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Print Post Approved 255003/05160

the legal model Why pro bono is an essential piece

Friday 28 October 2011


“A number of mid-tier firms think they can just give the job to someone who has a full-time commercial practice and that will be enough”

contents

John Corker, director, National Pro Bono Resource Centre – see page 18

regulars

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Features

THIS WEEK: A round-up of the latest legal news IN-DEPTH: Last week, two years of work by Australian lawyers culminated in the presentation of a brief to the Federal Government containing evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka. But there is more work to be done. Claire Chaffey reports

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IN-DEPTH: With four jurisdictions still refusing to back national legal profession reform, a positive new step towards its implementation might just make them reconsider. Claire Chaffey reports

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PRACTICE PROFILE: The Australian corporate market currently has a two-speed economy, with a bullish M&A sector and a bearish capital market. Justin Whealing reports OPINION: For Freehills consultant Peter Rowe, pro bono work is about much more than professional obligation. He tells us why lawyers must see it as an opportunity CAREER COUNSEL: Making it rain and building a “book of business” is all about relationships and networking. Dezz Mardigan reveals how lawyers can expand the business they already have FOLKLAW: The lighter side of the law

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Improving the Australian legal profession’s pro bono contribution requires better structure and coordination. Briana Everett uncovers the level of commitment needed for firms to do their bit

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editor’sNote

Editor, Justin Whealing

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“I belIeve participating in pro bono goes with the territory of being a lawyer,” said Freehills consultant and former partner Peter Rowe in this week’s opinion piece (see page 16). He is right. It is part of what being a lawyer is all about, and it is one of the noble traits that differentiates lawyers from many other professions. Freehills has long had involvement in pro bono programs and was the first firm to establish a pro bono clinic in 1989. However, it is not amongst the 40 law firms that are signatories to the National Pro bono Resource Centre (NPbRC) Aspirational Target of 35 hours of pro bono per lawyer per year. Freehills is not shirking its responsibility in pro bono by not signing the target – far from it: the firm does an average of 44 hours of pro bono work per year per lawyer, which is to be commended. The firm’s pro bono coordinator, Annette bain, said the firm isn’t a signatory because it feels that by putting a cap on pro bono work at 35 hours, it might lead lawyers to feel that this level is enough, and could discourage the provision of pro bono work above this level (see cover story page 18). blake Dawson, a top-tier law firm which has signed the target, comfortably meets the 35-hour requirement but sets internal benchmarks such as an average of 52 hours of pro bono work per lawyer per year to keep the internal fires burning. It is the responsibility of large law firms to lead the way and sign the target to encourage smaller firms to follow suit and adopt a pro bono culture. This is particularly important and, as NPbRC director John Corker said, it is the mid-sized firms that are lagging behind large law firms and some stand-out smaller firms when it comes to doing pro bono work. TressCox lawyers, although not yet a signatory to the aspirational target, is to be commended for formally introducing a pro bono practice this year, signaling that it sees it as an integral part of the firm’s practice. With corporate social responsibility programs the current “poster boy” for the ethical policies of many professional services organisations, law firms of all sizes should not forget that a CSR program without a commitment to doing pro bono work is a hollow one. Top Ten sTories online THis week 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9

Allens execs hit streets to sell The Big Issue Drunken tumble lands partner in jail Clayton Utz vs five firms Lawyers must keep open mind: Croucher Company seeks to capture panels with net Pay rise expectations not realistic Young lawyers expose Sri Lankan atrocities Oz law schools look global Clayton Utz, Freehills and Mallesons act on Rebel Sport sale 10 Raking in the money nexT week: It’s no secret that many lawyers are dissatisfied with their careers. Lawyers Weekly takes a look at the prevailing factors behind high rates of dissatisfaction and what law firms and lawyers can do to buck the trend.

ediTorial board Lawyers Weekly is delighted to have the following industry leaders on its editorial board andrew grech Managing director, Slater & Gordon

nick abrahams Partner, Norton Rose

Will irving Group general counsel, Telstra Corporation

Helen McKenzie Deputy managing partner, Blake Dawson

Sharon cook Managing partner, Henry Davis York

Joe catanzariti Partner, Clayton Utz

David cowling Partner, Clayton Utz

robert Milliner Chief executive partner, Mallesons Stephen Jaques

Ewen crouch Chairman of partners, Allens Arthur Robinson

Megan Pitt Director, Australian Government Solicitor

Sue gilchrist Partner and practice leader (intellectual property group), Freehills

lucinda Smith Partner, Thomsons Lawyers

abouT us Publisher: John Nuutinen Editor: Justin Whealing Deputy Editor: Claire Chaffey Senior Journalist: Briana Everett Journalist: Stephanie Quine Designer: Ken McClaren Sales Executive: Toby Chan SubScribE toDay Lawyers Weekly is published weekly and is available by subscription. Please email lawyersweeklycustomerservice@reedbusiness.com.au All subscription payments should be sent to: Locked Bag 2999, Chatswood D/C, Chatswood NSW 2067 aDvErtiSing EnquiriES: Advertising enquiries: John Nuutinen john.nuutinen@reedbusiness.com.au (02) 9422 8931 (mob) 0402 611 177 Toby Chan toby.chan@reedbusiness.com.au (02) 9422 2545 (MOB) 0404 652 800 EDitorial EnquiriES: Justin Whealing justin.whealing@lexisnexis.com.au (02) 9422 2832 All mail for the editorial department should be sent to: Lawyers Weekly, Level 1 Tower 2, 475 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW 2067

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thisweek

The Web

Fraser-Kirk’s firm joins global group Harmers Workplace Lawyers, the firm that represented Kristy Fraser-Kirk in her sexual harassment claim against David Jones, has joined L&E Global, an international alliance that provides counsel to employers. “Our association with the calibre of law firms in the association is significant from our perspective,” said Harmers CEO and senior team leader Shana Schreier-Joffe. Storm documentary brewing The lawyer acting for former Storm Financial clients in a class action against The Commonwealth Bank of Australia and Macquarie Bank is making them the subject of a new documentary film. Stewart Levitt, the principal of Levitt Robinson Solicitors, believes the film, along with other marketing campaigns around the class action, will have a substantial impact on the case and its outcome. Vic Bar opens up to Asia The Engaging the Asian Economies Law & Practice Conference was held in Melbourne on 20 October. Speakers included the Justice of the Supreme Court of Singapore, Steven Chong. “We want to … start the process of engagement, discussion, and building relationships – and have the cultural intelligence to understand how it is that we can do this effectively in Asia,” said William Lye, chair of the Asia Practice section of the Commercial Bar Association.

Quarter four brings demand for e&r lawyers Hiring levels within the legal profession are expected to slow as the holiday season approaches, but in the early stages of quarter four, contract and commercial lawyers are in demand. According to the latest robert Walters legal Job Market Update, released on 21 October, the hiring of lawyers remained relatively stable in quarter three. expansion opportunities within some sectors of the market saw increased hiring, but market uncertainty in some segments meant employers were reluctant to recruit for non-urgent roles. Organisations in the mining and resources sector increased their hiring of lawyers, predominantly within contracts management. As a result, qualified lawyers with contract management and negotiation backgrounds within the mining and resources space were the most sought after. Throughout quarter three, job-seekers were largely driven by opportunities for career progression and a better working environment, while the trend of private practice lawyers looking to move in-house continued. in quarter four, contract specialists and general commercial lawyers in the mining and resources sector are highly sought-after. Additionally, demand for private practice litigation and construction lawyers will continue to rise as firms lose staff to in-house opportunities within the mining and resources sector. “As hiring activity slows down towards the end of the year, job-seekers will need to adapt to the

varied pace of some recruitment processes and be patient, as employers will be unlikely to rush making decisions,” said robert Walters manager (legal) ryan Webster. While salary levels will remain stable in quarter four, some highly-experienced lawyers may be able to command higher salaries from employers looking to entice them to change roles within key industries.

R E W IND Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd launched a $30 million dollar initiative to foster mining development in Africa at the Commonwealth Business Forum in Perth on 25 October. The three-day forum attracted 16 heads of government and 1200 delegates ahead of the Commonwealth Heads of Government Meeting, which began today. A lawyer with the Australian Securities and Investment Commission criticised the regulator for cutting staff in a key investigative unit. The lawyer, who remained anonymous, warned that corporate misdeeds would go unpunished as a result of a loss of about 50 deterrence staff in the unit. Mallesons Stephen Jacques partner Neil Carabine warned that stopping the NBN (as opposition leader Tony Abbott has pledged to do) would require ending commercial contracts, changing legislation and renegotiating NBN Co’s agreement with Telstra. Malcolm Turnbull defended the Coalition’s plan but said some work would have to continue as it would be too expensive to stop. Federal Court judges Paul Finn, Robert Buchanan and David Yates heard the ACCC’s argument on why the sale of Franklins supermarkets, to grocery wholesaler Metcash, will substantially lessen competition and should not be allowed to stand.

