find the latest legal job
Part Time Risk & Compliance Officer
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· Brisbane City · Flexible Part Time Hours
View details
Infrastructure Lawyer/SA
Category: Construction Law | Location: Sydney CBD, Inner West & Eastern Suburbs Sydney NSW
· Global elite law firm · Dedicated Infrastructure team
View details
Property Lawyer
Category: Property Law | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· 12 Month Contract · Diverse Work
View details
In-House Legal Counsel (Mid to Senior)| Regulated Markets (Energy and Gas)
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Full PD on Request · Exciting High Impact Role
View details
Family Lawyer
Category: Family Law | Location: Eastern Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· Boutique Firm · Great Reputation
View details
Small proves mighty

Small proves mighty

Lawyers from two boutique firms beat competition from national and global firms to take out two of the three Awards in the Intellectual Property category.

Nicholas Tobias from Griffith Hack and Sarah Gilkes (pictured) from mdp McDonald Partners were winners, alongside Corrs Chambers Westgarth associate David Fixler, at the inaugural Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Awards on Friday (14 June).

Tobias, an associate, said he was “absolutely delighted” to win the Award.

“It’s an amazing feeling,” he said after he got his Award.It’s really great to see the boutique firms getting some recognition – two of the three Awards tonight for IP went to boutique firms so it was really exciting to see that boutique firms is where it’s at.”

He added, however, that he didn’t think boutique IP firms had any advantage over big firms in this highly-specialised, technical area because the larger firms had “great” IP practices.

“I think it’s just a different kettle of fish; the big firms have strengths in many areas whereas we try to concentrate our strength in one area and we do a good job at it.”

Tobias has acted on a number of high-profile matters, including providing technical IP support for the lawyers for Samsung in its proceedings against Apple. He is also an active member of AusBiotech, an organisation that provides initiatives to drive sustainability and growth in the biotechnology industry.

Melbourne-based senior associate Gilkes has had primary responsibility for more than 50 matters in the past 12 months, assisting clients in identifying, protecting, commercialising and enforcing their intellectual property. She is often a client’s key point of contact and the main person representing them in their negotiations with third parties.

She thinks lawyers need to be more commercially-minded and said: “By being prepared to provide practical and commercially-relevant recommendations to clients, the relevance of the legal profession to the current business world would improve.”

Fixler, at just 27, was second-in-charge to Corrs Melbourne partner Stephen Stern on a major patent infringement matter involving Fosters. He also set up and runs the Corrs IP group’s Twitter account and is currently completing a Master of Laws, with a focus on IP, at the University of Melbourne. He has also dedicated more than 270 hours to pro bono work and was nominated last year for the Lawyers Weekly Burgess Paluch Pro Bono Award.

He said: “Clients expect that we will have particular expertise in our chosen areas of specialisation, such as IP, but also be well-rounded lawyers with broader legal experience.”

Other finalists in this category were: Emma Bekens from Norton Rose Fulbright, Elisabeth Koster from Minter Ellison and Cecillia Suatan from Ashurst.

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

Small proves mighty
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Law Council of Australia
Nov 21 2017
LCA calls for urgent adoption of ‘game-changing’ recommendation
The Law Council of Australia has urged for the immediate adoption of a key recommendation put forwar...
Sally Wheeler
Nov 20 2017
ANU College of Law appoints new dean
A distinguished legal academic and the former head of law of a higher education institution in Irela...
Nov 17 2017
It's time for politicians to commit to eradicating domestic violence
The national shame of domestic violence cannot be left unaddressed, writes Christine Smyth. ...
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 & ...