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KPMG Australia

  • #3 in Accounting & advisory
  • > 100,000 employees

Roisin O’Sullivan

Every day I feel like I am expanding my knowledge and understanding of such a complex area of law which gives me a lot of professional satisfaction. 

What is your role?

I am a Consultant in the Tax Dispute Resolution & Controversy team at KPMG Law in Brisbane. I started at KPMG Law as a graduate in February earlier this year.

Where did you study?

I completed a dual Bachelor of Laws / Bachelor of Journalism degree at the Queensland University of Technology at the end of last year.  I am currently completing my Practical Legal Training. 

What does your team do?

The KPMG Law Tax Dispute Resolution & Controversy team assists clients to prevent, manage and resolve tax and other disputes.  The team acts for a wide range of clients – from individuals to large global and multinational entities.  I am based in Brisbane but work with the national KPMG Law firm.

What does your role involve?

My role is to provide support to KPMG Law’s partners and lawyers.  I have had the opportunity to attend a number of court hearings (including Court of Appeal matters) as well as to attend meetings with counsel, settlement negotiations with the ATO and assist in the preparation of briefs and correspondence to clients. My day-to-day tasks vary a lot depending on the changing needs of my team – I enjoy this because it keeps the work interesting. I am also often involved in research and training tasks which allow me to build up my technical skills in tax law.

Could somebody with a different academic background do your job?

A law degree is mandatory for my job because KPMG Law operates as a law firm and is separate to KPMG (the “Big 4” professional services firm). However, within KPMG as a whole, people come from a wide variety of backgrounds and have a diverse range of qualifications – from law, commerce and accounting to science, IT and engineering, and everything in between.

What’s the coolest thing about your job?

One of the best parts of my job so far has been the team I work with. As you end up spending a lot of time together, having a supportive team around makes work far more enjoyable and is invaluable in building my skills and confidence as a graduate.

What are the limitations of your job?

Tax disputes often involve very complex and technical considerations, which require a detailed understanding of the relevant law. As a graduate, it can at times seem overwhelming to be able to comprehend the complexities of the various taxation laws as they apply to a dispute. 

However, my experience to date has been that the team and graduate program are committed to providing extensive training to build up these skills.  Every day I feel like I am expanding my knowledge and understanding of such a complex area of law which gives me a lot of professional satisfaction. 

Which three pieces of advice would you give to a law student?

  • Don’t leave it to the end of your degree to start thinking about what job you want to pursue when you graduate – it’s never too early to start exploring your options and thinking about where you want your career to take you.
  • Think outside the box when you are applying for graduate jobs – don’t just limit yourself to the top law firms (or law jobs).
  • Don’t leave your assignments and exam preparation to the last minute!