Joseph Catanzariti (Joe) is a past President of the Law Society of New South Wales and a partner of one of Australia's leading Law Firms, Clayton Utz.
Now in his thirty-first year of practice, Mr Catanzariti is a commercial litigator who has expertise in workplace relations and employment law and has extensive experience in advising major corporate and public sector clients on strategic workplace relations matters.
He has worked on a number of landmark matters such as Jana Wendt vs. Channel 7 and SRA vs. earthline. He also has extensive experience in the review and development of legal practice and policy.
Mr Catanzariti is the Law Council representative on the Law Admissions Consultative Committee and is involved in the Law Council's Legal Education Committee, Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers Committee, Corporate Governance Committee and Strategic Initiatives Committee.
Mr Catanzariti is also an Adjunct Professor, Work and Organisational Studies, Business School of University of Sydney.
Mr Catanzariti is the Chair of the College of Law, the Chair of the Law Society of New South Wales Employment Law Committee and a past Secretary for the Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association (1997 to 2011).
In 2011, Mr Catanzariti was awarded Life Time Recognition of the Industrial Relations Society of Australia/Australian Labour and Employment Relations Association.
Michael Colbran joined the Victorian Bar in 1982 and was appointed Queens Counsel in 1997. He has trial and appellate experience around Australia in general commercial litigation and advice work including trusts, property, probate, trade practices and professional negligence matters.
Mr Colbran is a past Chairman of the Victorian Bar Council. He was for many years the secretary and a member of the Bar's Ethics Committee and a director of Barristers' Chambers Ltd, the property subsidiary of the Victorian Bar. He was also a Director and Chairman of the Essoign Club Ltd.
Mr Colbran became a director of the Law Council in 2006. He has been Chairman of the National Judicial Issues Working Group since 2008 and a member of the International Strategy Working Group since 2009. He is actively involved in projects of the Law Council and the Australian Bar Association to develop National Rules of Conduct.
Duncan McConnel commenced practice in 1994 as a litigation solicitor practising in general litigation, worker's compensation and commercial litigation. Mr McConnel became a Partner in 1998. He has practiced for most of his career as a solicitor and partner in a private firm in the Northern Territory.
Mr McConnel has practised law in the Northern Territory for over 15 years in a wide range of litigation areas. He studied law in Darwin and was admitted to practice in the Supreme Court of the Northern Territory in 1994. He now works as a barrister, practising predominantly in commercial litigation and worker's compensation.
Mr McConnel has had a long association with national legal affairs, originally as a member of the Law Council's Access to Justice Committee. In 2007 Mr McConnel was elected the President of the Law Society of the Northern Territory. In 2008 he became the Northern Territory Law Society representative on the Law Council of Australia, and in November 2009 Mr McConnel was elected as a member of the Law Council Executive.
Fiona McLeod is the Chair of the Victorian Bar Council and has been a director of the Law Council since 2010.
She was elected to the Executive in November 2012. Ms McLeod practises as Senior Counsel at the Victorian Bar in trials and appeals in administrative and public law, human rights, commercial and common law. Recognised for her recent high profile work concerning some of Australia's worst natural disasters, she advised and represented the Commonwealth in the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry in 2011-12 and the Victorian Bushfires Royal Commission in 2009-10. She has practised at the Victorian Bar since 1991 and took silk in 2003.
Ms McLeod has also been recognised for her work in human rights matters and continues to play a pioneering role in the field of human trafficking which resulted in the prestigious Inaugural Anti-Slavery Australia Freedom Award and the Ron Merkel QC Award at the Victorian Bar Pro Bono Awards.
Ms McLeod is the Chair of the Law Council Equalising Opportunities before the Law Committee and the Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers Working Group and has previously been a President of Australian Women Lawyers. She is a member of the Attorney General's International Legal Services Advisory Committee.
Justin Dowd was appointed a Director of the Law Council of Australia in 2012 and elected to the Executive in December 2012.
Mr Dowd is a member of the Executive of the International Law Section of LCA and a long standing member of the Family Law Section. He is also a Director of LawCover Pty Limited and LawCover Insurance Pty Limited in 2012.
Mr Dowd was the President of the Law Society of New South Wales in 2012. Since joining the Law Society in 2007 as a councillor, he has served on a number of committees including Professional Conduct, Family Issues, Dispute Resolution, Audit, Finance, and the Executive Committee.
Mr Dowd's current board positions include:
In 1994 Mr Dowd was accredited by the Law Society as a specialist in family law, having become a solicitor in 1976 and specialising in family law since 1987. Since 1995, he has been a Partner at Watts McCray, one of the largest specialist family law practices in Australia.
A highly experienced litigator, with over 35 years' experience, Mr Dowd specialises in international family law matters. He is a long standing member of LawAsia and their Family Law and Children's Rights Section, as well as the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia.
Leanne Topfer was President of the Law Society of Tasmania in 2006 and has been a member of the Council of the Law Society of Tasmania since 1999.
Ms Topfer gained a Bachelor of Laws with first class honours from the University of Tasmania in 1982 and was admitted to practice in 1983. She has worked as a lawyer since then and is a partner in a regional firm where she has a general practice with an emphasis on civil litigation.
Ms Topfer is on the Law Council Recruitment and Retention of Lawyers working group, which has been focussing primarily on the problem of recruitment and retention of lawyers in rural, regional and remote areas of Australia. She is also a member of the Guardianship and Administration Tribunal.
Ms Topfer was appointed a Director of the Law Council of Australia in 2010.