Christine Smyth is a can do solicitor. Her uncanny ability to look inside and outside of the box is extraordinary.
I engaged Robbins Watson approximately 18 months ago to assist with several of my complicated matters. Christine has taken on Goliath and won in a manner which showcases her strengths in problem solving, strategizing and empowering her clients to achieve the best outcome possible.
You want Christine on your side, a very fine insightful, intelligent, articulated and highly skilled solicitor who communicates brilliantly with her clients, staff and barristers.
Thank you for listening to me and believing in me and taking on my cases when several other Gold Coast firms didn’t want to help.
I have no hesitation in recommending Christine Smyth and her firm Robbins Watson.
Many thanks to Christine and Sarah for your assistance with my recent estate dispute.
You were creative, professional, empathetic, and followed through promptly with everything that needed to be done, while being sensitive to my needs. I can highly recommend your skills and knowledge to anyone in the same situation.
Best wishes to all your staff at Robins Watson
Joelene, you did a great job and really understood the whole mediation process well. That really assisted Mr B to get the matter settled in difficult circumstances.
In September 2012 my Mother died leaving her Will with no executor. Robbins Watson were recommended to me by another Solicitor here in Melbourne, because they were trustworthy and would make sure I was well taken care of. That was true from the day I met Christine and her staff. Everyone was professional, respectful and honest with me. I always felt like they supported my decisions and guided me in the cheapest, most responsible path I should legally take. In November 2012 my Father died and miraculously I had two siblings ready to come forward after many years of absense to claim their fair share of both my Mothers Estate and then my Fathers. With continued concern and support Christine and Sarah worked tirelessly to make sure my rights and responsibilities were met, both legally and emotionally. On many occasions throughout the two years Christine or Sarah called me just to listen. I have absolutely every faith in recommending Robins Watson and their staff for ALL legal matters. I can’t thank Chriistine, Sarah and Tahlia enough for all of the support and guidance they gave me when I needed it most.
Mr & Mrs C
Hello Christine, Sarah and Matt [counsel], Thank you all for your efforts, not only from a legal perspective but more importantly thankyou all for being such decent people.
Best wishes to you all
Ms B M
I just wanted to say thank you so much for all of the work you have done for me and my family over the past 2 years. It has most certainly been a journey I would never have seen myself taking but in a way it has been cathartic. Everything happens for a reason and I can find so many reasons in the lessons I have learned along the way.
I have attached a picture of my twin boys and of my big boy. These people are who I kept going for. The change I can make to their lives now is beyond what I could have without your help.
I thank you from the bottom of my heart.&
Jeneve Frizzo – Special Counsel at O’Connor Law
I have the great pleasure of working with Christine for a number of years now in a range of ways which includes our mutual commitment to the support of and contribution to the profession generally, succession lawyers in particular, and women lawyers to be more specific again. Christine is a joy to work with: motivated; thoughtful; whip-smart; always sensitive; always supportive, but a great realistic as well. She has an acutely insightful intellect and is a driven, interesting and effective lawyer and person. I have enjoyed the benefit of her support and championship, and am fortunate that our professional relationship has assumed elements of friendship in that context.
Renee Gamble – Director at BISCosgrove
I have had the pleasure of working with Christine on a number of our mutual clients. Her extensive knowledge and the results that she has achieved for my clients, coupled with the absolute passion that she has for her field have made Christine my “go to” for my clients legal issues. Christine is the rare professional who is able to communicate effectively at all levels whilst maintaining a personal approach. And the feedback from my clients has been unfailingly positive which is the ultimate litmus test!
