New Mills Oakley partner Cheryl Weston takes five to tell us about the influx of international firms into the market place, and her secret dream of being a fashion buyer
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
Initially, I decided to become a lawyer because of a love of Court work and working with clients on their court matters. Now, it is because of the varied and interesting work and the ability to solve problems for clients and become a trusted adviser.
How long have you worked at Mills Oakley for and what brought you to that position?
I have been at Mills Oakley nearly two months, after working at Eakin McCaffery Cox and Colin Biggers & Paisley. I was attracted to Mills Oakley because it has a reputation in the market place as being a fast growing, commercial firm that provides high quality advice and assistance to clients. I knew I would have the ability to grow my practice and would have all the support and encouragement from my colleagues.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
I cannot give the precise details but let’s just say it was a case involving certain products for men’s health and social issues!
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Bill Clinton, Coco Chanel , Bono with the two fat Italians doing the cooking – interesting conversation, fashion and style tips, good music and yummy food.
You’re based in Sydney – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
The Winery, Vinis, Palmer & Co then upstairs to Mr Wong, Baxter’s, Flying Fish.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
When you write a letter to your opponents, always keep in the back of your mind that a Judge may read your letter one day.
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Skiing, running, watching my son’s sport on Saturdays, learning to play golf and travelling.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A fashion buyer for a major department store in New York or work at French Vogue (both in my dreams!). In reality, there is nothing else I want to be but a lawyer. If I didn’t work in private practice, I would have liked to be a lawyer working at the International Criminal Court.
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2014?
The influx of international firms from the UK and the US into the market place and merging with local firms and what that will mean in terms of charge out rates and competition. Also, the shift
away from time based recording and clients and potential clients wanting more fixed fee arrangements.
If you had Tony Abbott’s job for one day, what would you do?
I would get rid of the complex taxation regime and introduce a flat tax rate, change some sections of the Corporations Act to remove personal liability for insolvency practitioners and fast track the building of the new airport for Sydney!!
What do you love about your job?
Working on varied and different matters for insolvency clients, building relationships with new clients and working with a fun bunch of colleagues here at Mills Oakley.
What would you change about your job right now if you could?