Five minutes with... Patrick Mead, Carter Newell

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In another life, Carter Newell's Brisbane-based partner Patrick Mead might just have been a musician. Australasian Lawyer finds out why he thinks lawyers and cats have things in common, and how his legal team 'loves the law'.

How would you sum up lawyers in three words? Like herding cats (with due attribution to the late James Strong)

What made you decide to become a lawyer? Watching too much “Carson’s Law”  on TV as a child. 

What has been the highlight of your career to date? The growth and success of Carter Newell and having the privilege of collecting on behalf of the firm, the trophy for “Brisbane Law Firm of the Year” two years running (2012 and 2013) at a legal awards ceremony at the Sydney Town Hall.

What do you think is the single biggest issue facing construction and engineering lawyers in Australia in 2014? Maintaining relevance to clients’ business and operations in the face of increased in-house legal capacity and expertise.

What’s the strangest and/or most interesting case you’ve ever been involved with as a lawyer? A high value mediation in which I was involved in Seoul involving entities from Japan, Malaysia and South Korea in which it gradually emerged that cross cultural sensitivities would feature prominently in the outcome. 

What’s the best advice you’ve ever been given? Be good to your parents.

What do you love about your job? The opportunity to work in a collegiate environment with like minded “love the law” lawyers focussed on delivering the best possible outcomes to our clients.

What would you change about the legal industry if you could? An emerging perception of law firms being too inward focussed rather than client focussed, which may have been engendered by the publicity surrounding large scale consolidation, international tie ups and frequency of lateral partner movement between firms.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be… A [most likely failed] musician.

How do you take your coffee?  Long, strong and black.