William Johns – Industry expert in Disability, Chronic Illness & Injury; Wealth Preservation, Social Entrepreneur; Managing Director HFI
Christine is a brilliant operator, a lawyer with a unique and fresh approach to complex problem solving and I found her extremely knowledgeable and talented. I referred clients to her, and their feedback was very positive and encouraged me to confidently refer more clients to her firm. More importantly, her values, passion and compassion for humanity makes her a true stand-out. I have no hesitation in recommending her services to anyone seeking a first class service
Rob Luscombe, Cemetary Services Manager, Sunshine Coast Regional Council & President, Qld Cemetaries and Crematoria Association
The Queensland Cemetaries and Crematoria Association has a long standing relationship with Christine. Christine speaks about industry specifics in plain english while also providing professional and specific details. Her legal knowledge regarding the industry is immense, however her general knowledge of the cemetary industry itself shows a dedication and passion not seen by many others. Her presentations are succinct and detailed while providing answers in easy to understand terms. She is always willing to answer any questions put to her and if she is unable to answer it her replies are prompt and detailed. When we are selecting conference speakers, Christine is always high on our list of preferred candidates. – Rob Luscombe, Cemetary Services Manager, Sunshine Coast Regional Council & President, Qld Cemetaries and Crematoria Association
Michael McMahon, President of the Cemetaries and Crematorium Association of NSW
Christine has been active with the Cemetaries and Crematorium Association for a number of years, presenting to our members at a number of general meetings and conferences, providing the latest information and case studies on the current issues facing our industry.
Christine is a power house of information, an expert on Succession Law and Estate administration. These particular skills in the areas of inheritance law has provided our members with the most knowledge in handling difficult questions on ownership, transfers and custodial issues facing families with the rights to burials. Christine has been invaluabel to us in our roles in managing complex family issues resulting from burials and ownership. – Michael McMahon, President of the Cemetaries and Crematorium Association of NSW
Mr D J
I have been impressed by her attention to details of matter concerning the Will, and to the fact I have been informed of the progress of procedures taking place. Christine and her staff have been a tremendous help during this difficult time.
Mr Rob Stevenson, Principal, Australian Workplace Lawyers
I have had the privilege of knowing, trusting and respecting Christine Smyth for in excess of 20 years and unreservedly recommend her specialist skills to any client seeking advice about inheritance law.
George Passas, Chief Executive Officer, Eastern Suburbs Memorial Park
This note is to thank you for conducting the recent seminar for our sales and operational staff entitled ‘Rights & Responsibilities, Disputes – How are they Resolved?’ Christine, clearly your extensive knowledge of Succession Law was an advantage, but what mattered was your ability to simplify it for the ‘layman’ and to present it in a fun and intereactive way. Again, thank you.
Colin Fleming – Colin Fleming & Co Solicitors
Christine Smyth is a colleague who I initially got to know as a fellow member of the Queensland Law Society Succession Law Committee. This body makes submission to the Queensland Government on succession law, and deals with the judges committee on estate administration. My point being that I associate with some very high achievers and recognise Christine as one of the highest performing solicitors I know. Others too acknowledge her knowledge and her attention to detail. This is why Christine is invited to deliver papers all over, at least the east coast of Australia to other lawyers. The nicest part about her is she is not one of the disconnected self-focused academics- she is quite the opposite. Her willingness to help others is as strong as her professionalism and her understanding of all areas of succession law.
Christine’s leadership, listening and advocacy skills are evident with her election as a member of what the lay person would call the Board of Directors of the Queensland Law Society.
I unreservedly recommend Christine to clients seeking an expert whose excellence in her service to her clients is only surpassed by her dedication to them.
Christine Smyth is the best at what she does. Period. With her leading the charge in your inheritance and elder law matter you are guaranteed to obtain the most favourable outcome. Robbins Watson Solicitors is a fantastic law firm that not only provides exceptional legal advice but does so in the most cost effective, courteous, and transparent manner. With Robbins Watson not only do you get a team of exceptional lawyers but a family that will defend your rights to the fullest.
I thank you and Christine for your assistance in this matter and would highly recommend your services.
I was very close to Dad and his death was a great loss. The administration of his Estate was handled by Christine Smyth…who demonstrated a level of professionalism, kindness and understanding which was amazing. I was kept informed of what was happening throughout the entire process of finalising Dad’s Estate, and my queries were always dealt with promptly.
