Vlahos, Wellceum and Owen Bradfield. University of Melbourne

Desi Vlahos and Dr. Owen Bradfield delve into critical issues across professions, drawing from recent reports like the IBA Mental Wellbeing in the Legal Profession 2021. Dr. Bradfield, with dual insights from medicine and law, along with his PhD research, will highlight shared challenges. They will explore organisational and personal factors affecting wellbeing, advocating for sustainable practices rooted in human rights. Emphasising the importance of managing risks and government regulation, they promote a future-oriented, ethical approach to professional practice.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Recent Developments in Estate Legislation and Case Law
Presented by Katie Binstock, Thomson Geer

Stay informed about the latest in estate legislation and case law. Explore recent developments shaping estate planning, probate, and inheritance laws. From significant court rulings to evolving legislative changes, gain insights into emerging trends, challenges, and opportunities in navigating the complexities of estate law.

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

Government Lawyers and the Anti-corruption Commission
Presented by Commissioner Paul Brereton SC

Gain insights into their challenges, strategies, and successes in upholding integrity and combating corruption. Discover how legal professionals navigate complex legal landscapes while safeguarding public trust and promoting accountability within government institutions

Core Area: 4
Points: 1

3:10pm Afternoon Tea
3:30pm 

Psychosocial Risk in the Workplace
Presented by Desi Vlahos, Wellceum

The spotlight on psychosocial risks has seen a gradual but positive move towards ensuring workplaces improve psychosocial health and safety practices by proactively identifying and managing psychosocial hazards and risks in the workplace. Whilst preventing harm already exists in the duties, inclusion the new Regulations (model WHS Regulation 2023 now specifies how employers must undertake this duty. These laws apply to all sizes of practice, and are relevant to business owners, directors and those with managerial responsibility. The new Regulations create refined obligations for employers/people-leaders to prevent, monitor and manage hazards in a well-resourced and evidence based way.
The session looks to cover:
• What is the difference between psychosocial safety and psychological safety?
• How do you define psychosocial hazards and psychosocial risks, and what are some common examples?
• What are the impacts of the new psychosocial hazard regulations?
• What are the responsibilities of employers and employees?
• What recent decisions in addition to the legislation create positive obligations on leaders in how to prevent, monitor, manage employee work design and health?
• How do you manage psychosocial risks effectively?
• How important is assessment and measurement? What practical measures can be put in place to support positive workplace mental health?
• What are some examples of situations that may impact mental health at work?

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

Will Drafting
Presented by Timothy Morton, Farrar Gesini Dunn

A concise yet comprehensive session on effective will drafting. Gain insights into identifying estate assets, understanding essential content, and implementing practical drafting tips.

Core Area: 3
Points: 1

Procurement and Contract Management Cybersecurity
Presented by Annie Haggar and Amanda Wescombe, CyberCG

This session will educate you on how to defend against supply chain breaches. With an emphasise on integrating 'security by design' into procurement processes and equipping lawyers to manage cybersecurity obligations effectively. Transforming the supply chain from a significant risk to a valuable asset.

Core Area: 2
Points: 1

4:30pm Networking Drinks and Canapes

Speakers

 

Carrie Leeson

Carrie Leeson is the CEO of Lifeline Canberra, with a background in healthcare and business development. Holding a Bachelor's degree in Psychology and Management, she is pursuing an MBA and has certifications in Telephone Counselling, Public Relations, and Suicide Intervention.

At Lifeline Canberra, Carrie oversees crisis support operations and funding. She serves on various boards, including the Canberra Community Clubs and the Workplace Health Association of Australia. Committed to mental health, she leads with passion and dedication, supporting individuals in crisis and advocating for community welfare.

 

Hugh Mackay AO

Hugh Mackay is a social psychologist and researcher, and the bestselling author of 24 books, including nine novels. His latest non-fiction book, The Way We Are, will be published in May 2024.

Hugh has had a 60-year career in social research, and was also a weekly newspaper columnist for over 25 years. He established and ran The Centre for Communication Studies in Bathurst from 1975-1990, and was one of the founders of The St James Ethics Centre (now known as The Ethics Centre). He is currently an honorary professor in the School of Medicine and Psychology at ANU. Among other appointments, he has been deputy chairman of the Australia Council for the Arts, chairman of the board of trustees of Sydney Grammar School and an honorary professor at Macquarie, Charles Sturt and Wollongong universities.

