Anthony Phillip Francis Ghusn, or as he is known to his friends and former clients “Tony” was a solicitor with Macrossan & Amiet Solicitors for 40 years until he retired as Managing Partner in 2000.
Many longstanding clients when they attend at our office, ask about Tony and speak of the legal adventures that they had with him.
Tony has recently celebrated his 76th birthday. He now resides on the Gold Coast with his wife Anne who has always provided Tony with great support during his working life and now in retirement. He spends his time in retirement playing bridge and enjoying the company of their family, especially their children, Michael, Marianna and Phillip and their grandchildren who live nearby.
Tony and Anne’s remaining children are Catherine (who lives in New York) and Mark, who is also a solicitor (who lives in Sydney and works for AMP).
Tony commenced working with Macrossan & Amiet in 1960 as a clerk articled to John Carroll and he was admitted as a Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Queensland in 1965. At this time Macrossan & Amiet’s operation was located in Victoria Street above Carroll’s Newsagency.
Tony became a partner of Macrossan & Amiet when the business was operated by John Carroll, Peter Moore and Michael White. Tony was involved in the expansion of Macrossan & Amiet into its own building in Gregory Street (next to St Patrick’s College) and the acquisition of the firm’s current premises at 55 Gordon Street.
Tony was well regarded as a fierce advocate for his clients. He was never one to back down from a fight. He was renowned for the content of letters sent to opposing solicitors, bank managers and government officials.
At one time he wrote to the National Australia Bank and suggested that their local manager be transferred to the National Bank at Oodnadatta and be placed in charge of licking stamps!
He enjoyed battling with banks. At a point in time the ANZ Bank Manager in Mackay indicated that the bank would not accept Trust account cheques from legal firms at settlements. Tony regarded this as an affront to Solicitors.
Tony paid them in cash for a period. He arranged with Macrossan & Amiet’s bank to provide all the mutilated notes that they could find and would deliver these to pay for the transaction that was being settled at the bank. John Formosa, who was then an Articled Clerk, attended the firm’s last cash settlement with $240,000.00 in one dollar notes in a suitcase.
Prior to the firm moving to 55 Gordon Street, Tony smoked a pipe at work and on occasion when throwing his match over his shoulder into the rubbish bin, started fires in the office. With John Carroll, who was the senior partner, smoking Cuban cigars and Tony Ghusn puffing on his pipe, it was difficult at times to tell whether the office was on fire or not.
Tony enjoyed a joke and was known for playing pranks on clients, solicitors and accountants who were friends as well as opponents. As a prank he drafted a letter to Centrelink for a client’s consideration asking what concessions could be obtained if she was running a brothel. The letter was inadvertently sent to Centrelink, where the local Manager who knew Tony, sent a reply setting out the concessions.
Tony was the senior partner and managing partner of Macrossan & Amiet for many years and was a driving force behind the development of the firm. He was also the driving force behind the firm moving from its Victoria Street rented premises to its own premises in Gregory Street in 1975, and then to our existing premises in Gordon Street in 1995.
Tony was a long-time director and deputy chairman of the then Pioneer Permanent Building Society and he, with the other directors, were successful in, firstly the floating of Pioneer Permanent from a members mutual to a publicly listed company, and then the subsequent sale to the Bank of Queensland.
One of Tony’s long-time friends (in fact they went to St Brendan’s College together) and client, David Denny, has the following to say about Tony:-
It is with pleasure I pen a few words about my lifetime friend and business associate Anthony Philip Francis Ghusn.
Over a long period of time Tony, more so than any other confidante, positively assisted my business life. We had many great wins together and these wins were always celebrated appropriately.
If the writer had to pick one of Tony’s outstanding attributes it would be relatively easy. Simply put, “no matter how complex any situation appeared Tony had the unique ability to understand, distil and articulate both the problem and the solution in very quick time”.
One of a kind. Never to be repeated.
Although Tony resigned as a partner on 30 June 2000, he remained on as a consultant for the firm for some years afterwards.
Although Tony has not been enjoying good health in recent times he still has a remarkable memory, has never lost his quick wit, and he certainly enjoys reminiscing about the old days at Macrossan & Amiet and Mackay.
John Formosa and his wife, Kate, recently had the pleasure of visiting Tony and Anne at their Robina home on the Gold Coast and the below photographs were taken on this visit.
We wish Tony and Anne all the best for the future.