Why did you set up a firm in Gunnedah?
Gunnedah is such a sports mad, friendly town to raise kids in. It is strong economically due to its agricultural diversity and broad industrial and mining base, so the demand for legal services is high. In addition, it has the best landscapes in Australia!
What is the best thing about working in the country?
The people. Because the community is socially interconnected, you know the folk you pass in the street, whose shops you enter, and whose businesses and services you use. Being able to live on a farm makes every day so peaceful, as the photos highlight.
What are the key challenges?
Technology has really reduced the challenges faced by rural law firms over the past 30 years and the ability to file documents online with courts is such a bonus. Luckily, we addressed any challenges in recruiting lawyers by breeding our own! Our main challenge is the inability to maintain a phone conversation once you drive one or two kilometres out of any town.
Do you have casual Friday?
Yes, but only because every day is casual. No suits and often no shoes! Also, business hours of 8.30am to 5pm are strictly enforced so that our team can have a proper work/life balance. This year, we are trialling a four-day work week where the team get paid their normal five-day salary but only work four days.
Your daughters and wife are colleagues – is this ever challenging?
No, it has been the greatest privilege for my wife and I to have our daughters make the firm their career choice. They are wonderful humans, good mates and extremely good at what they do as solicitors. Our secretary has been with us for more than a decade and is also part of the family. It all makes for a happy and vibrant workplace.