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The trials of being Mark Tedeschi QC

The top tier embraces LPO

Defence law in a state of flux






Ebsworth takes some of Piper’s tunes


Print Post Approved 255003/05160

MISTAKEN IDENTITY Why misperception is getting lawyers down

Friday 04 November 2011

Dolman Careers Brisbane | Environment & Planning

Brisbane | Construction/Energy & Resources

Senior Associate

Special Counsel/Partner

Exciting E&P role with exposure to projects and energy and resources work. Great opportunity for a senior lawyer looking to make your mark in this practice area. Excellent business development skills essential. Ref: BRI/4527/GG

Our client is interesting in talking to senior lawyers with a practice or with a successful and proven track record of business development. You will be energetic, ambitious and be a key player in the driving of the practice. Ref: BRI/4534/GG

Brisbane | Corporate

Brisbane | Project Finance

Senior Associate

Senior Associate

Talented transactional lawyer is sought with a sound understanding of the relevant legislation, equity capital markets, structuring, due diligence and previous experience working on complex and high level transactions. Friendly and supportive team environment. Ref: BRI/4124/GG

Busy practice seeks an ambitious lawyer with a background working on large complex financing transactions. You will work on a range of corporate and project finance matters, acquisition finance, cross boarder leveraged and private equity transactions. Ref: BRI/4011/GG

Private Practice


Sydney | IP Litigation

Sydney | Corporate M&A/ECM

International powerhouse seeks experienced lawyer to work on a broad range of high level and complex IP disputes. Matters will include trade marks, patents, copyright, designs and confidential information. Ref: SYD/4514/AM

This top tier firm offers the opportunity to work with one of Australia’s leading corporate partners on award winning deals. You will be a senior associate with high level experience in gained at a major firm. Ref: SYD/4344/AM

Sydney | Employment

Sydney | Energy & Resources

4 – 6 years

2 – 4 years

If you are interested in any of these opportunities or are a senior lawyer, special counsel or a partner looking to make a move then contact Gail Greener, Senior Consultant on (02) 9231 3022 or

Senior Associate

Singapore | Project Finance 4 years + Join the Asian infrastructure and project finance practice of a global firm. Recent projects include an expressway in the Philippines, stadium in Singapore and power and water projects in Vietnam and the Middle East. Syndicated finance background highly regarded. Ref: SIN/4512/RL

3 – 5 years

Top-tier firm seeks a mid level lawyer with broad employment experience. Work with three dynamic partners on a diverse range of challenging matters including contentious and non-contentious matters. Ref: SYD/4274/AM

Singapore | Corporate Associate

Enjoy a strong deal flow in this booming area working on transactions in the mining, oil, gas and renewable energy sectors. Top tier firm and industry leading partner offering first rate mentorship. Ref: SYD/4520/AM

3 – 5 years

Sydney | Commercial Litigation

Perth | Corporate/Commercial

4 years +

3 years +

A senior commercial litigator is wanted to step into a management role and advise on a diverse mix of commercial dispute matters. First rate drafting skills and a positive, can-do attitude essential. Ref: SYD/4175/OH

Advise on major projects, acquisitions and joint ventures. 3+ years corporate or commercial experience essential. Mentorship offered by industry leaders. Be actively involved in the continued growth of this practice group. Ref: SYD/4448/OH

Sydney | M&A

Melbourne | Employment

2 – 5 years

This team advises corporate clients and investment banks on public and private transactions and has room for a junior lawyer to join their outstanding team. A career moulding move for a motivated lawyer. Ref: SYD/4244/OH

Senior associate role available for an experienced employment lawyer to practise in all areas of employment and workplace relations for this top tier firm. The work will involve a range of contentious and non-contentious matters. Ref: MEL/4151/AM

In-house Sydney | Construction

Work within a collegiate team environment advising on marketing and promotional campaigns, digital content, general compliance and regulatory matters. Experience in consumer protection, privacy, contract or telco law well regarded. Ref: SYD/ 4293/OH

A construction lawyer is needed to advise on a wide range of construction and commercial matters including tenders and proposals, risk and litigation matters. 4-6 years construction experience and excellent drafting skills needed. Ref: SYD/4529/OH

Sydney | Consumer and Competition

Melbourne | Employment

Our client is looking for a senior lawyer with experience advising on consumer law and marketing issues, advertising and promotional material, dispute resolution/litigation management, Competition/TPA and regulatory advice. Telco experience would be highly regarded. Ref: SYD/4533/OH

A new senior role has arisen in this fast moving corporation. You will advise on the full spectrum of contentious and non-contentious employment and industrial relations issues. Industrial relations bargaining and litigation experience essential. Ref: MEL/4532/OH

8 – 10 years

Tokyo | Banking & Finance 4 – 6 years Associate experienced in acquisition, leveraged, project finance or general lending gained from a top or quality mid tier firm to join this global firm. Must be capable of managing client relationships. Japanese NOT required. Ref: TOK/3720/RL

4 years +

Sydney | Legal Counsel 3 – 6 years

Commercially minded Commonwealth qualified associate needed by highly regarded international law firm. Advise blue chip clients on high profile transactions, acquisitions and joint ventures. Excellent academics required. Ref: SIN/4495/RL

4 – 6 years

5 years +

For a full list of active roles that Dolman is working on throughout the worldwide visit For further information please contact one of our consultants for a confidential discussion: Gail Greener, Olivia Harvey, Ralph Laughton, Daniel Stirling and Alex McIntyre. Sydney (02) 9231 3022 Melbourne (03) 8637 7317 or email

Dolman is hiring! WE ARE LOOKING for an additional experienced legal recruitment consultant to join the in house recruitment team at DOLMAN. If you are a successful recruiter who loves your job but is ready for a change of environment, it’s worth talking to us. DOLMAN OFFERS YOU AUTONOMY to successfully develop your own niche within the in house legal sector. As one of the oldest established legal recruitment consultancies in the Australian market we have the depth of reputation and brand to give you an unrivalled platform from which to truly see your legal recruitment career excel. It’s the perfect opportunity for an outgoing self-motivated achiever who wants to reap the benefits of uncapped earning potential offered by DOLMAN. NOW IS THE TIME to position yourself with a premier legal recruitment firm where you will see your earning potential soar. For a confidential discussion about this opportunity please contact Daniel Stirling on 02 9231 3022 or submit your resume in strict confidence to


Editor, Justin Whealing

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Claire Chaffey’s cover story this week on lawyer satisfaction (or the high levels of dissatisfaction) is very much related to this week’s biggest news story - legal process outsourcing (lPO). When Mallesons announced its deal with global lPO provider integreon to outsource low-end legal work to 200 legally qualified lawyers in Mumbai and Delhi, one of the chief selling points of the firm’s strategy was that it would provide junior lawyers with more meaningful work. “as a litigator we have been struggling with the undesirable discovery process for many, many years, trying to retain very bright graduates who get bored stiff by doing it,” said senior Mallesons litigation partner Peter stockdale. “The problem for us is not one of retention. This will be a blessing to the people there because they no longer have to do something they didn’t like doing very much.” Claire Chaffey’s story illustrates that there are many aspects of a lawyer’s job that practitioners don’t like, whether it be doing menial work, filling out time sheets, working long hours or grappling with ethical concerns. Daniel Petrushnko, the president of NsW young lawyers, touched on this when he commented on how the day-today work of a lawyer often does not match both the public perception of what a lawyer does and what young lawyers expect when they enter the profession. “They get a job and expect everything they ever dreamed of and, when they actually get there, it is completely different. i think that is a huge issue.” stockdale’s words about the workload of junior lawyers at Mallesons and any other large firm that signs a similar lPO agreement should offer little comfort to young lawyers. The two things that drive decisions at law firms are the bottom line and client demand. Mallesons’ move is a response to the increasingly competitive and global nature of the legal marketplace. That brings with it a lot of pressure to meeting billable hour targets for private practice lawyers, reducing the external legal spend for in-house lawyers, and the expectation that everyone will work long hours - regardless of whether the work is sexy or not. Top Ten sTories online this week 1 Mallesons outsources to India 2 Goddard Elliot lawyer found guilty 3 Grads and young lawyers question Mallesons 4 Lawyers urged to feel good about themselves 5 It’s the new style 6 ALA slams Occupy Melbourne reaction 7 DLA Piper loses defence inquiry duo 8 Storm documentary brewing 9 Clayton Utz vs five firms 10 Businesses busting employees on Facebook nexT week As the world watches the European debt crisis unfold, we take a look at the current state of the Australian legal recruitment market as law firms and organisations tread carefully for the remainder of 2011.

