- Deceased Estates
- Business & Commercial Law
- Taxation Law
- Commercial Litigation
- Will Disputes
- Estate Planning
I have lived in the Newcastle area all my life.
When I was a kid I worked as a paperboy, delivering papers and magazines to patients at the Mater Hospital. My next job was at Coles at Wallsend, which I left when I finished year 12 to move into law.
I am not sure what attracted me to the law, but I have wanted to be a lawyer from a very young age (mum says maybe 5). At one stage, I wanted to be a judge but then I think there was a run of family court judges being shot when I was in my teens, so I decided I should aim a little lower.
I came straight out of High School and started working as a student clerk at Wood Roberts Solicitors at Mayfield. That is sort of like an apprenticeship for lawyers. I worked full time, whilst studying by correspondence. It was great to get hands on experience, across a range of areas including Wills, Estates, Conveyancing & Debt Recovery.
I have always had a business and mathematical brain, so any area of law that touches upon those strengths is attractive to me and forms the core of my current practice.
I was admitted in 1994 (so long ago now) at 22 years of age, became a partner at Wood Roberts by 23 and was there until I started Mason Lawyers in 2001.
I am passionate about simplifying the legal process and solving problems for clients, through a practical, commercial and down to earth approach.
I take a commercial approach to all matters and prefer to resolve matters by negotiation, if that is possible. My philosophy with disputes is to make every effort to resolve the matter, but then to fight hard if resolution is not possible.
What would I change in law … gee this is a tough one because in the over 30 years in law, I have seen a fair bit of change. In the past, there was a more “old school” approach by lawyers of acting reasonably towards each other, picking up the phone and having a discussion about how the matter can be resolved promptly and efficiently. The trend now seems to be viewing a legal matter as either a win / lose situation, which often works to the detriment of clients.
I feel like I have done a good job, when I see clients get on with their lives with their issue resolved.
When I’m not lawyering
What my partner and kids would say about me – no doubt this would vary day to day. I would tell you to ask them but might be scared of what they would say. So let’s just stick with smart, loveable, dependable, fun and sometimes embarrassing.
I have 3 children. My son has just turned 18 and my daughters are 17 and 15.
When I get downtime on weekends, I like to just relax as much as possible (although my wife often finds jobs for me to do).
Does drinking wine and eating cheese count as a hobby? If so, then put that. I do like to cruise with my family at least once a year, so that is an interest of mine.