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 (1-3 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Join a dynamic Firm · Excellent career growth opportunity
View details
In-house lawyer 1-4 PAE
Category: Generalists - In House | Location: Adelaide SA 5000
· Leading Brand · Report to a Dynamic Legal Counsel
View details
Ex-K&L partner says global firms are failing property practices

Ex-K&L partner says global firms are failing property practices

Jodie Masson K&L Gates William James

A property specialist at K&L Gates who defected to a boutique firm last month has told Lawyers Weekly that global firms “do not do property well”.

After more than seven years in the K&L Gates partnership, Jodie Masson (pictured) left the global firm to join Sydney outfit William James in January, taking a team of four lawyers and a legal secretary with her.

Ms Masson said property practices do not sit comfortably within global firms because their hourly rates are too high for local property clients.

“Property clients shouldn’t have to pay a ‘global rate’ to support a platform they don’t need and haven’t asked for,” she said, adding that a locally-focused and fast-moving property industry has little to gain from the “expensive and cumbersome” global model.

Meanwhile, property lawyers within global firms are battling with layers of bureaucracy, which is distracting them from the practice of law, she continued.

“It is imperative in the property space to be able to move quickly, but there’s a lot to go through in global firms before you can even open a matter, which slows you down.”

Another challenge for the sector, according to Ms Masson, is the shortage of specialist property practices in Australia’s legal market that can cater to the needs and cost constraints of property clients.

Ms Masson’s current firm sought her out to establish a specialist property practice alongside its existing commercial litigation, restructuring and insolvency practices.

William James was founded in 2014 by former K&L Gates partners Brendan Wyhoon and Michael Forrest. Like other boutique firms that have been launched by large law partners, William James does not have billable hour targets and encourages value billing.

Mr Wyhoon, the firm’s managing partner, said his lawyers are open to any type of costing agreement.

“We are happy to discuss any basis upon which we get paid that works for our clients, and whilst we pay our staff well, we have our other overheads under control which enables us to focus on outcomes and client satisfaction instead of chargeable hours,” he said.

Ms Masson admitted that the firm’s flexible approach to billing clients was a drawcard.

Her property team includes Leisha de Aboitiz, who has joined William James as a partner; senior associates Lauren Bathur and Ole Mitrevski; lawyer Ben Malone; and legal secretary Sarah Matley.

William James has four partners and a total of 15 staff.

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

Ex-K&L partner says global firms are failing property practices
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
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 Crowd & Co. The way we do business, where we work, how we engage with workers, ev...
Scales of Justice, Victorian County Court, retiring judges
Aug 21 2017
Replacements named for retired Vic judges
Two new judicial officers have been appointed in the Victorian County Court, following the retire...
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 & ...