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thisweek

three firms revel in rebel sport sale Deal Name: Million dollar acquisition of Rebel Group by Super Retail Key Players: Mallesons Stephen Jaques, Freehills, Clayton Utz

Clayton Utz, FREEHIllS, and Mallesons Stephen Jaques have advised on Super Retail Group’s recently announced $610 million acquisition of Rebel Group limited. Mallesons advised Super Retail Group, which acquired Rebel Group (the owner of the Rebel Sport and a-Mart all Sports) from private equity group archer Capital, advised by Freehills. Clayton Utz acted for Macquarie and RBS, the joint underwriters, under the leadership of the firm’s national head of equity capital markets, Sydney corporate M&a partner Stuart Byrne. Byrne was supported by Clutz corporate senior associates Stratos Karousos and Patricia Paton, corporate partner Geoff Hoffman

and taxation partner Kirsten Fish.  Sydney corporate and M&a partner andrew Pike led the Freehills team acting for archer Capital. the Mallesons team was led by Brisbane M&a partner John Humphrey, with Sydney based partners Meredith Paynter, Scott Heezen and Philip Ward assisting. Mallesons also advised Super Retail in relation to its $334 million pro-rata accelerated renounceable tradeable entitlement offer (PaItREo), the proceeds of which will be used to partially fund the acquisition. Humphrey said the strategic acquisition would see Super Retail expand into the sporting goods sector. 

Movers & Shakers

D e A L o F T He W e e K

Turnbull’s old foe joins Shine Shine Lawyers has appointed ex-Labor Party candidate for Malcolm Trurnbull’s seat of Wentworth, George Newhouse, as special counsel on human rights matters. The appointment follows the firm’s partnership with Newhouse in a case for the rights of the survivors and relatives of the Christmas Island boat tragedy. NSWYL appoints TressCox solicitor as chair TressCox Lawyers  employment solicitor Natasha Walls has been elected as chair of the employment and industrial law committee of the NSW Young Lawyers. The committee provides a forum for young lawyers interested in employment and industrial law and analyses legislative changes, raises public awareness and pushes law reform. DLA Canberra hires govt specialist DLA Piper has appointed a former government specialist with the Department of Families, Housing, Community Services and Indigenous Affairs (FaHCSIA) to partner. David Fintan joins DLA’s litigation and regulatory team in Canberra from a management role in the commercial, Indigenous and public law branch of FaHCSIA.

De AL MAKeRS

Simon Fraser

Mark Malinas

Shannon Finch

Firm

Blake Dawson (BHP Billiton Olympic Dam Corporation Pty Ltd)

Allens Arthur Robinson (iSelect), Allen & Overy (Goldman Sachs), Dibbs Barker (InfoChoice)

Mallesons Stephen Jaques (underwriters) Gilbert + Tobin (Catalpa)

Deal name

Renegotiation for expansion of BHP Olympic dam mine

iSelect Ltd’s first acquisition in the Australian market.

Fundraising by Evolution Mining after merger between Conquest Mining and  Catalpa Resources

Area

Corporate

M&A

M&A

Value

Undisclosed

$35 million loan facility

$150 million

Key players

Blakes’ Simon Fraser

Allens’ Mark Malinas

Mallesons’ Shannon Finch

Clifford Chance expands Asia practice Clifford Chance has poached former Henry Davis York partner Nick Dunstone to its Hong Kong office. Dunstone brings over 14 years experience to the firm’s Asia-Pacific restructuring and special situations practice. His appointment follows Asia-Pacific practice leader Scott Bache’s relocation to Sydney.

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thisweek

Company to capture panels with net a neW company has made an audacious bid to encourage in-house lawyers and companies to use the web rather than existing panel arrangements when choosing law firms. Sydney-based company e-brief, which was launched earlier this month, offers clients the chance to submit a confidential proposal for legal work, with lawyers who subscribe to the site able to make a tender submission in an attempt to pick up work. “We are hoping the technology will eventually come to a point where it can replace paneling,” said neeraj Chand, the website development manager of the fledgling company and a qualified technology lawyer. “Your sophisticated clients, your informed consumer, can then have a look at the different proposals and make a choice.” Currently, e-brief has around 40 lawyers subscribed to it, ranging from those at top-tier firms to smaller boutiques. Chand said that by the end of the year, it is hoped the company will have a few hundred subscribers covering most areas of commercial practice.

slaters eyes Uk market Slater & Gordon has its sights set on the UK legal services market following the introduction of legislation allowing listed companies and incorporated law firms to compete with Britain’s traditional law firms. Speaking at the firm’s annual general meeting last Friday (21 October), company chair anna Booth said the company’s board is supporting the search for opportunities in the UK following a deregulation of the legal services market which allows listed companies to trade as alternative Business Structures under the legal Services act 2007. “[the] board continues to give support to management to explore opportunities for Slater & Gordon in overseas markets, particularly in the UK, which is a similar legal jurisdiction to australia,” said Booth. While the firm’s recent acquisitions of trilby Misso and Keddies have proven to be fruitful bringing in an additional $43 million in revenue since they joined the firm earlier this year - Booth acknowledged that similar acquisition opportunities in the australian market are dwindling. “We’ll continue to pursue opportunities to accelerate the organic growth of the personal injuries business while we develop other avenues for the long-term growth of the company,” she said. Managing director andrew Grech said opportunities in the UK market are being “more seriously evaluated” with the firm looking to take advantage of the changing regulatory environment and the fact the personal injuries market in the UK

generally has lower working capital requirements. Slater & Gordon continues to enjoy strong financial growth, with Grech revealing total revenue earnings of $182.3 million for the 2010/11 financial year - a jump of 46.2 per cent from the previous year. Over the past five years, the firm has achieved 30 per cent compound annual growth and Grech is confident the firm can exceed total revenue of $200 million for the 2011/12 financial year. the firm listed on the australian Stock exchange in 2007 and was the first law firm in the world to do so.

Pay rise expectations not realistic a neW study has shown that many australian employees have false expectations when it comes to pay rises. according to a new asia-Pacific survey conducted by Hays, while 35 per cent of australians expect a pay increase of more than 6 per cent, most employers only intend to increase salaries by less than 3 per cent. the study also showed that 33 per cent of employees expect an increase of between 3 and 6 per cent, while 32 per cent expect a salary increase of less than 3 per cent. In contrast, just 6 per cent of employers intend to offer increases above 6 per cent; 44 per cent intend to increase salaries by between 3 and 6 per cent; and 43 per cent intend to increase salaries by less than 3 per cent. “In today’s market, many employees have higher expectations than their employers when it comes to their next pay rise,” said Hays director nick Deligiannis. “But employers won’t be swayed by these expectations. Instead of offering widespread salary increases, many employers are choosing to review employee benefits to help them attract and retain staff.” Deligiannis added that employers are currently more likely to discuss potential career paths with their highest achievers and to offer training and development. lw

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thisweek

The James Hardie appeal case was heard in the High Court this week. Justin Whealing reports

