find the latest legal job
Corporate Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Highly-respected, innovative and entrepreneurial Not-for-Profit · Competency based Board
View details
Chief Counsel and Company Secretary
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Newcastle, Maitland & Hunter NSW
· Dynamic, high growth organisation · ASX listed market leader
View details
In-house Projects Lawyer | Renewables / Solar | 2-5 Years PQE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: All Australia
· Help design the future · NASDAQ Listed
View details
Insurance Lawyer (3-5 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Dynamic organisation ·
View details
Legal Counsel
Category: Corporate and Commercial Law | Location: North Sydney NSW 2060
· 18 month fixed term contract · 3-5 years PQE with TMT exposure
View details
Editorial note: Firms singing RAP's praises

Editorial note: Firms singing RAP's praises

Who can claim the mighty title of being the first firm to fight for Aboriginal rights?

Much back-and-forth around which firm was the first to implement a Reconciliation Action Plan... 


NEWS that Allens Arthur Robinson was the first law firm to implement a formal framework to strengthen the ties between business and Indigenous Australians has riled other top firms. 

Gilbert + Tobin, for one, says it launched its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) in October last year. At the time, pro bono partner Michelle Hannon said that acting for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people has long been a part of the firm's pro bono practice. 

"At Gilbert + Tobin, we pioneered a pro bono legal practice that has been dedicated to assisting marginalised and disadvantaged people," Hannon said.

Reconciliation Australia director, Sam Mostyn, a former Gilbert + Tobin employee, said the launch in October brought the total number of RAPs to 95, with participation from large corporates like Qantas, ANZ and BHP Billiton, government agencies, sporting codes like the NRL and ARL, hospitals and schools. 

Allens Arthur Robinson said in a press release that it could claim a position as the first major Australian firm to implement a RAP. But while indeed Allens was the first "major" firm to do so, Gilbert + Tobin has since told The New Lawyer that, in fact, it implemented a RAP in October last year.  

So while Allens claims to be "the first major Australian law firm" to sign up, Gilbert + Tobin just took the "first Sydney-based law firm" to do it. Size, in this story, apparently does matter.

Gilbert + Tobin acknowledged in October, however, that it was only the second firm in Australia to develop a RAP.

If the counting is correct then, neither firm was the first Australian firm to implement a RAP. Another has modestly beat them both to it.

But, the point of course should be that they've done it at all, and the numbers of those who haven't are still drastically high. 

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

Editorial note: Firms singing RAP's praises
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
LCA applauds proposed Modern Slavery Act
The Law Council of Australia has welcomed new recommendations for the development of a Modern Slaver...
Top-tier offers targeted mentoring for Indigenous law students
Students at Macquarie University will be the first to benefit from a new Indigenous mentoring progra...
LCA president Fiona McLeod SC
Aug 17 2017
Where social fault lines meet the justice gap in Aus
After just returning from a tour of the Northern Territory, LCA president Fiona McLeod SC speaks wit...
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...