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 All subscription payments should be sent to: Locked Bag 2999, Chatswood D/C, Chatswood NSW 2067 aDvertising enquiries: Advertising enquiries: John Nuutinen (02) 9422 8931 (mob) 0402 611 177 Toby Chan (02) 9422 2545 (mob) 0404 652 800 Stephen Hogan (02) 9422 2290 (mob) 0425 270 832 eDitorial enquiries: Justin Whealing (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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Finding support The Foundation’s objective is to decrease distress, disability and the causes of depression and anxiety in the legal profession


The Web

Ombudsman thrives with own lawyers The decision to significantly reduce external legal spend has not dulled the success of the Fair Work Ombudsman, with $2.1 million in penalties arising from FWO-initiated litigation last financial year. The FWO’s spend on external legal fees for the 2010-11 financial year was $2.8 million, down 38 per cent from $4.6 million the previous year. Earlier this year, the FWO gained approval to use its own legal team to conduct all civil penalty litigations. QC wins award for Bali Nine work Retired Northern Territory barrister Colin McDonald QC received a civil justice award in recognition of his work to save members of the Bali Nine from the death penalty. McDonald received the Australian Lawyers Alliance’s (ALA) national civil justice award at the non-profit organisation’s recent national conference. The ALA award recognises unsung heroes who, despite risk or sacrifice, have fought to preserve individual rights, human dignity or safety. Bakers forms Turkish alliance Baker & McKenzie has entered an exclusive relationship with Turkish law firm Esin Attorney Partnership. Founded by Ismail Esin in 1997, Esin is a 40-lawyer firm with practices in the areas of corporate and M&A, real estate, dispute resolution and competition law. “There is a lot of activity in Turkey and our move is in response to where a number of our clients are going,” said Australia managing partner Chris Freeland.


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Dla Piper loses defence inquiry duo HWL EBsWORTH has once again raided DLA Piper ahead of the firm’s official opening in Canberra last week (27 October). Dr Gary Rumble and Professor Dennis Pearce have joined HWL Ebsworth as special counsels, the same positions they held at DLA Piper. The two new Ebsworth recruits are currently heading a review into allegations of sexual and other abuse in the armed forces that was commissioned by Defence Minister stephen smith in April. The third member of that Defence review, Melanie McKean, is already a partner at HWL Ebsworth. McKean joined the firm in August when it began trading in Canberra, leaving DLA Piper with another five partners and special counsel Megan Knight, in a move that decimated the global law firm’s office in the nation’s capital by reducing its partner numbers by 75 per cent. The partners that left DLA Piper for Ebsworth had an extensive client list that included not only the Department of Defence, but also the Australian Federal Police, Department of Finance and Deregulation, Housing Industry Association, Medicare Australia, Department of Education, Employment and Workplace Relations and Australian Taxation Office. In addition to Rumble and Pearce, Ebsworth has also appointed Alan Rose, the former head of the Attorney-General’s Department, as a consultant. HWL Ebsworth now has seven partners in Canberra and a total staff of 40. The firm will have eight partners early in the new year when Angela summersby, a well-regarded technology specialist, comes across from Blake Dawson. speaking to Lawyers Weekly, HWL Ebsworth managing partner Juan Martinez (pictured) said his firm will look to use lower charge-out rates as it attempts to muscle in on established Canberra firms such as Minter Ellison, Blake Dawson, Clayton Utz and

sparke Helmore. “I don’t know what their tender rates are, but I am pretty confident that we will be setting a new value benchmark, and that we will be setting the pace in that regard,” he said. In addition to Federal Government work, Martinez nominated banking and finance, with the firm sitting on the panels of three of the four big banks, and insurance as providing focal points for the firm in Canberra. Federal Attorney-General Robert McClelland was in attendance at the official opening. See the Defence Law Practice profile on page 14

R E W IND Qantas CEO Alan Joyce grounded the airline’s entire fleet in an attempt to bring industrial action to an end. The move left tens of thousands of passengers stranded across the globe. Joyce said only a complete cessation of industrial action would allow Qantas to return to the air, after getting clearance from the aviation safety regulator. Alternative stock market operator Chi-X opened for business on 31 October, confirming it will be open for trading if there is any repeat of the computer outage that brought down the ASX for four hours last week. Three Australian soldiers were killed and seven wounded in Afghanistan after a shooting rampage by a rogue Afghan soldier during a routine morning parade. The Prime Minister urged Australians to keep faith with the mission in Afghanistan despite the tragedy. The value of major infrastructure rpojects in Australia swelled to almost $900 billion as investors shrugged off economic gloom in the US and Europe. A report by Deloitte Access Economics showed the value of definite projects surged 14 per cent last quarter to almost $407 billion, a 51.3 per cent increase on the same time last year.

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Undies deal a nice fit for two firms Deal Name: Gazal sells brands to Bendon Key Players: Johnson Winter & Slattery, Hardings Lawyers

Johnson Winter & slattery (JWs) and hardings Lawyers have advised on the transfer of several underwear brands from sydney-based AsX-listed clothing corporation Gazal to new Zealand-based international lingerie company Bendon Limited. Gazal’s suite of underwear brands include Davenport, Crystelle, Fineform, and Jenifer hawkins’ Lovable and Kissed By Lovable. they will now join established Bendon brands elle Macpherson intimates, stella McCartney Lingerie, Fayreform, Bendon Lingerie and hickory. the deal is the latest in a series of transactions since 2005 in which JWs has advised Gazal and follows the sale of Gazal’s Mambo brand to equity and Capital Finance Australia in 2008, as well as the sale of Gazal’s Brands United outlet

stores to Pacific Brands earlier this year. Bendon recently merged with independent lingerie company Pleasure state. JWs partner tim Bowley managed the sale of the underwear brands for Gazal in a deal that will see Lovable brand ambassador Jennifer hawkins provide her services to Bendon. Michael treeby of hardings Lawyers represented Bendon in the transaction. the transaction value of assets sold to Bendon, which includes all intellectual property, goodwill, selected fixed assets and selected inventory, were slightly below Gazal’s carrying values for those assets and the sale is not expected to have a material effect on Gazal’s FY2012 earnings. the value of the deal remains confidential.

Movers & Shakers

D E A L o F T HE W E E K

Bright Sparke makes partner Sparke Helmore Lawyers has appointed Carlie Holt as a partner in the firm’s workplace group. Holt, who has been with Sparkes for almost 10 years and is based in Sydney, advises and represents large government bodies and companies on various coronial and work health and safety matters. Her promotion comes at a time when clients are focused on the implications of national harmonisation of workplace health and safety laws.   Monahan + Rowell poaches from Minters Former Minter Ellison senior associate Rose Raniolo has been appointed as a special counsel by Melbourne firm Monahan + Rowell Lawyers. Raniolo will work closely with partner Andrew Probert and senior lawyer Robert Tuck in the firm’s insurance and transport team. Baker & McKenzie nabs Maddocks banking duo Baker & McKenzie has appointed two former Maddocks senior associates to its banking and finance team. David Cooper and Robyn Nairn will work for partner Sean Rush, who joined Baker & McKenzie from Maddocks in September. Prior to his stint at Maddocks, Cooper was an in-house counsel at global investment bank Investec, and a lawyer at Sparke Helmore before that.


Mark Burger

Michael Hansel

Richard Hayes

DLA Piper Australia (Calix Limited)

HopgoodGanim (Lind Partners), Corrs Chambers Westgarth (Metal Storm)

Mallesons Stephen Jaques (Global Television), Clayton Utz (banks), McCullogh Robertson (Cutting edge)

Capital raising for minerals processing technology company

Acquisition of convertible notes in ASX-listed Metal Storm

GTV acquires post-production house Cutting Edge




M&A / Finance


$54.6 million

$13 million


Key players

DLA’s Mark Burger

HopgoodGanim’s Michael Hansel

Mallesons’ Richard Hayes


Deal name

Family lawyer jumps ship to Trilby Misso Lee McCallum has joined Trilby Misso’s specialist personal injury legal team. McCallum was admitted as a solicitor in 2008 and worked for a number of Australian and New Zealand law firms in family law. Prior to her legal career, McCallum was an Able Seaman specialising in communications in the Royal Australian Navy.

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Govt driving rural injustice THe STATe government’s reluctance to exercise discretion in relation to driving offences in rural NSW is leading to high rates of imprisonment, according to Nicholas Cowdery QC. Speaking at the Rural Issues Conference at the law Society of NSW last Friday (28 october), Cowdery said the unavailability of community-based sentencing options in rural and remote NSW is exacerbating the rates of imprisonment, which are twice as high as those in metropolitan areas. Cowdery relayed the findings of a 2007 Sentencing Council inquiry into the relationship between penalties arising from the failure to pay a driving-related fine and a person’s ability to obtain or hold a valid driver’s licence. Cowdery said that Roads and Traffic Authority charges and State Debt Recovery office (SDRo) processes often meant people who fail to pay fines will end up losing their licence – and this, he said, is a significant disadvantage for people living in the country. “The SDRo is a government institution without a heart which hasn’t yet come across the word ‘discretion’ in the exercise of its powers,” Cowdery said. “If you don’t pay a fine, you have your licence taken from you, and that can have a very serious impact on your ability to remain employed, maintain social and family connections, and lead a full life in remote and rural areas.”