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his week the High Court heard an appeal by the Australian Securities and Investment Commission (ASIC) seeking to hold to account seven non-executive directors and a former general counsel from James Hardie for the underfunding of an asbestos illness compensation scheme for former workers. Clayton Utz acted for ASIC, with five firms on the other side. Brigitte Markovic, the head of the firm’s litigation and dispute resolution practice, led the firm’s team. Solicitor-general Stephen Gageler SC also instructed. Atanaskovic Hartnell managing partner John Atanaskovic and partner Larissa Pickford acted for four of the non-executive directors, including the former chairman, Meredith Hellicar. It also acted for Michael Brown, Mike Gilfillan and Martin Koffel, and instructed barristers Justin Gleeson SC, Rob Hollo SC and Rohan Hardcastle. Arnold Bloch Leibler partner Jonathan Milner acted for Dan O’Brien, with barrister Peter Wood instructed. Kemp Strang partner Alex Linden acted for Peter Willcox, with barristers Thomas Jucovic QC and Richard Scruby assisting. Greg Terry retained Blake Dawson partner Angela Pearsall. Barristers Andrew Bell SC and Scott Nixon assisted. ASIC is challenging a NSW Court of Appeal judgment from December last year that overturned a previous judgment banning the seven former nonexecutive directors of James Hardie from sitting on boards

for five years, and set aside separate fines of $30,000. The former general counsel and company secretary of James Hardie, Peter Shafron, also won leave to appeal to the High Court for alleged breaches of the Corporations Act, with a full bench of the High Court hearing all the eight cases together. In the NSW Court of Appeal judgment, former NSW chief justice James Spigelman commented that “ASIC (and derivatively its lawyers) has a duty to conduct litigation such as this consistently with ASIC’s duty of fairness. This case was notable for ASIC’s egregious failure to observe this duty, and the court’s decision today was in significant part based on ASIC’s failure to act fairly in presenting witnesses to court”. Spigelman specifically referred to ASIC’s failure to call David Robb, a former partner of Allens Arthur Robinson, who had provided legal advice to James Hardie. “Even if the High Court supports ASIC on the duty of fairness issue – and finds there isn’t one or that ASIC didn’t breach it – the High Court still has to come to a view on whether ASIC has proved its case that the non-executive directors approved the relevant Australian Securitees Exchange (ASX) release,” said John Atanaskovic when speaking to Lawyers Weekly. ASIC claims the board was aware that James Hardie was to make an announcement to the ASX in 2001 that its compensation scheme was “fully funded”, when it was in fact underfunded by over $1 billion. The former non-executive

“The High Court still has to come to a view on whether ASIC has proved its case that the non-executive directors approved the relevant Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) release” JoHn ATAnASKovIC, mAnAGInG pARTnER, ATAnASKovIC HARTnEll

directors of James Hardie dispute this.

General counsels’ duty Peter Shafron’s case has the potential to significantly alter what are considered to be the responsibilities of a general counsel. “The High Court has an opportunity to establish a clearer test to identify who is an officer and how far an officer’s duty of care extends,” Middletons partner Murray Deakin told Lawyers Weekly. “The resolution of these critical issues would be of great benefit to corporate Australia.” Deakin is acting for Shafron, with assistance from senior associate Sylivia Ng and highprofile barrister Bret Walker SC. The High Court is expected to make its judgment late this year or early next year.

US/UK Update

clayton Utz vs five firms

Gaddafi’s death averts trial debate The death of Libyan despot Muammar Gaddafi avoids a potentially fraught legal process in regards to where to try the ousted leader, reports The Guardian. The question could have pitted Libya’s National Transitional Council against the demands of international justice as Libya’s justice minister had insisted Gaddafi be tried in Libya under local law. International lawyers suggested a compromise that could have seen a drawn out trial in Tripoli paid for by the UN and conducted under national and international law. QualitySolicitors moves to dominate UK market A London High Street franchise, QualitySolicitors, has locked in a private equity investment which will see it grow its brand across the UK, reports The Lawyer. The size of the investment by Palamon Capital Partners is still unknown but will see Palamon gain a majority shareholding in the company, which charges firms to sit on a panel that allows them to pool resources to market services. US firm poaches pair to launch Russian post US business litigation firm Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has announced it will be opening an office in Moscow, Russia, reports The AM Law Daily. Moscow will be the firm’s tenth office and is scheduled to open by the end of the year with two lateral hires from Dechert’s Moscow office, Ivan Marisin and Vasily Kuznetsov, who both previously worked for Clifford Chance. Judges call for paper trail overhaul Two of Britain’s most well-respected judges are calling for an “electronic revolution” in the courts, arguing that the enhanced use of technology would improve access to justice and promote the UK’s legal services as some of the best in the world, reports The Lawyer. Master of the Rolls Lord Neuberger and Mr Justice Vos have both called for a procedural overhaul of court documents with a view to moving towards the more efficient and extensive use of IT and emails. Vos also suggested an overhaul of court documents in order to decrease the length of trials and court hearings.

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indepth

sri lanka project bears fruit Last week, two years of work by Australian lawyers culminated in the presentation of a brief to the Federal Government containing evidence of war crimes in Sri Lanka. But there is more work to be done. Claire Chaffey reports

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he work of Australian lawyers who last week brought to light allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity in Sri Lanka is far from over, according to one of the project leaders. Daniel Petrushnko, the president of the New South Wales Young Lawyers (NSWYL), the organisation which assisted the International Commission of Jurists Australia with an evidence-gathering project, said that while he is pleased to see the fruits of two years of hard work, there is still much more to do. “The work is not finished and there is plenty more to do, but it is a satisfying feeling to see the public being educated and the awareness increase on what happened in Sri Lanka,” he told Lawyers Weekly. The NSWYL assisted the ICJA prepare and submit a brief of evidence to the Australian Federal Police and Commonwealth Director of Public Prosecutions on 14 October, calling for an investigation into war crimes and crimes against humanity committed in Sri Lanka during the final phase of the civil war. “Many thousands of men, women and children were left injured, homeless and dead at the end of the civil

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war and justice must be afforded to those people,” said Petrushnko. “Those responsible for such atrocities need to be held to account. There will no peace in Sri Lanka or elsewhere in the world if international impunity for such crimes continues.” Confidential copies of the brief were also provided to Prime Minister Julia Gillard, Foreign Affairs Minister Kevin Rudd and Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland. The Sri Lanka Evidence Project consists of four phases, including research and preparation of a chronology of events that occurred over the past 20 years in Sri Lanka and a summary of law relating to war crimes, crimes against humanity and other human rights violations; the training of evidence-gatherers and support staff in statement-taking and dealing with traumatised witnesses; the taking of statements in Australia and overseas; and the consolidation of witness statements in order to prepare a body of evidence which can be used in any national or international prosecution for violations of international criminal law.

“If CHOGM goes ahead in 2013 with Sri Lanka as host, it’s ignoring the fact that these atrocities occurred in Sri Lanka” DanIeL PetruSHnkO, PreSIDent, new SOutH waLeS YOunG LawYerS

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indepth

rogue states will reconsider With four jurisdictions still refusing to back the national legal profession reform, a positive new step towards its implementation might just make them reconsider. Claire Chaffey reports

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urisdictions not currently supporting national legal profession reform are likely to reconsider their position once they see its benefits, according to Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland. On 19 October, McClelland announced that New South Wales will host the National Legal Services Board and National Legal Services Commissioner. He said he is confident that those jurisdictions currently refusing to support the reforms – Western Australia, South Australia, Tasmania and the ACT – will eventually change their minds. “These reforms will deliver benefits for the vast majority of the legal profession and I’m confident the remaining jurisdictions will come on board once they can see the clear benefits of the scheme up and running,” said McClelland, adding that the cost of local regulation of the profession could no longer be justified. “I commend my colleagues from New South Wales, Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory for their good faith and constructive approach to these reforms.” The president of the Law Council of Australia, Alexander Ward, shares McClelland’s optimism. “I don’t think the other jurisdictions are saying, ‘No, we won’t do it’,” he told Lawyers Weekly. “Rather, they are hanging off to see whether it is ever going to happen. Now they can see that it is, that this is a very serious, concrete step, because now the Bill gets introduced into Parliament, the Board gets established and the machinery starts to work. Up to this point, it has been a serious aspiration with a lot of work put into it, but now it is becoming reality.” Ward added that even if all jurisdictions do not immediately decide to support the reforms, it is likely they will do so as the process progresses. “[There is] a solid core of practitioners – which is 85 per cent of practitioners – with a solid core of jurisdictions in it, and the rest can join if they wish,” he said. “A lot of people have said to me, ‘Yes, but not yet’. But if you get in now, you have got a foot on the ground while things are still being developed.” Despite optimism from supporting jurisdictions that the reforms will eventually be broadly implemented, the non-participating jurisdictions continue to harbour concerns about what the reforms will mean for them. Last month, the president of the Law Society of Tasmania, Bill Griffiths, told Lawyers Weekly that many of these concerns centre on questions about the necessity of national reforms and the potential cost of

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“I don’t think the other jurisdictions are saying, ‘No, we won’t do it’. Rather, they are hanging off to see whether it is ever going to happen” AlexANdeR WARd, pResIdeNt, lAW CouNCIl of AustRAlIA

implementing such reforms. But with Victoria agreeing to introduce legislation for reforms that will be replicated across participating jurisdictions, the implementation of the scheme appears to be one step closer. “National reforms to the legal profession have been four years in the making and I’m delighted we can now confirm the final steps in implementing the scheme,” said McClelland. “These reforms will serve the interests of both consumers and the legal profession by improving consumer protection, protecting the independence of the legal profession and ensuring access to justice.” The Law Society of New South Wales welcomed McClelland’s announcement, with President Stuart Westgarth saying the decision to appoint NSW as the host state is a logical one, given that it hosts more than 40 per cent of the profession. “In New South Wales, we have had, and under this regime will continue to have, a healthy and efficient coregulatory scheme of regulation, and we will give every assistance that we can to the proposed Board and the Commissioner in the discharge of their functions,” said Westgarth. Ward told Lawyers Weekly it is likely the reforms would be effective from 1 July 2013 in order to coincide with the renewal of practicing certificates. lw

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INTERNATIONAL CORPORATE M&A SOLICITOR – MULTIPLE EUROPEAN OFFICES • 3-6 Years PQE • Quality Top-Tier Law Firm This is an exceptional opportunity for a corporate M&A/ECM lawyer with toptier experience to join an international firm. You will work with global clients on complex deals within a tier-one corporate team with an emphasis on private equity and real estate. Possible secondments throughout Europe are on offer. Ref. No. BX/32376.

