A former leading commercial silk for over 20 years, Charles' expertise includes regulatory investigations and disputes, competition, class actions and a wide variety of matters in the energy and natural resources sector.
We sat down with Charles to ask him about what attracted him to Corrs, how his experience as a barrister has shaped his approach to his work and what he is most looking forward to about his role at the firm.
Q: What attracted you to Corrs?
CS: It was people basically. I'd worked a lot with Craig Phillips, Abigail Gill, Gavin MacLaren and Elena Stojcevski, so when the opportunity at Corrs came up I was excited about joining them and working with them.
Q: How do you think your experience as a barrister / QC will influence the way you approach your work at Corrs?
CS: Because I worked with the best firms in Australia and the best solicitors in Australia during my time at the bar, I think I've learnt a lot about how the best people prepare for cases and run cases. I've learnt how the best firms manage clients, and how they develop, promote and encourage their people and I want to bring those learnings to my work at Corrs.
Q: What in your opinion makes a good lawyer?
CS: I think the most important thing about being a good lawyer is listening to the client. The client can tell you what the problem is and it's up to you to work out what the legal issues are and find the solutions.
Q: What are you most looking forward to about your role at Corrs?
CS: I'm going to be a commercial litigation partner, so I will do cases where I'll be the responsible partner but I will also be involved in cases where I'm supporting the existing team to offer a second opinion and provide strategic advice. A big part of my role will also be mentoring younger lawyers. I think that's really important and it is something I'm really looking forward to.
Q: What's the best career advice you've ever been given?
CS: I read an American textbook on advocacy once. It said every trial lawyer does a case three times. You rehearse it before the case, you do the case and then you have a post-mortem and you think 'Gee, I wish I hadn't asked that question' or 'I wish I had asked this other question' or 'I wish I'd made this other comment when the judge asked me something'. I think it is important to learn from experience but don't be paranoid, don't drop your bundle because you make a mistake. There's no person, not even the best lawyer in the world, who never makes mistakes.
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