Five minutes with... Matthew Seisun

Matthew Seisun, partner at Curwoods Lawyers, tells Australasian Lawyer why he loves Potts Point for dinner and drinks.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?

Liverpool FC already had enough players! I really wanted to be a lawyer when I was a teenager and my parents actually talked me out of it. I became a chiropractor instead and after five years' studying and 10 years' practice, I followed my original goal and started a law degree. That was around 15 years ago. I still feel a sense of pleasure when I contemplate the time and effort it took to realise my goals.

How long have you worked at Curwoods Lawyers and what brought you to this position?

I came to Curwoods one year ago. I had an established practice and Curwoods seemed the perfect place to grow this. The firm values client relationships, I was impressed by the leadership and it seemed a positive professional culture. I got along with everyone instantly.

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?

Working in personal injury insurance cases, you see the full gamut of human behaviour – if there's a way to be hurt, bad luck will find it. A recent matter involved an exotic dancer with a back injury.

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?

I'd invite Jesus, Mohammed and Moses. I figure they would have a lot to discuss.

You’re based in Sydney – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?

Monopole in Potts Point is our local favourite. Great food, great wine, great ambience!

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?

"There is nothing noble in being superior to your fellow men. True nobility lies in being superior to your former self." – Ernest Hemingway.

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?

I've studied martial arts for a long time – Karate and Ryukyu Kobudo, which involves weapons like the nunchaku. I also read a lot of ancient and medieval history.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…

Looking for ways to fill my time!

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2015?

Continuing that transition from a profession that sells 'time', to one that sells a professional service. I think we can keep time as a measure of our work but we need to show the value of what we do first and foremost.

If you had Malcolm Turnbull's job for one day, what would you do?

Energy and the environment form the defining issues of our time. They're connected to a whole number of other considerations – sustainability of our lifestyle, the way we value science, social harmony and equity in the community.

What do you love about your job?

I enjoy the problem solving aspect of the work. No two cases are the same and there's an infinite number of ways to approach things. I enjoy interacting with clients and helping people to achieve their goals.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?

I would try to devise a new method of evaluating the quality and efficacy of legal work, especially litigation. Time spent is a measure, but it's not everything. We need a more holistic approach.

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