side-history-portraitOn July 1st 1895, Fred C MacNish, formerly a Managing Clerk with a Townsville firm, set up his own legal practice in Mackay. Those first premises were shared with the Australian Stock Bank in Wood Street and the practice was named Fred C MacNish. Today, it’s a council laneway.


In 1904, Fred MacNish was joined by Vince Macrossan.

Vince Macrossan came from one of the most respected legal families in Queensland. He had 2 brothers, Hugh and Neale who were Chief Justices of Queensland. His son John Murtagh Macrossan was Chief Justice of Queensland until his retirement in 1998.

A short time later, Fred MacNish & Vince Macrossan moved into new premises on the site of what was the Capitol Cafe in Sydney Street.

In 1906, Fred MacNish left the firm.


In June 1919, the Peace Treaty was signed at Versailles and many young Australians began returning home. One of them, Bill Amiet, joined Vince Macrossan and on 22 May 1920 the firms name was changed to what it is today, Macrossan & Amiet.

Bill Amiet was a man of many talents. A respected scholar, poet, linguist and astronomer, he served as an intelligence officer in both wars. He is remembered fondly by local ethnic groups for his support during the dark days of World War II when the Italian community, especially, was under tremendous pressure.

The WA Amiet Library at the James Cook University (Mackay) is named after him and Macrossan and Amiet has, over the years, contributed substantially to those buildings.


Vince Macrossan (after whom Macrossan Street is named) left the partnership in the early 20s, and relocated to Brisbane. Bill Amiet’s brother John Stanley Amiet joined the firm. However, he contracted Rheumatoid Arthritis and ceased active practice in 1929.

During the 20s, Macrossan & Amiet moved premises from the Capitol Cafe site in Sydney Street to new offices above Carrolls Newsagency in Victoria Street.


In 1943, one of Bill Amiet’s nephews, John Carroll, completed his schooling at St Patrick’s College Mackay and was accepted as an Articled Clerk at Macrossan & Amiet. He was admitted as a Solicitor on 29 June 1948 and became a Partner in 1949, continuing in that role until 31 March 1992. The benefit of John Carroll’s experience was not lost however as he was retained as a consultant until his death on 19 February 2000.


Following Bill Amiet’s death in 1959, the late Peter Moore joined Macrossan & Amiet as a Partner.


It was in the year 1960 a young Mackay man named Tony Ghusn commenced working at Macrossan & Amiet as an Articled Clerk. He’d done his schooling at St Patricks College Mackay and St Brendan’s College Yeppoon. Initially employed as an Articled Clerk, Tony Ghusn became a Solicitor on July 1st 1965 and then a Partner on July 1st 1969. He was the Managing Partner at Macrossan & Amiet for many years until his retirement when he was retained as a consultant for the firm.

In 1960, Macrossan & Amiet employed a Townsville Solicitor, Michael White and he became a Partner on the 14th February 1966 (Decimal Currency Day). Mr White continued with the practice until 1985 when he resigned to go to Brisbane to work as an Executive Director of the Queensland Law Society Inc. and later became the Registrar of the Magistrates Court in Brisbane.


In 1970, Jack Kidd was transferred to Mackay to handle the Commonwealth Bank’s involvement in the development of the enormous coal export facility at Hay Point to the south of Mackay.

When an opportunity to enter the legal profession came up through fellow Apexian Tony Ghusn, Jack took it and entered into Articles at Macrossan & Amiet on 1 July 1974. He became a Partner in the firm in July 1981.

On 31 October 1972, Macrossan & Amiet’s service to the Mackay district took a giant leap forward with the opening of new premises at 12 Gregory Street.

Tony Ghusn remembers the date well – he’d had a bet the office wouldn’t be open before November 1st and all staff worked virtually non-stop over the weekend but took a break on Saturday the 29th to listen to Gunsynd win the Cox Plate!

In 1975, Macrossan & Amiet expanded its service to the area by making regular visits to the rapidly expanding Proserpine/Whitsundays district. That service continues with John Formosa in the Proserpine office on Tuesdays and Damian Carroll on Thursdays.

In 1976, Mr John Carroll’s son, Patrick returned home from 4 years at university to take up a position as an articled clerk at Macrossan & Amiet. Very much a local, Pat Carroll was educated at St.Patrick’s College Mackay. He became a Partner in the firm on 1 July 1979.

On 31 March 1977, Peter Moore resigned from the firm and was replaced by a Brisbane solicitor, Gene Paterson. A Western Queenslander, Gene had attended St Brendan’s College at Yeppoon before going to university in Brisbane. He was then accepted by Brisbane solicitors Power and Power as an articled clerk and went on to become a practising solicitor with that firm.

Before going overseas for a holiday in 1977, Gene came to Mackay to visit old school friends. He was offered a position at Macrossan & Amiet and has been with the firm ever since. He became a partner on the same day as Pat Carroll, 1 July 1979 – and never took that overseas holiday.

1979 was the year John Formosa joined Macrossan & Amiet as an articled clerk. John studied externally with Queensland Institute of Technology to obtain his law degree and was admitted as a solicitor in February 1985.