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Ibm employee launches $1.1m bullying case IBM eMployee Susan Spiteri is suing the technology company for workplace bullying and sexual harassment. Represented by Maurice Blackburn lawyers, Spiteri has filed a claim in the Federal Court seeking $1.1 million in compensation and damages from IBM after mediation in the Australian Human Rights Commission failed. According to a statement from Maurice Blackburn, Spiteri has not been able to work since the end of November 2009 after suffering sexual harassment and sustained workplace bullying from a manager. “[Spiteri] suffered such serious stress-related illness about her work situation she is currently unfit for work and may remain this way for some time,” said Spiteri’s lawyer, Maurice Blackburn employment special counsel Siobhan Keating. “Ms Spiteri did her job very well until the appointment of a new senior manager, who we allege systematically harassed and bullied her, including inappropriate touching, remarks, threats, intimidation and unreasonable demands.” According to Keating, it is alleged the manager told Spiteri she should “get her breasts out” to get sales, referred to her as “f---ing Spiteri” and called her repeatedly out of hours. “When Ms Spiteri reported the bullying and

serious sexual harassment, IBM’s human resources department turned a blind eye,” claimed Keating. When contacted by Lawyers Weekly, an IBM spokesperson said: “IBM does not tolerate harassment of any type. The claimant remains an employee of IBM and continues to receive comprehensive benefits and support. The person against whom the harassment allegations were made left IBM two years ago. We will vigorously defend ourselves in court.”

australia’s top in-house lawyers recognised The Australian Corporate lawyers Association (AClA) has announced the finalists for the 2011 Australian In-house lawyer Awards. The Corporate lawyer of the year, legal Team of the year, young lawyer Achiever of the year, Government lawyer of the year and the winner of the excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award will be announced at the AClA Annual Awards Dinner in Melbourne on 24 November. Due to the number of submissions this year – up by 10 per cent – the legal Team of the year Award has been divided into small team of the year and large team of the year. In the running to win the

Small legal Team of the year are Ipswich City Council, The leasing Centre and Thiess John Holland, while City of Sydney, Incitec pivot limited and the Fair Work ombudsman are vying for the title of large legal Team of the year. The finalists for the Corporate lawyer of the year Award are Specsavers’ Srechko Kontelj,

Westpac’s Frances RussellMatthews, Metcash’s Greg Watson (pictured) and Brian Salter from AMp, while the finalists for the young lawyer Achiever of the year are evan Holland from Sp AusNet and lisa Chan from Curtin University. Glenn owbridge from the Australian Government Solicitor and Don Markus from the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital economy are the finalists for the Government lawyer of the year Award, while the Australian Government Solicitor, the Victorian Government Solicitor’s office and Westpac are in the running for the excellence in Corporate Social Responsibility Award.

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In recognition of his contribution to the betterment of law and justice in the community, Aboriginal and family law specialist Matthew Myers was awarded the 2011 President’s Medal at the Law Society of NSW’s Annual Members Dinner. Briana Everett reports


ccepting the honour in front of more than 200 members of the legal profession at the Art Gallery of NSW last week, a partner with Central Coast Family Law had the room’s undivided attention as he told a captivating story of his first case straight out of law school, which involved an Aboriginal man shot by police in a car chase. “As well as his noteworthy contribution to the profession, Mr Myers has demonstrated an outstanding commitment to supporting and assisting Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities,” said Law Society president Stuart Westgarth. “His willingness to donate his expertise, time, care and compassion to the local community goes well beyond his work as a practitioner and partner.” Also honoured on the night were the state’s solicitors who have practised law for 50 years – each receiving an individual mention for their contribution to the profession. Myers’ acceptance speech followed an address from the NSW Attorney-General and Minister for Justice, Greg Smith, and a speech from Westgarth who discussed the work done throughout the year to help move towards a national profession, address the issue of time billing, and ensure the advancement of women in the law.

As guest speaker for the evening, Smith discussed his support for the national regulation of the legal profession, the Government’s legislation to address drunk and disorderly behaviour, new facecovering laws, and legislative moves to address the state’s graffiti issues. Noting Federal AttorneyGeneral Robert McClelland’s confidence that the country’s remaining jurisdictions will join the move towards a national profession, Smith mentioned the advantages national regulation will have for the profession and welcomed NSW as the home for the new National Legal Services Board and National Legal Services Commissioner. “Australia has a national economy and it makes sense that we have the same rules and entry requirements for those who work across state borders. Many of you and other lawyers do that every day,” he said. “The NSW legal profession is by far Australia’s largest with more than 40 per cent of Australia’s legal practitioners based in the state … The state has the resources and the expertise to take on a leadership role.” Discussing the state’s new face-covering laws, Smith referred to the issue of police powers which surrounded the controversial case of a Sydney woman who falsely accused a police officer of forcibly removing her burqa during a random breath test.

“Issues arose as to the effectiveness of police powers. There [was] no police power to ask someone to remove a face covering, even though they had the power to require identification, such as a driver’s licence … If you’re wearing a burqa or a balaclava, which most of us don’t, or a bikie helmet, which I’m sure even less of us do, you can’t actually see unless you can ask people to take it off,” he said. Smith also touched on the state’s shield laws which protect journalists, but not bloggers, referring to the noise recently made over his comments about the online news and opinion site Crikey., which he described as “nothing but gossip”. “I upset some people at Crikey … There are a number of paid journalists who write for Crikey but a number of bloggers – including anonymous bloggers – and we’re not going to protect all the bloggers. That’s all there is to it because they might be journalists … or they might just be ratbags.”

US/UK Update

nsw law society honours Central Coast lawyer

UK firm to outsource 75 UK firm Bevan Brittan is negotiating with business process outsourcing (BPO) company Intelligent Office UK to transfer 75 support staff out of the firm, reports The Lawyer. The move comes in the face of growing financial pressures in the firm’s core public sector markets. All back office administrative staff are likely to be transferred by 1 December. Freshfields appoints first Islamic finance head Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has poached an Allen & Overy senior associate as its first-ever global head of Islamic finance, reports The Lawyer. Tarek El-Assra joins Freshfields as a counsel in the firm’s Dubai office, following the recent appointment of former A&O partner Pervez Akhtar to regional managing partner of Middle East and North Africa. Women at risk from legal aid cuts Half of all women who are victims of domestic violence in Britain will no longer qualify for legal aid under government proposals, reports The Guardian. A coalition of specialists and rights groups pointed to the government’s narrowing of the definition of domestic violence to require more types of evidence to substantiate allegations, making it harder to qualify for legal representation. Guantanamo Bay a “torture” camp The US government’s former chief prosecutor at Guantánamo Bay has accused the administration he served of operating a “law-free zone” at the detention facility, reports The Guardian. Retired air force colonel Morris Davis resigned in October 2007 in protest against interrogation methods used on detainees at Guantánamo, which he described as “torture”.

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The outsourcing horse has bolted The announcement by Mallesons Stephen Jaques last week that it will outsource legal work to India signals the arrival of a new era for the Australian legal profession. Justin Whealing reports


very once and a while, a single event can shape the future of an industry. For the Australian legal profession, the arrival of Allen & Overy last year was one such event, signaling that the Australian market would be mined by global raiders. Last Tuesday (25 October), a similarly significant event occurred in the Sydney boardroom of Mallesons Stephen Jaques, where the legal process outsourcing genie (LPO) was let out of the bottle. The firm signed an agreement with the American-based LPO provider Integreon to outsource tasks such as document review, document processing, due diligence and discovery. Mallesons, the first large law firm in Australia to sign a formal agreement with an international LPO provider, will be able to access 200 legally qualified staff spread across three offices in Mumbai and Delhi. Mallesons managing partner Tony O’Malley described it as a “watershed moment” for the Australian legal sector. “I think we will see more large firms looking to build relationships with LPOs. It is the way of the future,” said John Knox, CEO of Advent Lawyers. In April last year, Advent signed a strategic alliance with the New York and Mumbai-based LPO provider Pangea3. “Large firms like Mallesons are conscious that if they don’t find ways to reduce the cost of their services to clients for certain work types, they will lose it.” Knox was speaking to Lawyers Weekly from Singapore, where the firm has an office in addition to its Sydney and Melbourne practice. He said clients are increasingly seeking LPO solutions from their external legal advisers. “I was sitting next to a general counsel from a large multinational company in Singapore today and he asked if we could catch up tomorrow for a coffee, because he said they are now seriously looking at LPO and outsourcing a whole lot of their procurement contracts,” he said. “Every day now, clients are looking at this sort of stuff.” They certainly are. Rio Tinto, one of Allens Arthur Robinson’s major clients, uses LPO provider CPA Global to outsource much of its in-house legal work, bringing an estimated cost saving of around 20 per cent, while Blake Dawson has been in discussions with CPA Global for many months. “There is a lot of pressure from general counsels around the world to lower cost and improve efficiency,” said Integreon CEO Bob Gogel, who was in Sydney last week to sign the contract with Mallesons. Gogel estimates that Mallesons would be able to offer cost savings to clients of


