6-8 William Street, Nambour, Sunshine Coast

The Butler McDermott Story

In 2013, the Sunshine Coast law firm of Butler McDermott Lawyers marked one hundred years of continuous service to the Nambour and wider Sunshine Coast area of Queensland. Making Butler McDermott Lawyers one of the oldest (if not the oldest) legal firms on the Sunshine Coast.

Although there have been changes to the firm’s name over the years as new partners have come and gone, the firm can trace the progression from partner to partner since 1913.

The Early Years

In the early 1900’s Nambour residents were required to use the services of Brisbane legal firms even if they were requiring simple legal services such as conveyancing, will or estate matters. Brisbane law firms advertised their legal services in the Nambour Chronicle, the local newspaper for the Sunshine Coast District.

Brisbane Legal firm McCowan and Lightoller would visit Nambour once a week and sometime in 1913 established a permanent legal services office in Nambour with resident law clerk Arthur Bushnell.

Nambour was the commercial and business centre of the region in the first six decades of the twentieth century before the developers really put the beach areas on the tourist map, so district farmers and small business owners from the wider Sunshine Coast district would travel to Nambour to collect supplies and transact business, thereby providing the local legal firms with business.

The Present

By 1972, John Butler, Stafford McDermott and Terrence Egan were all legal partners of the law firm traded under the name Butler, McDermott & Egan and the firm provided its services from 66 Howard Street in Nambour.

In 1977, Peter Boyce became a Partner of the legal firm and was joined in 1981 by Alan Clark. John Butler retired in 1988 and was replaced in the partnership by Geoff Brown.

In 1997, Geoff Brown and Stafford McDermott retired from the partnership and Terrence Egan soon followed in 1998. However, the law firm kept the name Butler, McDermott & Egan.

In 1999, Butler, McDermott & Egan welcomed its first female partner with Simone Pearce joining the firm. In 2005, Geoffrey Barr joined the legal firm as a partner.

In 2008 the firm established a purpose built legal office at 6-8 William Street in Nambour and changed its name to its current incarnation of Butler McDermott Lawyers.

The firm saw Alan Clark, Geoff Barr, Simone Pearce and Adam Barrell retire from the firm between 2008 and 2014.

Today, Al Upton and Brent King are directors of the firm, with Peter Boyce remaining as a consultant.

Whilst all efforts have been made to ensure this historical information is correct and accurate please do not hesitate to contact our Sunshine Coast law firm to let us know if you are aware of any inaccuracies.

Simone Faunt


Peter Boyce


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


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


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.