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Connolly Suthers

Celebrating over 127 Years as Queensland Lawyers
1895 – 2022

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Connolly Suthers

Leading Lawyers Townsville

Sometimes, all you need is a fresh perspective. Connolly Suthers are North Queensland’s most experienced and qualified law firm. Established in 1895 with a foundation of leading Townsville lawyers, Connolly Suthers has since become one of North Queensland’s largest, most diverse, and dynamic firms.

Employing a range of expert Queensland lawyers who offer specialist legal advice, Connolly Suthers comprises a team of individual talents working under collective energy. Operating from Townsville to Brisbane, Mount Isa, Cairns and Ayr, Connolly Suthers deliver Queensland’s highest standards of legal help, advice, and services.

We work under the belief that strong reputations don't go unnoticed, and this is why our firm has continued to successfully service the legal needs of North Queenslanders for over 127 years. Work with a law firm that understands you and prioritises your needs – work with Connolly Suthers.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

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  • TM Townsville 10/2021

    I couldn’t think more highly of Connolly Suthers. The professionalism and high level of client care I received from start to finish was outstanding and really helped me to have felt comfortable during a difficult and important time in my life. A big thank you to Conan and Ji for looking after my case and me. I felt supported and well looked after during the entire process, everything was explained in great detail so that I understood and no questions were left unanswered. I would highly recommend Conan and Connolly Suthers Law Firm to anyone in need of their services. Thank you again, I will always be very appreciative.

  • JN Townsville 09/2021

    The team at Connolly Suthers lawyers were outstandingly helpful throughout the purchase of a new house, Danny Burke went above and beyond to make the whole process run smoothly, highly recommended! If I could put more than 5 stars down I would without doubt!

  • GG Townsville 11/2020

    Bill and the team at Connolly Suthers are amazing. They were very professional and genuinely care about their clients needs. Highly recommended.

  • NR Townsville 12/2019

    Would thoroughly recommend the Connolly Suthers Team for any legal work in Northern QLD. Thank you to Renee Lovelady-Tomas from Connolly Suthers who helped facilitate the smooth purchase of our first home. Communication was excellent and all issues were addressed quickly and with great results. Thank you from Nigel and Corrie.

  • AH, Townsville 09/2021

    I have been using Connolly Suthers for many years now both in my business and personally. During this time I have always found them to be extremely professional, concise and offer the very best advice in all the matters they attended to. Connolly Suthers are my first recommendation for any matters that require a lawyer and you are looking for quality outcome.

  • BL Townsville 12/2021

    I would like to thank Tanya Morris for her dedicated and professional advice over the past twelve months and ongoing support. At all times Tanya has provided expert advice and made the process of processing legal documentation very managable to say the least. Tanya is an extremely valuable asset to the Connolly Suthers (Townsville) team.

  • JK Townsville 09/2021

    I would like to highly recommend Tanya Morris for any family law matters you may have. Tanya was always available and constantly kept me updated throughout the process. Matters like this are difficult enough on their own and having the professionalism of Tanya made it seamless and stress free.Connolly Suthers Lawyers Townsville are very professional and all staff I had the pleasure of meeting throughout the process, were extremely helpful and friendly. If I ever require a legal representative again, I will definitely be using the team at Connolly Suthers! Thank you Tanya and the team.

Our Legal Blogs

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Article
Coercive Control - New Criminal Offence
Coercive Control - New Criminal Offence