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DonE DEal , IntEgrEon CEo BoB gogEl (lEft) anD MallEsons ManagIng partnEr tony o’MallEy [rIght] at thE sIgnIng of thE InDIan outsourCIng ContraCt BEtwEEn thE two fIrMs

between 30 to 50 per cent on large-scale litigation matters through outsourcing. The Mallesons announcement signals that Australian law firms are now starting to catch up to global firms, many of whom have entered into such agreements with LPO providers over the last five years. “Two to three years ago, LPO was this acronym that not really many people knew much about,” said Knox. “You would talk to people about LPO in India, and they would say, ‘I am not sure I would do that, it is not tested, it is not proven’. Now, there are enough general counsels out there that have tried it, have been satisfied with it, and are a lot more comfortable with it.” The arrival of global law firms in Australia that outsource work overseas has also sped up negotiations between LPO providers and Australian firms. In 2007 Clifford Chance established its own knowledge centre in Delhi and signed a business process outsourcing (BPO) contract with Integreon. The knowledge centre in Delhi only handles legal work while the arrangement with Integreon handles only non-legal issues such as accounting and IT. Clifford Chance Sydney managing partner, Mark Pistilli, said the firm’s Sydney and Perth offices have referred work to Delhi since opening in May this year. “A really important issue revolves around the confidentiality of information, particularly when you have a

“large firms like Mallesons are conscious that if they don’t find ways to reduce the cost of their services to clients for certain work types, they will lose it” John Knox, CEo, aDvEnt lawyErs

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provider service a number of law firms,” he said. “If there is a capacity problem, we can internally deal with what is more important, while I don’t know how that kind of capacity conflict, and even work conflicts, can be dealt with when more than one law firm uses a provider.”

what about junior lawyers and small firms? In announcing the deal with Integreon, Mallesons managing partner Tony O’Malley was unequivocal with his response when asked by Lawyers Weekly if this would result in a cut in the firm’s graduate recruitment numbers. “It won’t change the graduate intake at all,” he said. “Major trends in the market can have an impact on numbers and fluctuations, but we don’t see this as having a major impact.” O’Malley and Mallesons are banking on the fact that by outsourcing low-end legal work, theAfirm be able large D _will L WA L S to N retain O V 4 and _ 1 attract 1 . pd f Pa corporate clients, paving the way for growth in

the future and assisting retention strategies by offering junior lawyers the chance to act on more complex work earlier in their careers. “As a litigator we have been struggling with the undesirable discovery process for many, many years, trying to retain very bright graduates who get bored stiff by doing it,” said senior litigation partner Peter Stockdale. “The problem for us is not one of retention. This will be a blessing to the people there because they no longer have to do something they didn’t like doing very much.” While Mallesons is publicly optimistic about the future, other groups are not so sure. The Australian Law Students’ Association (ALSA) issued a release stating that while it welcomes Mallesons’ commitment to provide more meaningful and diverse work to young lawyers, its “main concern is the effect such an agreement will have on recruitment and retention of young lawyers”. in :the g e “Should 1 3 1this / 1not 0 be / 1the 1 case , 2 4 future 5 PM and negative afflictions are imposed upon law

graduates in their endeavours to gain or continue employment, ALSA will revisit its stance on this kind of outsourcing,” it said. The president of the Law Council of Australia, Alex Ward, told Lawyers Weekly that it would “consider its position shortly”. It is expected that many other large firms will soon follow Mallesons’ lead and announce formal agreements with LPO providers. Exigent is an LPO provider that has an onshore processing site in Rockingham, Western Australia, in addition to an office in Cape Town, South Africa. They have been in discussions with several of Australia’s largest firms, with one of the company’s directors, David Holme, telling Lawyers Weekly that by offering cost savings to clients, large law firms are taking away one of the competitive advantages of mid-tier and small firms: price. “There is big threat to medium-sized firms, because large firms could seriously encroach on their territory,” he said. lw

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Finding your lawyerly voice Voice coach Lucy Cornell has been helping lawyers and barristers talk their talk – and be comfortable doing it. She tells Justin Whealing why a healthy mind and body can be heard through your voice


e have all had those moments when the impact you hoped for with a certain phrase or comment in a meeting was not translated in its proper context. Lucy Cornell’s job is to make sure that doesn’t happen again and hinder your career. Cornell, a director of Voice Coach, aims to “free up your voice” from “repressive, civilizing habits”. She notes that for law firms, which are so dependent on relationships from both an internal perspective and with regard to client interaction, the ability to communicate confidently is related to performance and career progression. Last week she visited Gilbert + Tobin and spoke to a group of lawyers below partner level in the firm’s Sydney office. The message she was trying to convey was that lawyers can empower themselves through speech. “When moving up the rungs of the ladder, such as the senior associate level and the next level beyond that, that is really when you need to start being able to communicate,” she said. “It is all about relationships and the influencing capacity, and those skills aren’t really developed. It is a real area of need, particularly for women.” Cornell has a high-profile client list that includes Volvo, Macquarie Bank, Ernst & Young and Cricket Australia. She has also worked with a number of other law firms, including Freehills, Mallesons Stephen Jaques and Sparke Helmore. At Sparkes, Cornell spoke to around 40 female lawyers as part of the firm’s Women’s Network. She says that law firms are becoming increasingly aware about the need to provide career advancement style courses for its female staff. “There is a big movement at the moment, particularly over the last six months, about women and voice and how women can claim their voice more effectively,” she said.

meditating barristers Cornell has also worked extensively with barristers and legal associations, including the Victorian Bar and the Australian Bar Association. Internationally, she has worked with the South African Bar and with around 60 barristers in the UK as part of an advocacy course run by Keble College at the University of Oxford. With all of her clients – from within and outside the legal profession – she encourages a whole-of-body approach. “Your voice is a function of your entire being,” she said. “It is an energetic expression of you that comes through your body and your presence. What’s your body doing to disarm you from being connected with someone?”


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“I now have barristers who meditate before going to court when that would have never happened five years ago” Lucy corneLL, dIrector, VoIce coach

To encourage clients to feel relaxed and calm when speaking, and to connect with themselves, Cornell incorporates yoga, breathing exercises and meditation into her speech training. She believes relaxation techniques influence communication styles and how people interact with each other. “I now have barristers who meditate before going to court when that would have never happened five years ago,” she said. In order to help clients feel comfortable with their voice, Cornell is careful to ensure that the lessons she imparts incorporate the natural tones and timbre of each individual. She believes it is counter-productive to adopt a voice that sounds forced. “I try and impart the notion of finding a tone of authority through authenticity,” she said. “How much of a voice do you have, and what does your literal voice sound like?” By adopting such an approach, Cornell is then able to talk to clients about the particular issues they have with their voice (do I sound overbearing or aggressive when trying to be assertive?), and to link their voice with the emotion they are attempting to convey. “When I hear people tell me that when they try to express something emotionally, and they are told there is no place for that in the workplace, it drives me mental,” she said. “The voice is an expression of your intellect and emotion.” lw

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Caught in the crosshairs Military justice is coming under fire from a number of fronts. Justin Whealing reports


epending on your viewpoint, legal issues around defence have either become really interesting or are a total shambles. On 11 October, Defence Minister Stephen Smith received Volume One and the first tranche of Volume Two of a report into allegations of abuse in the Defence Force that he labeled the “DLA Piper Report”. That was a fair enough description at the time he commissioned the report in April, in the wake of the Skype sex scandal at the Australian Defence Force Academy. The three lawyers who were writing the report – Melanie McKean, Dr Gary Rumble and Professor Dennis Pearce – were all employees of DLA Piper, with McKean a partner and Rumble and Pearce special counsels. However, by 11 October that had all changed substantially. McKean had left the firm with five other partners in August to join the new Canberra office of HWL Ebsworth, and Rumble and Pearce joined her just over one week after the report was handed to the Minister. On 19 October the Federal Opposition used Senate Estimates hearings to question the independence of DLA Piper in being entrusted with the Review, given they are on all 15 of the Department of Defence and Defence Material Organisation (DMO) legal panels and receive millions in fees for that work. With Volume Two of the Report due to hit the Minister’s desk later this month – but no timetable for its public tabling, there is conjecture about who is now handling the report, if it is biased, when it will be released and if it will continue to be called the DLA Piper Report, as none of the three authors now work for the firm. Anthony Willis, the DLA Piper client relationship partner for Defence, told Lawyers Weekly that “no decision has been taken in respect of the future work coming out of the Review. Having most of the lawyers who have done most of the work on staff, DLA Piper is well placed and, naturally, is keen to assist the Minister or the Department to undertake further work if required”.


