If you ask a law firm leader to list their firm’s top values, there’s a good chance you’ll hear words like “access to justice”, “innovation”, “excellence” and “integrity”. For Maddocks, though, the guiding value is something far more unique: “stewardship”.

As David Newman, partner and CEO at Maddocks, explains to me in this interview, stewardship is about embracing the concept of leaving the firm in a better place for the next generation of leaders and is just one of the reasons that the team at Maddocks have created a Great Australian Law Firm.

In the last interview for 2021, David and I talk about innovation, staff retention, flexible working and exactly what makes Maddock’s what David calls a Great Australian Law Firm.

This episode is brought to you by The Prepared Company.

About David Newman

David is a partner and the CEO of Maddocks. He joined Maddocks and its Restructuring & Insolvency team in 2000 and was appointed a partner in 2002. Prior to being appointed as CEO in October 2020, he held numerous leadership positions at Maddocks, including Practice Group Head of the firm’s Corporate & Commercial practice and Practice Team Leader of the Banking & Insolvency practice. Away from work he have four children and enjoys cooking, fishing and diving.

Maddocks is a leading commercial law firm ranking in the top 15 law firms in Australia by partner size. They like to think of themselves as a Great Australian Law Firm, with a business covering all areas of commercial law.

David Newman quotes

  • “I think one great test of retention for us is the boomerangs we have, the number of people we have that leave and whether they go overseas for a while, or whether they go in-house or some have even gone to our competitors or peers and they come back because they go ‘the grass isn’t always greener and we liked it where we were.’”
  • “[Stewardship] is a guiding principle … it also becomes a responsibility and an onus on partners…it becomes an obligation to actually put into action, to actually bring the next generation through to grow the practice so that people can share in the firm, rather than focus simply on what you’re doing on the day to day and focussing on your career.”
  • “As good as Zoom is and Teams is it really takes away from the experience… the top 10 experiences I’ve had, none of them have been online. Being able to move away from the theoretical to the practical for these younger lawyers is a real challenge for firms and hopefully they’ll stick it out and have those experiences and be the partners of the future.”
  • “The challenge is to pick what makes it better rather than just because we can. Just because we can have this conversation via Zoom, doesn’t mean we should. There are interactions that should be had in person and there are tasks that should be done in person. There’s learning, there’s mentoring there’s a lot of collaboration that sure it can be done on a screen, but it can’t be done as well.”

Find our more about Maddocks on their website and on LinkedIn.

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