We ask a law firm partner a series of rapid-fire questions about their career. This time: Stephen Trew, Holding Redlich’s national Workplace Relations and Safety head.
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?
Hunt & Hunt.
What practice group are you with?
Workplace Relations & Safety.
What has been the most significant change to your practice area during your career?
The introduction of uniform federal workplace relations legislation and the loss of the “old” Unfair Contract jurisdiction in New South Wales brought about a significant change. The use of technology for client interaction and service delivery has been another significant change as has the change in how external legal advisers work in with internal client representatives on projects or matters, including who is allocated to undertake what tasks. There is now a much more integrated “joint” approach which is refreshing.
What has been a major career highlight for you?
The growth of Holding Redlich’s Workplace Relations & Safety group in Sydney and the progression of some staff to senior roles, including partnership, which reflects both their development and the high regard that clients have for their work.
In respect of client work there have been a great deal of highlights. Many are confidential as they involved negotiated outcomes. But it is always pleasing to see a client in a position that met or exceeded their required outcomes.
What do you like about being a lawyer?
Many things. I enjoy interacting with client representatives and learning about the businesses they represent, including how the businesses operate and the key drivers to business success. I also enjoy problem solving and coming up with different ways to resolve the various legal problems on which clients seek our advice.
The law itself is always interesting including determining the underlying purposes and rationale behind specific laws or decisions. I guess that is a way of saying that it is intellectually challenging.
What do you find challenging?
As mentioned above, the law always presents a welcome intellectual challenge. More generally, there are always many time demands on lawyers that keep us very busy. It is a challenge to use time as efficiently as possible to always ensure that client requirements for the delivery of our services are met and exceeded as well as do all the work required to attend to practice management together with people development.
What do you enjoy doing when you are not working?
Reading and running as well as collaborating with others on various not-for-profit initiatives, including with Pacific Hills Christian School. I also just value having time to relax and socialise with friends and family.