CONSTRUCTION LAWYER – LONDON • 2-7 Years PQE • Top-Tier International Law Firm This is a great opportunity with a global firm to join a tier-one construction team based in London. You will work on some of the largest construction projects worldwide. Strong career progression opportunities are on offer. Ref. No. BX/34465.

CORPORATE & COMMERCIAL LAWYER – JAKARTA • Top-Tier International Firm • 5+ Years PQE Our client is a leading premium global law firm seeking to source an exceptional lawyer with broad transactional experience in M&A. Australian/NZ top-tier and mid-tier experience preferred. Ref. No. 3B/54112. For further information please call our consultants below, quoting the relevant reference number. Sydney: Dan Hogan on 02 8233 2649 Melbourne: Greg Monks on 03 9623 6746 Brisbane: Nick Robertson on 07 3258 8374

BRISBANE CORPORATE COUNSEL – REGULATORY • 5+ Years PQE • Regulatory Focused Role Our client is one of Australia’s leading oil and gas companies. This is an exciting opportunity for a lawyer experienced in petroleum and water legislation as well as skills and exposure to key regulatory issues including overlapping tenure management, groundwater and CSG water management, development of gas field and pipeline infrastructure, and land access. Ref. No. BX/34920.

PO6 LAWYER • Government Department • 12 Month Contract Our client is a major provider of legal services to the Queensland Government. It provides legal services to ministers, statutory authorities, government departments, agencies and local authorities in a range of areas. An exciting opportunity exists for a lawyer with 3-4+ years PQE to work within the Native Title group across front-end native title and project related transactions. Ref. No. BX/33629. For further information, please call Nick Robertson on 07 3258 8374, or Katie Rogers on 07 3258 8302, quoting the relevant reference number.

CORPORATE/COMMERCIAL LAWYER

MELBOURNE EXECUTIVE LEGAL COUNSEL – EMPLOYMENT LAW • Outstanding Public Sector Opportunity • Up To $200k Salary Package Our client wishes to source a barrister and/or senior employment law specialist to manage a dynamic array of work and oversee a sizeable legal team. Play a critical role and facilitate the delivery of important government agenda! Ref. No. 3B/58338.

WANT TO MOVE INTO A COMMERCIAL ROLE? • Energy & Resources Space • Tired Of Being A Lawyer? With hydro, solar, geothermal and wind farm projects at varying stages of development, Pacific Hydro has the vision and commitment to develop clean energy projects across the globe. They are now seeking a property or environment lawyer to join its Melbourne legal team. Ref. No. 3B/57181.

LITIGATION – 4+ YEARS PQE • Commercial Disputes/Insolvency • Excellent Salary This national mid-tier is growing rapidly and is seeking talented lawyers to help drive the growth. Suiting lawyers with four years plus experience. In-house secondment opportunities! Ref. No. 3B/58201. For further information, please call Stuart Ablethorpe on 03 9623 6777, Greg Monks on 03 9623 6746 or Antonia Ordon on 03 9623 6647, quoting the relevant reference number.

• Corporate 2-4 Years PQE • Mergers & Acquisitions An expansion opportunity exists to be an integral part of the corporate team at this regarded Australian law firm. You will gain exposure to a range of clients on large transactional matters and increase your experience within the corporate M&A market. Ref. No. BX/35039.

INSURANCE LITIGATOR • 2+ Years PQE • Contract Role Short term contract role for insurance litigators wanting to gain in-house experience. Receive, assess, investigate and respond to complaints and disputes. Ref. No. BX/35015.

LEGAL COUNSEL • 5-7 Years PQE • Commercial Role This is a broad commercial role with exposure to a full range of legal work including compliance, insurance, property, litigation and company secretariat. Commercial contracts experience is essential. Ref. No. BX/34629. For further information, please call Dan Hogan on 02 8233 2649 or Bonnie-Louise Lussier on 02 8233 2367, quoting the relevant reference number.


practiceprofile

Half steam ahead The Australian corporate market currently has a two-speed economy, with a bullish M&A sector and a bearish capital market. Justin Whealing reports

A

ustralia has become a popular destination for international business. While this has been a boon for the M&A market, the capital market is suffering. The offshore raiders are turning to their domestic markets to raise funds to purchase Australian companies, meaning it is not likely the buoyant M&A market will drag the capital market out of its slump. “We always hope that the M&A market will act as a spur for capital market activity, but you need domestic interest in the M&A market for that to happen,” says Philippa Stone, the co-head of the equity capital markets group at Freehills. “Australian M&A market activity might be pushing along the capital markets in Canada and India – for if your acquirers are offshore they will be raising capital in an offshore market.” According to the Freehills 2011 M&A Report released in September, 51 per cent of bidders in the M&A market in the last financial year were foreign, compared to 42 per cent in 2010. The interest of foreign companies is even more stark at the high-end of the market. According to the Freehills analysis, there were 18 announced billion dollar-plus deals in Australia in FY11, of which 15 (83 per cent) involved a foreign bidder. Earlier this month, Allen & Overy released its

Q32011: Asia Pacific M&A Index. The report noted that four of the top six acquiring countries had Australia in its top 10 list of targets. In the USA and the United Kingdom, the two leading acquirers, Australia ranked fifth and tenth respectively. It also ranked second for Chinese acquirers and third for Canadian companies. While Australia’s energy and resources sector continues to attract the attention of Chinese bidders, Allen & Overy partner Michael Parshall believes North American countries have been attracted to Australia on the back of recent sector activity and the knowledge they are investing into a country with a stable political and economic environment. “There has been some chunky infrastructure deals from Canadian pension funds at a time when the infrastructure sector in Australia has gone through a period of change,” he says. “Interest from the USA is a little bit more surprising, because of the exchange rate. “Australia is seen as a safe and reliable place to invest, given the issues confronting the US economy. They are looking for solid growth rather than something that might potentially have higher growth but more risk.”

we want your stuff the top 10 acquiring countries Q1-Q3 2011

My firm is better than yours A sluggish capital market has meant that many of the large IPOs planned for this year have been shelved or postponed as Australian companies are cautious to go to the capital market at a time of global financial volatility. According to the Ernst & Young global Confidence Barometer Report released on 10 October, 30 per cent of the 110 Australasian corporate executives surveyed said they were focused on preserving capital. This was a marked increase from the global figure of 19 per cent. The EY report also found that deal financing

SOurCe: Allen & Overy

I think that deal would have been driven by the particular lawyers at A&O, who were lawyers elsewhere prior to A&O coming into the market” CrAIg Semple, pArtner, mAlleSOnS Stephen JAqueS

