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Nigel's story

Nigel is one of our Directors & Co-Founders here at Aptum Legal. With more than eleven years as a barrister, honing the skill of identifying the issues that are critical to resolving a dispute, Nigel's aim was to create something different, to revolutionise litigation.

Nigel's path to law was certainly not average! He started out working in government, studying an Arts degree and majoring in politics. He ended up working in a variety of professional roles, both in Australia and overseas, but he got to a point in his career where he felt something was missing. After much consideration and contemplation, Nigel felt that he needed a big change. In fact, that change meant embarking on a life in the law. His motivation to study law was born out of a natural curiosity to want to try new things and out of a desire to stretch himself.

Juggling family life with studying law was certainly a challenge, but it was one that Nigel took on with his usual energy and thoroughly enjoyed the process.

After finishing his Juris Doctor, Nigel took a role with international law firm Baker McKenzie as an articled clerk. He worked in the Tokyo office where he was afforded the opportunity to learn from a number of excellent mentors.

While he enjoyed practice at the time, he recognised quickly that life at a big firm made managing time with his young family difficult, and that ultimately, he wanted more control over his time. This realisation is what led Nigel to the Bar.

Having not been in law for a very long time, Nigel didn't have much of a strategy when it came to making it as a barrister. His focus, however, was on doing the everyday jobs so well that clients kept coming back. Being accessible and doing basic things well, such as quickly responding to emails or not charging clients when they have a quick question, made a positive difference to Nigel's time as a barrister.

Nigel believes that in the commercial law bubble, you can become institutionalised and lose a sense of what the real world is like. However, having such a diverse range of experience is what makes Nigel more empathetic with clients and gives him a stronger understanding of the economic and financial dynamics of businesses. He is conscious about trying to understand client's and their business, and in turn, how he can best help them resolve their disputes.

Nigel believes that, first and foremost, lawyers need to have a clear understanding of what the client is trying to achieve. Secondly, lawyers need to be able to distil large and complex amounts of information down to what is critical for their client's matter.

So while the Bar was a great place of learning and challenge, Nigel recognised that there was a real opportunity to work more closely with clients and deliver a better level of service. As a barrister, Nigel got to see both the best and the worst of how disputes are handled and dealt with, and the kinds of frustrations that clients deal with on a daily basis. He felt that he could do something constructive and help clients overcome these frustrations by starting a firm that, at its core, was about fixing this. Being able to give clients a better experience is not simply a nice marketing term, rather, it is the very reason for Aptum's existence.

As well as building a firm that better serviced clients, Nigel was committed to creating a place that could attract great people and give them the platform to do their best work. He feels strongly that a culture that keeps people motivated, energised and creative ultimately leads to much better outcomes for clients.

In his own words:

“We think law is a creative endeavour, and we want our lawyers to feel they can be creative too”.

Overall, Nigel brings a fresh, new approach and a desire to make meaningful change to the experience for clients and the way lawyers practise. Outside the office, you will most likely find Nigel at his local coffee shop. He has admitted that sometimes he will spend days smashing out work in his local. So if you love coffee and need help with a dispute, why not give him a call?

You can contact Nigel on 8639 0564 or email him at nigel@aptumlegal.com.au.

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