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On the job as an Associate at Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers

Jaymes Carr

Careers Commentator
Leon Mahtani studied Commerce/Law at Macquarie University and is now an Associate at Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers.

What is your role?

I am an Associate at Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers.

Where did you study?

After finishing high school, I commenced a Commerce/Law double degree at Macquarie  University and graduated in 2008. At university, I lived on campus at Dunmore Lang Residential College. This was an excellent opportunity to make new friends and be more involved in university activities. I was a Resident Tutor at the college and on the executive of the university business club (the Economics, Commerce and Finance Society).

What was your first job after graduating?

After I completed my degree, I commenced as a graduate at the Australian Taxation Office. At the end of the time that I was in the ATO, I was the Manager of the Sydney team responsible for determining taxation objections lodged by High Wealth Individual taxpayers.

After having been at the ATO for a period of time, I decided that it was time to gain experience outside the ATO and to broaden my skill set. I commenced a role at mid-tier accounting firm Crowe Horwath Australia where I gained considerable experience providing tax advice to taxpayers on numerous issues primarily affecting small and medium size enterprises and high wealth individuals.

How long have you had your current job?

I have been in my current role at Craddock Murray Neumann Lawyers for about ten months. The position was advertised as a Tax and Insolvency Litigation Lawyer role and I was attracted by the opportunity to further develop my litigation experience.

What are your areas of responsibility?

My responsibilities are acting for clients in tax litigation matters in the Administrative Appeals Tribunal. I also represent clients in insolvency matters by providing them with advice and appearing in various State and Federal Courts.

What do you do on a day-to-day basis?

I regularly draft legal documents, including deeds and affidavits. I also frequently appear in Court. In one morning last week, I appeared in both the Supreme Court of NSW and the Federal Court within a short period of time and had to prepare detailed submissions for both matters.

Are there any complementary skills that are helpful for somebody in your role?

An accounting degree in addition to law is helpful in my role, as I regularly look at financial statements and deal with financial information.

Which personal attributes are most helpful?

You need attention to detail and a desire to continuously learn. Tax law in particular is continuously changing. However, making the effort to stay on top of developments can be very rewarding.

What do you like most about your job?

Winning a case or obtaining a favourable decision can be quite exhilarating. It is also nice to get favourable feedback!

What are the limitations of your job?

The role can occasionally be quite stressful. While I don’t generally do a great deal of work on weekends, the week is always quite busy and the hours can be long.

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

  • Take more risks, within reason.
  • Work on ways to be as resilient as possible and accept that you have some control over your life but also that many things are down to good or bad luck.
  • Find something you are passionate about and pursue it.