Newly appointed Workplace Advisory Special Counsel, Bridget Little, gives an insight into her background, practice and what she values about working at Arnold Bloch Leibler.
How did you come to specialise in employment law and what do you enjoy about it?
I started out in commercial litigation and was fortunate enough to have been pulled onto a number of employment law disputes. I was immediately hooked and have practised employment law ever since, including an in-house secondment with the Victorian Department of Education’s employment law team.
I love employment law because it’s complex, nuanced and involves people, in all their unique forms. The human element requires me to adopt strategies that respond to individuals, and evolve with each matter. I get a huge amount of satisfaction guiding my clients through complicated issues and helping them keep a keen eye on the desired commercial outcome. My experience allows me to think more roundly about my matters and more laterally about possible resolutions.
How would you describe the perspective you gained from working as an in-house lawyer?
During my secondment with the Victorian Department of Education, I was exposed to legal advice from a range of different law firms and practitioners. I was able to compare and contrast what worked, what was helpful and what I (as the client) expected in terms of explanation, detail and transparency. I left my secondment with a finessed view of what kind of lawyer I wanted to be, and a commitment to providing advice that is clear and practical.
Where do you see the legal environment heading in employment law?
Employment law remains a highly politicised and fast changing space. The two significant factors that continue to dominate and complicate our environment are the emergence of new economies - the ‘gig economy’ - and the increasingly common media element. The role of the media is significant both in terms of the intensity of modern media coverage, and also its use as an accessible tactic in disputes, for example, the use of social media to air workplace complaints and provide commentary.
The law can, at times, be a blunt tool to deal with rapid change. By staying plugged in and engaged with developments, I ensure the advice I am giving genuinely factors in the real world context for my clients, including sector-specific challenges.
How would you describe the professional environment at ABL?
ABL is a genuine meritocracy. If you work hard, excel in your work and want to grow your practice, the firm will champion you all the way. It’s a refreshing and motivating place to work.
Bridget Little leads our Workplace Advisory practice. To find out more about Bridget, click here.