“I can be in shirtsleeves hammering out details of a sizable deal to sell a company to a private equity outfit in the morning, but at 2 it’s suit jacket and tie for a meeting with a lady of mature years to discuss changes to her will. Those relationships are equally rewarding and important. If you lose that, you should go off and do something else.”
That message from founding partner Peter McLachlan is given straight and clear to everyone who joins the firm. It clearly helps – like a property development company whose legal matters he has now been looking after for 35 years.
“I enjoy the clients I have got from general practice; it’s not a career, but a lifestyle choice for me. The practice of law is one of the great humanities.”
Within business, Peter has particular knowledge and experience in commercial and property transactions, estate planning, employment law and planning law.
“It used to be that in a sale or transfer of a business, the biggest value was in fixed assets, now it is the human capital and intellectual property of a company that is usually more significant, and it is important to protect both,” he says. “This places great importance on the use of confidentiality agreements and contracts of employment.”
So valued is Peter’s input that he serves as a director of a number of companies and is a trustee of a number of private charities.
Making sure that clients can pass on the most value from their business endeavours to their families includes specialised work on wills, trusts, transfer of assets and succession planning.
Peter is presently representing a party in estate litigation involving one of the largest estates ever brought before the Courts.