Navigating the path of career progression is the ultimate challenge for women who aspire to senior roles in the legal profession.

Join us for an invigorating discussion about this journey, with a panel of vibrant women who have successfully navigated their own pathways and now look to share their experience and advice with UQ students.

Women in Law is an annual event organised by the UQ Law School and generously sponsored and supported by Herbert Smith Freehills.

This is an in-person event. Limited tickets are available. Please arrive at 5.30 for a 6pm start. Registrations are essential.

Register now

About the speakers

Master of Ceremonies

profile photo of Kathryn PaceyKathryn Pacey | Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

Kathryn is a partner in the Environment, Planning and Communities team, who specialises in approvals and delivery for major infrastructure projects, environmental incident management, regulatory development, environmental issues for transactions and planning and environment litigation. Kathryn is recognised as a leading lawyer across environment, planning, climate change, natural resources, government practice and project development. She is profiled in Chambers & Global, Asia Pacific Legal 500, Best Lawyers (2014-2021), IFLR 1000, Doyles (in the preeminent category) and was named Planning and Environment Partner of the Year 2021 by Lawyers Weekly.


Profile photo of The Honourable Justice Frances WilliamsThe Honourable Justice Frances Williams

The Honourable Justice Williams is a graduate of The University of Queensland—Bachelor of Arts (1990) and Bachelor of Laws (Honours I) (1994) and was awarded a University Medal (1994). Her Honour was awarded Sir Robert Menzies Memorial Scholarship in Law (1996) and is a graduate of the University of Cambridge—Master of Law (Hons) (1997), receiving the Sir Clive Parry Prize in International Law.

In 1992 and 1993, her Honour served as Associate to the late Justice Richard Cooper of the Federal Court of Australia. In 1994 Justice Williams completed a period as an articled clerk at Clayton Utz and was admitted as a solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in December 1994.

Following completion of her studies at the University of Cambridge, her Honour served for a period as the Associate to Justice Susan Kiefel of the Federal Court of Australia (now Chief Justice of the High Court of Australia). Justice Williams was a solicitor in Queensland for over 25 years prior to her appointment to the Supreme Court. This included time as a solicitor at Clayton Utz, a solicitor and senior associate at Mallesons Stephen Jaques (the predecessor to King & Wood Mallesons) and as a senior associate, special counsel and then partner at Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

During her time as a solicitor, Justice Williams served on a number of committees including the Queensland Law Society Litigation Rules Committee and the Law Council BLS Competition and Consumer Committee (Brisbane Deputy Chair). Her Honour also previously served as a Member of the Board of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. Justice Williams was appointed a judge of the Supreme Court of Queensland in February 2020.

Jodie Wooldridge QC

Profile photo of Jodie Wooldridge QCJodie commenced working with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) in a paralegal role in January of 2000 while completing a Bachelor of Laws at the University of Queensland, from which she graduated with Honours in 2003. Jodie also completed the Bar Practice Course through the Queensland University of Technology in 2003, and was a recipient of the James Archibald Douglas Prize for the course.

Jodie was admitted as Counsel in September 2003. Since that time she has practiced throughout Queensland, including in the roles of Principal Crown Prosecutor of the Beenleigh Chambers and the Cairns Chambers of the ODPP, as well as working for a time in the Northern Territory. Jodie has appeared as lead Counsel for the Crown in matters before the Queensland Court of Appeal and the High Court of Australia. In recent years, since her appointment as a Consultant Crown Prosecutor with the ODPP, Jodie has been appointed to act for periods of time in the roles of Director and Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions (Qld).

In 2019 Jodie was the Prosecutor appointed to the Special Joint Taskforce into Fraudulent Sub-Contractor Non-Payment in the Construction Industry.

On 26 November 2020, His Excellency the Governor, acting on the advice of the Executive Council, appointed Jodie as one of her Majesty’s Counsel (Queen’s Counsel).

Jodie is presently the Acting Work Health and Safety Prosecutor for Queensland.

profile photo of Natalie BryceNatalie Bryce | Partner, Herbert Smith Freehills

Natalie is a Corporate and Mergers & Acquisitions partner with particular expertise in healthcare, aged care and advisory and transactional work for government clients. Natalie is Herbert Smith Freehills’ Sector Lead Partner for Healthcare.

Natalie joined Herbert Smith Freehills in 2001. She worked in our Sydney and Melbourne offices before relocating to Brisbane in 2007.

Natalie’s ability to manage large transactions, as well as her deep sector expertise and clear communication style. In addition to M&A, Natalie has a significant Government advisory practice, including undertaking reviews of legislation, scoping studies and strategic reviews. She brings a solutions-focused, commercial approach to both her transactional and advisory work.

Natalie has extensive experience running private M&A transactions across a variety of industries. In the healthcare sector, Natalie has experience across the gamut of the industry including public and private hospitals, medical centres, pathology, diagnostic imaging, cancer care, IVF, residential care, hearing services, home care, health data analytics and private health insurance.

Profile photo of Associate Professor Justine Bell-JamesAssociate Professor Justine Bell-James | Associate Professor, UQ School of Law

Justine Bell-James is an Associate Professor at the TC Beirne School of Law with expertise in environmental and climate change law and climate change litigation. She holds a PhD from QUT (2010) and was a postdoctoral research fellow at UQ's Global Change Institute from 2011 to 2013. Justine's research focuses on legal mechanisms for protection of the coast under climate change, incorporating both human settlements and coastal ecosystems. She currently leads an ARC Discovery Project (2019-2022) considering how coastal wetland ecosystem services can be integrated into legal frameworks. Justine is also an expert on legal mechanisms to facilitate blue carbon projects in Australia and internationally, and she was involved with the development of a blue carbon methodology under Australia's Emissions Reduction Fund. Justine's work is highly interdisciplinary and she is an affiliated researcher with UQ's Centre for Biodiversity and Conservation Science. Her recent collaborations and consultancies have involved colleagues from science, industry, NGOs, government and legal practice.

Justine also has expertise in climate change litigation, and her work on opportunities for litigation under Queensland's Human Rights Act 2019 has underpinned the first test case in this area.

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