Before we wind up for the year, we would like to thank you for another great year!
We have achieved a lot this year. Some of the notable highlights include:
- The merger of the Slater and Gordon Adelaide office. We have since successfully resolved a number of large asbestos litigation claims and many significant motor vehicle and public liability injury matters. We have continued to act with passion and commitment for all of our personal injury clients. We recently relocated the Personal Injury Team located at South Terrace to the Sturt Street Head Office.
- Richard Bradshaw and Graham Harbord have proudly represented the Adnyamathanha People of the Flinders Ranges in South Australia for over 20 years in relation to their Native Title Claim. Their work has involved extensive negotiations with the State Government, other third parties such as mining companies and other Aboriginal claimant groups. As a result of those negotiations, the Federal Court made determinations that native title existed for the Adnyamathanha People in various parts of the Native Title Claim area, in March 2009, February 2014 and December 2015.
On Friday 14 December, the Federal Court determined native title existed for the Adnyamathanha People over the last remaining part of the Adnyamathanha Claim, representing about 16,000sqkm. A unique feature of this determination is that the Court also determined that the Ngadjuri People and the Wilyakali People held native title over parts of this area as well. The final determination of native title is the culmination of years of patient, complex negotiations, research and collating of evidence. The determination now establishes a foundation for the Adnyamathanha, along with the Ngadjuri and the Wilyakali to protect heritage on their country and to benefit future generations of their society.
- Successful first year of business in the Murraylands in particular extending the commercial practice with farming leases, succession planning, private mortgages, wind farm leases and water licensing.
- Our Commercial Team undertook a large number of commercial leases for many clients, managed over $100 million in mortgages and dealt with a large amount of transactions across our State.
- We clocked over 100 PEXA online transactions positioning us as SA’s number 1 Law Firm for online transactions! We love utilising PEXA because quite simply it makes our clients lives easier.
- Became UNICEF GoodWILL Champions. This means we will prepare simple Wills, free of charge, for people who leave a bequest to UNICEF Australia. This is a powerful way to ensure your estate planning matters are up to date whilst helping improve the lives of children in need worldwide.
- We raised money for the Cancer Council and continue to assist the Cancer Council with wills and other initiatives. We have also surprised and delighted the communities we work in with monthly random acts of kindness.
- Celebrated the annual lecture at Flinders University honouring our founder, the late Elliot Johnston AO QC. The lecture was presented by Professor Miriam Jorgensen, Research Director at the Native Nations Institute at the University of Arizona and also Research Director for the Harvard Project on American Indian Economic Development at Harvard University. She spoke about Indigenous national building in North America and inspired us to consider the opportunities to further develop Indigenous nation building in Australia.
- We were recognised as the Best Law Firm Native Title and a Leading South Australian Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation and Dust Diseases Compensation Law Firm. Peers nominated Johnston Withers Lawyers for these awards based on our expertise and abilities.
- The Doyles Guide also recognised Matthew Windsor as a Leading Dust Diseases Compensation Lawyer, Tim Downie as a Leading Public Liability Compensation and Motor Vehicle Accident Compensation Lawyer and Graham Harbord as a Leading Employment Lawyer.
- We welcomed Michael Stannard (Commerical Lawyer), Emily Lymburn (Reception, Clare), Jenni Hosking (Conveyacing, Clare), Tanaya Lynn (Reception, Murray Bridge) and Camilla Pettica (Marketing).
- Danielle Funke and Tim Graney were promoted to Senior Lawyers – recognising their expertise, increasing knowledge and client base.
- Sophie Bungey completed her Advanced Diploma in Conveyancing and became our latest registered conveyancer.
- Celebrated Nic Kernahan’s 25 years at the Firm. Nic heads up the firm’s criminal law practice and is widely regarded as one of the state’s best criminal defence solicitors.
- Richard Bradshaw’s celebrated his 70th As part of Richard’s birthday celebration we asked him to reflect on his 44 years of practice. His tip for new graduates is “step outside your comfort zone, get involved and have confidence in yourself”
- Rosa Manno celebrated 37 years in the legal industry.
- Anthony Mauriello was admitted to practice. Anthony has been working as a Law Clerk in our Team and next year will commence as a Lawyer.
- We farewelled Katherine Vincent (Katherine Nugent) from the firm. Katherine decided to leave the legal profession after nearly a twenty year career as a lawyer and an even longer time with our firm. She was one of the leading women in our firm, well respected in the legal industry and a key role model to not only the younger female lawyers in our firm – but all of us. Her departure meant a change for our offices with Jason Bell now working from Clare.
Please be advised that our Clare, Whyalla, Murray Bridge, Pt Augusta and Roxby Downs offices will be closed from today (Wednesday 19 December 2018) and our Adelaide office from tomorrow (Thursday 20 December) at 12 noon. All offices will re-open on Monday 7 January.
We wish you a joyous festive season and look forward to working with you in 2019!