He is a Fellow of the Australian Psychological Society and the Royal Society of NSW. In recognition of his pioneering work in social research, he has been awarded honorary doctorates by five Australian universities. He was appointed an Officer of the Order of Australia in 2015.

 

Athol Opas

Athol is a barrister at Blackburn Chambers. Athol practices mainly in commercial law and also in general civil law and occupational discipline.  Athol was called to the Bar in 2017.  Before being called to the Bar, Athol worked as a solicitor in Canberra for 18 years, working in small and large Canberra firms, in a national law firm, and as a Commonwealth government in-house lawyer.  Athol served for several years on the ACT Law Society Council, and was president of the ACT Law Society and a director of the Law Council of Australia.  Athol has served on various committees of the ACT Law Society and ACT Bar Association, and he is a current member of the Law Society’s Legal Profession Act and Ethics Committee.  Athol has been recognised in Doyle’s Guide in Commercial Litigation & Dispute Resolution and for Commercial Leasing.

 

 

Gabrielle Sullivan

Gabrielle was again listed in Doyle’s guide in 2023 as one of Canberra’s Leading Employment lawyers. She is a NSW Law Society Accredited Specialist in Employment & Industrial Law, the current Chair of the ACT Law Society’s Employment Law Committee, and works as the Legal Director, Employment Law & Investigations for BAL Lawyers in Canberra.  

 

 

Malcolm Heath

Malcolm joined Lawcover in 2012 and is Practice Risk Manager. In this role, he visits law firms and meets with the principals, employed solicitors and senior support staff to discuss identifying and reducing professional negligence claims-prone situations.

Malcolm presents risk management strategies through a variety of workshops, seminars and briefings through Lawcover’s Risk Management Education Program, on-site at law firms, at the practice management courses of The ACT Law Society, the Law Society of NSW, The College of Law, FMRC, Universities, NSW Regional Law Societies’ seminars and other events.

Prior to joining Lawcover, Malcolm ran his own company for 20 years providing consulting services to the general insurance industry and the legal profession. He has been a sole director and a co-director of private companies.

With a degree in Psychology and his experience in business, Malcolm focuses his work on the importance of effective law firm management and profitability which helps reduce professional negligence risk.

 

Averil Foster

Averil started her legal career in Melbourne in the mid 2000’s as an Associate in what was then the Federal Magistrates Court. She has worked at a number of well known and respected private firms in the years between then and now, and is one of the owners of Foster Johnson Family and Collaborative Lawyers. Averil’s skill set is founded upon her can-do attitude, ability to engage with people from all walks of life and her pragmatic and client-focussed approach to conflict resolution. Averil’s passion is to help family law clients resolve their matters

 

Lucy Chapple

Provisional Psychologist / Combined PhD / Master of Organisational Psychology Candidate

Lucy is an experienced professional with key interests in promoting employee psychological resilience and developing evidence-based resilience training. Lucy recently completed research on the Imposter Syndrome. Lucy’s research focused on the relationships between the Impostor Syndrome, personality and organisational culture in white-collar employees. Lucy has delivered presentations on this topic to a range of organisations, in which she provides insights for managing and mitigating the experience of impostor phenomenon both individually and in an organisational context.

Prior to her career in psychology, Lucy enjoyed a career as a senior lawyer working in commercial property at a large Australian law firm. This experience helps her to understand the challenges of working in high-performance and demanding roles. Lucy draws on this experience to foster her passion for helping organisations create sustainable, fulfilling and engaging workplaces for their employees to thrive.

 

Desi Vlahos

Desi is a senior lecturer of the Graduate Diploma of Legal Practice at the Australian College of Applied Professions in partnership with the Law Institute of Victoria. She is an Australian Legal Practitioner and experienced practical legal training mentor for emerging practitioners. She is also the CEO and Founder of Wellceum, a workplace consultancy supporting legal and professional services integrate strategy to manage psychosocial risk, improve employee resilience, and create visible social impact. Admitted in 2005, Desi has practiced in mid-tier, suburban and private firms. In 2013, Desi completed a Graduate Diploma of Education with a focus on legal studies and literature. As a certified mental health first aid trainer, Desi is a strong advocate for mental health, the wellbeing of new lawyers and the profession as a whole.

In 2019 she contributed to a book chapter on time perspective in relation to wellbeing and productivity in Lexis Nexis’ ‘Wellness for Law: Making Wellness Core Business.’ Desi is a director of the Minds Count Foundation in Australia and a Commissioner on the IBA Professional Wellbeing Commission at an international level. She holds the seat of APAC liaison for the IBA Academic and Professional Development Committee.

