The former general counsel of AAPT has started his own law firm.
Austin Carwardine, who was the general counsel with AAPT for four years, left the telecommunications company to start his own firm, Carwardine Legal, earlier this month.
Carwardine, a qualified communications and software engineer who also has previous experience with Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Ashurst Morris Crisp in Singapore, told Lawyers Weekly he is determined to ensure his own firm will remain a sole practice.
"It will just be me and that is how I would like to keep it," he said. "I want to keep it personal and do the hands-on and practical work myself, which will be a refreshing change."
Carwardine's practice will specialise in the communications, internet and IT industries. He said he is confident his technical knowledge and comparatively lower charge out rates will be able to entice clients through the door.
"I think I can offer more benefits to clients by being hands-on and more flexible in my approach to legal practice," he said. "I will be able to offer a lower cost base."
Carwardine nominated negotiating several legal hurdles in the merger between PowerTel and Telecom New Zealand in 2007, of which AAPT is the Australian subsidiary, as the most challenging issue during his time as general counsel with AAPT.