Principal, BA, LLB (Hons)
Susan Moriarty, in her role as political advisor to the then Queensland Attorney-General, was responsible for sponsoring and promoting Queensland’s first civil rights legislation including Freedom of Information, Judicial Review, Street Marching, Anti-Discrimination and Penalties and Sentences laws.
In 1993, she was appointed as a policy analyst to the Freedom of Information and Administrative Law Division. In 1996, she was appointed Principal Legal Adviser to the Queensland Anti-Discrimination Commissioner, Karen Walters.
In February 1998, she was promoted to Executive Manager, Human Rights and Administrative Law where she administered the Criminal Injury Compensation Scheme on behalf of government.
In May 1999, she left the department to set up her own law firm specialising in workplace bullying in the Queensland public sector. Since then she has worked tirelessly for the rights of her clients.
Susan Moriarty is a well-respected, highly successful senior lawyer specialising in the employment, human rights, anti-discrimination and industrial spheres of law. She has over 20 years’ experience and remains very passionate about securing the best possible outcome for her clients.
Susan’s personal aim is to help her clients reach a timely resolution, allowing them to deal effectively with a difficult and emotional situation and move on to better times.
Acting Principal, BA(Hons) (First Class), LLB
Lyle Beaton is a senior employment lawyer with over 20 years’ experience in employment law and human rights law. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts, First Class Honours in History in 1995, and then in 1997 with a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Queensland. He previously worked for SMA from 2011 – 2015, progressing from Senior Lawyer to Senior Associate (2IC), but left the firm to pursue his other great interest in freelance sports journalism. Lyle was persuaded to return to legal practice when he was offered a position as Partner with a dynamic employment law consultancy firm based in Brisbane.
Lyle has acted for clients in diverse areas in his 20 year professional career, including construction, mining, retail industries, medical, academia, transport, law, politics, banking, IT, small business, and aged care. He has substantial experience as a litigator and advisor. His career spans all areas of employment law, including workplace bullying, contracts, redundancy, restraint of trade, discrimination (all types), sexual harassment, unfair dismissal, and worker’s compensation.
Lyle also has extensive experience in various employment and human rights jurisdictions, including the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, State and Federal Human Rights Commissions, all aspects of the federal jurisdiction regarding workplace law, Fair Work Commission, the Queensland Industrial Relations Commission and Court, and the black-letter law courts, Magistrates Court, District Court, and Supreme Court.
He has extensive knowledge in drafting and settling pleadings and affidavits, as well as regular appearances across all areas of employment law and all jurisdictions in relation to First Court Dates, Mentions, callovers, conciliations, mediations and interlocutory applications.
Outside of work, Lyle’s interests include sports (football, golf, and fishing), reading, music, art, travel, wine, food, and writing.
Special Counsel, MSt (IHRL) (Oxford) (Dist. 1) LLB (Hons 1, university medal) (SCU), GDip Leg Prac (ANU), BA (Hist. & Env Ethics) (Murdoch), Dip (Counselling) (Sophia College)
Benedict Coyne is a specialist human rights lawyer and advocate based in Brisbane. He is Special Counsel at Susan Moriarty & Associates and he specialises in Discrimination, Employment and Human Rights Law. Benedict is the immediate past national president of Australian Lawyers for Human Rights (ALHR) where he served for two years between 2016-2018. ALHR is a national network of Australian solicitors, barristers, academics, judicial officers and law students who practise and promote international human rights law in Australia.
In 2016 Benedict graduated with distinction from a Master of Studies in International Human Rights Law at the University of Oxford. As part of his Masters dissertation Benedict established and co-led the campaign for a Queensland Human Rights Act which after more than four years of campaigning achieved the passage of the Human Rights Act 2019 (Qld). In 2009, Benedict completed his graduate law degree (LLB) at Southern Cross University and was awarded the university medal and numerous other awards for outstanding academic achievement. In 2011 Benedict as Associate to Justice Mordy Bromberg on the Federal Court of Australia in Melbourne and had great exposure to employment law and human rights litigation including the famous Eatock v Bolt class action case (Eatock v Bolt  FCA 1103) concerning the application of section 18C of the Racial Discrimination Act 1975 (Cth) and Benedict assisted in drafting the now seminal RDA judgment.
