Newly appointed Workplace Advisory Senior Associate, Rachel Soh, gives an insight into her background, key market trends and what she values about working at Arnold Bloch Leibler.
What skills and experiences would you identify as adding a different dimension to your approach as a lawyer?
My background is diverse as I’ve worked in-house in both legal and HR roles. This has given me a hands on understanding of how businesses are run, allowing me to come up with strategies that are practical, insightful and really deliver.
It has also enabled me to appreciate that legal advice is only one part of effective employee relations and achieving a commercial solution. It’s important to see the bigger picture.
What sort of lawyer do you want to be for your clients?
I aim to provide advice that is sensitive to the nuances of each particular client, their culture and the individuals involved. The strong human element in employment matters requires considered strategies that finely balance technical legal advice and a practical application.
Framing my advice in this way allows me to guide my clients through tricky and at times unpredictable matters, with the right level of involvement.
What would you say are some of the key market trends or developments you are seeing in your practice this year?
I'm seeing three key trends in our practice. Over the last year or so, there has been a marked increase in attention on post-employment restraints and the protection of confidential information and intellectual property. This is a big ticket issue which has also garnered recent political commentary in the context of the innovation and start up market in Australia.
We are also seeing a greater focus on the individual responsibility of executives and HR managers in shaping corporate behaviour. This has been particularly evident through media attention involving executive level bullying, and the recent spate of high profile underpayment allegations.
Finally, many of our clients are continuing to grapple with the changing landscape in relation to penalty rates and the impact this will have on the hospitality and retail sectors.
What advice would you give to new lawyers?
Be creative! As a new lawyer, it’s easy to stick to providing solutions that are technically driven. However, it’s important to challenge yourself to think innovatively when advising your clients. I find that this allows you to form more complete strategies that are ultimately more valuable to your clients.
What do you enjoy most about working at ABL?
It’s very rewarding to work with people who are at the top of their game. And that’s not just the partners and lawyers – our clients are smart, focused and seek our support on interesting and complex matters.
To find out more about Rachel click here.