The Queensland Government has just announced that they will be adopting the recommendations of the Hear Her Voice Report and draft a new criminal offence of Coercive Control.  This article aims to provide information on what is in place currently, and what will be likely introduced. Why?  Coercive control has become a growing issue in Queensland following the tragic death of Hannah Clarke and her children in 2020.  As a result the Queensland Government, in March 2022, launched an enquiry into the circumstances that took place. [1]  In March 2021 the Queensland Government established a special taskforce called the Women's Safety and Justice Taskforce (the Taskforce) . The purpose of the Taskforce was to examine 'coercive control' and assess the need for a separate criminal offence of domestic violence. [2]  The Taskforce, which is chaired by the Honourable Margaret McMurdo AC, released its first report in December 2021. The Hear her voice report made 89 recommendations to the Government for further reform in the Domestic and Family Violence specialist service systems, to protect victims of domestic violence and hold perpetrators of DV accountable. It was recommended that a new criminal offence be created to criminalise coercive control, with the suggested reforms to recognise and respond to coercive control as a pattern of behaviour over time in a relationship. On 10 May 2022 the Queensland Government announced that it would adopt all 89 recommendations of the report, create a new criminal offence for 'coercive control', and establish a new enquiry into the policing responses to domestic and family violence.   This article will look at what coercive control really is and how the offence will operate in Queensland. What is it? Section 8 of the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012 (DVFPA) defines domestic violence to be:-[3] Behaviour by a person (first person) towards another person (the second person) with whom the first person is in a relationship that is: Physically or sexually abusive Emotionally or psychologically abusive Economically abusive Threatening Coercive Or in any other way controls or dominates the second person and causes the second person to fear fort her second person's safety or wellbeing or that of someone else There is no single recognised definition of coercive control it is commonly understood to include 'a pattern of behaviour designed to control another person who is or has been in a domestic relationship with the person using the behaviour'.  Some of the types of behaviour themes identified in these relationships are:- Jealousy or suspicion of friends and family Monitoring of movement of another person Financial Abuse Social isolation Emotionally abusive and or threatening behaviour Micro managing the partners life, including what they can eat, what they do, what they dress, who they can associate with, when they can sleep, or when they can leave the house Criminal Offence In Queensland there is no standalone offence that addresses this specific behaviour. Section 8 of the DVFPA identifies a broad range of conduct which is categorised as domestic violence offending, however the act of coercively controlling another person in the context of a domestic relationship, is not yet addressed. At present there is no legislative provision which gives the Police the power to intervene before the behaviour escalates into an identifiable incident of domestic violence. The Police cannot charge a person for behaviour which may lead to a DV offence, such as an assault or a choking.  The best example of this would be in a case where a victim of domestic violence may be subject to an assault or choking/strangulation, as an escalation of the coercive behaviour they have been subject to.  In this instance the Police can only intervene at the time of the assault and not before where the coercive behaviour was operating. What these new provisions seek to do is identify the behaviour of domestic violence before an offence is committed. The response would therefore be proactive rather than reactive, and would ensure the tragedy Hannah Clarke and her children suffered never happens again. Tasmania is the only State in Australia which has specific laws in place to address coercive and controlling behaviours, however only Scotland, England, Wales and Ireland have established a standalone offence of coercive control.  As of yet there is no draft provisions of what the law would look like in Queensland, however the Taskforce recommended that the offence of coercive control in Queensland should follow the model adopted in Scotland. The Scottish Model The Domestic Abuse (Scotland) Act 2018 introduced an offence of abusive behaviour towards a partner or ex partner where the first person (person A) would engage in a course of behaviour which would be abusive to the second person (person B). The abusive behaviour in this regard  would include behaviour by person A to person B which would be violent, threatening, or intimidating, including behaviour to a child of the other person.[4] If the facts of the charge of abusive behaviour could not be fully established, the defendant could alternatively be convicted of other offences of threatening and or abusive behaviour or stalking.[5]   At law the defence to this charge is to show the court that the behaviour was reasonable in all the circumstances. It is for the defendant to raise evidence of reasonableness. The prosecution must then prove, beyond reasonable doubt that the behaviour by the defendant was not reasonable in all the circumstances.  If convicted of this offence in a summary jurisdiction (in the Magistrates Court) the maximum penalty is 12 months imprisonment  or 14 years imprisonment if the charge proceeds on indictment to a higher Court.  The offence becomes aggravated if a child is used as part of the behaviour or the behaviour is directed to a child. As previously stated it remains to be seen whether the Queensland provision will follow this model exactly, or whether it will be adopted and altered. What is clear is that the Queensland Government is taking a strong stance to criminalise this behaviour.  The approach will be more clearer when the government releases a draft provision.  Do you need help? If you are experiencing domestic violence, the victim of coercive control, or have been accused of coercive and controlling behaviour, you can contact Connolly Suthers Lawyers to assist you.  Our Criminal Law team practice extensively in Domestic and Family Violence Law and can assist you in obtaining a Domestic Violence Order, responding to an application for Domestic Violence Order or Police Protection Notice, and representing you in relation to any criminal offence that may be DV related.  If you need any further information or assistance please contact DVCONNECT MENSLINE - 1800 600 636 DV CONNECT WOMENSLINE - 1800 811 811 Lifeline- 131 11 14 [1] Hannah Clarke Inquest hears of killer's appalling behaviour over years, ABC News, Rory Callinan, posted 26 March 2022, https://www.abc.net.au/news/2022-03-26/qld-hannah-clarke-inquest-murder-domestic-violence/100932094 [2] Queensland Government response to Womens Safety and Justice Taskforce reccomendations, Department of Justice and Attorney General, published 11 May 2022, https://www.justice.qld.gov.au/initiatives/queensland-government-response-womens-safety-justice-taskforce-recommendations [3] Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act 2012, section 8 [4] Criminalising Coercive Control, Lecture by Kristy Bell (Partner Howden Saggars Lawyers) at Legalwise Criminal Law Symposium 2022 [5] Ibid

