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INTERVIEWS: Construction & Infrastructure Award finalists – 30 Under 30 Law Awards – Part 2

Daniel Hogan Interviews, Market Insight, LawyersWeekly30Under30...

Taylor Root is proud to be the principal partner in the Lawyers Weekly 30 Under 30 Law Awards. Daniel Hogan, Associate Director at Taylor Root, had the opportunity to speak to this year’s finalists in the Construction & Infrastructure category.

This award recognises a lawyer who has advised on complex matters while having to navigate the ever-changing construction and infrastructure industry.

This year there were ten finalists. Here are the final two finalists and their thoughts on what these awards mean to them, their successes in their career and their role in their chosen practice area in the Australian legal industry.

 

Thomas McKillop – Thomson Geer

What does it mean to you to be nominated for a 30 Under 30 Award?

To be nominated for a 30 Under 30 award represents a recognition from the industry that in the first portion of your career you are probably on the right track.  Personally, I have always considered myself fortunate to be part of a profession which has a historically important civic role, which at least for me increases the sense of satisfaction from receiving a nomination. 

Your biggest achievements in your career to date?

A significant litigation in the early part of my career that, following the development of a long-term strategy which came to fruition, resulted in a best-case outcome for my client.

What made you choose your practice area?

My practice area has always been appealing because it involves the right mix of commercial sensibility and niche legal technicality.  It also involves the right amount of clients that prefer that you don't wear a tie to meetings.

What advice would you have for students or current graduates wanting to pursue a career in law?

Resist the temptation to focus all your energy on finding (or becoming anxious about not finding) what you think is your 'dream job'.  Instead, focus on doing work that is meaningful, become proficient at it and in all likelihood, you will find that you have become passionate about it.  

 

Dean Balassis – Acciona & John Beever

What does it mean to you to be nominated for a 30 Under 30 Award?

I am really appreciative of the time that everyone in my network has spent with me and I think my nomination for this award is a reflection of their time and combined knowledge.  I am grateful to all of the people that have provided me with ongoing mentoring and support, initially as a student, and then in my career as a lawyer.  I would like to say a big thank you to my friends, family, colleagues, past supervisors and everyone in my network for their ongoing support.

Your biggest achievements in your career to date?

One of my biggest achievements to date was completing my graduate year at Lander & Rogers and being admitted to practice as a lawyer.  Landers was an amazing place to develop my career and there were a lot of opportunities offered which I was encouraged to pursue. Contributing to the innovation agenda at Landers, which led to me winning the Landers’ Innovation Award in 2018 and attending ILTACON (the International Legal Technology Association conference) in Florida in August 2019 is one example.  Having recently moved in-house at John Beever & Acciona, I’m now looking forward to seeing what new challenges and opportunities are ahead for me to broaden my experience as a construction lawyer. 

What made you choose your practice area?

I found choosing a practice area difficult, as I enjoyed each of my graduate rotations at Landers.  While I enjoyed dispute work, I naturally gravitated towards the transactional groups because they suited my personality type and approach to practice.  When the opportunity to work with Michael Loterzo in construction / projects arose – which involved front-end, back-end and everything in between – I jumped at the chance and haven’t looked back.  Construction is one of those areas of practice where you continue to learn something new every day. 

What advice would you have for students or current graduates wanting to pursue a career in law?

For those still at university – try to get a broad range of legal experiences early as it may help inform your decisions about the area of law you want to practice in, or at least help you to rule some areas of law out.  Also, while it might be a bit tough at the moment due to world events, getting involved with different clubs or groups at university are a great way to build your friendship circle and (eventually) your professional network – plus they are usually lots of fun. 

 

If you would like to have a conversation about the Construction & Infrastructure Legal Sector in terms of hiring into your team or about your next career move, please contact Daniel Hogan, Associate Director | Corporate & Commercial | Taylor Root Australia.