When the legal fraternity were selected for this month’s column WOL never contemplated that physically tracking down the top lawyers in Wollongong would be a particularly difficult task. If anything it would more likely be a problem of keeping the numbers down.
However, once commenced it quickly became clear that lawyers are a bit like doctors insofar that each has their own different speciality and whilst most would claim to be able to handle all the usual range of legal work equally well, their clients often were more selective in matching their choice of lawyers to the specific jobs required.
To support this theory a leading business person I know well tells me that over the years he has used Roger Downs at Kells for distribution and franchise related matters, Graham Lancaster at Access for contractual disputes and Ian Dalgleish at RMB for their family wills and personal matters.
And apparently they all did great jobs … although he does tell me he is currently using Sydney-based lawyers for his Intellectual Property issues (obviously didn’t know about local IP expert Ash Agarwal at Acorn Lawyers).
He also tells me that he has had the occasional brush (his words) with Mark McDonald and Malcolm Heard and would prefer them to be on his side in future, so I guess that’s a big tick.
It seems this portfolio approach is probably wide spread amongst experienced or more litigious Wollongong business people, and it has certainly influenced our (alphabetacised by surname) Top 25 listings.
Note: Only Wollongong-based and operated firms are included – to search online for any lawyer on the list simply Google their name and add keyword ‘Wollongong’.
The main categories are:
Commercial and Business Law
Roger Downs (K)
Graham Lancaster (A)
Craig Osborne (R)
Tom Ellicott (A)
Mark McDonald (M)
Anthony Williamson (W)
Kieran Biddle (H)
Karl Foster (SG)
Imran Khan (R)
David Potts (K)
Tom Sherley (H)
Josh Bignall (R)
Stephen Dawson (D)
Michael Hatfield (K)
Peter Williamson (V)
Jim Isabella (W)
Paul Magaganino (K)
Ash Agarwal (A)
Local Government, Planning and Environment
Warren Budd (DGB)
Malcolm Heard (H)
Peter Moggach (R)
Anne Mowbray (V)
Anna Masi (H)
Michael Naughtin (R)
David Swan (DS)
From Malcolm Heard at 2.46pm Fri 3rd May 2013 :
Clients tend to now be more selective in matching their choice of lawyer to their specific needs; with this in mind, the Law Society of NSW some years ago set up what is known as the Specialist Accreditation Scheme to help the general public identify solicitors who have demonstrated proficiency in a particular area of law, but before gaining accreditation under the requirements of the Scheme, a solicitor must have:
· practiced full time for at least 5 years
· worked in their area of speciality for at least 3 years
· passed rigorous assessments in communication, problem solving, client relations and, of course, the relevant law.
A solicitor who is an Accredited Specialist must undergo continuing legal education in order to be able to renew accreditation each year. Wollongong is well served with numbers of solicitors having demonstrated the competence and experience required by the Specialist Accreditation Board and there is plenty of evidence that switched on clients are gravitating to those particular solicitors (legal firms are not accredited, just individuals within them).
You may be interested in the areas of law offering Specialist Accreditation which have been taken up by local solicitors (together with the names of those solicitors).
Employment and Industrial Law
Personal Injury Law
The information I have given you is current from Law Society of NSW records published as at today, so if I have left anybody off it was not done intentionally.
Hope this information is of interest.
Malcolm Heard Acc Spec (Bus), Acc Spec (Prop)
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