Article
Driving? Do Not Use Your Phone! - Here's Why
Driving? Do Not Use Your Phone! - Here's Why

It is common knowledge that you shouldn’t use your phone while your driving, at least for the obvious reason that it is extremely dangerous and unsafe conduct. It is also a serious offence in Queensland, whether you are trying to change the song you are listening too or trying to use google maps on your phone; the use of your mobile phone whilst driving is an offence which carries significant penalties.   The Queensland Government has recently taken steps to 'crack down' on this conduct by increasing monetary penalties and adding specialised fixed and sometimes portable cameras in an attempt to catch drivers. Offence In Queensland we have two main pieces of legislation which deals with traffic offences, this is the Transport Operations (Road Use Management - Road Rules) Regulations 2009 and the Transport Operations (Road Use Management) Act 1995. Under Regulation 300: The driver of a vehicle must not use a mobile phone whilst the vehicle is moving, or is stationary but not parked. The term 'use' refers to using a mobile phone, and a person is deemed to have 'used a mobile phone' if they do the following:- If the driver holds the phone in their hand or; Or rest the phone on any part of the driver's body - ie resting the phone on your lap It is irrelevant if the phone is turned on or not operating, whether or not the purpose of operating the phone or function of the phone or whether the phone is partially or wholly supported by another part of the driver's body. Penalty Should you be charged with this offence you can face a fine of at least $1,033.88 as an individual or if you are charges in the capacity of a business vehicle $5,169.38. Additionally you will receive a demerit point penalty of  four (4) demerit points, Exceptions Subsection 2) of the Regulations states the following exceptions:- (2) Subsection (1) does not apply to a driver using a mobile phone— (a) to the extent the mobile phone— (i) is in a pocket of the driver’s clothing, or in a pouch worn by the driver; and (ii) kept in a way that— does not allow the driver to operate the phone, or a function of the phone, other than by using only the driver’s voice; and does not allow the driver to see the face of the phone while the phone, or a function of the phone, is operating; or (b) while the vehicle is stationary and to the extent the mobile phone is in a wallet, or has attached to it a wallet, that the driver is using for any of the following purposes— (i) to obtain and produce for inspection a licence, permit, authority or other document, as required under an Act or by a police officer or another person acting under an Act; (ii) to obtain and use money, or another form of payment, to pay for goods or services, if the place where the vehicle is stationary is a place where the goods or services are lawfully paid for; Example of a place for subparagraph (ii)— a drive-through retail outlet (iii) to obtain and use a card or other thing to enter a road-related area or land adjacent to a road-related area. (3) Also, subsection (1) does not apply to a driver using a mobile phone while the vehicle is stationary for any of the following purposes— (a) to produce for inspection a digital authority or other document stored on the phone, as required under an Act or by a police officer or another person acting under an Act; (b) to pay for goods or services, if the place where the vehicle is stationary is a place where the goods or services are lawfully paid for; Example of a place for paragraph (b)— a drive-through retail outlet (c) to use the phone as an electronic device that enables the driver to enter a road-related area or land adjacent to a road-related area. (4) This section does not apply to the driver of an emergency vehicle or police vehicle.[1]   If the Police Charge you If the Police charge you with this offence you will receive a Police infringement notice. You then have 28 days to do the following:- Accept responsibility for the offence and pay the fine Submit a declaration if you were NOT the driver at the time Elect to contest the matter in the Magistrates Court. The common question most people ask is will I lose my license? The short answer is yes, the way this happens is in the accumulation of demerit points. If you are charged and convicted of this offence, you will receive 4 demerit points. If you accumulate enough demerit points you can lose your license as a result. In this case the Department of Transport will issue you with a notice letter "Accumulation of Demerit Points". You then have the option of agreeing to the suspension of your license for a period of time or agree to continue driving under a good behaviour period of one year. It is important that you notify the Department of your choice within the time frame as failing to do so can result in an automatic suspension of your license. At Connolly Suthers our Crime Team regularly deals with cases like this.  If you are charged with a traffic or criminal offence make sure you give us a call and get the proper advice, it could be the difference between keeping or losing your license. [1] Transport Operations (Road Use Management - Road Rules) Regulations 2009, Reg 300, Subsection (2)