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practiceprofile

Pa ge

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2 4 / 1 0 / 1 1 ,

To have a single law firm able to execute the transaction, and be able to tend to all of the matters in the other places, is not only to our considerable advantage, but also our client’s” MichaeL ParshaLL, ParTner, aLLen & Overy

through equity raising has more than halved since April. This means equity capital markets lawyers have had to increasingly look to source work from elsewhere. “I am definitely doing more M&A work than capital markets work as compared to two years ago,” says Stone, who has always had a foot in both markets. “As maturities approach there may be some companies looking to raise equity but, by and large, the equity markets are relatively flat.” With international corporates and lawyers increasingly looking at the M&A market for opportunities, an already competitive market has been ramped up a few notches. Michael Parshall was part of the Allen & Overy team advising the UK’s SABMiller on its $12.3 billion bid for Foster’s. The former head of the M&A team at Clayton Utz believes global law firms have a natural advantage over national firms when it comes to cross-border transactions. “As transactions get bigger and companies get bigger, they are often operating in multiple jurisdictions, and to have a single law firm able to execute the transaction, and be able to tend to all of the matters in the other places, is not only to our considerable advantage, but also our client’s,” he says. With the outlook of the Australian business sector becoming increasingly global and the general counsels of many large corporations looking to streamline their external legal relationships, Parshall’s words certainly have a ring of truth. However, national firms are hanging in there. In Allen & Overy’s home market of the United Kingdom, the only one of five magic circle firms not to have an overseas office – Slaughter & May – comfortably has the highest level of profits per partner. In the Bloomberg legal league table for the first nine months of this year, Allens Arthur Robinson and Mallesons Stephen Jaques were the leading two firms by deal value in Australia. Freehills and Clatyton Utz were also in the top five, ahead of Allen & Overy, which was sixth. Significantly, on the SABMiller bid for Foster’s, it was Allens advising Foster’s, with the legal league tables listing the legal representation for both the acquiring and acquired company. Is the best national firms can hope for to be advising Australian takeover targets while global firms act for the bidders and underwriters? “I think that deal would have been driven by the particular lawyers at A&O, who were lawyers elsewhere prior to A&O coming into the market,” says Mallesons M&A partner Craig Semple. “I don’t think that should be taken as an indication that there is some sort of competitive advantage for global law firms in this market with M&A work.” LW

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opinion

the power of pro bono For Freehills consultant Peter Rowe, pro bono work is about much more than professional obligation. He tells us why lawyers must see it as an opportunity. 16

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If you can make pro bono a part of your culture, and get it right, then it can be an incredibly powerful part of your business”

I

believe participating in pro bono goes with the territory of being a lawyer. We learn early in our careers that the privilege of practising law comes with an obligation to ensure access to justice for all. There is a high demand for legal services in the not-for-profit sector and, as those responsible for applying and interpreting laws, we have a duty to represent those who cannot represent themselves. For many lawyers, this obligation is fulfilled by working directly with disadvantaged individuals or communities to provide the legal services that they could otherwise not afford. As a corporate lawyer specialising in funds management and securitisation, my skills were more attuned to helping fund managers establish and administer investment vehicles and financial institutions to raise capital – skills that are less highly demanded by disadvantaged communities and those unable to represent themselves. Throughout my career with Freehills, I have been encouraged to take an active role in our pro bono program. With a strong commercial focus, the firm has taken unique and innovative approaches to its pro bono practice, which has provided the foundations to enable its lawyers to use their specific skill sets to better the wider community. The firm has established new legal initiatives, for example, the pro bono business law clinics with Mission Australia and Fairfax Media to support a Federal Government-funded employment program. It also established the Shopfront Youth Legal Centre with Mission Australia and The Salvation Army – the only service supported by a commercial law firm that provides a centre for legal advice and representation for homeless and disadvantaged young people in Sydney. I’ve been fortunate enough to participate in the development of many of these pro bono initiatives and watch their success grow over the years. The firm has responded to the growing need for accountability in the not-for-profit sector, making expert legal advice essential for all charity organisations. This has provided an opportunity for corporate lawyers to share their unique skills in advising on the structural options and governance issues for the boards of a wide range of charities and foundations. The firm’s pro bono program has enabled me to live out my pro bono responsibilities and, over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to establish and assist a number of important not-for-profit organisations. I have led a great bunch of solicitors on a number of highly complex matters, such as a major organisational restructure, licensing and contractual amendments, negotiations with members and fundraising. Aside from providing immense personal satisfaction by fulfilling one’s responsibility, providing pro bono legal services is an opportunity

for lawyers to broaden their professional experience by applying their skills in new ways and contexts. Some of the pro bono matters my team has worked on have been as difficult and complex, in both a technical and commercial sense, as many of the paid matters. Pro bono can often open doors to acting in highly innovative legal cases. Freehills’ litigation team, led by Steven Penglis, successfully represented two persons suffering from gender dysphoria on an appeal to the High Court to have their sex legally recognised without having to undergo dangerous and invasive surgery. This was a highly controversial case that the team would not otherwise have had an opportunity to work on, not to mention the fact that their work will now pave the way for transgender human rights for many future generations. These opportunities have all been enabled and encouraged by Freehills’ strong endorsement of pro bono, which is deeply ingrained into the firm’s culture. Pro bono is more than just a corporate responsibility scheme in commercial law practice. It has added benefits of not only being a way to enhance the working experience, but to attract new talent seeking the opportunity to fulfil their obligation to provide legal services on a pro bono basis. Freehills is an example of how a strong pro bono practice can support the commercial success of a law firm. It has proved that firms can both deliver strong financial results and have a leading pro bono practice. It has shown that the two are not mutually exclusive. If you can make pro bono a part of your culture, and get it right, then it can be an incredibly powerful part of your business. On a personal level, providing pro bono legal services has been one of the most rewarding aspects of my career. Working with organisations that have great ideas and strong hearts, but lack the technical skills to get their initiatives off the ground, means you often have a pivotal role in helping them meet their objectives. Watching new solicitors join the group on a junior level, and seeing them not only develop as commercial lawyers but also how they take to pro bono matters – and the immense value they get out of it – is incredibly rewarding. More than 30 years of being a lawyer has taught me that the sector is not led by merely this sense of obligation, but by opportunity: the opportunity to apply legal skills to new areas; for greater life experience and, of course, to positively impact local and global communities. lw Peter Rowe is the deputy chair of the Freehills Foundation, Freehills consultant and former partner.

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mainstory

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A formal pledge for

pro bono

Improving the Australian legal profession’s pro bono contribution requires better structure and coordination. Briana Everett uncovers the level of commitment needed for firms to do their bit

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ro bono in Australia has come a long way since the country’s first pro bono clinic was established by Freehills in 1989. According to the National Pro Bono Resource Centre’s (NPBRC) Fourth Performance Report on the Aspirational Target of 35 hours of pro bono work per lawyer per year released this month, signatories to the target provided more than 220,000 hours of pro bono legal work in 2010/2011 and their lawyers each completed an average of 39.8 hours in the same period (up from 39.5 hours the year before). In addition, the eight law firm signatories with more than 50 lawyers that met the centre’s target

There are some examples of what I would call medium-sized firms starting to step-up their pro bono practice, but there are still a large number that don’t and probably should” NIcolas PaTrIck, ParTNer, Dla PIPer

averaged 48.6 hours of pro bono work per lawyer, and jointly provided almost 180,000 hours of pro bono in 2010/11. Today, the question of whether a lawyer or a law firm provides pro bono has been replaced by the question of how much it provides, and what is being done to increase that contribution. Yet despite the fact that firms are increasingly measuring and reporting their pro bono contributions, Australian law firms still need to do more to enhance their pro bono involvement. According to the NPBRC’s director John Corker, while there has been a significant improvement in the profession’s pro bono contribution and its measurement, mid-sized firms in particular need to lift their game. “If you look at the survey figures that we’ve done over the last couple of years and the aspirational target return, it’s quite clear that the mid-tier firms … are the ones that don’t have the same performance figures in terms of average hours per lawyer of pro bono work, compared to some stand-out small firms – really small firms – and the larger firms,” says Corker, suggesting that a greater focus on fee-earning amongst mid-sized firms may be a contributing factor and one of the reasons many mid-sized firms are yet to appoint their own designated pro bono coordinator or partner. Agreeing that mid-sized firms could do more, DLA Piper’s head of pro bono, partner Nicolas Patrick, highlights the paucity of mid-tier firms which have neglected to appoint a designated pro bono coordinator or partner as evidence that it is not a high priority.

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mainstory firms starting to step-up their pro bono practice, but there are still a large number that don’t and probably should.” While Corker concedes there are a handful of mid-sized firms that are beginning to change their approach to pro bono, he notes that the culture required to facilitate the growth of a firm’s pro bono contribution is lacking within a number of those mid-sized firms. “It’s a cultural thing. I don’t think it’s about the downturn or a lack of resources,” he says. “If you look through the income per partner or profit per partner, it’s not a matter of resources – it never has been. It’s about embracing the ethical importance of facilitating lawyers to do pro bono legal work. “It’s about lawyers appealing to the highest ideals of the profession and embracing that value, supporting that value. Really believing it and making it happen.”

