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Partner Profile: Alistair Jaque

Partner Profile: Alistair Jaque

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

Which firm are you with?

Swaab Attorneys.

When did you join that firm?

December 2005.

When were you made a partner of that firm?

March 2007.

Which firm were you at most recently prior to this?

Minter Ellison.

What practice group are you with?

I am part of the corporate team.

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

I have worked through several economic cycles over the last two decades, but I think the recent economic crisis has changed the way lawyers, particularly corporate lawyers, approach their clients’ needs. There is much more emphasis on the whole concept of commerciality in law than when I first started in the profession. You have to provide more than just good legal advice to your clients, you also have to give them smart business solutions.

What has been a major career highlight for you?

On a transaction that I did for a new client a few years ago, the client was so happy with the work we did that he paid the firm a six-figure bonus in addition to our legal fees. It was definitely a highlight having a client recognise the good job we had done with such a generous gift.

What do you like about being a lawyer?

Although the time pressures can be demanding and the hours can be long, I have always really enjoyed working on corporate transactions. And at Swaab I have been able to connect with the clients on a personal level, which means I tend to get involved at an early stage of a deal, and on a commercial as well as a legal level. I think the transactions are more rewarding when you are able to share in your clients’ successes.

What do you find challenging?

I’m originally from London, so moving to Australia and building a new practice from nothing has been particularly challenging, but also very rewarding. I’ve been lucky that I’ve had fantastic support from the people at Swaab Attorneys.

What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?

As my dreams of becoming a professional footballer in England are fading, I now spend most of my time at the weekends either coaching or watching my kids playing football and cricket. But I still keep fit training every day on Bondi Beach or in Centennial Park just in case the Arsenal manager calls me.

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