find the latest legal job
Banking Associate - 1-6PQE - Allen & Overy
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: United Kingdom
· Banking Associate - 1-6 PQE - Allen & Overy
View details
Academic Dean and Head of School of the TC Beirne School of Law
Category: Other | Location: Brisbane QLD 4000
· An outstanding opportunity · Provide educational, research and organisational leadership
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Arncliffe NSW 2205
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: All Sydney NSW
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Senior Property Lawyer I Commercial Litigator
Category: Property Law | Location: Sydney NSW 2000
· Rapidly growing law firm, working with a highly experienced team in a high growth industry across all areas of property and strata law
View details
Haaron Bokhari, Director of Balance Legal

Haaron Bokhari, Director of Balance Legal

The line between in-house and private practice is not as clear-cut as it used to be, and Haaron Bokhari is one lawyer who's making the most of both worlds. Bokhari is a founding director of…

The line between in-house and private practice is not as clear-cut as it used to be, and Haaron Bokhari is one lawyer who's making the most of both worlds.

Bokhari is a founding director of Perth firm Balance Legal, an incorporated law firm in which lawyers work for different clients on a project-by-project secondment basis, working out of the clients' premises.

Having launched his legal career as a graduate at Freehills in 2001, Bokhari believes that the difficulty he had in deciding where to specialise was probably an early indication that he might be better suited to an in-house style position.

"I did five rotations - so I suppose I was probably a likely candidate for this sort of role because I was unsure about settling in any of them," he says.

He eventually settled on banking, where he remained - focusing primarily on project financing in the resources sector - for a further five years, before leaving in mid-2008 to sign on as a director of Balance Legal.

Bokhari is now into his third secondment with Balance Legal, currently working for global energy giant Chevron on the Gorgon Project - the development of the Greater Gorgon gas fields in Western Australia. His previous secondments have been at construction company McMahon Services, where he was working in a broader general counsel role, and at Rio Tino, where he was working predominantly in procurement.

Bokhari says he was drawn to Balance Legal because the in-house secondment structure maximises the aspects of working as a lawyer that he most enjoys.

"One of the positive aspects of my job at Freehills was the interaction with the clients and the people within the team. But that's not always the way it works. You often have to sit down and have no contact for a few days when you're drafting a big document," he says. "I think generally speaking - and it has been confirmed with what I've been doing - there's more of a chance for interacting and working together on a more regular basis in an in-house role."

The structure is not without its challenges, and the biggest, Bokhari says, is having to regularly pick up shop and plunge into something completely new. "You do chop and change every six months or so ... and the biggest challenge is getting up to speed very quickly on the way things work in a new place. It's challenging to get up to speed and embrace new systems and new personalities," he says.

However, he also views this regular change of pace as refreshing, believing it is a benefit for both the lawyers and clients involved. "It's easy to be enthusiastic when you know something isn't going to last forever, so you can really get what you can out of it," he says.

"I also think that, as you go, you'll also have the ability to bring with you lessons learned from other [secondments]. I have no doubt that will be a handy thing for business ... because the [lawyers] will have done it before and will be able to bring that experience across, not just specific to work, but also to systems and structures," he says.

>> For the latest news, views and analysis of issues affecting in-house lawyers, check out Lawyers Weekly's dedicated in-house site www.lawyersinhouse.com.au

Like this story? Read more:

Book commemorates diamond milestone for WA law society

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

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

Haaron Bokhari, Director of Balance Legal
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Gavel, legal book, criminal lawyers
Jan 19 2018
Three criminal lawyers named NSW magistrates
The NSW Attorney-General has announced the appointment of three new local court magistrates. ...
Warning
Jan 18 2018
Lawyer highlights ‘unintended consequences’ on SSM estate planning
A succession lawyer has warned that the right for same-sex couples to legally marry could have a sub...
drug rehabilitation services available in rural and remote communities
Jan 18 2018
ALS survey shines spotlight on insufficient rehabilitation services
A new survey posted by the Aboriginal Legal Service (NSW/ACT) has revealed an alarming insight into ...
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 & ...