Amber Matthews is the first to admit her work hours are crazy. She operates from two offices – a desk in the open plan offices of DLA Piper at Martin Place in Sydney during the day and, after 8pm, a home office where she works remotely with her largely UK- based team until about 11pm every night.
Matthews is a rarity in the legal world, having worked at just one firm for the 20 years since she studied law.
She started at Phillips Fox as a summer clerk in 1999 and in 2003 moved to DLA Piper in London, before there was any formal relationship between the two firms. In 2008, she left her client-facing role as a corporate lawyer and went “in-house” at DLA Piper.
She became a partner in 2011 and was involved in the merger of Phillips Fox and DLA Piper the same year.
Matthews returned to Sydney at the end of 2014, retaining her role as General Counsel and head of the Legal, Risk and Compliance team, with responsibility for legal and risk matters across Asia-Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa. She is also partnership secretary and legal adviser to the Board of DLA Piper International.
In May, she became Office Managing Partner of the Sydney office.
“I usually start in the office about 10 in the morning. I drop my sons at school and grab a coffee with my husband, Fraser, as that’s often the only time we get together during the week.
My husband, who was a financial advisor, is a stay-at-home dad and has been since our children, Will, 9, and Tom, 6, were born. I couldn’t do this job without Fraser’s support and him being at home with our boys.