Founded by Tony Hickey in 1993, the firm has represented virtually every major developer to have done work on the Gold Coast during that time and boasts a global portfolio of clients, including an expanding list of significant Chinese investors.
Led by five owner-partners – Tony Hickey, Mark Lacy, Joe Welch, Simon Chan and Dan Marino – Hickey Lawyers has become the go-to firm for major international investors wanting to do business on the Gold Coast and further afield.
“I have always been a passionate believer in the Gold Coast and from the early days when there was little interest from investors, I went outside Australia to attract them to the region,” said Tony Hickey.
“I’ve always been a promoter of the opportunities represented by the Gold Coast – our climate, our natural beauty, our environment, the fact it is a good place to raise a family, enjoy a lifestyle, have an education, be entertained and, importantly, to do business.
“In the early days, I went to Japan and worked with Japanese investors and throughout the years I’ve worked with investors from Malaysia, Singapore, Europe and today, for obvious reasons, my focus is on the booming Chinese market.”
Tony Hickey said he had assembled a team, incorporating owner-partner Simon Chan, a dedicated Chinese Business Manager and associate lawyer to service Chinese investors doing business across Queensland and New South Wales.
He said Chinese investment would be the driver stimulating the Gold Coast and Queensland economy in the coming years, with Hickey Lawyers already representing major Chinese corporations who have invested in the Gold Coast and throughout Queensland.
“I’ve been on 15 trips to China in the past 12 months alone to meet with major investors that we are acting for,” he said.
“The Council, State and Federal Government have recognised the benefit this investment has to the city, with these groups bringing capital, starting businesses, creating infrastructure and projects and, along the way, giving us jobs and a stable economy.
“They work within the rules and are here because they like the region and its natural beauty, and they want to enhance it.
“We have come through a flat time in the economy and I believe the opportunity for investment is the most exciting it has ever been, with opportunities in tourism, construction, property and education.”
Tony Hickey said the Gold Coast remained a world class tourism region and new projects associated with the Commonwealth Games and Broadwater redevelopment would further help to stamp the city on the world map.
“Hickey Lawyers has expanded with the city over the past two decades and the potential for growth over the next two decades is even more exciting,” he said.
“With Mayor Tom Tate and the Council having a real vision for the future, such as the arts precinct and China Town initiatives, and an open for business attitude, the opportunities here for investors has never been greater.
“It is not about reinventing the Gold Coast, but enhancing the attributes we already possess.”
Tony Hickey was a partner with prominent solicitor Geoff Rapp for 15 years before establishing Hickey Lawyers with a focus on becoming an integral part of the community, by promoting the city internationally and giving back at a grass roots level.
As each of the owner-partners came on board between 2004 and 2010, the firm has expanded its annual program of charitable activities and Mr Hickey said they had ‘relished the opportunity to give back’.
“We are all enormous believers and supporters of the Gold Coast community, so being involved in various charities is a significant part of our business ethos,” he said.
Tony Hickey has been Chairman of the Salvation Army, raising an average of $1 million a year, for 14 years, is Chairman of Somerset College and along with Mr Marino is on the board of the Perry Cross Foundation. Mr Marino also spearheads the biannual Lads Lunch charity events, while Mr Lacy is Queensland Chairman of Life Education.