HBA Legal has been named a finalist in two categories of the 19th annual Australian Law Awards.
The Awards, presented by Lawyers Weekly in partnership with the University of New South Wales, are often referred to as the pinnacle of award programs for the nation's legal professionals, recognising individual, team and firm excellence.
HBA is a finalist for 'Insurance Team of the Year' as well as 'NewLaw Firm of the Year'.
HBA co-founder and Managing Director Brett Ablong said the firm's service offering is unique in the defendant insurance litigation space.
"When we created HBA eight years ago, we committed to do away with the shackles of bureaucracy and traditional thinking so often seen in the big firms which has enabled us to create true business partnerships with clients where we focus on the clients' business goals and we see significant success to that end.
"We do this 'HBA Way', following NewLaw principles, which pivot on flexibility, accessibility and innovation. And our One HBA business model removes borders to draw on the skill and experience of our people across the country, wherever they sit in relation to the client," Ablong said.
Co-founder and Chair of the Board Nathan Hepple said there are no partner or team 'silos' at HBA.
"I came from traditional-thinking type firms where I'd observe the partners operating in a way that was very much every man or woman for themself with very little collaboration and comradery across teams to get to outcomes that were best for the clients and indeed the wider firm.
"I am incredibly proud to say we are the complete opposite of that approach at HBA and I'm confident our clients and our people would testify to that," he said.
Mr Hepple stressed that's not where the differences end, with the firm also challenging the status quo in regards to legal fees.
"Corporates are facing the more for less challenge and the people in those organisations are under increasing pressure to reduce costs, constantly. Probably rightly so, those people are often fearful because of the reputation law firms have for producing large bills at the end of a matter.
"So for HBA to be able to offer a top 10 ASX listed company, for example, the comfort of certainty over its legal spend in any given year, by us operating on fixed fees or monthly retainers... it's something that has proven very attractive to our client base in the defendant insurance litigation space," Hepple said.
HBA identities as a NewLaw firm with its ability to think outside of the box characteristic of NewLaw thinking.
"Brett and I had long identified that claims in the insurance sector were not being dealt with efficiently and, in a nutshell, were costing insurers and businesses far more than they should. So we created our sister company, claims management business, Paratus," Hepple said.
"Today, Paratus is the only company in Australia to offer a full claims, legal and risk management service in one package and Paratus' clients see a considerable reduction in the costs and challenges associated with their claims management.
"Lots of claims businesses will pride themselves on keeping lawyers at bay to reduce costs, but we know that targeted use of lawyers is actually the key to reducing costs," he said.
Ablong added: "Experience has shown, time and time again, that early intervention and rapid legal and risk review at key points along the way is how clients save money: this legal eye is built into Paratus service and fee."
Lawyers Weekly Editor Emma Ryan said: "With so many submissions, I'd like to personally congratulate all of the finalists who made the cut. The work you do is second to none."
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