Article
Understanding Self-Managed Super Fund Performance For Current Trustees
Understanding Self-Managed Super Fund Performance For Current Trustees

New research released New research released by the University of Adelaide provides tangible evidence of the benefits of investment diversification. In its report, titled “Understanding self-managed super fund performance” and using data from over 318,000 SMSFs between 1 July 2017 and 30 June 2019, the University of Adelaide explored the relationship between the investment performance of self-managed super funds (SMSFs) and their level of diversification across multiple asset classes. The asset classes that were considered included: Cash and term deposits Listed Australian equities Listed international equities Listed trusts Unlisted trusts Limited recourse borrowing arrangements Other assets  The research study found on aggregate, SMSFs with more diversified asset allocations achieved higher returns. The performance benefits of adding a second, third or fourth asset class are strong and consistent across the 2017-19 period.  Each incremental increase in asset classes (up to 4) is associated with an improvement in median investment returns of between 1% to 3%. Diversification beyond 4 asset classes (up to 7) also improves aggregate SMSF performance, but at reduced marginal rates. These results are consistent with standard finance theory. Higher levels of diversification are correlated with improved levels of investment performance. The research also found SMSFs generate greater variation in investment returns relative to larger funds. There is a higher tendency for SMSF investors to outperform as well as a higher tendency to underperform relative to larger funds. This underlies the importance of professional advice and a sound investment strategy.  Finally, the research found SMSFs with net assets of more than $200,000.00 that are not heavily concentrated in cash and term deposits, on average, outperformed APRA regulated funds in 2 out of 3 years between 2017 and 2019. How can we help? If you require any assistance with your SMSF or would like to discuss the University of Adelaide research findings in more detail, please feel free to give us a call.

The Connolly Suthers Difference

The Connolly Suthers Difference

At Connolly Suthers, we feel privileged to be entrusted with our client's legal affairs, helping them navigate what is often some of the most challenging times of their lives. Our diverse, talented team has considerable expertise in multiple aspects of law and channel this experience to make a substantial, positive difference in the lives of locals.

We believe that your lawyer should have a significant understanding of how Townsville operates and its underlying cultural systems to provide the most genuine, useful legal advice possible. That’s why we frequently employ experienced legal professionals locally from within North Queensland, possessing a proud history of employing law graduates from James Cook University. Not only does this allow us to give back to the local community, but it only boosts our ability to deliver the most relevant and beneficial legal advice possible.

Our genuine care for the wellbeing of our clients and attention to detail in every case is what sets us apart from other law firms in Queensland. From criminal law to personal injury law, family disputes, property settlements, child custody, and traffic offences, we'll be in your corner, every step of the legal process. If you’re looking for legal support in Townsville, we’re here to make a positive difference in as many lives as possible. Call Connolly Suthers on 07 4771 5664 to get help today.

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Find out what Connolly Suthers can do for you

If you have an ongoing case with another firm and you are unhappy with how things are progressing, you might want to consider switching to the local lawyers at Connolly Suthers.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What legal services do Connolly Suthers offer?

We operate across a range of legal matters including compensation, family, wills & estates, property, conveyancing, business, dispute resolution and criminal law; helping a variety of clients across North Queensland and South East Queensland to navigate the legal system. 

It’s highly likely that you’ll need the services of a lawyer at least once in your lifetime.  When you turn to Connolly Suthers for legal assistance, you can be confident that you’ll receive quality legal advice with a personal touch, regardless of which service you require. Our criminal lawyers, family lawyers, and compensation solicitors are here to help with the most common types of legal problems faced in these areas of concern.

Whether you're facing criminal offences, are dealing with a family law matter, looking to file compensation claims,  have traffic offences, a domestic violence order, class actions, or just require an experienced team to assure a successful legal outcome, we can provide specialised advice for a wide range of concerns and legal issues.

