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March 19 - 25, 2010 people & places
Adelaide lawyers Kathryn
Lincoln and Helen Stavridis
have been named in the Best
Lawyers in Australia list for 2010
-- a prestigious publication that
asks top lawyers to confidentially
evaluate their peers.
The national list names around
800 lawyers in their fields of
expertise and just over 20 are
based in Adelaide.
For Kathryn and Helen the
recognition of their expertise
and reputation represents a
successful model for combining
family and career responsibilities
with the full support of their
When Finlayson s lawyers
Kathryn Lincoln started practis-
ing in 1979 it was a different
landscape legally and socially.
"It s a much more flexible
profession now, having evolved
through the 80s and 90s to deal
with the reality that around
half of legal graduates were
women," Ms Lincoln said this
"There has been massive
progress in that area.
"In a similar vein, application
of the law in disputes has also
become more open to resolution
with agreement of the parties
rather than an adversarial
approach," she said.
"In my field (medical negli-
gence, accident compensation
and public liability) there is a
commitment to finding causes
"In that way the law performs
a valuable function in being
part of recommendations for
better health management going
"There is a much greater
focus now on resolving people s
concerns -- there is more dialogue
It s been an interesting journey
for Kathryn whose children are
now aged 25, 22 and 16.
"I didn t try to achieve too
much too soon," she said.
"The flexibility in the
workplace meant that I could still
be part of the firm s business,
keeping my hand in, while taking
time out to have and raise three
"It means that you don t have
the problem of stepping out and
then being at a disadvantage
when you step back in.
"Then when the children
were older I could take on more
responsibility and now hold
a position as a full partner at
Over at DLA Phillips Fox
Helen Stavridis is getting ready
for another exciting event in her
already packed life with baby
number two on the way.
Like Kathryn, Helen is
Adelaide through and through.
But a stint in London set her
on a steep learning curve in
the field of commercial dispute
"I went to London in 2004 and
moved into the insurance field for
a while," she said.
"It was fantastic.
"I worked just two streets away
from Lloyds of London, the
centre of the global insurance
"It was such a large market to
"I found myself working in
cases where the client might have
been in London, but the dispute
related to an event in the Middle
East, Europe or the Americas.
"It was such a steep learning
curve and by the time I returned
to Adelaide in 2007 I was ready to
hit the ground running."
No sooner had that happened
than baby number one was on the
way and having her now two-year
old daughter meant that after the
initial settling down period as a
young mother she could go back
to work three days a week; similar
to Kathryn Lincoln, it keeps her
"DLA Phillips Fox is very good
at that flexibility," Helen said.
"I was able to keep in touch
with clients, with client relations
seminars and the firm s activi-
"Today s electronic advantages
mean that you are easily able to
be part of something while you
are still at home.
"I ve been lucky to have a
flexible employer and flexible
"That applies equally to men
too who these days are also more
likely to want flexibility in the
workplace for the benefit of their
Like Kathryn, Helen sees the
law as less about adversaries and
more about solutions.
"I work mainly in the field of
insurance, but we find ourselves
working for the insurer as well as
the insured," she said.
"I really enjoy the many and
varied people I meet in those
"That said; I also do really
enjoy the court process."
Adelaide firm Minter Ellison
fared well in the Best Lawyers
list with fifteen senior lawyers
recognised among the best in
Minter Ellison had the most
nominations of any South
Australian firm, with 14 partners
and one special counsel acknowl-
edged in 15 practice areas.
"To be recognised as the lead-
ing law firm in South Australia
in such a respected list is an
honour and we re pleased to have
improved upon last year s listing
of ten partners," said Minter
Ellison managing partner, Nigel
The list is compiled each year
by industry peer assessment
through an online questionnaire.
Lawyers named on the 2009 list
of Best Lawyers were asked to
evaluate their peers already on
the list, as well as new nominees
for the 2010 list.
Practitioners are only invited
to evaluate other lawyers and new
nominees in their own specialist
area of practice and only in their
Philmac, the Adelaide-based
designer, manufacturer and mar-
keter of compression fittings and
valves for polyethylene pipelines,
has fought off more than 1000 other
suppliers to be named Supplier of
the Year in two key markets by CRT
(Combined Rural Traders).
CRT is Australia s largest group
of independent rural retailers
and one of the country s leading
Philmac s Queensland and New
South Wales teams were both
recognised with the award, which
was presented as part of the General
Business Category at the annual
CRT Conference Awards last month.
The award recognises excellence
in product quality, logistics and
distribution, marketing, new prod-
ucts, customer service, preferential
support and representation.
In addition to taking out the top
position in QLD and NSW, Philmac
finished 6th nationally.
Philmac s general manager
marketing, Jason Mitchell said the
prestigious accolade was testament
to the company s commitment to
continuous improvement and to
the hard work of all of Philmac s
"We view the CRT Awards as an
important barometer in understand-
ing how we are perceived by our
customers and we are honoured
that our performance in New South
Wales and Queensland has been
recognised," Jason said.
"There is no doubt that the
benchmark is continuously rising,
and we are working very hard to
ensure we stay 'ahead of the pack .
"Awards such as these provide
a tremendous boost to all of our
employees, and motivate them to
keep striving to be better."
CRT award Women who do it
all and do it well
The flexibility in the
workplace meant that I
could still be part of the
firm s business, keeping
my hand in, while taking
time out to have and raise
-- Kathryn Lincoln
Above: Helen Stavridis uses technology to help combine the demands of legal
practice and family. Left: Kathryn Lincoln at Finlayson's in the city.
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