Rachel Tierney

Senior Associate

Rachel joined Gilshenan & Luton in 2017 after working at a regional law firm for a number of years as the firm’s criminal law solicitor. Prior to that she worked as a Judge’s Associate and interned at the Crime and Corruption Commission, Legal Aid Queensland and Department of Communities (Child Safety Services).

Rachel has extensive complex trial experience and defends clients in a diverse range of matters with particular expertise in:

  • violent assault matters including domestic violence-related matters;
  • traffic offences, from drink driving to dangerous operation of a motor vehicle offences and all matters in between;
  • sexual offences, including historical, institutional sexual abuse matters;
  • drug-related offences, including serious drug offences in the higher courts; and
  • misconduct related charges brought against members of the public service.

Aside from her criminal law work, Rachel represents clients in child protection matters, disciplinary matters (including QCAT hearings) and coronial inquests. She also has carriage of prosecutions for regulatory agencies. She also regularly assists victims and witnesses to navigate the criminal justice system.

Rachel has considerable experience in domestic violence matters where she is well placed to assist clients in both bringing domestic violence applications for their protection, and defending against them. Appreciating these different perspectives enables Rachel to achieve excellent, sometimes creative, outcomes for her clients. Being a criminal lawyer is particularly valuable in these matters, as Rachel seamlessly assists clients with their linked criminal charges (or complaints), such as contravention of domestic violence order offences.

Rachel prides herself on her ability to communicate with her clients in a measured, compassionate manner so her clients feel as calm and comfortable as possible. 

Rachel has been a presenter in legal seminars and panels in respect of criminal law, including the Ethical Conundrums Panel at the 2019 International Society for the Reform of Criminal Law. She is also an active member of the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland.

In her downtime, Rachel is planning her upcoming wedding to Ned and enjoys spending time with their new puppy Tilly, trying out new restaurants and going to F45.

Recent articles by Rachel

What is coercive control and is it against the law?

What is coercive control and is it against the law?

In his article, we define coercive control and explore where Australia is in relation to criminal offences and coercive control. Legislation to establish the offence of coercive control is expected to be introduced to Queensland Parliament by the end of 2023.
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What is publicly available in criminal proceedings?

Are criminal charges against a person publicly available?

If you are charged with a criminal offence, what are the chances of those charges, including your name, being made publicly available (including to the media), regardless of the ultimate outcome?
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Criminal court sentencing hearings during COVID-19

COVID-19 and the impact on criminal court sentencing

Procedures and decisions related to sentencing hearings, particularly where defendants are likely to receive a custodial sentence, have seen significant change in light of coronavirus.
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What’s happening with bail applications during COVID-19?

COVID-19 and the impact on bail applications

Applications for bail are usually required where the police have objected to a defendant being granted bail. The current COVID-19 pandemic has seen a change in the way Queensland courts (and indeed courts across the nation and internationally) are addressing bail applications.
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