Full Insights   Senad Dizdarevic
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Full Insights Senad Dizdarevic


(upbeat music) – We’re back with another episode of Gatehouse Insights. Today, I’m joined by Senedd, who will shed some light on starting your own legal practise, the challenges that come
with growing a business, how he leads the team
across for office locations? And his view on business development. If you haven’t already done so, please subscribe to the
GATEHOUSELEGALRECRUTMENT YouTube channel, where
you can catch it all. So I wanted to begin with how
you commit your own practise and what made you take that step in establishing your own firm. – Yeah, a few years ago now. I was working, so I
started working in the city then I worked in the suburbs, and I was working for
a guy out in Cinnabons and I didn’t have a, want to start my own practise but I was doing everything at this, the practise I was working for. And he didn’t make a simple
answer didn’t make me a partner. And to now, it was really difficult negotiating wages and stuff and after all if I’m only
improving this freedom as much by my own and yeah, just my mom is, had a little commands
in practise in the park. Just up these little stairs, so I just set up a little desk. And then yeah, from there, I just remember from there. – And so it’s been almost nine years. – Yep. – Can you share some of the challenges of space building a practise and how you’ve overcome those? – Yeah, I’m nothing is planned. So the plan is not to have a plan. But the one thing that I
say to all the young lawyers I made is you have to do good
quality work starts with that. So now I owe pride myself on that, so I started doing everything for clients. So you become a yes person just because you take it
on and you do it yourself. And then if the work is good people will say, come, see this guy, he’s this young guy in the park, you know, he’ll be able to do, is, that’s very, he’s a good guy and plus on top of that his work is amazing and you’ll be you know, an humble cast in terms of the face. So it started from there and then all of a sudden you know, you employ one staff member, then the second staff member and then never stopping
believes and all that. So there’s a list of things well, we could have done differently and probably should have done. And there’s a list of
things that we did right you know, and now it’s a big business and few more workers and stuff. – How many are you, how big is the team? – We’ve got nine lawyers
and we’ve got another maybe a dozen support staff. – Yes.
– So, it’s just under 20, maybe around 20. – Which is quite large and you’re spread across four offices in different locations.
– That’s right. – How do you go about managing all that? – Well all our staff members, the major, the senior associates. So December offers, we just acquired a pre-Christmas and I’ve got a partner I their office. So Imran Khan, who’s my
partner in that office, you know, we’re partners in there. Who’s a mate from UNIM, someone that, him and I
worked together out of UNIM. And then he went to Tazzy and did his own thing and I was, I started this
stuff here in Melbourne, and then we needed, you know, the firm was growing, there was still so much staff, and I needed some I can trust. So, and he wanted to
come back into Melbourne. So he, you know, he and
I had a really nice open, open discussion, and then he came back three and a half years ago it’s in July, about four years, and then, you know, it’s
like any relationship. You know, the relationship has to work and he just have the
same values as myself. So he didn’t start managing the staff and started with good quality work, keeping up with the clientele, and then, we acquired somebody. So we went into that together, and then him and I just split, he and I just split the duty. So I’ll do, certain areas of our law, he’ll do the others and then he’ll manage staff and I’ll see clients. We just just make it work. – Cause you also in that, your I suppose juggling family as well. Cause you’ve got two young children. How do you you manage it? Do you have strict guidelines? – My wife has a strict routine, – Okay.
– Starts with routine. So we need, you need, you know, routine and you need calendar, that’s for this year it’s just kinda look cute. I think that, you just
have to make the sacrifice to everything, you gotta
sacrifice your time to drop the kids off. You gotta sacrifice your time not to see the client and do that. And the same with the kids. You just gotta, it’s a balancing act. Might, I don’t get it right, no one does. But we try to get it, we tried to aim to get
it right 9% of time, – Yeah cause you drop your
children off at school – I do
– In the morning – Yeah, so we’ve just
actually changed the routine. So last year was doing
a lot of that drop off, this year is, you got a second
one is now going to Kinder, So we’re splitting time so
am doing Wednesday, Thursday, Friday and my wife has Monday, Tuesday. And then all the day she
does the pick up so yeah, – It’s good,
– Routines. – Routines they work.
