Victoria Hawkins, a special counsel at Colin Biggers & Paisley, will be a speaker at Australasian Lawyer’s Contract Law Masterclass. She discusses her background and passions.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
Apparently, at the age of 10, I told a friend that I was going to be a lawyer. I can't remember this conversation at all but as someone who always loved reading, writing and debating, it seemed a natural fit.
How long have you worked at Colin Biggers & Paisley for and what brought you to your position?
I have worked at Colin Biggers & Paisley for 4 and a half years. I joined the firm after working in-house for a few years. My background is working on major projects, particularly infrastructure projects and CBP's strong background in construction & engineering has been a good fit for me.
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2015?
I have worked both in-house and in private practice, I am well aware of the changing dynamics of the legal profession. In-house legal teams are becoming ever larger and more sophisticated in how they brief law firms and in the transactions they carry out themselves. This development, coupled with the greater opportunities to outsource more commoditised work overseas and to low cost providers, means that legal practice requirements are changing rapidly.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
I was working on a large privatisation of a business unit of the UK Government. We assisted with the sale of some pretty unique assets and intellectual property, but the most surprising "asset" was a herd of goats.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
Working in international development. That is my second degree.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given (work or personal)?
Never underestimate the importance of tenacity.
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
Lots of them. Aside from being a one-eyed supporter of my football team, I love cooking and eating out, the theatre and I am a passionate traveller.
What do you love about your job?
My clients. I get to work with a wide range of clients, they are all sophisticated commercial organisations and I love learning about their businesses.
You are speaking at Australasian Lawyer’s Contract Law Masterclass in March. What will you be covering that every lawyer should know?
I will be focusing on indemnities. They are complicated and there is a lot of (not always consistent) case law to consider. From experience, even sophisticated clients are not always aware of the potential consequences down the track from including an indemnity in contract documentation, should a commercial dispute arise.
The Contract Law Masterclass will be held in Sydney and Melbourne in March 2015. Find out more and register online here.