Adjunct Professor John McKenna KC



Adjunct Professor John McKenna KC is an esteemed Queensland lawyer, who is known for his significant and sustained contributions to The

University of Queensland and to a range of legal and educational charities. 

Adjunct Professor McKenna graduated from The University of Queensland with a Bachelor of Arts in 1982 and Bachelor of Laws in 1984 with first class Honours. As a Rhodes Scholar, he completed a Bachelor of Civil Law with first class honours at Magdalen College, Oxford in 1985.  
Adjunct Professor McKenna has been in practice at the commercial bar in Queensland for over 30 years, including 20 years within the ranks of senior counsel. He has practiced predominantly in commercial law and equity and remains one of the most sought-after lawyers in complex commercial litigation. 

Adjunct Professor McKenna has given many years of service as the President of The University of Queensland Law Alumni Association; Chairman of the Incorporated Council of Law Reporting for the State of Queensland; National Secretary of the Australian Rhodes Scholars Association; and a member of both the statutory Legal Practice Committee and the Supreme Court Library Committee. 

In 2012, he authored Supreme Court of Queensland: A Concise History, published by the University of Queensland Press. In 2019, he was elected a Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law.

For the last 10 years, Adjunct Professor McKenna has provided his expertise and support to the TC Beirne School of Law. As an Adjunct Professor of Law, he has established and lectured in a number of masters and undergraduate courses since 2012. This has included arranging for other willing alumni, from the judiciary and the legal profession, to deliver guest lectures for the benefit of students.

As President of The University of Queensland Law Alumni Association, Adjunct Professor McKenna introduced a series of programs that were designed to engage the wider alumni community in supporting the education of law students. These programs included the establishment of the UQLA Endowed Scholarship Fund to support students in financial need, as well as a textbook support scheme for students experiencing financial difficulties. The TC Beirne School of Law has benefited greatly from Adjunct Professor McKenna’s service, advocacy and generosity. 

Chancellor, I present to you Adjunct Professor John McKenna King’s Counsel, Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws with first class honours of this University, Bachelor of Civil Law of the University of Oxford and Fellow of the Australian Academy of Law, for the award of Doctor of Laws honoris causa, bestowed by the Senate of The University of Queensland.



Doctor of Laws honoris causa


Bachelor of Arts
Bachelor of Laws
Bachelor of Civil Law