Christine’s knowledge of Estate matters and her ability to explain legal issues was outstanding. I cannot really put into words my gratitude. Be assured that I will continue to recommend your practice to anyone in need of legal advice.
Mr R.G. B.
As an Executor of a deceased Estate, I am pleased to say Christine has handled the ongoing administration admirably. I have had robust debates with her on the administration, and we have always come to agreement on the appropriate way forward. She is skilled in all the matters needed in this Estate.” “Christine has a forceful personality, with foresight and guidance as needed, while respecting the Executors’ independent roles. She is professional in her approach and a person of integrity, attending to our requirements efficiently. The occasional light-hearted comment helps in relationships and getting the job done.
It has been a privilege to have been supported through legal matters by Christine Smyth, and I wish to express my gratitude to her as she guided me through the duties required of me as Executor. Christine exhibited compassion and sincerity whilst dealing with my feelings of sadness and loss, and also the professionalism necessary to assist me to complete those duties.
I admire the expertise and attention to detail that she offered, and feel fortunate to have been associated with her. She is a very personable, confident and obviously dedicated Solicitor.
Louise Pennisi, Solicitor, QLS
Christine is an extremely proficient and sagacious Succession Law Accredited Specialist. Her knowledge and understanding of the intricacies underpinning succession law are immeasurable. Not only is Christine affable but Christine also generously gives her time to the community by educating and publishing articles on succession law.
Christine’s extensive knowledge in Succession Law has guided me through the aspects of being an Executor, from administration to making complex decisions in defending the Estate in the Supreme Court of NSW. In my dealings with Christine I was always kept abreast of what was happening and the Court time constraints that had to be met.
Christine was always professional and never backed away from the unusual and frequent challenges that were put before us. The service and compassion that Christine provided was over and above what I expected. I felt that I was never alone in the process and felt confident having Christine in my corner. I was impressed by her enthusiasm, passion for justice and her chosen profession.
Louis Bastida Torres
I would like to thank you for the fine job you and your staff have provided in the handling of my late father´s estate and in assisting me in my job as executor of my father´s will.
I am glad to say that everything worked out well in this lengthy process, especially for mebeing on the other side of the world.
Once again my compliments for the good work performed by you and your staff.
My best wishes for you all.
Just a short note to thank you for the wonderful way that you handled Jim’s estate for me.It was a pleasure to have met you all.
Many thanks to both you Christine and Tahlia for the work you have done in relation to my brothers will, I did not realize how much work and worry carrying out this duty would involve.
It has been very much appreciated by Joan and myself for the capable and friendly manner in which you have attended to us over the past 14 months.
On behalf of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Association of NSW (CCA) I wish to thank you for attending and presenting a paper at our Kingscliff conference.
As usual, the attendees thoroughly enjoyed your informative and relevant presentation. Your presentation provided pertinent information, generating much discussion and take home value and content.
We are very appreciative of you giving your time and sharing your expertise. We look forward to working with you on further educational sessions. My very best wishes on your busy year ahead as President of the Queensland Law Society….good luck!
Our sincere thanks.
Cemeteries & Crematoria Association of NSW
ABOUT CHRISTINE SMYTH
Leading Lawyer in Wills, Estates, Elder and Funeral Law
Christine’s passion is succession and elder law – and that passion, allied with meticulous and detailed knowledge of the law has led to her being recognised as one of the country’s foremost experts in the field.
In 2009 Christine was among a handful of solicitors who achieved the coveted qualification Accredited Specialist in Succession Law. Queensland Law Society Accredited Specialist program is a rigorous, peer reviewed testing program designed to identify extraordinary skills in specialist areas of law.
Never one to rest on her laurels, Christine has developed corresponding expertise in Elder and Funeral Dispute Law. In her time as President of the Queensland Law Society, Christine developed an Elder Abuse Aware campaign that received national recognition for highlighting the need in the community for greater awareness and accountability. In respect of her expertise in Funeral Law, Christine was the first lawyer to have ever been a member of the Australian Funeral Directors Association. Having spent many years advising funeral homes, cemeteries and crematoria on their responsibilities, Christine was recognized for her expertise in this field by being appointed an Honorary member of the Cemeteries and Crematoria Association of NSW.
