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Partner Profile: Mary Digiglio

Partner Profile: Mary Digiglio

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

Which firm are you with?

Swaab Attorneys.

When did you join that firm?

February 2010.

When were you made a partner of that firm?

February 2010.

Which firm were you at most recently prior to this?

HWL Ebsworth.

What practice group are you with?

I am part of the property group.

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

The increase in medium and high density property development during my legal career has seen a change in the complexity in property legal work required by the average property client to include what has traditionally been referred to as ‘commercial work’. As a result, practising as a property lawyer is much more diverse, interesting and challenging than other practitioners might think. It requires an for eye for commercial and industry considerations, as well as an eye for identifying where assistance in other areas of law is required, such as tax, environment and planning, construction and corporate law.

What has been a major career highlight for you?

I have two career highlights. The first was being made a partner at the age of 31 at Ebsworth & Ebsworth. Being made a partner at a young age, for a well-regarded firm after only six-and-a-half years in practice, was a real achievement for me and also provided me with invaluable experience.
My second career highlight was the support I received from the partnership at Swaab after the birth of my daughter Miah in 2010. I came back to work four weeks after having Miah, with the partnership here facilitating my return and offering sufficient flexibility for me to bring Miah in to the office on the days I could not get childcare. The display of understanding and assistance was incredible.

What do you like about being a lawyer?

Achieving ‘trusted advisor status’ with clients is by far the best part of the job. When you are involved with a client’s business to the extent that you are consulted in relation to decisions that are not strictly just legal in nature is very rewarding.
We are nothing without our clients, so building and maintaining strong and meaningful relationships, as well as providing ‘Rolls Royce’ legal service, is what I consider to be at the core of my role.

What do you find challenging?

I appreciate how important it is, as an employer and as a lawyer, to keep on top of technological advances and offering those advances to the advantage of employees and clients. Particularly in property transactions, we maintain hundreds of documents for our clients and therefore need to build web portals or extranets to ensure we have central repositories and all appropriate parties have access to them.
It has been essential to have this kind of technology available to clients so it is critical that I maintain my skills and training as a property lawyer as well as ensuring I maintain my skills and training in our ever-developing world of technology. I am extremely lucky that my personal assistant, Daniel, is up to speed on the latest and greatest technology developments.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

I enjoy being outdoors as much as I can. Spending time with my husband and Miah is my favourite pastime. My husband is also a lawyer so we both really value the time we get to spend together as a family. Having grown up with two older brothers, I like going to games of rugby league and rugby union, and we love eating out, choosing good wine and getting down the coast for long weekends by the beach whenever possible.

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