Which firm are you with?
When did you join that firm?
Bayside Collaborative just opened last month (November) but I have been a family law partner for 17 years.
When were you made a partner of that firm?
I am a founding partner of the firm together with Jane Libbis and David Edney.
Which firm were you at most recently prior to this?
CE Family Lawyers, of which I am still a partner. CE provides more general family law services, whereas Bayside Collaborative provides specialised services together with psychologists and financial professionals to offer a holistic approach to resolving post-separation issues.
What practice group are you with?
I am part of a growing group of collaborative professionals who have converted to collaborative practice as a better way to deal with separation issues. We are members of Collaborative Professionals Victoria, which operates through the Law Institute of Victoria.
What has been the most significant change to your practice area during your career?
My shift from doing litigation and adversarial-based family law work to working in collaborative practice. This involved a complete reassessment and re-evaluation of my work and how I was best able to assist separating partners and their families at a difficult time in their lives. My work in collaborative practice now allows me to be a positive and constructive influence in conjunction with the psychologists and financial professionals in a service that preserves the integrity of personal and family relationships. My work is now much less stressful and much more satisfying and rewarding.
What has been a major career highlight for you?
Starting our new business and our new centre, which is purpose built for collaborative work, where I work with lawyers and other professionals who share my values and approach to work and my commitment to collaborative practice.
What do you like about being a lawyer?
I enjoy working in a team approach and I enjoy the satisfaction of helping separating families transition to their new lives in a way that is constructive but also respectful and dignified.
What do you find challenging?
Dealing with high-conflict families is often difficult but can also be extremely rewarding when managed properly. The other challenge is always finding the right work-life balance.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I enjoy playing royal tennis (an ancient version of ordinary tennis). I also enjoy (if that’s the right word) being harassed and criticised by my teenage daughter and watching her grow up.
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