Christine’s ongoing commitment to excellence in client service and technical skill, has seen her recognized by clients and peers – with the prestigious Doyle’s Guide awarding her Leading Wills and Estate Litigation Lawyer and Queensland’s Leading Wills, Estates and Succession Planning Lawyer awards in 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018 and 2019.
Christine is a problem solver, taking a direct and practical approach to the resolution of issues. Her philosophy (and indeed the firm’s) is that people who consult the firm are entitled to know from the beginning their rights, the risks, the cost, and their chances. She keeps her clients’ goals at the forefront and will not hesitate to recommend solutions that will achieve those goals.
Over the years Christine has noted increased issues arising from our ageing population and the impacts upon families and their legal relationships as a result. Since 2004, Christine has practiced solely in succession and elder law managing our Inheritance Law Division (also known as “Succession Law”, or “Estates law”). Her experience provides the following advantages in her Estate work:
Plain English drafting is applied to drafting wills and court documents;
Commercial & Property experience provides capacity to analyse & resolve the affairs of deceased persons;
Litigation experience enables her to take and/or defend court actions that arise in challenges to wills; and
Family law experience gives her valuable insights into emotional aspects of changing nature of family relationships.
Christine is one of three Queensland Court appointed Estate Account Assessors. In the April 2019 edition of Queensland Law Society’s members magazine Proctor, Christine provides a practical guide to resolving estate administration disputes.
Queensland Law Society Succession Law Committee Member
The Queensland Law Society Succession Law Committee develops policies and responses to government on proposed legislative amendments and consultation material by reviewing the proposals, discussing its impact on all potential stakeholders, and proposing any suggested amendments to address problems. The committee provides a forum to consider practical problems and also disseminate awareness information to members. Christine was first appointed to this committee in 2011-2014. Christine resigned from the committee to take up her appointment to the QLS Council. Having completed her tenure on Council at the end of 2018, QLS sought to retain Christine’s highly regarded expertise and experience accordingly, she was reappointed to the QLS Succession Law Committee in, 2019, Christine retired from this position in 2020.
Queensland Law Society’s President 2017
In 2017 Christine leadership qualities saw her appointed President of the Queensland Law Society. Christine is one of only five women ever appointed to this role since its inception in 1873. Christine’s presidency focused on the Solicitors branch of the profession – advocating for and on behalf of good lawyers for the good of the community.
In 2016 Christine served as Deputy President of the Queensland Law Society. During her term Christine amassed unique experience including appearing before parliamentary committees, signing off on in excess of 150 parliamentary submissions; advocating for good law for the good of the community, as well as undertaking numerous media engagements. To know more, please visit our Media Section.
As President Christine engaged with heads of jurisdictions, including the Courts, District Law Associations, Community legal and pro bono organisations, universities, government and other relevant associations and bodies.
Christine has amassed a wealth of legal and business expertise from her many and varied senior roles in law, business and government. In 2018 Christine continues her leadership as the Immediate Past President and member of the QLS Executive, Audit and Investment Committee and Council while enjoying her return to fulltime legal practice.
In 2017 Christine was honoured with the Leader Effecting Change Award from Women in Business Gold Coast awards, for her work as President of the Queensland Law Society.
Christine has extensive board experience. In addition to her positions with QLS Council, Christine served on the QLS Specialist Accreditation Board; Lexon Insurance Board and as Director of the Law Council of Australia in 2017. Christine maintains a role on the Law Council of Australia, serving on the Legal Practice Executive Committee.
STEP is a global professional body, comprising lawyers, accountants, financial advisors and other practitioners that help families plan for their futures. Christine currently serves as Deputy Chair STEP Mental Capacity Global Special Interest Group. Christine was appointed a member of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners in 2010 and served on the STEP Qld Branch Executive Committee for 3 years.
