New solicitor-general for Queensland

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Minister for Women and Minister for the Prevention of Domestic and Family Violence The Honourable Shannon Fentiman

Highly experienced barrister Gim Del Villar QC is Queensland’s new Solicitor-General.

Attorney-General and Minister for Justice Shannon Fentiman said Mr Del Villar has clearly demonstrated his credentials for this important position over a long period of time.

“His track record gives us the utmost confidence that Queensland’s legal representation is in safe hands,” Minister Fentiman said.

“A barrister since 2008, Mr Del Villar has specialised in five areas – constitutional law, administrative law, native title, proceeds of crime, and electoral law – all of which are central to the interests of government bodies.

“Such is his standing, Mr Del Villar has appeared with current Federal Solicitor-General Dr Stephen Donaghue QC in several matters,” Minister Fentiman said.

“This includes defending a 2019 challenge to the Australian Electoral Commission practice of publishing an indicative two-candidate preferred vote before the polls had closed throughout Australia.

“As senior counsel, Mr Del Villar was also regularly briefed to appear with outgoing Queensland Solicitor-General Sandy Thompson QC in a 2020 High Court challenge to the State’s COVID border restrictions.”

In total, Mr Villar has appeared in the High Court on more than 50 occasions, including several matters where he represented the Attorney-General for Queensland.

Before joining the Bar, Mr Del Villar was Counsel Assisting the then Commonwealth Solicitor-General, David Bennett QC. After coming to the Bar in Queensland, he was briefed as junior counsel to then Solicitor-General Walter Sofronoff.

The Solicitor-General is recognised as the state’s second law officer and provides expert legal advice to the Attorney-General and the Crown.

Mr Del Villar takes over from Mr Thompson, who has decided to retire from the role having completed a three-year term of distinguished service.

“Mr Thompson performed his duties to the State with the professionalism and skill that befits the position, and we wish him well for the future,” Minister Fentiman said.

“Mr Thompson provided sound, expert advice to the Queensland Government in an unprecedent period marked by the COVID-19 pandemic and the start of the Human Rights Act 2019.

“He appeared in numerous significant matters in both the High Court and intermediate Courts of Appeal and retires with the many thanks of the State,” she said.

Mr Del Villar commences his position as Solicitor-General on 25 July.

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