New Director appointed to Legal Services CommissionThe Chairman of the Legal Services Commission Deej Eszenyi has today announced that Gabrielle Canny has been appointed as the new Director of the Legal Services Commission of South Australia.
A graduate of the University of Adelaide, Gabrielle has worked extensively throughout Australia and overseas. She has worked at the Legal Services Commission for 11 years, including the last three as Deputy Director.
“Having worked for legal aid commissions in SA, WA and the ACT as well as in private practice, I have the unique perspective of having seen both sides of the legal aid equation - as the provider of an assignment of legal aid as well as acting for clients in receipt of a grant of aid,” Gabrielle said.
“I am excited to be able to provide leadership to an organisation that is not only an essential component of South Australia’s legal framework but also plays such an important part in the lives of hundreds of thousands in the community.”
The Legal Services Commission runs the largest legal practice in South Australia, with 39 criminal lawyers, 25 family lawyers who work on cases with in-house grants of legal aid and 42 lawyers in the Access Services Division who provide legal advice and specialist legal education.
Legal aid provides not only legal representation for clients who cannot pay for their own legal expenses but also legal information, advice and education, delivering more than 100,000 free legal information and advice services last financial year.
“With this appointment, the Commission is embarking upon a period of change and a fresh perspective required to respond to recommendations expected from the current review of State funded legal aid services in South Australia and the Commonwealth Government national review of legal assistance services across Australia,” said Chairman Deej Eszenyi.
"Gabrielle brings a unique combination of management and legal practice skills that are very hard to find in a lawyer and it is particularly pleasing that we were able to find those skills here in South Australia.”
Gabrielle’s appointment is one of a host of recent appointments in the justice sector including Chief Justice Chris Kourakis, Commissioner of Police Gary Burns, Attorney-General’s Department CEO Rick Persse and Director of Public Prosecutions Adam Kimber.
The previous Director, Hamish Gilmore, retired at the end of July this year after being in the role for 13 years.