Luke Geary is a Solicitor and Barrister of the Supreme Court of NSW and of the High Court of Australia. Luke is also a registered migration agent. Luke holds Bachelors degrees in arts and laws, and a Masters degree in law.
Until 24 December 2009, Luke was the youngest partner in more than 120 years at a national law firm in Australia, practising in litigation in the building and construction industry with a specific focus on acting for insurers and government organisations, as well as in trust and general commercial litigation in the Supreme Court of NSW Equity Division.
Christmas Eve, 2009, was Luke’s last day as a partner of a commercial law firm, as he resigned his partnership to follow a calling to work for The Salvation Army. But it wasn’t such a new concept, as in August 2005 Luke founded a free law firm known as ‘Courtyard Legal’ through The Salvation Army at Auburn, NSW. In March 2008, Luke opened a second firm for Courtyard Legal at The Salvation Army, Parramatta.
Since August 2005, Courtyard Legal has had approximately 60 volunteer Solicitors, Barristers, Paralegals (consisting of both University Graduates and current students) and other assistants.
For nearly 5 years, Luke and his team have advised and represented people who can't afford a lawyer on matters usually involving criminal law, family law, debt, housing, welfare and Children's Court matters (both crime and care applications). There is also a significant African and Middle Eastern presence at Auburn and Parramatta, many of whom seek Luke’s advice and assistance (including representation in the Refugee Review Tribunal and the Federal Court) on Migration and Refugee matters.
Courtyard Legal exists as the law firm for the poor and marginalised of society.
Luke is currently working with Samaritan Accommodation, which is The Salvation Army’s trafficked women’s refuge, in Sydney NSW. Luke has commenced a civil prosecution for damages before the Industrial Relations Commission of NSW on behalf of a trafficked woman against her former captors, for damages arising from several years of domestic servitude. This and other cases that Luke is currently looking at running with Samaritan Accommodation are landmark cases in the field of civil litigation for trafficked persons; obtaining justice for the victims and empowering them to re-commence their lives.
Luke remains a current appointee to the NSW Legal Aid Commission panels for both Criminal and Family law.
Since 2005, Courtyard Legal has advised in relation to over 800 matters. Full-time legal representation has been provided by Luke personally in more than 300 cases for free since 2005 and a successful outcome has been achieved in more than 97% of those cases. A full set of statistics (current to December2009) are available on the Courtyard Legal website (www.salvos.org.au/courtyardlegal).
Luke is employed as General Counsel to The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory and has commenced the roll out of Courtyard Legal throughout that Territory, with a view to expanding the Courtyard Legal (soon to be know as Salvos Legal) model into other territories.