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Partner Profile: Angela Harvey

Partner Profile: Angela Harvey

Every week we ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career. This week: Swaab Attorneys' Angela Harvey.

Which firm are you with?

Swaab Attorneys.

When did you join that firm?

August 2010.

When were you made a partner of that firm?

August 2010.

Which firm were you at most recently prior to this?

Brown Wright Stein.

What practice group are you with?

I am part of the corporate and commercial team at Swaab.

What has been the most significant change to your practice area during your career?

The tough economic times of recent times have really forced me to look at my practice differently. It’s no secret that work in the corporate and commercial space has been slow over the past 18 months, so this also forced me to look at other offerings that I could bring to the table; as a result, I have built a solid estate planning practice as an additional offering.

What has been a major career highlight for you?

I was made a partner at Brown Wright Stein at the age of 28, which was an amazing highlight and achievement for me.  After starting there as a summer clerk, and it being the only law firm I had worked in, I had “grown-up” with the firm and wondered whether my skills would be valued elsewhere.  It was a a real highlight when I was able to move to another firm in the same capacity.  It was a really proud moment for me to receive an offer to become part of the partnership at Swaab.

What do you like about being a lawyer?

The fact that no two days are the same. One of the most rewarding parts of my role is client-relationship building. At the risk of sounding like the complete cliché lawyer, it is always my prerogative to build relationships with my clients where I am as much their business partner as I am their lawyer. There’s no greater feeling than helping your clients achieve their business goals. I also enjoy being able to use a multitude of skills. Some days I spend the morning doing my estate planning matters and by the afternoon I could be working on the acquisition of a business.  This variety keeps me interested and happy.

What do you find challenging?

There are very few professions where something you learn as a graduate can be completely obsolete ten years later; being a lawyer is one of those professions. The law changes so frequently, the introduction of the Personal Property Securities regime this year is a perfect example of this, and you have to be across all new developments in order to provide accurate advice. It is crucial to constantly evolve and learn as a lawyer and this can be very challenging, albeit rewarding. I also work hard to continually have fresh ideas when it comes to how I can add value to my clients. Each week I will sit down and try to come up with a new way of doing things and this can be a real challenge as well.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I love enjoying good food and wine. I am lucky to live in a city where I can indulge in this love on a regular basis. I enjoy travelling and try to spend as much time in Paris as I can. I am completely smitten with the culture, food, people and, above all else, shoes. My ever-growing shoe and handbag collection can rival the best; with my autographed Christian Louboutins being a special favourite.  Outside of that, I try to spend as much time as I can with my family. I am the doting aunt to two nephews, so building railway tracks for Thomas the Tank Engine is a favourite pastime for me too.

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