Christine is a sought after author and seminar presenter having written numerous papers, presentations and articles relating to her specialist field of Inheritance Law. Queensland Law Society Proctor Magazine – Christine writes a regular column on succession law for the QLS professional body magazine Proctor, circulated amongst its 13000 members. Christine previously held the position of General Editor Retirement & Estate Planning Bulletin. REP is a specialist publication, produced by LexisNexis, providing succession and estate planning professionals the latest developments in all matters concerning retirement and estate planning. She drove the content development of the newsletter and acted as chief participant and thought leader in informing and communicating the latest developments, relevant to the retirement and estate planning industry in Australia.
Christine regularly presents at seminars and conferences for industry bodies including:
- Queensland Law Society;
- Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners;
- Television Education Network;
- Cemeteries and Crematorium and Funeral Director Associations.
For a list of Christine’s most recent publications and presentations, please click here.
Christine believes in giving back to the community. Concerned about the impact of red tape on small business, Christine volunteers her time and legal expertise on the Queensland State Government’s Better Regulation Task Force. She is one of 5 industry leaders charged with identifying ways the government can improve red tape processes for small business – the back bone of the Qld economy. The Task Force is established as a sub-committee of the Queensland Small Business Advisory Council (QSBAC) continuing the work of the former Red Tape Reduction Advisory Council.
Christine believes all Australians have a right to access justice. During her term as QLS President Christine strongly advocated for Community Legal Centres and was instrumental in the reversal of the Federal Government’s reversal of CLC funding cuts.
Over her 25 year career Christine has volunteered her time and experience across many organisations. In her student days she volunteered with the Brisbane Women’s legal Service and the Southport Domestic Violence Service. While starting her family she assisted with charity events – raising money for the Cancer Foundation and being a mentor for the Smith Family Learning for Life program. Throughout her career Christine has been a mentor for the Queensland University of Technology student mentoring program, Women Lawyers Association (Qld) mentoring program and the Queensland Law Society mentoring program, as well as providing voluntary seminars for community organisations.
Awards & Appointments
- 2019 – Doyles Guide – Leading Wills and Estates Litigation Lawyers
- 2018 – Doyles Guide – Leading Wills and Estates Litigation Lawyers
- 2017 – Winner of Creative Change Award from Women in Business Awards
- 2017 – Awardee of Merit Award from Women in Business Awards;
- 2017 – Doyles Guide – Leading Wills and Estates Litigation Lawyers;
- 2017 – President of the Queensland Law Society;
- 2017 – Director Law Council of Australia;
- 2016 – President-Elect of the Queensland Law Society;
- 2016 – Doyles Guide – Leading Wills and Estates Litigation Lawyers;
- 2016 – Deputy President of the Queensland Law Society;
- 2016 – Current Specialist Accreditation Board Queensland Law Society;
- 2016 – Appointed to the Queensland Government Better Regulation Taskforce;
- 2015 – Doyles Guide – Leading Wills & Estate Litigation Lawyer;
- 2014 – 2015 – Present, Queensland Law Society Councillor;
- 2014 – 2015 – Women Lawyers Association QLD (WLAQ) Committee of Management and Social Secretary;
- 2013 – WLAQ Women Lawyer of the Year Nominee;
- 2013 – LexisNexis Top 10 Influential Women;
- 2013 – Present – Committee Member of QLS Annual Symposium Succession Law Planning Committee;
- 2012 – Present – Committee Member of Queensland Law Society – Proctor Editorial;
- 2012 – QLS President’s Medal Nominee;
- 2012 – 2014 – Co-General Editor, Lexis Nexis Retirement and Estate Planning Bulletin;
- 2011 – 2016 – Committee Member of Queensland Law Society – Succession Law;
- 2010 – 2012 – Editorial Panel, LexisNexis Retirement & Estate Planning Bulletin; and
- 2010 – 2014 – Committee Member Society Trust & Estate Practitioners Qld Branch – Business Development officer.