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HWL Ebsworth would not comment on whether there are any ongoing matters the firm is handling with relation to the inquiry, and all three of the report’s authors declined to shed any light on the situation when asked by Lawyers Weekly. Confused? The state of flux that the Defence abuse inquiry finds itself in is a perfect microcosm that illustrates the level of confusion and conjecture that currently plagues the state of military justice in general. On 24 May 2009, Attorney-General Robert McClelland and former Defence Minister John Faulkner announced that a dedicated court for the armed services, the Military Court of Australia (MCA), would be established to bring to an end the uncertainty surrounding the military justice system. That hasn’t happened. The MCA was to replace the Australian Military Court (AMC), set up by the Howard Government in 2007, because that was declared unconstitutional by the High Court in 2009. However, the MCA is not yet operational, with the Government, already battling contentious legislation such as the proposed mandatory pre-commitment on pokies and

refugee policy, showing no appetite to try and pass it through Parliament in light of criticism from a number of military law experts and military bodies that the proposed new court could also be unconstitutional. Therefore, the Government has gone back to the old system of trial by court martial and a defence force magistrate to try members of the armed services, which is what the AMC, back in 2007, tried to circumvent. It is clear that military justice in Australia is in a state of flux. “There is a general air of uncertainty that has been ongoing for some years in relation to the military discipline system,” says Bruce Levet, a barrister with particular expertise in military law. “It’s an un-necessary air of uncertainty. We need to get back to that which is tried and true. In other words, the current interim measures (court martial system) need to be retained on a permanent basis.” Levet is well qualified to make such comments. A member of the Army Reserve, he has acted on a number of high-profile military cases, including acting for Judy Kovco in the inquest into her son Jake’s death in Iraq – the first Australian soldier to die there – and the appeal to the High Court regarding the sacking of former army captain Paul Nicholas, who was dismissed after the now defunct AMC found him guilty of perverting the course of justice. Levet describes the court martial system as being “a Rolls Royce” system of military discipline, and believes that if the Military Court of Australia was ever established, it wouldn’t last long. “If this was a discipline rather than a justice system, you could say a court martial jury or a Defence Force Magistrate provides the appropriate degree of fairness,” he says. “But in a situation where you are purporting to exercise the judicial power of the Commonwealth, to not have a jury I would say is unconstitutional.”

Compensating diggers Brian Briggs, the practice group leader of military law claims at Slater & Gordon, is currently seeking the establishment of an ex gratia scheme to pay former members of the Defence Force who have been found to be abused.

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A D _ L WC H A O C T 2 8 _ 1 1 . p d f

There is a general air of uncertainty that has been ongoing for some years in relation to the military discipline system” Bruce LeveT, BArrisTer, Henry PArkes cHAmBers


Pa ge


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The Department has briefed DLA Piper. That is not an independent law firm” BriAn Briggs, PrAcTice grouP LeADer, miLiTAry LAw cLAims, sLATer & gorDon

He says the Department of Defence has given clients the cold shoulder with regard to the abuse inquiry. “They don’t talk to our clients,” he says. “The Department has briefed DLA Piper. That is not an independent law firm. As far as I am aware, DLA Piper has never run a member’s claim – they have only opposed them. “They didn’t ask us for any input and whenever we come out and go to the media, the Minister has heart palpatations.” Briggs was interviewed for an episode of ABC TV’s 4 Corners program in June that looked at abuse in the Defence Force. He says that based on previous experience, he is not hopeful the review will establish a comprehensive compensation system for members of the Defence Force found to be abused. “I don’t have faith in the whole process, to tell you the truth,” he says. “A lot of the feedback I got from clients with respect to the whole review was that there was too much paperwork, they couldn’t get through, they got answering machines, they just got fed a whole stack of forms, it was all too overwhelming, it rekindled old memories and they don’t want to get involved in it. “They had over 1000 claims lodged and I reckon that was the tip of the iceberg of what was out there.” After a week in which horse racing was the focus for the country, the smart tip is that the problems facing Defence will not be resolved anytime soon. lw

Defence dilemma Abuse review timeline

11 April 2011 – Defence Minster Stephen Smith announces an inquiry into allegations of sexual and other abuse in Defence in the wake of allegations that a cadet at the Defence Force Academy broadcast a sexual encounter with another cadet on Skype 13 June - ABC TV’s 4 Corners airs a program on abuse in the military. Slater & Gordon military law claims practice group leader Brian Briggs appears on the program, detailing “horrific” instances of sexual and physical abuse. Briggs says he receives “a ten-fold” increase in inquiries after the program 17 June – Deadline for submissions into the inquiry closes 21 June – DLA Piper announces it will “carefully consider” how to best gather the late influx of allegations. Callers report being diverted to recorded messages or un-answered phone calls when calling the 1800 number to make a statement of alleged abuse 11 oct – Volume One of the inquiry and the first tranche of Volume Two is received by Defence Minister Stephen Smith 19 oct – The independence of DLA Piper in conducting the review is questioned in Senate Estimates hearings 21 oct – Inquiry members Dr Gary Rumble and Professor Dennis Pearce join the third Inquiry member, Melanie McKean, at HWL Ebsworth

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Photograph by Matthew Granger


stranger than fiction Whether prosecuting high-profile murders or indulging his passion for photography, senior crown prosecutor Mark Tedeschi QC has seen some strange things. He talks to Stephanie Quine about a life in law lived in front of and behind the lens.


n a Monday morning around 50 years ago, a young Mark Tedeschi visited court for the first time. Ten years old and wide-eyed, he watched as lines of people arrested over the weekend – many of them prostitutes – were paraded through court and slapped with fines. Tedeschi’s Italian-born father, who had been working as a court interpreter at the time, turned to his son and said, “Do you know that that prostitute is a man?” Having never heard of a transvestite before, the young Tedeschi learned that


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fact could indeed be stranger than fiction. Half a century later, many of Tedeschi’s high-profile cases have been just that, and if he is not the best-known lawyer in Sydney, many of his cases are. New South Wales’ most senior crown prosecutor since 1997, Tedeschi has come face to face with some of Australia’s most notorious criminals, including backpacker killer Ivan Milat, John Newman’s assassin Phuong Ngo, the recently convicted Gordon Wood, double murderer Bruce Burrell, the matricidal Kathleen Folbigg and underworld figure Arthur “Neddy” Smith. w w


And the incredulity of some of these cases is not lost on Tedeschi. “If you put the facts of some of the cases I’ve done into a book, pretended it was fiction and gave it to an ordinary member of the public to read, they’d say, ‘Oh, that’s all very interesting but it would never really happen in real life’,” says Tedeschi. “But it does.” Tedeschi has waded through some incredible, strange and complex cases. Ivan Milat’s trial alone lasted 12 weeks and included 145 witnesses, and the hundreds of lies told by Kellie Lane, who was this year convicted of murdering her newborn baby, involved a huge amount of work. Renowned for his dramatic presence and legal knowledge, Tedeschi has the ability to capture and carry the attention of a jury through weeks of complex evidence. Artfully constructed performances, full of detail and narrative, make him formidable in building a case. And – since one mistake by a lawyer can influence an entire trial – preparation is paramount. “An enormous amount of thought and preparation can go into the way you’re going to present the facts and the law to a jury of ordinary people, in a way that makes it appealing, memorable and understandable to them,” he says, adding that “being yourself” is critical for presenting a case in a genuine, palatable way. Somewhat surprisingly, given his role and reputation, Tedeschi is quiet and considered in conversation. Despite this, he can attribute his merciless cross-examinations and powerful closing statements to a detached and methodical style which has successfully secured numerous highprofile convictions. But Tedeschi is not without his critics. Some argue he is overly adversarial and flamboyant in his role, causing him to make mistakes. He was recently criticised over the 50 rhetorical questions he put to the jury – and the supposed changing of events – in his closing statement in the recent hearing of Gordon Wood’s appeal.