No relation to the other Carroll’s in the company, Damian Carroll joined Macrossan & Amiet as an employed solicitor in September 1985. He gained his degree at the Queensland Institute of Technology (now Queensland University of Technology) and was articled with two Brisbane firms before becoming a solicitor in December 1984. In 1985, Damian Carroll successfully applied for a position advertised at Macrossan & Amiet following the resignation of Mr Michael White.

Damian Carroll and John Formosa became Partners in the firm on the same day – 1 July 1989.


Darren Sekac commenced employment with the firm on 6 July 1992, after relocating from Melbourne, where he had completed his Bachelor of Laws and Bachelor of Commerce at the University of Melbourne. Darren became a Partner of the firm on 1 July 1998. In late 1998 he was accredited by the Queensland Law Society as Specialist in Personal Injuries Law.

On 4 July 1994, David O’Connell joined the firm as an employed Solicitor having being admitted in 1991.  David’s practical experience was enhanced by his university studies which in addition to his law degree, included a Graduate Diploma of Taxation Law and a Master of Business Administration.

On 15 January 1996 Stuart Naylor joined the firm following the completion of a Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Law Degree at the James Cook University

Jack Kidd left the partnership to pursue other interests in 1998.


On 31 July, 2000, Gene Paterson became Managing Partner at Macrossan & Amiet.

On 1 July 2002 David O’Connell became a Partner.

On 1 August 2004 the firm expanded by acquiring Andrew Telford’s Airlie Beach based practice, Telford Lawyers. Andrew Telford joined the firm as a Partner and currently manages the Airlie Beach office. Andrew has been a solicitor since 1991 after gaining his Bachelor of Law Degree.

Stuart Naylor also became a Partner of the firm on 1 August 2004.

With the addition of Andrew and Stuart as Partners, Macrossan & Amiet had 8 Partners for the first time in the firm’s history.


On 10 August 2012 David O’Connell left the firm to take up appointment as a Magistrate in the role of Central Coroner.

On the same day in June 2015, Gene Paterson became the firms Senior Director and Stuart Naylor was appointed the firm’s Managing Director.


On 24 March 2017, Macrossan & Amiet acquired Proserpine law practice, RJ Taylor Law, following the semi-retirement of long-term Solicitor, Joe Taylor.  Mr Taylor continued to work two days a week as a consultant at the Proserpine office.

Commencing Monday 27 March 2017, Macrossan and Amiet commenced operation from RJ Taylor Law’s office at 15 Chapman St, subsequently closing their existing Main St office.

On 1 July 2017, Paul Formosa & Caitlin Roberts became part owners of the firm.

Paul, the son of long term Principal John Formosa, joins Pat Carroll as a second-generation owner in the business which is a testament to the firms approach to business and its employees and shows it is a family at its core.  Paul commenced his traineeship with the firm in December 2010.

Caitlin has the unique status of being the first female owner in Macrossan & Amiet’s long history and the firm is extremely proud to have her come on board as an owner.  Caitlin commenced with Macrossan & Amiet in October 2013.


On Friday 28 June 2019, after 34 years with the Firm, Damian Carroll retired from practising law to develop his small grazing enterprise.

With Damian’s retirement, the firm appointed three new Directors in Samantha Sticklan, Paul Formosa and Caitlin Roberts.

Samantha came to the firm in February 2018, having previously been employed by another local practice for 14 years, during which time she was successful in obtaining recognition as an Accredited Family Law Specialist by the Qld Law Society.


On 1 July 2021 after 42 years as directors, Gene Paterson and Pat Carroll took a step towards retirement stepping down as directors into a Consultants role.  Both Gene & Pat continue to work full-time as lawyers.

At the same time, the firms senior criminal lawyer, Steven Hayles, became a part owner of the firm.

At the end 2021, Pat Carroll retired from the firm.

2022 saw more changes in directors.  John Formosa after 43 years with the firm, 33 years as director, stepped down as a director into a consultant role.  John continued to work part-time as a lawyer at the firm until late December 2022 when he retired.  Darren Sekac resigned from the firm after 30 years, 24 of those as a director, having worked the last few years remotely from the Gold Coast and travelling back regularly to meet with clients.

Long Serving Employees

Macrossan & Amiet has always been proud of the loyalty of its staff, none more so than Mrs Gladys Ruddell who commenced working with Bill Amiet in 1921. When she died in 1976, Mrs Ruddell was still an employee of Macrossan & Amiet.

Other long-term employees include the late Jack Crowley, a Managing Clerk who started with the firm in the 1920s and left in 1969.

The late Colin Grant left Macrossan & Amiet in 1987 after over 50 years of service. A highly respected local identity, Colin was Secretary of the Mackay Rugby League for many years.

The late Desley Brown was in her 32nd year of service at the time of her passing on 23 April 2006.  Desley started with the firm on 3 December 1973.

Patrick Carroll, a Director retired from the firm after 46 years in December 2021.

Current serving employees who have attained 40 years of service include, Barbara Kallio, a Paralegal who commenced employment on 1 December 1975.  In March 2017, Gene Paterson as Senior Director achieved his 40 year milestone.  Carmel Podosky also a Paralegal commenced employment on 2 December 1979 completed 40 years of service in December 2019.

Call (07) 4944 2000