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
Corporate Lawyer
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· 12 months fixed term opportunity
View details
Property lawyer - Melbourne
Category: Property Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Impressive client list, national firm · Well-led and high-performing team
View details
Full-time mums juggle part-time partnerships

Full-time mums juggle part-time partnerships

HAVING A CHILD is no longer an impediment to promotion within an increasingly large number of firms, which have broadened their way of thinking when it comes to retaining their top people in…

HAVING A CHILD is no longer an impediment to promotion within an increasingly large number of firms, which have broadened their way of thinking when it comes to retaining their top people in this increasingly talent-short market.

Managing partner and CEO of Freehills Gavin Bell was eager to ensure there was “no institutional reason” preventing women from progressing in their careers.

Bell pointed to the industry-wide problem that many women simply didn’t want to pursue a career to partner at the expense of other aspects of life. However, Bell said that this no longer meant forsaking the chance of becoming partner.

“For the industry, there has been an issue for keeping women throughout their career, and that’s something that we’ve focused on heavily. Making sure that there are appropriate career paths for women coming through the firm … that means being flexible across their career, recognising that they may need different approaches at different times of their career, but making sure there aren’t institutionalised reasons that they don’t progress at the same rate as men do,” said Bell.

Putting its money where its mouth is, as of July 1 this year, Freehills made one of its female senior associates partner two weeks prior to going on maternity leave. The partner in question is expected to return to the firm on a part-time basis.

Barry Frakes, a partner at family law firm Watts McCray, told Lawyers Weekly that it determined which individuals had shown a commitment to the firm and had the necessary acumen, then it returned the favour.

“We invited Jackie Vincent to become a salaried partner, even though we knew full well she was about to go on maternity leave. She had already made it quite plain that her plan was to take 12 months off, which was fine. We asked ourselves whether it was worth making her partner when she got back, but we wanted to offer her the partnership now, as it sends a message. We thought this was an important step,” he said.

Watts McCray had also appointed Keira Tyson as a senior associate. “She had just returned from maternity leave after having her first child, and we thought so much of her that we wanted to make her senior associate. We then offered her partnership and she soon told us she was pregnant. She finished at the firm last week and has now gone on maternity leave.”

The firm has six partners: four equity, two non-equity. Three of them are women under the age of 35 with children. Two of them are on maternity leave and one has just returned.

“There is a generational change and we have embraced it because the people within our firm want a balance of family life and a strong career path.”

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

Full-time mums juggle part-time partnerships
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Warning
Aug 23 2017
NT Law Society sounds alarm on mandatory sentencing
The Law Society Northern Territory has issued a warning over mandatory sentencing, saying it hasn’...
Unite
Aug 22 2017
Professionals unite in support of marriage equality
The presidents of representative bodies for solicitors, barristers and doctors in NSW have come toge...
Aug 21 2017
Is your firm on the right track for gig economy gains?
Promoted by The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, even how we take a...
APPOINTMENTS
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'...
opinion
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...
Help
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 & ...