Ever heard of The Crash Landers? No? Well, perhaps it's time you should. Lander & Rogers partner Craig Henderson tells Australasian Lawyer exactly why you should know this band, as well as how family law can make even the simplest of catering arrangements challenging
How would you sum up lawyers in three words?
Inquiring, driven, diverse
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
It meets my selfish need to know that what I do can make a real difference.
What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Being a part of Lander & Rogers' (and our Family & Relationship Law group in particular's) growth and success since 1989.
What do you think is the single biggest issue facing family and relationship lawyers in Australia this year?
The uncertainty regarding the present and likely future attitude of the Family Courts to Financial Agreements and the 'flow on' liability issues for family lawyers and their insurers.
What’s the strangest and/or most interesting case you’ve ever been involved with as a lawyer?
I acted in a matter in which the separating parties and their six adult children all had different views as to how the family empire should be carved up. There were at least 10 barristers at the bar table at one stage and over 30 individuals involved in the mediation. Even the catering arrangements were complicated.
What do you love about your job?
The diverse challenges involved in practising family and relationship law, working with a great team of lawyers in our group and being able and encouraged to contribute to and (hopefully) positively influence our firm's fabulous culture, which underpins everything.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given?
When in doubt, shut up. I should have followed it more often.
What would you change about the legal industry if you could?
Encourage those closest to the 'coal face' to be more influential in the development of family law policy and procedures. Many lawyers have great ideas which often never see the light of day because they are in demand and always time poor.
Is it true you play a ‘mean’ piano, and why should we know who ‘The Crash Landers’ are?
The Crash Landers is a band comprising seven musically talented lawyers from the various practice groups around our firm. The name started out as a bit of black humour, but then it stuck. I am proud to say that we're actually much better than our name might imply!
We've got a mix of generations in the band and, as a result, we have quite an eclectic play list of covers which we roll out at firm and other events. Our next gig is a charity fund raiser coming up in May. I play the keyboard and, luckily for everyone else, we have lots of great vocals, guitars, drums and even a violin, so my errors aren't generally that noticeable.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
Bored, but I'd get to fly-fish more.
How do you take your coffee?
Strong latte, no sugar