Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers is an Australian law firm with a commercial focus. The firm office is located in the Brisbane central business district, Queensland. The firm has around 220 team members including 22 partners.[1]

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers
HeadquartersBrisbane, Australia
No. of employeesapprox 220
Major practice areasCorporate and Commercial
Key peopleChris Ward, Managing Partner
Date founded1980
Company typePartnership



On 22 December 1980 three young lawyers founded Cooper, Grace and Ward Solicitors. With specialisations in Property Law, Commercial Law and Litigation, Peter Cooper, David Grace and Chris Ward began the Brisbane-based practice. The firm was located in the (then) MLC building in the Brisbane CBD.

1981 - 1990

During the eighties, the firm saw steady growth. This was occurring as Brisbane itself saw a large degree of change and growth. The river city was re-inventing itself as World Expo 88 heralded a new era in the city and attitudes within and towards it.[2]


In 1990, the firm moved to the top-tier riverside location, Central Plaza 2. At this time, Australia's economy hit hard times with the recession of the early 90s. Chris Ward remembers the time as "really tough" but admits it provided an opportunity for the firm to learn a lot of valuable lessons about our structure and direction as a business.[3]

1991 - 1995

In 1993, Cooper Grace and Ward become affiliated, but not financially integrated, with the national Hunt & Hunt Legal Group.

1996 - 2000

In 1996, Hunt & Hunt Brisbane merged with another commercial firm, Thompson King Connolly. By the year 2000, Brisbane was fast growing as an alternative for business from Sydney and Melbourne as major international companies such as Virgin Australia, Boeing Australia, Mincom Limited and Billabong (clothing) set up their head offices in Queensland. The growth in Brisbane over these years as a thriving business district meant that Queensland rapidly became Australia's fastest growing economy.[4]

2001 - 2006

The firm decided to move forward from March 2006 as an independent Queensland-based firm that serviced local, national and international clients, under the name of Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers.


In October 2009, Cooper Grace Ward expanded into a five green-star designed building at 400 George Street, Brisbane.[5] The move was driven by the need for more space to accommodate the continuing growth of the firm. Within three weeks of the relocation to 400 George Street, Cooper Grace Ward made an announcement of a substantial merger with Bain Gasteen Lawyers, effective from 1 December 2009. The merger took the firm's total numbers to 200+ people. The merged firm was initially known as Cooper Grace Ward (incorporating Bain Gasteen) and from February 2010 became Cooper Grace Ward.[6]

Notable Achievements

In 2014, Cooper Grace Ward acted for former Queensland Government minister Dr Bruce Flegg in his defamation suit against his former media adviser, Graeme Hallett.[7] Justice Peter Lyons upheld the defamation claim and awarded Dr Flegg damages of $775,000.[8][9] This award is believed to be the largest award for a defamation case in Queensland history.[10]

Work Groups

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers advises in the following kinds of law:

  • Commercial law, including:
    • Capital markets
    • Commercial finance
    • Corporate governance, risk management and compliance
    • Employment and workplace relations
    • Franchising
    • Intellectual property and technology
    • Mergers and acquisitions
    • Revenue, tax and superannuation
    • Sustainability and climate change


  • Insurance law, including:
    • Motor vehicle - CTP and property
    • Workers' compensation (federal and state)
    • General insurance including public and products liability
    • Life insurance
    • Marine
    • Self-insurance
    • Professional indemnity
    • Arson and fraud claims
    • Environmental liability
    • Aviation, aerospace and marine
  • Government services
  • Estate planning
  • Family law
  • Insolvency, reconstruction and debt recovery
  • Litigation and dispute resolution
  • Property, planning and environment


Corporate Sustainability

Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers has been recognised for its commitment to Corporate Sustainability.[11] The following activities form part of their corporate sustainability commitment:

  • Participation in Club Red, the Australian Red Cross's blood donation program.
  • Member of the Queensland Government's ecoBiz program.[12]
  • Reduced energy consumption by 14% per team member during 2010.[13]
  • In addition to the waste management services offered by the building, the firm uses bokashi compost bins in the café and catering kitchen to manage food scraps.[13]
  • Revegetating a patch of vacant land along the Brisbane River at North Quay.
  • Cooper Grace Ward is a corporate supporter of CityCycle


  1. "About Us". Cooper Grace Ward. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  2. Sanderson, Rachel. "Queensland shows the world: regionalism and modernity at Brisbane's World Expo 88" (PDF). 79(1), 65-75. Journal of Australian Studies. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  3. Cooper Grave Ward Lawyers. "Who We Are". Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  4. "Invest in Australia - Queensland & Brisbane – Investment destination profile". Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  5. "400 George Sustainability". Archived from the original on 23 July 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  6. "Queensland law firms announce merger (6 November, 2009)". The New Lawyer. Archived from the original on 31 December 2012. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  7. "Former Housing Minister Bruce Flegg suing ex-staffer Graeme Hallett for loss of income". Courier Mail. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  8. "Former minister Bruce Flegg wins defamation case against one-time staffer Graeme Hallett". ABC News. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  9. "Bruce Flegg wins $775,000 from ex-staffer Graeme Hallett". Brisbane Times. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  10. "CGW litigation team secures win in high profile case for record damages". Cooper Grace Ward. Retrieved 29 June 2015.
  11. "2011 Lord Mayor's Business Awards Sustainability Finalist". Lord Mayor’s Business Awards (2011). Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  12. "EcoBiz Partners". Queensland Government Department of Environment and Resource Management. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
  13. "Community and sustainability". Cooper Grace Ward Lawyers. Retrieved 12 June 2012.
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