- Which firm are you with?
TressCox Lawyers (Melbourne office)
- When did you join that firm?
- When were you made a partner of that firm?
- Which firm were you at most recently prior to this?
Mallesons Stephen Jaques (2011) and prior to that Minter Ellison (SA/NT)
- What practice group are you with?
I am part of the national property team
- What has been the most significant change to your practice area during your career?
When I started practising in 1994, to have a mobile phone and a laptop was a really big deal. If clients wanted to get in touch with you it had to be during working hours and your secretary would take messages for you if you were not available. Now, there is nowhere to hide and you are effectively available 24/7, with iPads, BlackBerries and iPhones, flash notebooks and high-speed broadband internet access. Client expectations as to turnaround are now much greater because of our accessibility and the technology available to us that means we can work from anywhere and at anytime.
- What has been a major career highlight for you?
Being appointed to the partnership of two national law firms. It was a real career goal for me from my first days of articles back with then Blake Dawson Waldron. It is an amazing thing to be asked by people that you have looked up to and admired to join them in their business. They know better than you do, particularly on your first appointment, the highs and lows of running a law firm, and for them to have that level of faith in and respect for you to ask you to join them in that journey is an extraordinary thing.
- What do you like about being a lawyer?
I enjoy the mental gymnastics that come with staying on top of the law and applying it to the ever-shifting commercial needs and problems of my clients. It’s like trying to put together a massive jigsaw puzzle everyday where the pieces keep changing shape. I like that there is rarely a day when I fail to learn something new, whether it be about the law itself, about business or the people that I work with – clients, other lawyers, staff. I am rarely if ever bored!
- What do you find challenging?
Everything but the actual practise of the law itself! We are all very aware now that being a success in the law is so much more than the problem solving – it’s the constant need to reinvent yourself so that you can just keep up with the needs of your business and the shifting needs of your clients’ businesses – teaching and mentoring junior staff, managing budgets, business development and marketing. We need to be accountants, HR managers, counsellors, teachers, marketing gurus; as well as old-fashioned readers and interpreters of the law.
Mostly though, the real challenge, particularly in an area as old and established as property, is the fundamental need to stay curious, and by that I mean to always want to learn, to find new ways of delivering to the client and to your team and to therefore remain relevant and not become some sad anachronism.
It’s that challenge in and of itself that means I will never get bored with being a lawyer and that I can never sit back and rest on my laurels.
- What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Like a lot of people, free time is precious family and friends time doing simple, ordinary things – playing with my children; watching my husband play baseball; reading books; taking the dog to the beach, dinner parties with friends. I have also finally learnt to share my husband’s obsession with skiing, which enables us, once a year, to combine all of that family and friends time into one fantastic week in the great outdoors (sadly, minus the dog).