#12 [Future of Law] - Legal Perspectives from Down Under: Should Non-Lawyers be Permitted to Own Law Firms?
On the show this week we have our very first international guest, Nathan Hepple. Nathan is a Lawyer and a Director of the law firm HBA Legal based out of Sydney, Australia. He is also half of the talent on the podcast "Pardon My Objection”, a show that challenges the status quo in the legal industry with one of our past guests, Mitch Kowalski.
We wanted to have Nathan on because Australians do law a little differently. In Canada in order to own or be a Partner at a law firm, you actually have to be a lawyer yourself. This is not the case in Australia where non-lawyers are permitted to own law firms and can participate in running the business. We discuss the advantages of allowing non-lawyers to help manage the firm, and Nathan also addresses some common criticisms of the Australian system, including the belief held by some that the profit motive in a corporation would compromise the duty the lawyer owes to their client.
We also discuss how our current Partnership model is failing both the lawyers who work within the system, and the public at large, and how the current model leads to depression and mental health issues for lawyers.