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Commissions of Inquiry

Commissions of Inquiry and Royal Commissions are launched to forensically investigate and make public findings and recommendations about individuals, organisations and matters of public concern – usually regarding a specific incident or series of allegations.

Often Commissions of Inquiry and Royal Commissions involve contentious and complex issues and attract significant media attention. The hearings themselves and the recommendations that result from them could have a very serious impact on businesses, key individuals or entire industries.

To ensure the best possible outcome for you or your business, your legal team needs to understand the processes and procedures that apply in a Commission of Inquiry or Royal Commission and how to handle the commercial and legal issues that they can give rise to.

Cooper Grace Ward has significant experience in:

  • advising on strategic issues relating to Commissions of Inquiry and Royal Commissions
  • representing clients in Commissions of Inquiry and Royal Commissions including large organisations and key individuals and senior executives
  • assisting clients with preparing statements and other documents in responses to requests for information
  • preparing clients for the process of giving evidence.

Notable Commissions of Inquiry and Royal Commissions where Cooper Grace Ward has successfully represented clients include:

  • The Fitzgerald Inquiry (1987-1989)
  • The Royal Commission into the Building and Construction Industry (2001-2003)
  • Bundaberg Hospital Commission of Inquiry (2005)
  • Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry (2011-2012)
  • Queensland Health Payroll System Commission of Inquiry (2013)
  • Queensland Rail Train Crewing Practices Commission of Inquiry (2016)
  • Commission of Inquiry into New Generation Rollingstock Trains (2018).

One example of a Commission of Inquiry that Cooper Grace Ward was extensively involved in (and successfully represented one of Queensland’s iconic organisations) was the Queensland Floods Commission of Inquiry that took place over 2011 and 2012. In this Inquiry, there was a detailed forensic examination and public findings made in relation to:

  • Preparation and planning for the floods by governments and the community
  • The performance of insurers in meeting their responsibilities
  • All aspects of the response to the 2010/11 floods, particularly measures taken to inform the community and protect life and property
  • Management of essential services
  • The adequacy of forecasts and early warning systems
  • The operation of dams
  • Land use planning to minimise flood impacts.

For advice relating to a Commission of Inquiry, call (07) 3231 2444 or email one of our key contacts directly.

Key contacts

Rocco Russo
Miranda Klibbe
Mali Karunaratne
Special Counsel
Brock Morgan
Brock Morgan
Special Counsel


The Legal 500 recognises Cooper Grace Ward’s Dispute Resolution team

Cooper Grace Ward’s Dispute Resolution team continues to be recognised as a leading practice, being included in The Legal 500 Asia Pacific 2019 rankings of leading law firms and lawyers for Dispute Resolution.

Rocco Russo recognised as outstanding lawyer in Asia Pacific dispute rankings

Rocco Russo leads the Dispute Resolution and Litigation practice at Cooper Grace Ward and has been recognised by Chambers & Partners as one of the most outstanding lawyers within the Asia Pacific Region in dispute resolution, and the highest ranked from Brisbane.