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Network to the top

Network to the top

Developing a network of contacts and building your profile is the key to a successful career, according to the chief executive partner of Clayton Utz.Darryl McDonough began life as a lawyer in…

Developing a network of contacts and building your profile is the key to a successful career, according to the chief executive partner of Clayton Utz.

Darryl McDonough began life as a lawyer in the old corporate affairs department in Queensland.

Working with a consultant who helped to draft the 1961 Companies Act, McDonough built upon his degrees in accountancy and law, which in turn, fed his hunger for knowledge and opened his eyes to networking opportunities.

"I'd go to the opening of a sardine tin if I thought that I'd meet somebody, I'd go to breakfast, I'd go to lunch, and I'd go to dinner... I'd go to lunch again, to meet people to get to know them to get to understand what was gong on in the business community," he said.

That strategy saw McDonough develop a network of people which said he now owes his career to.

But it was also a belief in life-long learning which McDonough recognises as being paramount to his success.

Not content with degrees in accounting and law at Bond University, McDonough later returned to complete a Doctorate of Legal Science to make sure that he was "still on song" as far as the law was concerned.

"It's a matter of bettering yourself and learning as much as you possibly can; building your profile and becoming acknowledged within an area of expertise within the law so that you actually establish a career for yourself," he said.

And McDonough has done that too, having published various articles on corporate governance in the Bond Law Review, as well as a book entitled Annotated Takeover Law.

Before joining Clutz in 1993, and being appointed CEP in 2010, McDonough directed a number of successful public and listed companies including the Bank of Queensland and Super Cheap Auto Group. But the rugby fanatic and father of two said that aspiring legal professionals should carve out their own career.

"You can see somebody as a role model, but don't do exactly what they've done, learn from what their able to impart to you, learn from their mistakes and just do a lot better," he said.

"People who want to establish a career in the law, I think in this day and age, have a world of opportunity available to them, its not just a matter of working in a law firm, you can work in companies and from there you can take your legal degree move into the commercial side of companies."

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