Benedict is a passionate advocate for human rights both domestically and internationally and has received numerous awards for his work, including the Australian Lawyers Alliance/Amnesty International 2014 National Emerging Lawyer of the Year Award and the 2015 Queensland Civil Justice Award. Benedict was previously employed as Executive Counsel and a solicitors at a prominent Queensland law firm and National Law Firm where he ran wide, varied, innovative human rights litigation and advocacy. Benedict is passionate about obtaining the best outcomes for his client’s and ensuring they are well supported during challenging and complex litigation process. Benedict has successfully provided legal representation, advice and advocacy to clients from diverse backgrounds regarding a wide array of human rights and environmental issues throughout Australia and internationally. In 2018-2019 Benedict was a candidate 2019 federal election in the division of Dickson, running against Minister for Home Affairs, Peter Dutton, which became known as the battle between Human rights Lawyers versus Human Rights Destroyer.
Recently, Benedict succeeded in a(nother) David v Goliath battle in a QCAT matter heard in the District Court of Queensland where he acted for a health professional against the Australian Health Practitioner Regulation Agency (AHPRA). During his legal career, Benedict has run numerous public interest test cases in the High Court for refugees/asylum seekers, often litigates in high profile human rights cases to protect rights of children, the rights of people with disability and the rights of Indigenous peoples (e.g. deaths in custody inquests and racial discrimination claims). Other examples of cases he runs includes:
- Adrian Burragubba and the Wangan & Jagalingou Peoples against Adani Mining Pty Ltd;
- Dylan Voller and Ruby Wharton for their arrests for protesting the 2018 Commonwealth/Stolenwealth Games;
- Various employment, bullying & sexual harassment complaints for a wide array of employees from company executives to Queensland Police Officers, pharmacists, doctors, architects, Senior Media Advisors, school teachers, university lecturers, university students and many, many more;
- Racial discrimination cases against Channel 7 Sunrise and Google, Facebook and Apple;
- Landholders affected by the CSG industry;
- People on death row internationally;
- People fighting judicial corruption overseas;
- People advocating against mass environmental toxic contamination;
- Representing victims/survivors of institutional child sexual abuse;
Benedict is a co-founder of the international business and human rights consulting group “Synceritas” (co-founded with a number of his Oxford colleagues) and he has worked from time-to-time as a business and human rights consultant. Benedict was previously on the Policy Advisory Committee for the Grata Fund (Public Interest Litigation Fund) and also on the Advisory Panel of Digital Rights Watch. He is a former board member and volunteer for the Australian Earth Laws Alliance (AELA) and appeared as an advocate for Queensland landholders in the International Permanent Peoples’ Tribunal on Human Rights, Fracking and Climate Change.
Benedict is an award-winning slam poet and enjoys writing and playing and recording music. He is a passionate historian and previously completed a BA (History, Environmental Ethics) at Murdoch University (WA) and has also completed a Diploma in Holistic Counselling at Sophia College of Counselling. He also enjoys writing poetry, parenting his 10 year old daughter Isabella and new baby daughter Maya, as well as cycling, MTB, surfing, yoga, and reading!
Solicitor, LLB (Hons)/B.Int Rel, GradDipLP
Sharna Quigley commenced with the firm in October 2020. She is passionate about providing comprehensive, practical advice and vigorously representing her clients interests. She prides herself on being down-to-earth and approachable.
In 2011 Sharna graduated from Griffith University with degrees in Law and International Relations. During her university studies she excelled in mooting competitions at a National level.
Admitted in 2016 to the Supreme Court of Queensland, Sharna worked for Queensland Positive People (QPP) prior to practicing law. In her role as Case Manager and Advocate, she supported people living with HIV to navigate complex health and social needs. She represented clients in discrimination complaints and assisted clients through the criminal justice system. Sharna also advocated for systemic legal reforms to promote a human rights based approach to healthcare and to ensure government accountability in the use of coercive public health orders. Her experience at QPP provided Sharna with a fundamental understanding of how stigma and discrimination can impact people’s health and well-being.
Sharna previously worked as a lawyer at Legal Aid Queensland in Civil Justice Services, primarily practicing in Employment and Discrimination Law. She is skilled at providing timely complex legal advice across a range of workplace issues in an accessible and empathetic manner. She has broad experience in employment and discrimination law including unfair dismissal, general protections, sham contracting, sexual harassment, State & Commonwealth discrimination actions, anti-bullying, employment contracts, underpayments, stand-downs and the impacts of COVID-19 on workers.
She has appeared at hearings and mediations in the Federal Circuit Court, the Fair Work Commission and the Queensland Human Rights Commission, securing successful outcomes for clients. Sharna’s commitment to access to justice has led her to volunteer with community legal centres, including Salvos Legal Humanitarian Asylum Seeker Clinic, the LGBTI Legal Service and the Prisoners Legal Service.
Outside of work, Sharna’s personal interests include watching F1 racing, hiking, listening to podcasts and indulging in the Brisbane music scene.