My competitive nature led me to study law. My year 10 science teacher once told me he didn't think I could get the marks to get into law. Perhaps he was just using reverse psychology to motivate me. In any case, it worked and it has turned out pretty well for me.
Banking and finance law wasn't something I was overly familiar with when I started practising. My first introduction was a few years at Lehman Brothers in London, when I was helping to unwind derivatives and prime brokerage arrangements. When I moved back to Perth, I knew that I wanted to continue working in the derivatives area and on mining and corporate finance. Allens was the perfect fit. Over the best part of the last decade, I have built my practice around these two workstreams.
Borrowing involves an ongoing relationship between the borrower and the lenders (and their counsels) which doesn't stop when the deal closes. I have worked with some clients for almost ten years and have seen them grow and evolve. I have loved being a part of that journey. Borrowers and lenders want to do the deal, so everyone is pushing towards the same goal. There's a real camaraderie across the deal team. Being able to work in a team, to workshop ideas, problem solve and bounce thoughts around keeps me engaged and gets me excited to come to work every day.
Financing is a critical step in any transaction or the lifecycle of an entity, helping to shape its future. Clients rely on us for a degree of calmness and our market experience. Each financing requires a large number of things to happen, many of which are driven by the lawyers – so clients need lawyers who are a safe pair of hands to get things done and support them in those moments.
I didn't go into private practice thinking I would become a partner. For me, the driver behind pursuing partnership was that as I progressed I found I enjoyed the aspects of the job that came with partnership as much as the nuts-and-bolts legal work itself. I value contributing to the development of our team, building relationships across the firm and with clients, developing the practice and the business ownership aspects.