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George Cowan: Championing the Battlers in Accident Compensation Law

For over three and a half decades, George Cowan has been a steadfast advocate in the field of personal injury and accident compensation law, dedicating his career to representing “the battlers and little guys” against formidable insurance companies. His journey in law began with a unique path, combining external studies through the QUT with completing his articles of clerkship in Rockhampton, an experience that laid a strong foundation for his future endeavours.

Cowan’s work in accident compensation law is fuelled by the challenges the field presents and his unwavering commitment to ensure justice for those often left in the shadows of large, intimidating legal and corporate entities. Throughout his career, Cowan has witnessed significant shifts within the legal landscape, particularly in trial work and the effects of corporate advertisers on the profession.

A notable observation made by Cowan highlights the evolution of trial work within the legal system, where the trend has markedly shifted towards early settlements and resolutions, steering away from court trials. This shift demonstrates the legal ecosystem’s adaptation towards efficiency but also stands as a testament to Cowan’s extensive experience in litigating challenging cases to trial in higher courts, a rarity in today’s legal practices.

Cowan’s career has seen the emergence of national compensation law firms with significant advertising budgets and corresponding costing regimes. In Cowan’s experience, many provincial and regional law firms like Butler McDermott provide outstanding service in this area with fees that are proportionate to the results achieved for their clients.

On the legislative front, Cowan applauds the introduction of measures aimed at consumer protection, such as cost disclosure requirements and capping fees, which serve to mitigate the excesses of national compensation behemoths and ensure fair treatment for injured claimants.

At the heart of Cowan’s practice lies a profound enjoyment in delivering an “old fashioned” service, where seasoned expertise and sensible advice are provided at reasonable costs. This philosophy is deeply ingrained in the ethos of Butler McDermott Lawyers due to its commitment to social justice, its extensive pro bono work, and a billing system that prioritises outcomes over minute-by-minute accounting.

Butler McDermott Lawyers sets itself apart by maintaining a strong community presence, an aspect of professional life Cowan cherishes. The firm’s proactive case management approach, willingness to visit clients in their homes or hospitals, and the philosophy of no time recording or adherence to the billable hour model underscore a dedication to personalised, compassionate legal service.

Cowan boasts recognitions such as being an Accredited Specialist in Personal Injuries Law since 2002 and a consistent mention in Doyle’s Guide for his prowess in personal injury law. His experience encompasses a broad spectrum, from local to international clients, covering virtually every conceivable personal injury case.

For those facing personal injury claims, Cowan stresses the importance of seeking timely, expert legal counsel to avoid common pitfalls and emphasises the “no win no fee” basis of his firm’s services, ensuring that quality legal representation is accessible to all.

As George Cowan reflects on the path the legal field has taken, he remains dedicated to his mission of providing exemplary service to those in need, navigating the complexities of accident compensation law with integrity, expertise, and a deep-rooted belief in justice for the underdog.

Need help with personal injury or accident compensation? Contact George at Butler McDermott Lawyers on (07) 5441 1044 today for a free initial consultation.

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Simone Faunt

Solicitor

Peter Boyce

Consultant

Peter has been practising as a Nambour Solicitor since 1977 and joined Butler McDermott Lawyers the same year.

With over 40 years practicing as a Sunshine Coast lawyer, Peter has extensive knowledge of various facets of law.

He has practised in all areas of litigation and has special interests in:

  • Criminal law
  • Civil and Commercial litigation
  • Retirement Village matters
  • Sports law
  • Resumption of land and compensation claims

 

Peter has specialised knowledge of and experience with resumption matters as a result of the Traveston Dam project, road corridors, Main Roads and water pipeline. He is renowned for his professional approach and is an experienced and determined advocate.

Brent King

Solicitor/Director

Brent works as a litigation lawyer, providing litigation legal advice in relation to both civil and criminal law matters, including:
  • Defamation Claims
  • Contract and Debt Disputes
  • Building and Construction Disputes
  • Planning Matters
  • Criminal Law and Traffic Legal Matters
Having grown up on the Sunshine Coast and joining Butler McDermott after the completion of his studies, Brent appreciates the needs of our clients, and brings a particularly commercial approach to litigation. Brent is a member of the Queensland Law Society and the Sunshine Coast Law Association, and has litigated a wide variety of matters in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts.

Al Upton

Solicitor/Director

After arriving at Butler McDermott Lawyers in 2016, Al quickly progressed to running our Wills and Estates section and has successfully litigated disputes in the Supreme and District Courts of Queensland in the early stages of his career.

In the years that followed Al has now moved to assist our clients with commercial and property matters having achieved positive outcomes in that area as well as general litigation. Al’s experience has him uniquely placed to provide quality advice in the areas of property, commercial, wills and estates and general litigation.

Al is involved in giving back to the community, sitting on the board for the Daniel Morcombe Foundation and Sundale Community Foundation. He otherwise became a director of Butler McDermott Lawyers in November 2021.