Stafford was admitted as a solicitor in 1987. After admission he practised for a number of years in partnership and subsequently as a sole practitioner. Stafford sold his practice in 2004. Between 2004 and 2008 he worked as a consultant to a number of law practices. In 2008 he joined the Queensland Law Society as an Ethics Guidance Officer. In 2015 Stafford was appointed as Director, QLS Ethics and Practice Centre (‘the Centre’), and now holds the title, Principal Ethics and Practice Counsel and further he serves as secretary to the Society’s Ethics Committee. He is also the Society’s representative on the Professional Ethics Committee of the Law Council of Australia.
Stafford was appointed as Legal Practitioner Director of QLS Solicitor Support Pty Ltd (‘QLS Solicitor Support’) from 1 October 2019. QLS Solicitor Support is a wholly owned incorporated legal practice of the Queensland Law Society. The services provided by QLS Solicitor Support include ethics and practice support guidance to the Society’s membership.
The Centre provides ethical guidance and practice support services. In addition, the Centre delivers practical legal ethics and practice support sessions to members, the profession and students (whether at university or practical legal training).
Stafford is the executive editor of the Australian Solicitors Conduct Rules 2012 in Practice: A Commentary for Australian Legal Practitioners. He has written extensively on legal ethics.
Stafford is a sessional member at the Queensland University of Technology. On 15 November 2021 he was appointed as an Adjunct Professor with the School of Law and Justice, University of Southern Queensland. He holds a Bachelor of Laws and Master of Laws (Commercial and Corporate) from the University of Queensland, a postgraduate certificate in arbitration and mediation from the University of Adelaide. Stafford is also a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). Stafford’s areas of interest are trust, succession law and the equitable doctrines underpinning legal ethics.