The most important thing is the quality of work. What are we achieving? Are we making a difference?” AnneTTe BAin, execuTive direcTor, Freehills FoundATion

“[Most of] the largest firms have had, for many years now, at least one full-time pro bono lawyer,” he says. “Most of us now have several. At DLA we’ve got a few, Clayton Utz has got a few, Blakes has got a few … yet there are still some that don’t have any at all. There is a growing gap between the larger firms and the medium-sized firms. There are some examples of what I would call medium-sized

The need for structure Fortunately, the effort amongst firms to make pro bono happen is growing. In his seven years at the NPBRC, Corker says he has witnessed a gradual improvement and a greater willingness amongst firms – including the mid-tier – to embrace the importance of pro bono. “There are a number of firms, just in the last six months or so, that have approached the centre for assistance and we’ve had some really good discussions,” he says. “And since that time, those firms have appointed a coordinator and that coordinator has developed a written pro bono policy and set some internal targets.” However, compared to the early days of pro

bono when sole practitioners and firms made their pro bono contribution on a simple, ad hoc basis, fulfilling the profession’s pro bono obligation now requires a much more planned and coordinated approach – the importance of which many firms are yet to realise, according to Corker. “[Structure and coordination] are the key things that are required to make [pro bono] work,” he says. “It’s much more efficient for a firm to do it in that way because it’s then an activity within the firm that is well managed, like everything else.” Corker says a well-developed structure, involving the appointment of a designated pro bono coordinator and / or partner, is vital to building a firm’s pro bono contribution and meeting the NPBRC’s aspirational target.

Law firm signatories to the National Pro Bono Aspirational Target Allens Arthur Robinson Allen & Overy Allygroup Aneesa Parker Arnold Bloch Leibler Australian Government Solicitor Blake Dawson Brock Partners Bruce Thomas Lawyers Clayton Utz Corrs Chambers Westgarth DLA Piper FoodLegal G&D Lawyers Gelin Murdoch Spinks Gilbert + Tobin Henry Davis York HHG Legal Group Human Rights Law Resource Centre Lander & Rogers Logical Legal Solicitors Marsh and Maher McCullough Robertson McDonnell Shroder Solicitors McInnes Wilson Lawyers McMillan Boylson McPhee Lawyers Meyer Vandenberg Minter Ellison Moulis Legal Rostron Carlyle Russell Kennedy Ryan Lawyers Sharah & Associates Siracusa Legal Slattery Thompson Stella Stuthridge & Associates Talbot Olivier Winn Legal Zeeman & Zeeman Source: National Pro Bono Resource Centre www.nationalprobono.org.au

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A number of mid-tier firms think they can just give the job to someone who has a full-time commercial practice and that will be enough” John Corker, direCtor, nAtionAl Pro Bono resourCe Centre

Although it’s important for firms to be a member of pro bono clearing houses such as PILCH, he adds, it is not enough. “A lot of firms are members of pro bono clearing houses like PILCH NSW and Victoria – and that’s an important aspect of having a pro bono practice – but to some extent, I think they need to do more than that,” he says. Referencing the NPBRC’s online best practice guide to building an effective pro bono practice, Corker says a more structured approach to pro bono – by way of establishing a stand-alone pro bono practice – sends a clear message to the wider community of the integral role pro bono plays within the firm. Additionally, a properly structured pro bono program can help the firm monitor and record pro bono work more effectively and, consequently, measure its benefits and costs. “A number of mid-tier firms think they can just give the job to someone who has a full-time commercial practice and that will be enough,” says Corker. “But the reality is that you need to, at least at the start, give that person two or three days of fee relief so they can focus on the task of pulling the pro bono practice together and developing it. It takes quite a bit of energy. The best pro bono coordinators are very proactive and strategic in terms of managing the practice.” The energy and dedication required to effectively build a firm’s pro bono practice is a factor Blake Dawson’s Anne Cregan, who runs the firm’s national pro bono practice, is well aware of. “It can be incredibly challenging to combine commercial work with pro bono work,” says Cregan, noting the gap in pro bono contributions between larger and mid-sized firms. “The big disadvantages are that the work that has a deadline will always take precedence over the work that doesn’t. Generally, in terms of the coordinator’s role, the work with the deadline will very often be the commercial work. If you’re full time on pro bono, you prioritise the pro bono work in its order of priority and you don’t have that pressure.”

Tresscox Lawyers officially introduced a formal pro bono practice this year after the firm’s partners decided its existing pro bono program needed to be more structured. Since its July inception, the firm has already added another full-time lawyer to its pro bono team in Sydney. “Pro bono is certainly not new to the firm, but it has always been done on more of an ad hoc basis,” says the pro bono team’s leader, special counsel Nicola Arvidson. Recognising that some firms still approach pro bono on more of a laissez-faire basis, Arvidson says Tresscox’s aim was to develop a practice that was structured in a way that would demonstrate the firm’s dedication to pro bono and the significance that the firm’s partners place on the firm’s pro bono involvement. “There are a couple of things that the partners have done at that symbolic level to make sure everybody in the firm understands the significance the partners of the firm place on the pro bono practice,” says Arvidson, who was promoted from senior associate to special counsel to lead the team from 1 July this year. “It was really important to make sure the pro bono practice was run by special counsel and I report directly to the managing partner – another one of those things that sends a message as far as the culture of the firm is concerned.” To develop the new practice, one of the first steps Arvidson took was to assess what kind of pro bono contribution the firm was currently making, taking guidance from the NPBRC,

Pro bono is certainly not new to the firm, but it has always been done on more of an ad hoc basis” niColA Arvidson, sPeCiAl Counsel, tressCox lAwyers

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indepth

It can be incredibly challenging to combine commercial work with pro bono work” Anne CregAn, pArtner, BlAke DAwson

which offers a free consultancy service to firms setting up a pro bono practice. “I contacted the centre to see if I could just get a bit more education because part of being a pro bono coordinator is making sure you can refer the work that you can’t take,” she says. From there, Arvidson saw the practice’s health and disability focus emerge from a combination of the work the firm was already doing in the area, the strength of the firm’s existing health practice, as well as her own passion for supporting individuals and organisations exposed to disability services. “The intention is certainly to create a health and disability focus, but I don’t want to overstate that and say we do it exclusively, because we certainly don’t,” she says.

Hitting target According to Corker, the NPBRC’s aspirational target – a voluntary one which has now been running for four years – was set up to raise visibility of the profession’s pro bono contributions and to provide a useful benchmark for firms. With 66 signatories covering approximately 5,900 lawyers, or 11 per cent of the Australian legal profession, the target provides a useful incentive for lawyers and firms to increase their contribution. “Many signatories exceed [35 hours] and some even double it,” says Corker. Most of Australia’s large law firms, such as Blake Dawson and Clayton Utz, are signatories to the target, despite having much higher internal targets. “We have an internal target of 52 hours per lawyer, per year, which we don’t expect to meet this financial year but expect to meet next financial year,” says Blake Dawson’s national pro bono head, Anne Cregan. “The internal target was arrived at

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in April of last financial year … We knew that 35 hours was less than the number of hours we could contribute, but then we needed to work out what we thought was the number of hours we could actually achieve.” According to Cregan, while Blake Dawson has had a formal pro bono program for 12 years, its strategy and target areas have remained the same. “We’ve had the three same target areas for assistance for those 12 years and we’re getting to the point now where we’ve developed some expertise and some credibility and some real understanding of some of the needs in those areas,” she says, adding that the practice is currently looking to recruit another full-time lawyer, adding to the three full-time lawyers already on board. “In the next two to three years, we’re looking to do some larger transformative projects in those target areas and some additional law reform and policy work.” Like Blake Dawson, Freehills has been running a formal pro bono program since the early 1990s after years of running pro bono on an ad hoc and unrecorded basis. Today, Freehills lawyers average approximately 44 hours of pro bono per lawyer, per year, with an overall firm contribution of approximately 43,000 hours. But in contrast to many of the larger Australian firms, Freehills is not a signatory to