“I find to some extent that because of the formality of the courtroom, it’s a little bit removed from reality” Whatever people say about him, though, one constant in Tedeschi’s professional life is media attention; so much so that the constant public and media attention generated by some of Tedeschi’s most controversial cases might make remaining focused on the case a trial in itself. But Tedeschi says he doesn’t find it difficult to block out the buzz. “When you’re actually in a trial, you are so focused on … the jury and on the judge, on your opponent and on the evidence … the last thing you can worry about is the media or the public gallery,” he says. “If you allow the media’s presence to influence how you present a case – in any way at all – you will fall flat on your face.” In all his years prosecuting, Tedeschi says he has never been overwhelmed by the tragedy or emotion of a case to the extent that he felt it was affecting his professionalism. “I find to some extent that because of the formality of the courtroom, it’s a little bit removed from reality,” says Tedeschi. He also says that a certain detachment and emotional distance, that “everybody tries to maintain” in court, helps him to do what is, after all, just a job. But there have been a few times when reality struck. One such moment was during the trial of Ivan Milat, in which Tedeschi had to explain in detail 356 exhibits and hundreds of photographs – many of which were horrific reminders of what exactly happened to his seven young victims. Tedeschi says he tried to provide support to the victims’ parents during the trial, explaining what was happening and what was likely to happen the next day. He maintained a detachment from the tragedy, he says, until many years later when a program about Milat’s murders aired on television. “They had some re-enactments of the death scenes, and I was so horrified by what I saw, I

literally could not watch it. I had to leave the room and it just played on my mind for weeks afterwards,” he recalls. “In a way, the verbal description [in court] was a bit removed emotionally from the tragedy of what had happened. To see a visual reenactment was quite different, and it affected me greatly.” When such things happen, Tedeschi finds release through another passion he indulges far from the world of wigs and gowns: photography. Unlike the logic and rationality he must employ in court, on the streets of Sydney, Tedeschi can succumb to spontaneity and passion to seek genuine emotion in people and places. Capturing scenes from locales like ‘Little Vietnam’ in Cabramatta or ‘the Block’ in Redfern – places he says should be “cherished and preserved” – is something he enjoys greatly. But for Tedeschi, photography is not a mere hobby and, since he began taking it seriously in 1988, he has had 12 solo exhibitions and hundreds of his images bought by the Art Gallery of NSW and the state and national libraries. In 2008, his eye for cheeky juxtaposition produced a series of photographs entitled ‘Legal Chameleons’ which featured some the country’s best-known barristers in their legal regalia doing exceptionally “non-lawyerly” things, like breastfeeding, boxing and waiting for the perfect wave. One could say Tedeschi is proof that highly-trained – and often highly-stressed – professionals have passions and interests outside the formal traditions of the courts. And this is something he sees as crucial. “It’s important to maintain your interests outside the law,” says Tedeschi. “I think you maintain your sanity like that, because it can get very intense when you’re practising law – and not just criminal law.” Tedeschi also says his family and the camaraderie he shares with the 50-odd crown prosecutors in the DPP city chambers are vital for good health. “You go to people that you know, like and trust and you discuss your cases. I think it has a very salutary effect.” lw

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There is a conservative view that law is not suited to everyone, and that the anxiety it provokes in some might be a good way of filtering out those who should do something else. I strongly disagree with that view� Dr ColIn James, lawyer anD researCher, UnIversITy of newCasTle


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Repairing the paradox

As a general rule, lawyers are smart, well-educated, financially stable, and enjoy high social status. So why are so many desperately unhappy? Claire Chaffey looks at why public perception, ethical dilemmas and dashed expectations are getting lawyers down.


e’ve all heard the figures: one in three lawyers and law students will, at some stage in their career, suffer from depression serious enough to warrant professional intervention.* More than 50 per cent of lawyers have already suffered from depression at some point in time, and the legal profession is amongst the most miserable in the world. Dissatisfaction amongst lawyer is rife. But why? This very question was one which Dr Colin James, a lawyer and researcher at the University of Newcastle, asked himself when he first came across studies into depression within the legal profession. “[US researchers] were talking about the high rates of depression amongst lawyers in the US,” he says. “I thought that was an interesting paradox, given the high status, social power and high income that we generally ascribe to lawyers. As a researcher, I thought I would try to investigate the situation in Australia and publish what I found out.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, what he discovered was that Australian lawyers, too, are not happy with their lot.

That old chestnut James commenced his research by studying graduates of the University of Newcastle and found that amongst numerous aggravating factors, one stood out above them all. “I found that there were high rates of dissatisfaction with practice,” he says. “The biggest problem for them was the simple matter of time billing. The interviews showed that if they could

simply remove that part from their practice, then life would be very different.” James’ subjects are certainly not alone when it comes to a deep anxiety in relation to the billable hour. The primary driver for many private practice lawyers looking to go in-house is an escape from the six-minute unit. For many others, it leads to a decision to leave the law altogether. Armstrong Legal senior family lawyer Elizabeth Rusiti acknowledges that billable hours are an ongoing problem for the profession. While her current role offers budget relief, she often hears complaints from junior lawyers struggling under the weight of time billing targets. “The demands of the job are very high. To do the required billable hours in any given day – and to do that day-in, day-out for a week and then for 48 weeks of the year – is really challenging,” she says. “It can make one feel like one is selling one’s soul to the devil. Billable hours are the main thing young lawyers complain about, and I understand why, because I have been there. But it’s just like that. I don’t have a solution.” That Rusiti can’t see a viable alternative comes as no surprise. While some smaller firms are beginning to make the move to fixed-fee models, for the firms in which pressure to reach billable-hour targets is the greatest – the top and mid-tier corporate firms – moving away from the billable hour is not yet seen as a viable business option. “Solicitors’ wages in some firms are high, and with the overheads they have, profit margins are not that high,” says

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Lawyers and law firms put huge amounts back into the community, but you never hear about it. Why is that?” ViVienne Storey, generaL manager, BLandSLaW

Rusiti. “I don’t see a way around billable hours. It is the way it is because of the need to drive profit to an acceptable level. Most of these entities are partnerships and the partners are personally responsible for paying employees and paying the rent. “I think it’s fair enough that they have a return for the risks that they take.”

We’re not all bad While arguably at the top of the heap, the billable hour is but one factor amongst many that gets lawyers down. Another of which all lawyers are aware – but which not many lawyers will admit actually affects them – is the public’s negative perception of the legal profession. “The vast majority of solicitors do the right thing the vast majority of the time, yet the public hates us,” reflects Rusiti. “I get very tired of hearing, ‘Lawyers are all fat cats, and they are all in it to screw people’. Really, most of us take our professional and ethical obligations very seriously.” Rusiti is not alone. In fact, such is the dismay at how the public views lawyers, a new grassroots lawyer movement, OutLawyers, was established last week with the aim – amongst others – of


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changing the negative image which currently haunts the legal profession. Lawyer, legal ethicist and OutLawyers founder Neil Watt says he wanted to alleviate the depression, isolation and vulnerability he witnessed amongst a growing group of lawyers. “I saw a lot of lawyers struggling … They were battling the negative public perceptions and feeling really bad about the law and their profession,” he says. This struggle prompted Watt to mobilise a group of like-minded legal professionals to create a group in which lawyers could feel supported, become part of a community, and feel good about the fact they are lawyers. “Lawyers get a really bad rap, and they shouldn’t,” says OutLawyer and general manager of BlandsLaw, Vivienne Storey. “Lawyers and law firms put huge amounts back into the community, but you never hear about it. Why is that? The Law Society doesn’t tell people about it and lawyers don’t tell people about it, so let’s talk about it!” Watt and Storey know they’ve got a lot of work to do in order to break down long-held perceptions about lawyers, but it is just a part, they say, of a movement which aims to bring a renewed sense of positivity into the profession. “OutLawyers is not a grumpy group of lawyers here to whine about the profession,” says Watt. “It’s a group of positive people who believe in the profession, and who also believe we can do it better, we can do it differently, we can do it less adversarially. We can build a community in order to provide support. It is really a way of combating the isolation often felt by lawyers.”

This tailored role not only saved Rusiti from her own impending decision to drop out of law, but is one which has seen both the firm’s retention rates and the lawyers’ productivity lift dramatically. “It is a great job, because I really love seeing the junior lawyers progress,” says Rusiti. “I woke up one day and had 18 years experience, so I am doing something with that experience and giving something back. It has enabled me to utilise the skills I have, build new ones, and continue to get value out of being a lawyer, instead of packing it in after 18 years. “It is an interesting role: I am a bit like their supervisor and their mother. I get to check their work and tell them, ‘Don’t forget to eat’ … I am there to say, ‘You don’t look too good today. You seem really stressed. What’s going on?’”

Do the right thing Another issue creating high levels of stress and anxiety in the profession, according to James and Watt, is that of ethics – or lack of them. Watt, an ethicist who used to work at the Centre for Lawyers’ Ethics in Queensland, says

it made my heart bleed to hear from numerous young lawyers who wanted to do the right thing but were fearful of their employment and their future” neiL Watt, LaWyer and ethiciSt, outLaWyerS

All by myself Increasing the happiness of lawyers by making them feel part of a community is also an idea that appeals to James. “Law schools [must] think of ways of keeping graduates connected with each other and new lawyers to preserve supportive friendships,” he says. “There is a risk that new lawyers become isolated as a result of heavy workloads and long hours in the office. They have no choice.” James is also an advocate of mentoring, which he says has great benefits for mentors and mentees. However, Rusiti points out that in order for mentoring to be effective it must be meaningful, and not just provided on an ad hoc, once-in-ablue-moon basis. Her role at Armstrong Legal was designed as one in which she nurtures and oversees the development of young lawyers. She gets budget relief to be there for them three days a week.

