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 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 is a member of the Queensland Law Society’s (QLS) Domestic Violence Committee. She is also an active member of the Women Lawyers Association of Queensland. 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.

Rachel is recently married to Ned. In her downtime she enjoys spending time with her Golden Retriever Tilly, trying out new restaurants and going to F45.

Recent articles by Rachel

Changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act August 2023

Changes to the Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act August 2023

On 1 August 2023, significant changes were made to domestic and family violence protection laws in Queensland in response to the Hear Her Voice recommendations. Amongst other changes, the amendments import “a pattern of behaviour” into the definition of domestic violence, to encompass behaviour that occurs over a period of time or via a series of acts.
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Costs in Domestic Violence Protection Order matters

Costs in domestic violence protection order matters

The Domestic and Family Violence Protection Act (Qld) states that parties must bear their own costs associated with Domestic Violence Protection Order applications, however, there is an exception.
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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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