Pro bono beginnings 1989 – First pro bono clinic established in Perth by Freehills 1991 – Law Society of NSW develops its first pro bono policy 1992 – Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) was established in NSW; Law Access service was established in Western Australia & Law Council of Australia published its first definition of pro bono 1993 – Freehills established the Shopfront Youth Legal Centre in Darlinghurst, Sydney, in partnership with Mission Australia to provide legal services for homeless and disadvantaged youth 1994 – PILCH Victoria was established; NSW Bar Legal Assistance Referral Scheme was established 1996 – Gilbert + Tobin appointed the first firm pro bono coordinator in Australia 1998 – Order 80 Federal Court Rules Scheme commenced (court-appointed referral for legal assistance) 2000 – First national pro bono conference was held; the Law Institute of Victoria Legal Assistance Scheme was established 2001 – Queensland PILCH and Homeless Persons’ Legal Service (HPLS) was established in Victoria 2002 – National Pro Bono Resource Centre was established 2003 – The second national pro bono conference was held in Sydney 2004 – ACT pro bono clearing house was launched; HPLS established in NSW 2006 – Clayton Utz became the first firm to appoint a pro bono partner; the Human Rights Law Resource Centre was established in Victoria; HPLS was established in SA 2007 – National Pro Bono Aspirational Target of 35 hours per year was introduced; Blake Dawson appointed a pro bono partner 2008 – Gilbert + Tobin appointed a pro bono partner Source: National Pro Bono Resource Centre www.nationalprobono.org.au

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the NPBRC’s aspirational pro bono target. Recognising the positive influence the target can have on the profession’s pro bono contribution, Freehills Foundation executive director Annette Bain notes that while a target may provide a muchneeded incentive to some firms, it could also lead lawyers to feel that 35 hours is enough and thereby discourage firms to do more. For Bain, the qualitative consideration of whether the firm is making a difference is the better question to be asking, rather than whether a certain number of hours have been met. “The most important thing is the quality of work. What are we achieving? Are we making a difference?” she says. Signatories or not, capacity is a current challenge for many Australian firms trying to either reach the 35-hour target or to expand upon an already significant pro bono practice. “Coming out of the global financial crisis, P a A D _ L WL E X O C T 2 8 _ 1 1 . p d f there is actually quite a lot of work around and

probably lower levels of staffing than would be ideal for the amount of work that is around,” says Cregan. “That puts some real pressure on being able to place matters within the firm and it makes it harder sometimes to get secondees. At the moment, capacity is an issue … I understand from speaking with coordinators from other firms that capacity is a more general problem at the moment.” Capacity also presents a challenge for Freehills’ pro bono program, according to Bain, as the firm aims to take on more and more pro bono each year. With an “unrelenting amount of work”, Bain says most of the firm’s lawyers are “near capacity”, providing a challenge for her as the firm’s coordinator, who is also “totally conscious of work/ life balance”. Although there is no shortage of pro bono work out there, one of the challenges for Patrick at DLA Piper, which averages approximately 53 hours of ge 1 2 4 / 1 0 / 1 1 , 2 : 3 2 PM pro bono per lawyer per year, is finding that work

and bringing it into the firm. “One of the challenges for pro bono lawyers is that people who need legal assistance and people who can’t advocate for themselves often don’t come looking for legal assistance,” he says. “So one of the challenges we have is finding pro bono clients … We literally have to go out looking for clients … We really have to do outreach into the community to get those matters.” With two full-time pro bono partners – one in the United States and one in Australia – Patrick says DLA Piper now has about 15 full-time pro bono lawyers, having just appointed an additional pro bono lawyer in Australia – an “international pro bono counsel” – to source pro bono work from developing and post-conflict countries. “We’re sending our lawyers all over the globe,” he says. “It’s about identifying where the most pressing legal need is and addressing that legal need.” lw

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career

counsel

Making it rain: Establishing a book of business Making it rain and building a “book of business” is all about relationships and networking. Dezz Mardigan reveals how lawyers can expand the business they already have. EvEr wondErEd how some partners have success in developing business, while others can’t seem to get their business off the ground? It’s simple. The characteristics and skills essential for building a personal brand and effectively building business include interpersonal savviness, self discipline and a willingness to take risks. And although there are certain factors from firm to firm which present challenges to lawyers trying to build their business (such as charge-out and billing rates and how client matters are credited), lawyers can build a book of business (BoB) by applying a number of fundamental principles. relationships are everything when it comes to building a BoB. Lawyers need to make a connection with clients, have confidence in their own abilities (and their firm’s) and showcase them. It goes back to the old saying, “ask and you shall receive”. Make no mistake about it;

building a foundation for ‘making rain’ requires a strategic and concentrated focus – just as critical as billing your time. Have a business plan: It is ‘bizz fit’ to have a business plan of your current business and contacts. Similar to having a physical fitness check, consider what’s working, what’s not, and make adjustments. Two or three hours a week is all it would take to keep it updated. Networking ideas: Join LinkedIn. You would be surprised to see how many connections you can make by only putting in an hour a day. At a meeting, put your ‘game face’ on; this is definitely the time to be in a good mood. don’t be shy, go up to someone new and introduce yourself and always pass out two business cards and say, ‘one for you to keep and one for you to share’. Speaking engagements and articles: Become a self-branded lawyer. Get involved,

Job hunting

5.2 % 5.4 % Source: Australian Bureau of Statistics

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Australia’s unemployment rate fell from a 10-month high of 5.3 per cent in August to 5.2 per cent in September

Queensland’s rate of unemployment fell the furthest, down from 6.3 to 5.4 per cent, while South Australia experienced the greatest increase from 5 to 5.6 per cent.

l aw y e r s w e e k ly 2 8 o c t o b e r 2 0 11

my

become a subject-matter expert and make sure your clients / potential clients know all about your expertise. Get published on subjects that people are interested in, blog, connect to people and ask for the opportunity. *Dezz Mardigan is the manager of partner and practice group acquisition at J Legal

next move

Alex McIntyre, senior consultant, Dolman

Q A

How do I make a good impression during a video conference interview?

With the rapid development of technology, interviews via video conference (VC) are now commonplace in the modern day recruitment process. With many candidates moving interstate and overseas, we are frequently asked about the best way to approach a VC interview. When a VC is being arranged from a conference centre, make sure you have the name of the contact person at the facility and check with the organiser that a test call has been done. If it’s an after-hours appointment, make sure you know the after-hours protocol so you can access the building and the floor on which the VC is being held because lift

passes are often required. To ensure the interview starts off on the right foot smile and have prepared ‘ice breakers’. Make light of any technical glitches and be patient and calm to ensure you come across as un-phased by any time-delay interference and the inherent challenges that can occur. Your controlled reaction will put your interviewers at ease and inspire confidence in you. Body language is harder to gauge through VC, making it harder to build rapport and to calibrate your approach. Therefore, it is vital to emphasise your personality and demonstrate confidence in your answers. Be conscious to project your voice, speak clearly and control your tone. Like any other interview, take your resume with you to use a reference point and ensure you have your phone with you just in case all else fails. w w w.law yersweekly.com.au


We are representing a number of leading US and UK firms who are looking at the Australian market and Perth in particular. These firms are looking at options ranging from alliances to taking teams to full blown mergers. If you wish to discuss this fast-changing market in absolute confidence, please call Terrie Cole on 08 61021056 or email at terrie@atticus-legal.com.au.

PARTNER Corporate Partner

Construction Litigation Partner

Energy/Projects Partner Designate

Play a key role in developing the Perth office of this forward thinking national practice. This specific role would suit a corporate partner who wants to work in a more ambitious environment and to join a practice with genuine growth plans. A client following would be ideal. A genuine opportunity to step up. LWA2640

This progressive firm seeks a construction litigation partner to join their established practice. A firm recognised for their outstanding reputation in the market, this role will provide a fantastic platform for a partner wishing to develop their practice with the right support. Plenty of scope to make your mark. LWA2643

This firm is a recently established player in the Perth market with an excellent national reputation. Due to continued success they are seeking a further partner in the energy & resources space to benefit from this firm’s successful cross-selling environment. LWA2642

INTERNATIONAL Project Finance

5+ PQE

Singapore

This top ten global firm seeks a senior associate experienced in major projects and project finance deals with a solid grasp of structuring, documentation and strategy. You will have experience from a strong project finance practice and have the ability to multi-task and an appetite for getting the deal done. LWA2730

Oil and Gas

6-7 PQE

Singapore

Our client is an international firm with offices across the globe. You will have solid transactional experience in upstream and downstream LNG/oil and gas sale and purchase agreements ideally gained in a top national or boutique firm recognized for their energy work. LWA2619