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mainstory he has seen an increase in ethical dilemmas facing lawyers. “We began to get a lot of calls from lawyers who were struggling with depression and abuse issues, but we would also get a lot of young lawyers calling in and saying, ‘I have been asked by my managing partner to do something … I am being pressured to witness a document that I didn’t actually see signed. What should I do?’” says Watt. “We had to say, ‘You can’t sign it, because that would be a breach of the law as well as your ethical standards’ … It made my heart bleed to hear from numerous young lawyers who wanted to do the right thing but were fearful of their employment and their future.” As such, another focus of OutLawyers is the discussion of ethics and ethical dilemmas in an environment in which lawyers don’t need to be fearful of the consequences. “I thought, ‘What do you do? How can you support them?’” says Watt. “The Law Society is limited in what it can do. There really needs to be a grassroots commitment by a group of lawyers – by the profession itself – to say, ‘Bugger it! We want to have high standards. We want to challenge what the public thinks of lawyers. We want to support one another and support those vulnerable lawyers, especially those young lawyers just starting out’.” According to James, the huge pressure placed on lawyers to reach billable hour targets contributes to an erosion of the ethical values that should, theoretically, be at the heart of the profession. And this, he says, is contributing to high levels of stress and depression. “Several problems arise from time billing. Firstly, it drives inefficiency, for obvious reasons. Secondly, we believe, anecdotally, that there is a practice in some places of ‘rounding up’ or, worse, fudging the figures to meet targets,” says James. “This is not only unethical; it’s fraud ... Those who do this have a big task in trying to rationalise it to themselves. It may have a negative effect on their self-esteem and, combined with other stressors in their practice, it can lead to depression.” It can also, says James, be the beginning of a “slippery slope”, where falsifying time sheets, or rationalising that it is okay to do so, makes it easier for lawyers to minimise the importance of other ethical breaches in the future. “That leads to further deterioration in mental health,” he says. James believes part of the solution is for law students to be taught that ethics is more than just another subject at university. “We could do more around embedding ethics in law degrees, so students internalise an ethical view as a way of being a lawyer, rather than treating it as just another subject of memorised rules,” he says. “That will help protect [lawyers] from the attitude that it is okay to bend the rules if everyone else is doing it.”

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The vast majority of solicitors do the right thing the vast majority of the time, yet the public hates us” ElizabETh RusiTi, sEnioR family lawyER, aRmsTRong lEgal

Home truths According to Daniel Petrushnko, the president of NSW Young Lawyers, the biggest complaint he hears from constituents is the growing divide between what they were expecting from legal practice and what legal practice actually entails. “I hear a lot of lawyers saying they don’t mind the work, but are they really happy? No. And a lot of it has to do with reality versus expectations,” he says. “They get a job and expect everything they ever dreamed of and, when they actually get there, it is completely different. I think that is a huge issue.” Rusiti, too, believes many new lawyers need a reality check. “[They] may be assisted by hearing, earlier on in their careers, a few home truths and some reality testing around what the job involves: the fact it is extremely demanding; what is required and why it’s required; how demanding partnership is; and how much they still have to learn when they leave university,” she says. “That kind of reality check enables junior lawyers to say, ‘Is this really for me? If not, what else do I want to do with this qualification?’” Closing the divide between reality and expectation is something to which universities are starting to aspire, and the University of Technology Sydney has taken the step of engaging Petrushnko to lecture law students once a semester. “I talk to them about some home truths. The lecturers want to help students adjust

accordingly to the profession,” he says. “I have a lot of students asking me how to get into areas such as human rights, sports law or media law … I even get students asking me whether they will be able to run their own hearings in their first year. “There are times when I feel bad about bringing the ‘bad news’ to students.” While law firms are often accused of creating false expectations for law students – especially when it comes to how they “wine and dine” their summer clerks – one managing partner recently found it in himself to be a little more upfront at this year’s Tristan Jepson Memorial Foundation annual lecture in September. “There is one single KPI in a law firm, and it’s called profit,” said Minter Ellison SA/NT managing partner Nigel McBride. “That model is basically saying to a young lawyer, ‘We’ve got a lottery. Come in, work hard for 10 to 15 years, never have a life, you may be one of the very few that get into an equity partner position where you start to earn seven figures and get on your way. “And, as you fall across the line into an equity partner role … the fun just begins, because you can’t take the foot off the gas, you’ve got to press hard … Then you’ve got to do that for another 10 or 15 years.”

Clear as day While dissatisfaction in the profession is still a significant problem, there is a

general consensus that, when it comes to acknowledging the problem – especially in relation to mental ill-health – the profession has progressed in leaps and bounds. Much of this is due to people like Rusiti’s husband, ex-Freehills partner and KPMG’s national head of state taxation Matthew Stutsel, who was last year brave enough to go public with his fight against depression. Rusiti, for one, has noticed a huge shift in attitude since the profession began to face up to the high rates of depression plaguing its ranks. “Years ago, you would never tell anybody that you had a problem. You would never admit to a weakness,” she says. “Now, that is not completely fixed, and I think … some people still feel shame around having a mental illness or not coping well, but this is breaking down.” James, too, believes things are changing for the better and hopes change will lead to happier lawyers who find fulfilling and longlasting careers. “There is a conservative view that law is not suited to everyone, and that the anxiety it provokes in some might be a good way of filtering out those who should do something else. I strongly disagree with that view,” he says. “A developed society needs all kinds of people as lawyers; not just those with thick skin.” lw *Source: Courting the Blues: Attitudes towards depression in Australian law students and legal practitioners, Brain and Mind Research Institute 2009

l aw y e r s w e e k ly 4 n o v e m b e r 2 0 11




Firms must deliver on promises As lawyers are increasingly lured to other firms with promises of a better work/life balance or career advancement, firms need to do more to avoid the high cost of losing their lawyers. Briana Everett reports While not necessarily looking to move firms in the short term, many Australian lawyers are constantly on the lookout for career advancement, business development or relationship-building opportunities and will jump at an offer that comes their way. As a result, J legal private practice manager Dezz Mardigan says law firms are continually at risk of losing staff despite a stable legal recruitment market. And the cost is huge. “the statistics show, across various sources, that you’re talking about losing 150 per cent of whatever that person was making,” says Mardigan. “there’s a lot of energy, time and money that goes into training that person, inheriting their skills and you’ve got lost productivity if that

person leaves – you’ve got to find out where they left off. You’re losing time and money.” emphasising how retention methods for one firm may not work for another, Mardigan says law firms need to improve their branding, advertising and communication to attract and retain the appropriate people. “[it’s about] branding not only for attracting clients but for attracting candidates,” she says, adding that firms need to look at themselves from an outsider’s point of view. “therefore the message needs to speak to, ‘Why this firm?’” According to Mardigan, firms need to demonstrate to candidates what they will get out of working at their firm – such as greater exposure to complex and more engaging work or a better work/life balance – and deliver that promise.


34 % 84 %

my Of ‘sickies’ occur between January and March, followed by 23 per cent between October and December.

Of employees phone their boss when taking a sick day, while 24 per cent use email and 11 per cent send a text message.

Source: CareerBuilder survey, 20 October 2011


l aw y e r s w e e k ly 4 n o v e m b e r 2 0 11

“A loss of 150 per cent of someone’s salary comes to any firm which does not take the time to invest in retention,” she says. “Specifically, when it comes to partners, [while] retention may not be an initial worry once a partner is hired, a sure way to lose someone is to promise something and not deliver on it.”

next move

Eva Arelic, senior consultant, Randstad Legal


How do I get the timing right for the best offer?

It is reasonable to expect that an industrious lawyer in a commercial firm is motivated by financial reward, even if this is not the number one driver. Nevertheless, the subject of salary is too often considered taboo even though it’s an entirely appropriate consideration. It is often assumed that the best time to move is immediately after an annual salary review. While it is true that more “urgent” vacancies tend to become available around the end of financial year, there is never a bad time to move if one of the motivators is correcting a below-market salary. Those firms that pay at the higher end of the market are fully aware of their position; they do so because they consider it vital to their competitiveness and performance.

Most importantly, firms that pay the most competitive salaries do not simply pay a premium based on a candidate’s present salary. They are in their competitive position as they have better information about their competitors, including end of financial year salary increases that the candidate can expect at their present firm. It is unlikely that any candidate will move purely for money and such a move would be ill-advised, even where an individual is blatantly underpaid. However, the ideal role can become available at any time and candidates are not obliged to wait for a less than satisfactory salary increase to start their search. Essentially, salary considerations should be of secondary importance when commencing the job search process. Candidates need to evaluate the access to quality work, superior mentoring, firm culture and career progression.

w w

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R e a d t h e l at e s t Folklaw online


Indo law firm busts a move An IndonesIAn law firm has taken craziness to a whole new level by launching a video of its lawyers doing a rendition of the legendary 80s hit “Bust a move”. RollonFriday stumbled across an absolute gem of a video by Jakarta-based law firm sseK Associates, whose lawyers decided to grace the world with their hidden creative talents by posting on YouTube a clip of staff rapping, dancing and peering into the lens to the tunes of Young MC’s 1989 rap hit. Tagged as a “Hidden Talent Presentation” (very hidden, as you will find out when watching), the firm says in the YouTube blurb that the video was made “just for fun”, “is full of inside jokes” and was made as a way of celebrating the firm’s 19th anniversary. The highlights of the video are many, though we will leave it to you to judge which parts are your favourite. (You can watch it here: watch?v=aRYee9drT2o).