Most notably, Desi was named Australia’s Lawyer’s Weekly Women in Law Wellness Advocate of the Year for 2021 and again in 2022.

 

Dr. Owen Bradfield

Dr Owen Bradfield is the Chief Medical Officer (CMO) of the Medical Indemnity Protection Society. Owen is a dual-qualified medical practitioner and health lawyer, with nearly 20 years’ experience in medical and legal practice, comprising over 10 years’ experience in the medical indemnity insurance industry. He has advised and represented health practitioners in a range of medico-legal disputes, including civil claims, regulatory complaints, employment disputes, Coronial inquests and Medicare investigations. Owen is passionate about advocating for fair regulatory and legal processes for healthcare practitioners and supporting members who are navigating complex medico-legal problems. Owen combines his role at MIPS with health law research at the University of Melbourne, where he examines the intersection between doctors’ health and legal claims. Owen’s research has been internationally recognised and he is a 2020 Fulbright Scholar and winner of the 2022 Premier’s Award for Health and Medical Research in the Health Services Research category. Owen is the immediate past Chairperson of Victoria’s Patient Review Panel and a member of the Australian Institute of Health and Welfare Ethics Committee.

Adam Peppinck

Adam is a partner at Clayton Utz, with over 20 years' experience acting on broad range of structured property transactions for public and private sector clients. He is renowned for his legal accuracy, his commerciality, and his responsiveness.  Adam acts widely for Commonwealth departments and agencies.  Recent notable projects including acting for the Australian Electoral Commission in relation to its national leasing requirements for the 'Voice' referendum, and acting for the Department of Finance in relation to its management and administration of National Land. His private sector clients comprise various developers and institutional landlords, including Hindmarsh, LEDA, Corval, Oceana Property Partners, Realmont, and Willemsen.

 

Chris Wheeler

Chris, the lead real estate, construction, and infrastructure partner at King & Wood Mallesons in Canberra, specialises in commercial, property, and development projects, along with construction, planning, and environment law. Renowned across business, government, and education sectors, Chris has earned acclaim for his broad expertise. Notable clients, including Australian National University, QIC, ISPT, and government bodies, attest to his depth of knowledge. His impressive portfolio encompasses high-profile projects like the Kingston Arts Precinct, A$1bn developments for QIC, ANU's Union Court revitalisation, and transformative work for SLA, CPPIC, and UC.

 

Alfonso del Rio

Alfonso is a partner at Clayton Utz. Alfonso is a leading expert in real estate law, brings over 35 years of experience to the table. His expertise extends to planning and environmental law, construction law, and project financing. Alfonso has been pivotal in numerous large-scale property transactions within the ACT for both government and private clients.

 

Fred Arugay

Fred is an acting Senior Director in Access Canberra and oversees operations across various land administrative processes for Access Canberra. Fred has over 20 years’ experience working in land administration for the ACT Government and was at the forefront of introducing electronic conveyancing into the ACT.

 

Sean Quinn

Sean is the manager of the Land Titles Office within Access Canberra. He provides expert advice to industry and government across all matters affecting the Land Titles Register. Sean has also worked on the Land Titles Modernisation project since its inception, was responsible the delivery of the new ACTLIS business system and assisted in the introduction of electronic conveyancing into the ACT.

 

Pria O’Sullivan

Pria is a partner at Maddocks. She is a distinguished legal advisor specialising in property, construction, and planning law for government and private clients. With a wealth of experience, she navigates diverse projects, from government procurements to Crown leasehold matters and nationwide leasing issues. Renowned for her commercial acumen and clear communication, Pria integrates clients' business drivers and stakeholder interests into her counsel, transcending mere legal transactions. Recognised as a ranked lawyer in Chambers Asia Pacific 2023 and featured in Best Lawyers and Doyle’s Guide, she actively contributes to the Property Council of Australia and the ACT Law Society. Pria epitomises excellence in legal practice and client service.

 

Kasey Fox

Chair of the ACT Law Society Family Law Committee,  Kasey Fox has worked exclusively in family law for the whole of her career and has been a director of Farrar Gesini Dunn for more than 10 years. Specialising in complex financial cases and agreements, as well as multifaceted children's matters, Kasey has extensive experience in both litigation and out of Court solutions. Kasey often recommends Binding Financial Agreements (also known as pre nups) to her clients as a means of asset protection and avoiding future litigation.

