We ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career.
This time: Ross Jackson from Maddocks
Which firm are you with?
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?
What practice group are you with?
Employment, Safety and People
What has been a major career highlight for you?
Whilst there have been many memorable individual cases, the major highlight has been starting the Maddocks Employment practice from scratch in the mid-90s, and putting together a terrific team over the subsequent years. Two out of the three other partners in the Melbourne Employment, Safety and People team were articled to me, and I am extremely proud of the stability of our team. The Maddocks Employment practice is now one of the leading teams in the field.
What do you like about being a lawyer?
I love the fact that no two files are ever the same. Practicing in employment law involves dealing with the infinite variety of human behaviours, with no two interactions between any two or more individuals in the workplace ever exactly the same. I really enjoy the rapidly developing case law in this field, and the fact that we are constantly dealing with the interaction between the objective rules of the law, compared with the subjective nature of human behaviour associated with the workplace. For example, one person's performance management is another person's bullying; one person's joke is another person's sexual harassment, etc.
What do you find challenging?
I think the sheer lack of thinking time, to say nothing of the constant challenge of fitting everything into each day, is always challenging. My obligations as a Maddocks board member, together with the usual 'three hats', being an owner, manager and 'on the tools' means you never quite get the juggling right.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
I have five children aged between five and 21, so there is always plenty to do when I'm not working! I do enjoy travelling with my wonderful wife and family, and experiencing food and wine from around the world whenever possible. My big passion is cars and motorsport, with a particular interest in historic motorsport. I have been competing at a national level for over a decade, and find racing a fantastic relief valve from the stresses of legal practice. At the track, we are all united in a common interest, so it is not uncommon to compete with drivers who may be trades or business people, or perhaps fellow lawyers, silks and even judges – all of whom tend to have their racing persona where there are no class divides! For example, when I appeared before a Magistrate with whom I also compete, he only just stopped himself from referring to me as 'Jacko' in Court!
Picture: 'Jacko' away from the desk