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Burch&Co is made up of brilliant, caring and unique individuals. Each member of the team brings their own perspective and passions to their role. Collectively, we are united in our human-centred approach to law.
The Meet the Team series aims to shine a light on the wonderful humans that make up Burch&Co. In this instalment, get to know Matthew, our Dispute Resolution and Litigation Expert.
What made you want to get into practising law?
I actually got three years into a teaching degree and the reality of what I was going to do began to hit home and I knew it wasn’t what I wanted.
So the main reason for the change was that I wanted to do something that really challenged me intellectually and opened up a bit of a different, more professional world than what I was used to.
Now, the challenge of it is probably what keeps me coming to work every day.
Tell us about a professional achievement you’re most proud of, and why?
Securing a graduate role at one of the biggest law firms in Australia after graduating from my law degree. I still felt like I was really green, so I had some doubts in the back of my mind about whether I was smart enough and whether they would take me seriously coming from that teaching background.
So being able to get a foot in the door in what was a completely new world to me was the nod to me that I’m on the right path, that I can really do this. And essentially, why not? Why not me? Why can’t I do it, regardless of where I’ve come from?
What is a personal achievement that’s had the most profound impact on you?
Probably packing up my life with my partner, Demi, and moving interstate. Around June of last year, we sold our house and moved from Melbourne up to Sydney for her job.
Having the maturity and the adventurous spirit or risk-taking nature to say “let’s do that, let’s try something different.” It can be quite difficult having to find your feet in a new city away from family and friends and what you know and you’re used to, and all the challenges that come with that.
What does your typical day look like?
Being a disputes lawyer, no day is ever the same. It can be quite difficult to plan a day out because you’ve got to be ready and adaptable to something new that might pop up. But it’s usually pretty jam-packed and fast-paced.
Generally, it will involve drafting court documents and correspondence, considering strategies for resolving disputes, having meetings with clients, talking to lawyers on the other side and collaborating internally on strategy.
What’s your personal life motto?
Without sounding flippant, because it’s not, life is a game. That is not to say that you don’t take it seriously, it is more about having a crack at things, putting yourself forward with the attitude of why not me? Why can’t I do that? Why isn’t something possible?
Ultimately, it’s treating life seriously, but not so seriously that you lose all the enjoyment and don’t put yourself out there and take risks.
What do you like about working at Burch&Co?
The people are the number one thing. Being led by Nich, I don’t think I’ve been as supported by a group of colleagues at any point in my career. We are truly allowed to be authentically ourselves, be personable but take the job seriously. The firm doesn’t expect us to be overly serious, stiff lawyers who are stuck in their ways – for me, that’s really important.
The enjoyment factor is a really big one. I made the move to Burch&Co because I wasn’t really enjoying being a lawyer after three or four years at a much bigger and more traditional firm. That’s a big part of why I took the risk of moving to a smaller and younger firm. Being able to actually enjoy the craft of being a lawyer and feeling truly supported to do that and be myself.
A perfect illustration of the support point is the fact that I sat down with Nich and said; “My partner has got a job in Sydney, it’s too good to pass up. I don’t want to leave the firm but understand if it’s not going to work for you, but if we can make it work, I’d love to keep working here and we’ll sort out how that’s going to look with me in another city.”
He didn’t bat an eyelid and, if anything, was excited for me to try something different and the opportunity that it would present for me and the firm – it’s been over a year now and it’s worked as well as we could have hoped.
How do you love to spend your weekend?
I’m training for a marathon later in the year, so normally it involves a long run on Sunday. Living up here in Sydney, it will also often involve going for a nice walk around the coastline or the Opera House.
My partner and I appreciate a nice restaurant so often the weekends will involve going for dinner at a new restaurant or wine bar and enjoying a few drinks. We’re also both mad Carlton people so during footy season if there’s a game on, it most certainly involves that!
What’s your favourite film?
My inner child says Hook and my adult self says Inception.
To read more of our Meet the Team series, press the ‘Team’ button below.