As Managing Partner of Brisbane based law firm Cooper Grace Ward, Chris leads the overall practice, management and day-to-day operations of the firm. Chris has been a litigator for almost all of his 37 years of law practice, focusing on the areas of commercial litigation, insurance, family and de facto law cases. He’s a qualified solicitor with the Supreme Court of Queensland and over the last 35 years has litigated substantial cases in the High Court of Australia, the Federal and Supreme Courts of Australia and the Family Court of Australia.
Chris was born and raised in Brisbane, the youngest of three brothers. He began attending St Joseph’s College Gregory Terrace in Grade 4 where he finished his schooling before completing his degree part-time while working at a law firm. Chris is both humble and personable and hard work is at the core of his story. As a young man, he delivered telegrams for the local post office and worked as a bookmaker’s penciller at Eagle Farm and Doomben Racecourses. Chris fondly shares his early experiences, speaking of a “different time” when “you put in long hours and didn’t have much.” He recalls pitching a tent with his mates at Main Beach for their take of Schoolies in the early 70s.
Chris’ made career inroads early on. At just 22, he became a Senior Litigation Partner at a now defunct firm but soon moved on to establish Cooper Grace Ward with two fellow lawyers, after the trio devised a loose business plan on the back of an envelope. Cooper Grace Ward began in 1980 when Chris was just 26 and is now a $40 million dollar business, one of Brisbane’s largest independent law firms with a team of more than 220. Chris has been the Managing Partner since 2005. Chris is also a Practice Group Coordinator for ADVOC Asia, an international network of independent law firms which share international expertise in jurisdictions globally. Chris lives in Brisbane with his wife and three sons.
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