Five minutes with Janette McLennan, partner at Clyde & Co.
What made you decide to become a lawyer?
I was a curious child, an avid reader and interested in debate and analysis. It seemed a natural fit.
How long have you worked at Clyde & Co and what brought you to this position?
Two years. Whilst the firm has a long tradition in London and is now in 45 locations around the globe, an opportunity was presented to me to be part of the leadership team in a firm that was in its infancy in the Australian legal market and growing. It has been the best career decision I have made, with my experience here and abroad leading me to the right place.
What’s the strangest case you’ve ever worked on/been involved with?
I can't comfortably answer that without breaching my ongoing duties of loyalty and confidentiality ... Best not to bring the profession into disrepute.
If you could invite three people for dinner, dead or alive and excluding family and friends, who would they be and why?
Sebastian Faulks - he sat near me at a readers and writers festival a few years ago in Ubud, Indonesia, and he quickly became my modern day literary crush.
F.Scott Fitzgerald - to quiz him on living and writing in Paris during the jazz age.
Alain de Botton - for his insightful social commentary; a deep thinker.
You’re based in Sydney – where’s the best place to go for a drink and/or dinner after work?
Opera Bar in summer if you are keen to take in the view. But at this cooler time, De Vine, Since I left You or Rockpool Bar and Grill. Cocktails followed by dinner at Toko are also consistently good, or a local standout is Kuki Tanuki in Erko where Sydney has retained a sense of community.
What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve ever been given?
"Advice, like youth, probably just wasted on the young" published in the Chicago Tribune on 1 June 1997 and written by Mary Schmich.
Do you have any hobbies/interests outside of work?
I am a working mum to a delightful four-and-a-half year old boy who keeps me on my toes. I am a keen photographer, yogi, aviation enthusiast and owner of an eclectic music collection. "Pop chop" is a firm favourite.
Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be…
A journalist, or a psychologist, or otherwise crisscrossing the globe taking photos and doing yoga somewhere on a mountain top.
What do you think will be single biggest issue facing the legal space in Australia in 2016?
It is impossible to define a single issue.
In terms of disputes work, Australia is moving its economic focus from commodities to the services sector. More claims are anticipated with an economic downturn; the litigation funding market and insurance are key drivers of commercial litigation.
Representative claims will continue to dominate and expand beyond the more traditional subjects like product liability and securities claims.
Whilst cyber security disputes have not taken off here in Australia yet, it is only a matter of time; and as the world gets smaller there will be an increased need to conduct a multi-jurisdictional analysis for clients engaged in transnational activities.
If you had Malcolm Turnbull’s job for one day, what would you do?
What do you love about your job?
The underlying stories, forensic analysis, advising and collaborating with clients to achieve their desired outcomes and working with bright, enthusiastic and talented lawyers at Clyde & Co in Australia and throughout the international network. They are an impressive bunch who have chosen to pursue careers in an entrepreneurial environment.
What would you change about your job right now if you could?
Slow down the email traffic, even if for only half a day ...