Introducing Susan Hill as the new Accredited Specialist in Local Government and Planning Law at Hones Lawyers.
Did you know that crossing the Sydney Harbour Bridge could qualify as a solicitor’s professional ‘sea-change’?
That’s precisely what happened to Susan Hill because, on 1 July, she joined the growing team at Hones Lawyers.
After 15 years as a sole practitioner with a successful, boutique practice, what prompted Susan to ‘up stumps’ from her CBD office and make the journey north?
“Great question!” nods Susan in response.
After a short pause, turning her answer over in her mind to be certain that it’s going to capture the meaning behind a move that’s obviously important to her, she continues:
“I think the best way to sum it up, if I had to put it into one sentence, would be that by becoming part of Hones Lawyers it means that I can provide my clients with even better legal services than before.”
What does Susan mean by that?
“Well, I’ve been an Accredited Specialist in Local Government and Planning Law for a lot of years now. It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 25 years since I started in the property practice group of one of the big city firms! It was that switch from general practice to specialising all that time ago that transformed my legal career. Ever since then, I’ve continued to strengthen and deepen my practice through continuous development, environmental and regulatory work in the Land and Environment Court.”
Does her recent move to Hones Lawyers build on that mindset?
“Absolutely. How I see it is that, by linking in with Jason and his firm, it means that not only will I be contributing what I bring for the benefit of Hones Lawyers’ clients, it’s a complete ‘win-win’ because now I can tap into a comprehensive pool of legal skills, technical knowhow and Court experience that wasn’t previously available to me.”
We asked Susan if she could expand on that a bit further.
“Sure. As far as I’m concerned, you never stop learning. You always need to be refining your skills, opening up to fresh angles and strategies.”
With a laugh that reveals a little of her refreshing sense of humour she says:
“You know what they say – you’re either green and growing or ripe and rotting – and I’m 100% committed to always be in the growing zone!”
So is Susan satisfied that she made the right move?
Susan leans forward to emphasise her point, her chin resting on her hands:
“Seriously, it’s such a perfect fit here I wish I’d done this a long time ago. We’ve got senior professionals who are known out there in the market place because of their legal abilities in planning, property and commercial law. By the way, I have to say – that’s what I call a smart structure. It’s a bit like those Rubik’s cubes – you know, where you’ve got to get all the correct colours on each face of the cube? You’ve got to have it all covered in the one place, all fitting together. That’s what the clients here get, which is fantastic. And it’s even more than that, because here at Hones, they’ve also got the technical understanding that comes from ‘past lives’ as town planners and builders. For me, all of that adds up to a whole different dimension which really does set this firm apart as unique in its field.”
Susan suddenly notices that it’s getting late, and begins to slide her laptop into her zip up black bag.
Off to a late Friday evening conference?
With a shake of her head she smiles and says:
“For once, no! We’re squeezing in a weekend break in the snow. My husband, Wolfgang, is German. No-one calls him that by the way – he tells me that he became Wolfie within 2 days of arriving in Australia! Anyway, he skis like something out of a James Bond movie! But I’m a beginner so I’ll be having another lesson and maybe, one day, I’ll pass that man of mine on the mountain!”
Susan waves her goodbye as she heads out to the lift.
No doubt, Monday morning she’ll be back at the new North Sydney office, settling into her next case with the Hones Lawyers’ team.