How did you first hear about ABL's public interest practice?
I had a previous relationship with public interest partner Peter Seidel through an Indigenous organisation we were both involved with. When I began working with Youth Live4Life and we needed legal support my first call was to Peter. We were a newly established not-for-profit health promotion organisation, working in an area of great need - rural youth mental health and suicide prevention. We had developed a model that worked, had five years of evaluation to support it and we were ready to scale. ABL was our partner of choice, because of the firm's extensive knowledge, expertise, and commitment to public interest law.
How has ABL helped you achieve your objectives?
We count ourselves as incredibly fortunate that the firm took us on as a pro-bono client. They have helped steer our growth and ensure we have all the foundations in place to grow and meet our purpose.
In the four years since my first call to Peter, the team at ABL has provided extensive legal support, diligently guiding Youth Live4Life from an incorporated body to a Company Limited by Guaranty, including drafting our new constitution, preparing documents for the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC) and Consumer Affairs Victoria and overseeing the transfer of intellectual property to the new entity.
The scope of support is broad and deep. The lawyers, from different practice groups, have reviewed partnership agreements and developed memoranda of understanding with the nine Live4Life communities across Victoria. They willingly provided strategic advice and developed the inaugural MOU with Mental Health First Aid Australia. They have also worked with our Company Secretary, Brendan Case, ensuring the highest corporate governance standards are in place.
It's their dedication and support for the not-for-profit sector and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders issues in particular that make ABL stand out. While we are a small not-for-profit health promotion charity, we don’t feel small - we feel as important as their biggest commercial clients.
We are made to feel that we are “part of the ABL family”.
What would you say ABL's point of difference is in delivering legal and strategic advice?
Peter and his team draw upon experience to inform the advice they provide. New issues are researched, and nothing is ever too hard or too mundane.
Before the pandemic, ABL took the exceptional advice they'd already provided on funding matters and auspicing arrangements to the next level by generously hosting a luncheon of Youth Live4Life’s principal funders, supporters and Board members.
It's their dedication and support for the not-for-profit sector and Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders issues in particular that make ABL stand out. While we are a small not-for-profit health promotion charity, we don’t feel small - we feel as important as their biggest commercial clients. This is reflected in the service we receive from the receptionist answering the phone, through to the legal and strategic advice we receive. We are made to feel that we are “part of the ABL family”.
We walk taller knowing we have Arnold Bloch Leibler by our side.