Whatever type of legal assistance you need, we’re sure to be able to help.  At Connolly Suthers, we have considerable experience and knowledge in all aspects of compensation law, family law, wills and estates, property law, criminal law, conveyancing, business services and dispute resolution. 

We have Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialists in Property Law, Succession Law, Family law and Personal Injuries Litigation. Combining extensively trained and experienced legal practitioners with state-of-the-art communications and technology, Connolly Suthers delivers an unrivalled level of legal service in the Northern Queensland region. Get in touch with our team today - we're here to provide legal advice for a wide range of legal matters.

Do you offer free consultations?

Yes, at Connolly Suthers Lawyers Townsville, we offer free consultations in most areas.

Please note that while ‘family law’ and ‘employment law’ offer discounted fees for your initial appointment, they do not offer free consultation.

Do you offer No-Win, No-Fee?

Yes we offer no-win, no-fee services because we believe that nobody should be denied justice as a result of limited finances.  We offer no-win, no-fee services in a range of matters including:

  • Traffic accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Public liability accidents
  • Medical negligence claims
  • Life insurance claims
  • Superannuation claims
  • Certain commercial disputes

With Connolly Suthers Townsville Lawyers, you get the legal representation that you deserve without the worry of paying legal costs in the event that you lose your case.  Our compassionate, friendly team understand the value of excellent service when facing a legal problem and a difficult time. Work with the solicitors that understand you and prioritise your needs – work with Connolly Suthers.

How much does representation with Connolly Suthers cost?

All Connolly Suthers clients receive the absolute highest level of quality legal representation and advice available in the region.  Generally the cost of our legal services will vary based on the time required for our legal team to work on your case and the extent of the case as a whole, unless it is one of our fixed-fee services.

Regardless, we believe that nobody should be denied justice as a result of limited finances and that’s why we offer no-win, no-fee services in a range of matters including:

  • Traffic accidents
  • Workplace accidents
  • Public liability accidents
  • Medical negligence claims
  • Life insurance claims
  • Superannuation claims
  • Certain commercial disputes

With Connolly Suthers Townsville Lawyers, you get the legal representation that you deserve without the worry of paying legal costs in the event that you lose your case.  Work with the lawyers that understand you and prioritise your needs – Connolly Suthers.

How do you charge? Will I need to pay upfront? What are your prices like?

Most legal services are charged in accordance with a costs agreement which is provided to you at the commencement of the matter.  Usually this must be signed and returned before any work is completed.  This includes work done in most areas such as family law, personal injury, large commercial and leasing work, criminal law and estate administration. From your first phone call, your family lawyer, criminal lawyer, personal injury or estate solicitors can walk you through these fees work. 

There are fixed price services available for basic conveyancing, wills and enduring powers of attorney. No nasty surprises - just a team who are committed to the best outcome. Please contact our office for more information about these services. 

Do you offer payment plans?

Generally, no. However, you should feel free to discuss your financial situation with the solicitor involved with your case, at your initial appointment at Connolly Suthers. We understand that moving through the legal system can get expensive - from your first phone call, our compassionate team will openly discuss fees and work in your best interests, in a timely manner, to achieve a positive outcome. 

Do you certify documents? Do you have JPs available?

We usually only certify documents for clients of Connolly Suthers or in the course of matters in which we are involved. If you are looking to find a JP you can search for one here.

Do you hold relatives' documents in safe custody? What can you hold in safe custody?

For client's of Connolly Suthers we offer the service of storing in our safe custody original Wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, Certificates of Title, etc.

How are you involved with the Townsville Community?

The partners and staff of Connolly Suthers have long-standing ties throughout the local community. Over a large number of years we have supported various clubs and sporting teams in Townsville and in the Burdekin. We are regular supporters of Ronald McDonald House  and the Vinnies foundation.

Find out more about our contributions to the local community here.

How do I contact Connolly Suthers?

You can call our Townsville QLD office on 07 4771 5664 during business hours.

Alternatively, submit an email enquiry to enquiries@cosu.com.au and the Connolly Suthers team will endeavour to respond to your enquiry within one business day.

Where are your other offices located?

Our Brisbane office is located at 240 Queen Street, Brisbane.

Our Cairns office is located at 14 Spence Street, Cairns.

Our Ayr office is located at 180 Queen Street, Ayr.

We visit Mount Isa as well as other regions throughout North Queensland by appointment.