 

Rob Reis

Rob Reis is the Professional Standards Manager at the ACT Law Society. Rob has responsibility for Chapter 4 investigations into allegations of misconduct by practitioners including conflicts of interest, breach of confidentiality and trust account misappropriation and defalcation. Rob has been in this role since the commencement of the Legal Profession Act in 2006, and prior to that was in private practice from 1985. In addition to his statutory role Rob also presents risk management and trust account seminars. He is also a sessional lecturer at the University of Canberra and a tutor in Ethics for the Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice at the Australian National University.

 

Sally McGuinness

Sally McGuinness, co-founder of Robinson + McGuinness Family Law, is an Accredited Specialist in Family Law. Recognised for six consecutive years as a leader in the ACT family law market in the Doyle’s Guide, she excels in complex property matters, including financial agreements and third party disputes. She also has expertise in parenting matters, child support, and international cases, using her negotiation skills in both litigation and in alternative dispute processes including collaborative law. She fosters warm, professional relationships, empowering clients to make informed decisions. Sally has been active in professional associations within the ACT for 15 years and has been a member of the Professional Conduct Committee of the ACT Law Society since 2018. Sally is committed to delivering exceptional service and mentoring and supporting early career lawyers.

 

Stuart Bryson

Stuart is an Associate at Moray & Agnew Lawyers and recently concluded a two-year term as chair of the New Lawyers Committee. Stuart is a tutor of Lawyers, Justice and Ethics at the Australian National University and practices in civil litigation including professional negligence claims, insurance, credit and consumer law, and pro bono. Stuart provides pro bono assistance to the ACAT as a duty lawyer with CARE Consumer Law and assists Canberra Community Law in disability discrimination matters. Stuart is an adventurous sailor having completed two Sydney to Hobart races and is a board member for the Young Endeavour Youth Scheme.

 

Richard Calver

Richard Calver has had over 40 years broad experience in law, having previously conducted his own legal practice in the state of Victoria, Australia, taught law at the Faculty of Law Monash University, the RMIT University and the University of Canberra as well as having had roles in government and industry.  He has had experience as a director of not for profit organisations as well as private and public companies.

Richard is now practicing in employment and contract law and is conducting his practice from Canberra. He can assist with contractual, unfair dismissal, and harassment issues which can make life miserable.

 

Graeme Blank

Graeme is a barrister at Blackburn Chambers practising predominantly in the areas of succession and guardianship, commercial/equity, insolvency, and family law. He has been recognised by Doyles Guide as a leading junior counsel in those areas since 2016.  He regularly appears in State Supreme and Federal Courts.

Graeme is also a nationally accredited mediator and conducts mediations in the areas of estates and family provision, commercial / corporate, family law and personal injury disputes. 

Graeme was also a member of the ANU Law School faculty for 20 years teaching in the GDLP and in Masters courses on advocacy, family law and insolvency law. He is now a sessional lecturer with the College of Law.

 

Drew Buckley

Drew Buckley is a Senior Associate in MinterEllison’s Dispute Resolution team.  He advises and represents a broad range of government and private sector clients in commercial disputes and litigation.

Drew has extensive experience with alternative dispute resolution processes, including negotiations, mediations, expert determinations, and neutral evaluations.  He understands the value of these processes and how to use them to achieve pragmatic, timely and cost-effective resolutions.

 

Claire Naidu

Claire Naidu is a mediator, arbitrator, lawyer, conflict management coach and collaboration coach. She graduated from the Australian National University with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) and a Bachelor of Commerce (BCom). She also completed a Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice and a Master of Laws (LLM). Claire is admitted to the Supreme Court of New South Wales and is registered in the Supreme Court of the Australian Capital Territory and the High Court of Australia.
Claire is accredited as a Family Law Specialist, a nationally recognised Mediator, and Arbitrator. She is also an Independent Children's Lawyer (ICL) and is a Family Dispute Resolution Practitioner (FDRP) registered with the Commonwealth Attorney General's Department. Trained in reconciliation and resolution, Claire brings her training and decades of experience and her reflective approach to relationship transitions

 

Andrew Freer

Andrew graduated from ANU with a Bachelor of Economics and a Bachelor of Laws. After joining KJB Law in 1995, Andrew became a partner in 2000. Andrew has an extensive practice in Estate Planning, Estate Administration and Estate Litigation. Andrew has presented Professional Development Seminars for the ACT Law Society and has been a regular presenter for Legalwise Seminars. Andrew has appeared in all Courts and Tribunals in the ACT.

