Strange cases and Jesus for dinner: five minutes with Jane McNamara

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AdventBalance’s Jane McNamara tells Australasian Lawyer why she loves the law.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I have always wanted to be a lawyer. My father was a country solicitor and he was one of the most ethical people I knew. I associated that level of ethics with his chosen career and always wanted to follow in those footsteps.

How long have you worked at Advent Balance and what brought you to this position?
I have been at AdventBalance for 5 years after previously being in private practice at Allen’s and then 16 years at AMP Capital as in-house counsel. With children growing up and moving towards their HSC year I wanted flexibility so I could ‘be there’ for them when required. AdventBalance has provided this with great support and also great jobs!

What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
As a commercial lawyer I haven’t worked on a significant number of litigation matters but certainly it was interesting working on Horse Breeding ventures and dealing with the people involved.

If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Jesus, Malala Yousafzai and Dawn French.  Wisdom, inspiration with a hearty dose of humour.

You’re based in Sydney – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
Home with my husband (a great cook) and three sons, who I just don’t see enough of.

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?
Treat everyone with respect.

Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I play football (soccer) and played at the World Masters in Italy (and maybe New Zealand next year!); futsal and have recently taken up kayaking.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
Involved in sport’s coaching and/or administration.

What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2016?
The law not keeping up with technological advancements and in particular Privacy in a technological world.

If you had Malcom Turnbull’s job for one day, what would you do?
Ensure that the current piece of tax legislation I am working on and which has now been delayed, is passed.

What do you love about your job?
I love being a lawyer, the daily intellectual stimulation and challenge it provides and the current flexibility and variety of work I have.

What would you change about your job right now if you could?
I’m fortunate as I currently work 4 days per week but I could really do without the commute in Sydney.

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