Robert Gallagher

I was admitted as a solicitor in December 1979.

In my early years, I practised in a broad range of areas of the law including property, banking and finance, family, crime and estates.

Ultimately, my affinity was found with the commercial side of practice and over time I increasingly became more specialised in commercial work, including commercial disputes.

My commercial work included the high profile mergers of diary co-operatives which ultimately formed Dairy Farmers (in which I acted for the Queensland co-operatives). I have also been a principal lawyer for the AP Eagers Group for almost 30 years, during which it has grown from a small company mainly operating in Queensland to Australia’s largest automotive retailing business.

For many years I was a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors, and was a trustee of the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA). I have also acted as director and company secretary of a number of substantial private companies, charitable foundations and community groups.

Legal Practice

My dispute work involved me in many and varied disputes and proceedings in Courts and Tribunals.

Although the real measure of my success in disputes might reasonably be best assessed by settled cases and resolutions out of Court (which attract little publicity), my practice has over time involved me in significant trials and hearings, including cases which resulted in appeals to the High Court of Australia: Fletcher v Crocus (on guarantees and sureties), Gallagher v Rainbow (on easements), Jackson v Sterling Industries (on injunctions) and Selig v Wealthsure (on apportionable claims).

One of my most challenging roles was to represent the mine owners in the proceedings to investigate the Moura Mine Disaster in 1986.

I regularly act in and advise on shareholders’ disputes, partnership disputes, trustee claims and property and leasing disputes.

Law Firms

I first became a partner in the Brisbane firm Thynne & Macartney where I commenced as a junior solicitor and rose through the ranks to become a partner at the age of 28 years.

During my career, for 10 years, I was the managing partner of a firm which started out as Nicol Robinson & Kidd and, under my leadership, merged with Halletts to become Nicol Robinson Halletts and then with Herbert Geer & Rundall to form the national firm Herbert Geer which later merged with Thomsons to become Thomson Geer. I was with that organisation through all the mergers for some 25 years.

In addition to my decade as managing partner, when at Herbert Geer I was National Practice Unit Leader for Dispute Resolution.

Today, I am a principal in the Brisbane office of William Roberts Lawyers, having joined this firm in 2018.

Other Professional Roles

I was also involved in our profession over many years as a member of the Queensland Law Society’s Practice Management Committee and, for Smokeball was a published author on legal practice management.

I regularly lecture for organisations such as LegalWise Seminars and Crown Leadership on shareholders disputes, contract law and dispute resolution.

I qualified with a law degree from the University of Queensland in 1978 and obtained a Diploma of Legal Practice at QUT in 1979.

Personal

At my core I am a proud family man, and am the father of four sons and a daughter.

Our family has a great love for music and regularly go to live events and concerts with the Bluesfest at Byron Bay an annual fixture. Also, I am widely travelled, having been to many countries in Europe, Asia, the Pacific and North, Central and South America (with plans for more travel on hold due to COVID-19).