– They work. – So some people are really attracted to starting their own
business or legal firm. They think it’s the way forward Do you think business is for everyone, and what some
(coughing) like realities that they should know. – Definitely not other thing
business is for everyone. I think this is a you have to be a certain
person to do this. And look, anyone can go
out and start a firm, its the longevity. When I first started, you have this perception of
who suburban lawyers are. A lot of the firms are,
you know, their first name. And I didn’t want that mould. I wanted to create a commercial
practise out in the West that people from the area could go to as opposed to having
to drive into the city and get parking fines and
all sorts of different things and miss a whole day just
to see a lawyer for an hour. So that was the kind of like the mindset. And then, you know, you just, you know, you get different clientele. You know, we’ve got lawyers at a firm that have been with us
for a very long time the Deer park office. There’s, you know, there’s a lawyer there that is gonna become a
partner of the office, very, very soon. Have you got two junior lawyers
going to senior associate, the Carolina springs offers
that are both amazing, and they’ll become partners as well. So and if I had that opportunity
when I was the position, I would have taken the partnership, and any day of the week, because the challenges of
starting your own firm, are very, very tough. Like you were saying before, you’re a yes person to everything. You know, you have to
worry about everything, you have to worry about there
is so much compliance work. On top of that, you can
actually do the work, as opposed to you know, if
you get to the opportunity of becoming a partner in the firm, all of that infrastructure
is already there. You will have your support staff, you would have all you
have to do worry about is maintaining the coins that
you’ve already developed and providing good work. So those are the two big differences. – Now you’ve been obviously
again, practise nine years. Have you felt like it’s
gotten easier at any point? – No I haven’t, look, it’s nice, it’s the work that we do
in the way the firm is at is that is beautiful. It’s great, don’t get me wrong. But there’s different challenges now like for example when we first, when I first started, I would get excited by simple files, you know, files that are, you know, run all the mill files, someone’s selling a, you know, a business or they doing a, you know,
a couple is doing a will or there is, just some small time files. Now because we have so much, so meddlers, you know, we
had so much, everything. Like you know, and we’re doing
different quality of work. You know, I need the big stuff. That I just, you get excited
about only the big files. Like a big, you know,
big litigation disputes, like million dollar cash disputes, you’re excited by, you know,
biggest estate disputes. So all the other stuff, the smaller stuff I
don’t wanna see anymore because the other junior
lawyers will see that. So that’s the difference.
– Yap. And with close to 20 employees, almost close to 20 employees, how do you manage everyone? – Well, Imran does a lot of that. Imran, does a lot of that. You need good people, you know, and most of our people are really good. I mean, you know, and yeah, we need, you know, good peace starts with, you know, to be able to be good. And then, you know,
we’ve got good systems. Everyone’s accountable,
you know, open discussions, you know, there is, there’s none of that, you know, you go about to know, there’s everything is an open door policy, you can call anytime ask
question, all this stuff, you know, just the real
good working environment. And if we create a good
working environment that people wanna work at,
then everything becomes easy. – Do they collaborate
amongst the four officers? Do they ever?
– Yeah, they do. Everyone’s got great, cause the, you know the senior
lawyers kinda need the change so they would go into Sunshine or they’ll go into Caroline
springs with the apoc. So, everyone gets along really well. Yeah.
– Yeah, that’s good. That’s good that you interchange them. So no one’s really stuck at once– – No, it’s like, and
the lawyers like I said, everyone kinda has their own areas of law. So, they don’t kind of cross, there isn’t that, we’re
going to fight for something. And you know, the people
that are on the path of becoming partners in the firm, have their own areas of law set. So, yeah.
– That’s awesome. Can you share your views, I suppose on business development? Yeah, a lot of lawyers again, think that, you know, I don’t need to
do that side of things, it’s so important. But what are your views on payday? And do you find you’re
putting more effort now with business development
than you did at the beginning? – Definitely more now, Very important. Well, I have this pitch
that I do it to clients and the pitch is, you
can be a great salesman, I could you know, unlock
the family with good sales, when I used to work in sales,
when I was working in uni. But you’re only as good as the product, you only good as the
work that you produce. So I can go and tell you
that we can do amazing work. But if I don’t deliver, I
will make a fool of myself. And that person will
loose that person’s trust. So before any of the business
development you wanna do and poach and entertain
people and, you know, look after that referral, you gotta make sure that
you’ve got competent staff or you know, that you can
produce while you’re pitching. Because there’s no point, being you, being a great salesman
if you can’t deliver, and you’re only as good
as your last delivery, if you wanna call it the last thing that you’ve done for that client. Because, you know, everyone’s in any way, you know, we’re done a dozen and, you know, yes so
that might be a great guy and him and I have, you
know, we both love Carlton and you know, he’s great, we have a laugh. You know, the last year wasn’t good. So you hope that the
relationship you’ve build that you know, you can
come and sustain it. That does happen but otherwise you can be you know I don’t ever get upset
if someone wants to leave. Cause I, I’ll treat,
you know clients the way you know if i employed a professional to do the service for me. – Yap.
– I don’t wanna call up twice. I don’t want to, you know, have a follow up, Why
is nothing happening? You know, this just leaves a bad, you know, makes me anxious and upset and I can imagine what the clients would be feeling like. And we and we start with
all our lawyers, you know, so we have this policy of you know, don’t be reactive, be proactive. – Do you get all your of your lawyers getting out there and you
know, selling themselves, services payday. – No, we don’t. So early and why didn’t I do that but because the lawyers have developed their own circles of
friends and connections they bring in work but at this stage, it’s a strong requirement for any of them to bring in any work, it’s a bonus, of course it is.
– Yeah. – But that level now of well that’s, that’s the difference between
being a senior associate, and being your partner. Because once you take that step is the expectations
are a lot of different. Expectations are, is that
you’re gonna be self-sufficient and you’re going to bring in certain amount of work
for the firm to justify. (upbeat music) – And that’s it, another episode of Gatehouse Insights and draws to an end. Thank you for watching and thank you for sharing
this video with your friends. Make sure you subscribe to
the GATEHOUSELEGALRECRUTMENT YouTube channel where you can see more. (upbeat music)

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