Media Release: Two seasoned insurance experts have joined the ranks at defendant firm HBA Legal, bringing with them a collective 30 years' experience.
Workers' compensation specialist Shelley Johnson and dual plaintiff/defendant litigator Simon Perrein have joined HBA's Sydney office, both as Senior Associates.
Shelley, most recently with Sparke Helmore, has dedicated her career solely to the area of workers' compensation and has been brought in to build team capacity following the appointment of HBA Legal to the whole of Australian Government legal services panel earlier this year.
HBA Managing Director Brett Ablong said Shelley's reputation in the market was exceptional.
"Shelley's results speak for themselves with one of her most notable achievements being the high-profile case of Telstra Corporation Ltd v Hannaford before the full Federal Court.
"This was a decision which set an important precedent in the workers' compensation space, now commonly referred to within insurance circles as the Hannaford principle," Ablong said.
Shelley has joined HBA after a career break over several years to be home with her family.
"I think a lot of women fear taking extended time out of the workforce because they worry about the opportunities, or lack of opportunities, that will be available to them when the time comes to step back in," Johnson said.
"What I would say to anyone who is thinking about time out, or is currently having time out, is to really take your time 'employer shopping' when you want to get back into it.
"It's about finding a good fit for you personally at that point in your life. What you once looked for in an employer is probably going to be quite different to what you'd look for today because your personal circumstances are likely to have changed," she said.
"One of the things that attracted me to HBA was the open mind they genuinely have about working flexibly – as a mum of four this is really important to me."
Ablong added: "There is always a place for talented lawyers regardless of how much time they've taken out. No one can take your experience and your track record away from you."
Simon Perrein has joined team HBA after a three-year stint with plaintiff specialists Shine Lawyers, where he represented the interests of individuals involved in disputes across New South Wales.
Simon has broad experience on both sides of the negotiating table having represented plaintiffs and defendants over the past 18 years in both Australia and England.
"It's a real recruitment win getting Simon on board. Fresh out of a plaintiff firm means we can leverage his experience, learnings and perspective," Ablong said.
Meantime, the firm recently promoted Brisbane based Senior Associate Kim Waygood to Special Counsel recognising her wisdom of experience and the extremely high regard she holds among the profession in Queensland.
Last month HBA Legal was named an 'Employer of Choice' within the legal industry.