Projects

5+ PQE

Dubai

This is a great opportunity for a projects lawyer with oil & gas exposure looking to develop their career in the Middle East. You will work for one of the region’s most highly regarded individuals on blue chip deals in a fast moving market. Great lifestyle and tax free salary on offer. LWA2731

ASSOCIATES Banking & Finance

6+ PQE

Perth

Corporate Energy

2-6 PQE

Perth

Employment

5+ PQE

Perth

Move to this high profile firm in Perth. Our client seeks outstanding lawyers with general banking and finance experience. You will work on a range of finance transactions including property, project and resource based finance for both lenders and borrowers. LWA2710

Opportunity to further your career at this well regarded nationwide market leader. You will have a background in energy and resources to join their leading M&A team. Solid experience gained in a top tier practice as well as strong academics. LWA2642

Work with this fantastic partner and dynamic team in their growing practice. To be successful you must have experience in employment agreements, independent contractor agreements and industrial instruments gained in a top ranked firm. LWA2714

Corporate Energy

Litigation

Construction

3+ PQE

Perth

Global law firm seeks lawyers with gas & electricity experience to work for high profile clients in the mining and resources sector. You will work for highly regarded individuals in a collegiate work environment. LWA2449 HSE & Risk

5-7 PQE

Perth

This top tier firm seeks an associate with mining, petroleum and other HSE crisis management exposure. You will have top tier experience gained in a similar environment and enjoy working as part of a committed team. LWA2715 Corporate

4-8 PQE

Perth

Our clients are made up of the cream of Australia’s top ranked M&A lawyers. You will get exposure to the biggest deals in a friendly collegiate atmosphere. An excellent academic background is essential as is experience obtained within a leading M&A practice. LWA2719

2-5 PQE

Sydney

2+ PQE

This is an excellent opportunity to work for this highly regarded law firm. You will work on front end property, construction and large scale infrastructure projects. Excellent opportunity to take your career to the next level. LWA2499

Energy

Resources

4-6 PQE

Perth

A flexible approach and an actively collaborative style is required for this thriving practice. You will have experience gained in the mining, oil and gas, power, and/or renewable energy sectors. LWA 2634 Oil and Gas

3-6 PQE

Perth

Great opportunity to make the move to one of the country’s foremost energy practices. You will have solid transactional commercial, oil & gas and documentation experience gained with a top tier practice. Strong academics a must. LWA2573

2+ PQE

Insolvency

3-5 PQE

experience in this area and a desire to continue to develop your experience further. LWA2709

www.atticus-legal.com.au honesty

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integrity

Perth

This renowned boutique firm is seeking a highly motivated lawyer to join their banking recovery, insolvency and reconstruction team. You will have recognised contentious

sandra.godbold@atticus-legal.com.au on 08 61021056

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Sydney

Great opportunity to work with high profile clients in the mining & resources sector at this global law firm. You will be an experienced energy / resources lawyer from a top tier, international or recognized boutique firm. LWA2504

These are a selection of our vacancies, for further information in complete confidence please contact terrie.cole@atticus-legal.com.au or

trust

Perth

Our client is a leading commercial law firm with a focus on Asia Pacific. You will have recognised litigation experience gained in a similar environment as well as first rate drafting experience. Top academics are essential. LWA2459

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partnership


folk

law

Everyone agreed that Flippin was most definitely the life of the party

Drunken tumble lands partner in jail We’ve all been there: you have one too many drinks at a client lunch, get a bit wobbly on your heels, stumble into a taxi, and wake up the next morning wondering just how much you told your boss about your love life and hoping they were as drunk as you were. Most times, they were, and come Monday morning all is forgotten and no-one utters a word about the fact you did karaoke to Michal Bolton and were slurring your words. Unfortunately for an american

partner at dla Piper, her decision to get hammered did not turn out so well, and culminated in her spending a very public night in the slammer. RollonFriday reports that laura Flippin (yes, that really is her name), a partner in dla Piper’s Washington office, was fulfilling her duties as a board member of her former school by attending a soiree in september. By all accounts, the soiree was absolutely rocking, and by the time police responded to a call about drunken behaviour, Flippin had

R e a d t h e l at e s t Folklaw online www.lawyersweekly.com.au/folklaw

AmErIcAn LAwyEr choosEs cAnADA AnD LosEs

apparently face-planted at the bar and had a nice little cut on her nose. When the police picked her up (literally and figuratively), Flippin had a blood alcohol level of 0.253, according to The washington Post. this is a rather high blood alcohol level, and Flippin was charged with public intoxication, treated by ambos and then locked up to sleep it all off. Just to add to her hangover, she’s due to appear in court later this month. Flippin isn’t the only american lawyer to hit the turps a little too hard this month and catch the attention of the authorities at the same time. The l.a Times reports that former newport Beach City attorney david hunt was arrested last week on suspicion of drink driving after he had a dingle with a parked car. hunt, 53, hit the stationary vehicle in a car park and was not injured (though his car didn’t fare too well). Police said hunt was given a “field sobriety test” at the scene of the crash, which he failed (no doubt because it wasn’t an open-book exam). he was arrested immediately but no charges have yet been filed.

Goo goo or Gaga? The case could only spell bad news for Doggy Gaga’s cabaret aspirations

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l aw y e r s w e e k ly 2 8 O c t O b e r 2 0 11

aPPaRently ConsUMeRs could get confused between a cartoon character and the famously quirky (yet human) singer, lady Gaga. as reported by lowering the Bar, a london court has issued an injunction against children’s website Moshi Monsters and its parent company, Mind Candy, preventing it from releasing a single performed by cartoon character lady Goo Goo. lady Gaga and her legal team claimed the parody would likely cause consumer confusion. lady Goo Goo is reportedly a blonde baby dressed in a bonnet, nappy and dark sunglasses – similar to some of the outfits worn by Gaga herself (under the guise that such items constitute actual clothing). according to The Hollywood Reporter, in a day-long hearing in the high Court, Justice vos held that Mind Candy was prevented from “promoting, advertising, selling, distributing or otherwise making available to the public the Moshi dance or any musical work or video which purports to be performed by a character by the name of lady Goo Goo”. the single, which was released on youtube but has since been removed, features the animated baby singing lyrics such as “my stroller’s pretty and my diapers are silk. i throw my toys out if i don’t get my milk”. the founder of Mind Candy, Michael acton smith, said the judgment set “a dangerous precedent”. “the ruling could set a dangerous precedent in trademark law impacting tribute bands and parody songs. not a good day for creatives,” he tweeted. Folklaw is disappointed the cartoon character’s single has been banned and that lady Gaga, who sometimes forgets to wear pants, takes herself so seriously.

an iMMiGRation lawyer on the run from authorities has made a dunderhead of himself by seeking safe haven in Canada. new york immigration attorney earl seth david was arrested in Canada this month on charges that he ran an “immigration fraud mill”. Reuters reports that david has been accused of running a nice little earner (as they don’t say in Manhattan) by submitting at least 25,000 immigration applications over 15 years at up to $30,000 a pop. Folklaw spent way too much time in high school watching that great Canadian show degrassi Junior high and chillin’ out to Canadian artists such as neil young, leonard Cohen and the tea Party to be any good at maths, but it can only agree with prosecutors who allege that david made millions of dollars from the scheme. Cryptically, the lawyer is also known as “Rabbi avraham david”, and has previously passed himself off as an expert in the Bible Codes. in order to get the applications over the line, david is accused of making bogus claims that the immigrants were being sponsored by Us companies. the rogue lawyer was suspended from practice in 2004, but it is alleged he continued to run the scheme from Canada, where he fled in 2006. Former colleagues from his practice are also implicated in the scheme and are amongst 12 people that have been charged. For an immigration law expert, Folklaw is amazed that he chose to flee to Canada, a country america has an extradition treaty with. there are still a whole host of countries david could have fled to, including Morocco, vietnam and, as Roman Polanski knows, France. if convicted, david faces up to 20 years in prison.

David could not BELIEVE he’d actually been discovered … w w w.law yersweekly.com.au


Brian Rollo In-House Sydney

taylorroot.com.au

Expect us to live up to our reputation Your reputation matters. So does ours. For over 20 years, we’ve worked hard to gain the respect and trust of clients and candidates by setting the highest professional standards in recruitment. So whether you’re recruiting or considering your next career move, you can be confident that our consultants will live up to their promises. Contact our Sydney office on +61 (0)2 9236 9000 or our Melbourne office on +61 (0)3 8610 8400. Alternatively visit taylorroot.com.au

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Lawyers Weekly, October 28, 2011