Upon stumbling across this little number, Folklaw was reminded of a similar stunt pulled by the summer clerks at Mallesons stephen Jaques last year. of course, we jumped on YouTube to relive the joys of the “Gangster’s Paradise” Mallesons rap, only to find with chagrin that the video has been made private (Boo! Hiss!) The video – in which “nicky Z featuring M.C drizzle” rapped out “Clerkship Paradise” – featured references to blatant bludging and Tim Tams; involved a fair amount of gold bling; and a great deal of fairly ordinary (i.e. dismal) singing by the suited-up “Marginalised Mallies Males”. The clip managed to notch up a respectable number of clicks on YouTube and seemed to have the backing of the firm (until, of course, we discovered we can no longer view it). “some of our summer clerks put the clip together as a bit of fun and it’s something of an annual tradition,” said a firm

Who says lawyers couldn’t be awesomely cool? spokesperson at the time. “But based on the quality of the performances, I suspect their future in the law is more assured than any future they might have in the music business.” Folklaw is fairly certain there is no chance that any of the Indonesian lawyers will be giving up their day jobs anytime soon either ...

Lawyer saves surfers Walker after a hard day saving lives

An AMeRICAn lawyer has showed Kelly slater-like prowess to use his surfboard to save drowning surfers. The Herald Tribune reports that saratosa surfer (try saying that quickly 10 times) and criminal defence lawyer stephen Walker was on holiday in el salvador last month when he saw a group of locals struggling in the surf. Walker was hanging on the shore with his buddy, fellow lawyer Morgan Bentley, when they noticed the struggling swimmers.


L aw y e r s w e e k Ly 4 N o v e m b e r 2 0 11

“of all the people watching, no one moved except stephen,” said Bentley. “He jumped up, grabbed his board, told me to go get the hotel staff for help, and took off down the beach right into the rip current. Like an elevator, the current sent him off shore towards the guys, both of whom had now fallen off their boards. one’s head was bobbing under and up while his friend tried to keep his head above water. Meanwhile they were now almost one half mile off shore.” Wow, Walker sounds like a true American legal hero, like Arnie Becker, or Matlock, except that he is athletic. By now, quite a crowd had gathered to watch the drama, and like a scene from a Hollywood movie set in el salvador, the noble lawyerly saratosa surfer managed to save both guys and their surfboards and get to shore with the locals chanting “esteban heroe!” (stephen hero). Folklaw loves the surf, preferably watching from the shore with a legal thriller or Lawyers Weekly under the arm, and we can only concur with the locals chanting “esteban heroe” as Walker came back to shore.

SamSung’S lawyerS make ironic court blunder WHILe TRYInG to defend samsung’s Galaxy Tab 10.1 in the massive patent dispute with rival company Apple, samsung’s legal team had a rather awkward moment. As reported by Reuters, in the most recent Us hearing in the patent dispute – which began in April and involves more than 20 cases in 10 countries – the district court judge frequently remarked on the similarity between samsung and Apple’s tablets (not a great start for samsung) and unfortunately for samsung, the company’s legal team got a little confused too. At one point in the hearing, judge Lucy Koh held a black tablet in each hand above her head and asked samsung’s lawyer, Kathleen sullivan, if she could identify which company produced which tablet. Unfortunately for sullivan (and undoubtedly causing samsung execs to sink into their seats), she could not pick out her own client’s tablet. After what must have been a long, uncomfortable silence, Koh asked: “Can any of samsung’s lawyers tell me which one is samsung and which one is Apple?” Thankfully, someone from samsung’s red-faced legal team eventually provided the right answer. However, the time it took to figure it out did not go unnoticed. “It took a long time to make that distinction,” said Koh. While Folklaw feels sorry for sullivan – every lawyer has a bad day – we can’t help but chuckle at the irony of her courtroom slip-up. Samsung couldn’t quite tell apples from apples

w w Tim Fogarty Private Practice Melbourne

Australia IP Litigator


Commercial Lawyer


In-House Generalists


Newly arrived, globally recognised partner seeks an ambitious business developer keen to sink their teeth into the growth of a new team in a new home. A solid grounding in IP, trademarks, copyright and ideally patents litigation and strong academics required. Ref: 644700. 4-7 years

Specialist mid-tier practice seeks a highly motivated commercial lawyer to join the team. Enjoy exposure to a broad range of commercial law matters in a client-facing role. Genuine career development opportunities in down to earth environment and a 3-5 years great salary. Ref: 644706.

Global financial services provider seeking a lawyer to advise on a broad range of general comm/corp matters, drafting and negotiating various commercial agreements, advising on regulatory issues and project work. Dynamic and collegiate team. ASIAPAC focus. Ref: 644692. 3-6 years


In-House Construction

Employment Lawyer



Multiple opportunities exist at this international powerhouse for you to join an all star team. Exceptional public M&A deals on offer working for a plethora of household name clients. This is a rare opportunity. Our client is interviewing now. Full relocation and top of the market salary. Ref: 644678. 3-9 years

One of Australia’s renowned construction companies is looking for an experienced lawyer to join its commercial legal team. Reporting into the head of legal they are looking for proven front-end experience, combined with a strong commercial acumen. Ref: 644137. 5-8 years


In-House Financial Services


Perfect opportunity for a top-tier corporate lawyer who is looking for a change of pace in a mid-tier firm. Working with ex-big firm partners, get the opportunity to work on a wider variety of transactions including M&A, private equity, general commercial and energy & resources. Ref: 644588. 4-6 years



Top-tier firm seeks skilled employment lawyer to work with an exceptionally sociable and affable partner. Focus on the ER/IR issues coming out of large M&A transactions. Also stand-alone ER/IR clients. Great mentoring and development opportunities. Ref: 644689. 2-3 years



This leading blue-chip financial services provider requires an experienced lawyer to work on a range of financial services product development, distribution and advisory legal matters. Real career opportunities in a collaborative team environment. Ref: 644385. 4-8 years

International Australian firm is seeking to recruit a senior associate level projects lawyer to act in major infrastructure deals. Some finance exposure would be beneficial although this is a commercial projects role. Excellent junior lawyers to assist as you work with the partner. Ref: 644681. 5+ years



International Legal Consultants


Hong Kong


We work for the leading international legal consultancy in Iraq. Their work is top-tier and they host a wide variety of superb lawyers on their team. There are multiple roles available, all offering excellent quality work and expat benefits in a massive emerging market. Ref: MA23783. 3+ years

Top US law firm with a newly created finance practice in Hong Kong seeks an additional lawyer with experience in leveraged buy outs. Strong business development skills also required. All English law so no Chinese language requirements. Top US rates. Ref: 168400. 1-3 years

Jersey is a beautiful place to live and work. A great quality of life and just minutes from the UK/Europe, whilst maintaining top work with a City salary and low tax. The firm is a go-to name with a commensurate client base. Transactional lawyers from good firms across the UK should apply. Ref: 76560. 1+ years


Project Finance





International firm with a strong track record in the region is hiring again and keen to see details of strong corporate candidates with 4-5 years’ experience. Excellent office and good work/career progression on offer. Apply now for further details about this role. Ref: 21443. 4-6 years

This international law firm is looking for a senior associate with several years’ project finance experience to join its widely recognised team in Singapore. The firm is looking for someone who will step up to partnership in the next 2-3 years. Good salary with 15% tax. Ref: 144001. 6+ years

Magic Circle firm looking for a common law qualified banking associate to join their tier-one global finance practice. Great team, broad variety of work and excellent remuneration package, inclusive housing allowance, at 13% tax rate. No Russian language skills required. Ref: 781940. 3-6 years


Regional Legal Director



Our client is in the investment/agricultural sector and is closely linked to the Government. They are now seeking a projects/construction counsel with strong law firm and/or in-house experience to join their small team. Extremely interesting and challenging work. Ref: 25393GP. 5-8 years


This global energy/logistics company is looking for its first legal counsel to be based in Singapore looking after all Asia Pacific. You will need 10-15 years’ good PP and in-house experience and come from a corporate transactional background. Ideally energy/ logistics experience. Ref: 143701. 10+ years


This Magic Circle firm has opportunities for finance and project finance lawyers to join its busy team. Training and support is as good as it gets and their remuneration/relocation packages are excellent. 2 years of post qualification experience required from a top 10 firm. Ref: 754370. 2+ years

For International roles, call Karlie Connellan or Joanne Bews on +61 (0)2 9236 9000 or email or For Australian Private Practice roles, call Matt Harris or email For Australian In-House roles, call Brian Rollo or email For Melbourne roles, call Tim Fogarty on +61 (0)3 8610 8400 or email Please note our advertisements use PQE purely as a guide. However we are happy to consider applications from all candidates who are able to demonstrate the skills necessary to fulfil the role.


Lawyers Weekly, November 4, 2011  

Australia's leading publication for the legal profession. This issue: Why are so many lawyers dissatisfied and depressed? We investigate the...

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