Bruce Thomas



Admitted to the Supreme Court of Queensland 1992


Bachelor of Arts

Bachelor of Laws

Graduate Diploma in Legal Practice

Accredited Specialist in Personal Injuries

Founded Firm




Bruce Thomas

‘Ethical. That is the first thing that springs to mind when I think of Bruce Thomas. Second is his unwavering commitment to ensure he gets the best for his client. Third, and by no means lesser than then first two, is his ability as an outstanding negotiator and lawyer. At a mediation, I witnessed Bruce recite 4 years worth of litigation action without a single written note in front of him, and dismiss the opponents counter suggestions with absolute accuracy and rigour. I have no hesitation in recommending Bruce Thomas and BTLawyers.’

– Craig Padoa, CEO Cube Footwear

I started BTLawyers in 2002 because I knew that it was possible for a law firm to offer far better value, service and performance to clients than what I was experiencing from working within a big firm. That has been the firm’s focus, and my personal focus, ever since.

When clients first come to me, they are looking for better ways to manage their litigation risk and contain their costs.  They find that their historical service providers aren’t responsive to their needs and can’t deliver the value that they require.  They need an advisor who will understand their business and partner with them to develop solutions that meet their objectives.

I manage and oversee large scale insurance, workplace, commercial and personal litigation projects for my government and private clients all around Australia.  I am proud that our firm now represents some of Australia’s leading privately and publicly owned businesses in manufacturing, retail, logistics, insurance and health.

After more than 25 years representing employers in insurance and workers’ compensation matters, I can often see risks inherent in my client’s businesses long before they can. My approach to working with clients is to not only help them with the matter at hand, but to look at their risks more holistically and help them to redefine their risk profile and risk management strategies to help prevent incidents and matters arising in the future.

I strongly advocate for out-of-court resolution where possible. But if the best approach for my client, to get the outcome they want, is to litigate, they benefit from my significant negotiation and litigation experience and unsurpassed success in winning at trial.  My clients always tell me that they feel that I have their best interests at heart, that I am in their corner and that I provide a tactical edge unlike any other lawyer they have worked with. As one of our Government clients recently said:

‘You want BTLawyers in your corner. They will work hard for you and they will be able to provide you with advice you can trust.’

A small selection of my trial successes include:

  • WorkCover Queensland v Amaca [2012] QCA 240 – Court of Appeal approval for a novel scheme for assigning a cause of action to support an insurer’s right of recovery.
  • Re Cube Footwear [2012] QSC 398 – successful defence of wind-up application
  • Inghams v Karanfilov [2000] QCA – court upholds statutory scheme abolishing consortium claims
  • WorkCover Queensland v Amaca Pty Ltd and Seltsam Pty Ltd – [2010] HCA 34 – High Court upholds insurer’s right of recovery
  • Cube Footwear v David Landa Stewart – successful strike out claim of advocates immunity by negligent lawyers
  • Beverley v Hill Douglas [1999] HCA 494 ­ – High Court upholds successful defence of claim involving obvious risk
  • Cranston v Consolidated Meat Group [2008] QSC – psychiatric claim for assault by co-worker dismissed
  • Managing a project for recovery by an insurer of over $5M per annum from third party tortfeasors in toxic tort claims.
  • Consulting on proposed legislative amendment following cases testing limits of restrictions on damages
  • Successful defence of workplace health and safety prosecutions, and applications to set aside improvement notices requiring mandatory health testing

If you would like advice on your next matter, book a consultation with Bruce on

‘I’m sure there are a lot of lawyers around with knowledge that is equal to Bruce, but Bruce’s skills are in his knowledge of my industry, and knowing what buttons to push. He is a great negotiator – I haven’t come across anyone with as good a negotiation style.’

– John Dacey, Group Manager, Teys Australia Meat Group Self-Insurance Unit

Awards & Accreditation

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