Congratulations Justin, Kerry and Mel!

Rural farm gate

Our Partnership team are all longstanding members of the Central Queensland community, but three recently reached milestone anniversaries in their careers at Rees R & Sydney Jones.

On 1 July, Kerry Attwill and Melanie Findlay both marked 10 years since they became Partners of Rees R & Sydney Jones, while Justin Houlihan marked 30 years.

For Kerry and Mel, the decision to accept their partnership roles back in 2012 was an easy one – however both admit that they may not have fully grasped what would be involved at the time.

“I was probably a little naïve… but I didn’t hesitate to accept it because I really felt at home here,” says Kerry.

“It’s certainly a big adjustment going from an employee to a Partner of a law firm and having 40 or so staff and their families relying on you to lead the way.”

Although the additional responsibility can be demanding, Kerry says that seeing the outcomes of Rees Jones’ work in the community makes everything worthwhile.

“I am proud of what we have been to the community, and what we continue to be to the community. And that I get to be a part of that,” says Kerry.

In 2020, Mel had the opportunity to take on additional responsibility of Managing Partner, putting her in the prime position to invest further in her favourite part of her leadership role – developing staff.

“I enjoy being involved in the growth and development of the staff,” says Mel.

“Days that make me most happy are Admission Days (when lawyers go to Court and actually get admitted to the profession).”

“I also love watching staff finish off and settle large, complex matters – matters that they thought were too hard or too complicated. You can see the sense of achievement.”

While a lot has changed in the decade since Kerry and Mel became Partners of Rees Jones, a lot more has changed in three decades – and Justin Houlihan has been in the Partnership team the entire time.

Consultant and former Rees Jones Partner, George Cowan, says that Justin’s impact has reached well beyond the doors of Rees Jones.

“He sets a high standard of participation in community life outside the law to which we all aspire,” says George.

Having worked alongside Justin since they were both articled clerks back when George joined Rees Jones in 1986, George has seen Justin’s strengths as a lawyer and a leader of the firm demonstrated time and time again.

“He is an excellent communicator and empathetic with all of his clients regardless of their background or station in life. Everyone gets the same level of care,” says George.

“He is tenacious and enjoys battling insurance companies to stand up for the little guy.”

You can learn more about our Partners and the Rees Jones team here.

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