 

Katie Binstock

Katie is a partner at Thomson Greer, specialising in succession, elder, regulatory, and administrative law. In succession law, she excels in estate planning, administration, and litigation, crafting comprehensive estate plans and guiding clients through disputes. She navigates elder law matters such as guardianship applications and elder abuse suspicions. In regulatory and administrative law, Katie advises on complaint management, investigations, and appeals, representing clients in Tribunals and Courts. With a commercial and solutions-driven approach, she resolves disputes effectively.

 

Timothy Morton

Tim is a director at Farrar Gesini Dunn, specialising in estates law, focusing on estate planning, probate, administration, and dispute resolution. With a Master of Laws (Applied Law) in Wills & Estates, he offers clarity and practical solutions. Tim has extensive experience in family provision claims, informal will applications, and challenges to will validity. He serves as a tutor at the Australian National University and contributes to the ACT Law Society’s Elder Law & Succession Committee. Tim's expertise ensures effective counsel and resolution in estate matters.

 

Sarah Byrne

In her nearly 35 years of practice, Sarah has moved from private practice to in-house roles for the Qld Courts and Qld public service, then to the Commonwealth public service, the Australian Government Solicitor, General Counsel for two Commonwealth Departments, BigLaw private practice, in-house with a major non-profit, legal policy in the ACT Government, back to the APS, and then after a flirtation with the Bar, several years in NewLaw forms. Much, much older, and definitely wiser, she’s now very happy to be a partner in national firm Holding Redlich, still working closely with government, practising in all aspects of administrative law and ready to share how to find the workplace that’s best for you.

 

Lyndal Buik

Lyndal Buik is currently a Principal Legal Officer at the Department of Climate Change, Energy, the Environment and Water. Lyndal is an experienced, well-known and well-respected ‘generalist’ Commonwealth government lawyer with a depth of experience in multiple areas of law (including commercial, statutory advisings, FOI and privacy). She has practiced Commonwealth government law in Canberra for over 20 years, and managed teams of lawyers in a number of roles across different Departments. Lyndal transitioned to an inhouse government position in 2012 after 10 years in private practice and has a wealth of experience in, and perspectives about, both sectors.

 

Daniel Tracey

Daniel Tracey is an Assistant Secretary and Senior Executive Lawyer in the Department of Employment and Workplace Relations (DEWR). Dan leads a branch of around 20 lawyers providing legal policy advice to Government on key elements of the workplace relations framework, including minimum employment standards, casuals, labour hire, and the modern award system. Before joining DEWR, Dan was an employment and integrity practitioner in the Agriculture and Climate Change portfolios.Before joining the Australian Public Service, Dan was a senior associate in the Canberra Employment team at Ashurst, having practised at Clayton Utz and several smaller firms prior.
Dan has a Master of Labour Law and Relations from Sydney Law School, and this year will submit his PhD on the impact of the Federal Court’s class action jurisdiction on employees and the recovery of unpaid wages.

 

Paul Brereton SC

Paul Brereton, a distinguished legal figure, began his career as a solicitor in New South Wales in 1982 before transitioning to the Bar in 1987 and becoming Senior Counsel in 1998. Appointed as a Judge of the Supreme Court of New South Wales in 2005, he served primarily in the Equity Division, later becoming a Judge of Appeal. Brereton retired in 2023 to assume the role of inaugural Commissioner of the new National Anti-Corruption Commission. With a notable military career, he served in various roles, attaining the rank of Major General. Brereton was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2010.

 

Annie Haggar

Annie Haggar is the founder and principal of Cyber GC, a law firm dedicated to aiding Australian businesses and government in cybersecurity preparedness, defense, and recovery. With a multi-award-winning background, she's been recognised as General Counsel of the Year (Australian Law Awards - Lawyers Weekly - 2021), Technology, Media, and Telecommunications Lawyer of the Year (Corporate Counsel Awards - Lawyers Weekly - 2021), and Australian In-House Counsel of the Year (Australasian Law Awards 2021). Annie brings 6 years of experience as global legal counsel for Accenture Security, and has 20+ years of expertise in technology and law, advising on global issues for corporate and government entities.

 

Amanda Wescombe

Amanda Wescombe works as Special Counsel at Cyber GC.  She is a corporate and commercial lawyer, specialising in cybersecurity and technology. Having worked as in-house counsel for global brands, government, and in private practice, she has seen procurement and contract management from each of the sales and procurement side, across the spectrum of low-to-high risk and tiny-to-mega deal.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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