One of the most oft-asked questions of New Matilda is ‘How have you stayed out of prison so long?’
Well, technically, we haven’t. NM editor Chris Graham did a brief stint in an Israeli jail last month (whole other story, feature series coming soon), but broadly speaking, New Matilda ‘gets away with what it gets away with’ thanks to the amazing work of a team of pretty special lawyers.
There’s Geoff Holland, a University of Technology law lecturer who has guided NM for over a decade. Geoff is what we like to call ‘the guru’ of all things media law. Even other gurus of media law tend to acknowledge that.
And then there’s the team at Marque Lawyers, a medium-sized Sydney law firm who came on board pro-bono two years ago… and have helped navigate some pretty rocky waters (in particular our ongoing #metoo investigations… one of which we’ll have an update on next week).
Speaking of Marque, they turned 10 this week. That’s right, it’s their birthday! To celebrate, the whole Marque team recently headed for the centre of Australia – Uluru – for a few days of “cultural and physical renewal”.
In the word of Managing Partner Michael Bradley, “It seemed the obvious way to celebrate our birthday and the epic (well, we think it is) achievement of getting to 10 years since we launched the social experiment called Marque.”
And what a social experiment it’s been. Apart from helping to keep NM alive, here’s a few achievements from our favourite law firm over the last decade.
- Marque turfed out time-costing – that’s where lawyers ‘start the clock when they pick up the phone’ (in six minute increments!). It led to “happier clients, happier lawyers, and – shock horror – a sustainable business model”.
- Marque hired a heap more girls than boys. As of right now, Marque is 75% female. We’re not saying boys don’t make good lawyers… we’re just saying Marque takes the issue of workplace inequality seriously, and actually does stuff to challenge it.
- Marque ran a campaign for marriage equality. We wrote about it at the time here.
- Marque made ‘work-life balance’ a priority… and the team also made 21 babies! And everyone came back to work (including, on occasions, the babies). That’s one of the reasons most Sydney lawyers want to work for Marque.
- Self-praise being a limited recommendation, Marque were named top lawyers in the AFR Best Lawyers list and Doyle’s Guide and Asia Pacific Legal 500 and even Chambers Global.
- Marque won Roll On Friday’sfirm of the year – repeatedly.
- Marque’s lunchtime netball team won 7 premierships and single-handedly delayed the closing of Martin Place Bar by at least 6 months* (*unverified).
- Finally, Marque created by far the most interesting Twitter account in the Australian legal fraternity. Reading it will help you understand how NM gets away with so much (because, frankly, they sometimes get away with even more).
Here’s an example – one of their most recent tweets.
1. Bore us to death.
2. No that's it.
— marquelawyers (@marquelawyers) September 12, 2018
In any event, happy 10thBirthday Marque crew, from a very grateful, still roaming free New Matilda team.
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