“The best result I could have hoped for”

Partnership break-down

When our client approached Mark Waters for help, he was distressed and concerned about his future. He was a partner in an architecture practice where relations between him and his fellow partners had irretrievably broken-down. It was clear that our client needed to leave the business.

“I would have been totally out of my depth without Mark. Once things begin to unravel, you start to second-guess all sorts of things and the way forward becomes less and less clear… It was the best result I could have hoped for”

Stringent departure conditions

When the practice was established, our client, like many others, signed his partnership agreement without close scrutiny of its terms, simply because he believed at the time that he would never have to rely on it. But the agreement mandated that our client must stay out of practice for 12 months following any departure from the business. This would have left our client unable to trade, earn a living and further his career for that period.

Fearful for the future

When I started talking to Mark, I was fearful for my ability to provide for my family and my ability to maintain my standing in the industry I had worked in my entire career.”

Taking a pragmatic approach

Working with our client, Mark quickly identified the desired outcome, which was to retain the client’s ability to continue to practice in his specialist area of architecture. “What was important” says Mark, “was that my client could carry-on earning a living. Since he was specialist in an area of architecture in which his fellow partners did not practice, I saw a possible way forward.”

Mark knew that a pragmatic compromise, rather than a long dispute over terms and conditions, would give his client the best chance of achieving the result he needed. So, instead of representing the client at meetings, which may have been interpreted as adversarial, Mark coached the client behind the scenes to handle those meetings effectively himself. As a result, a compromise was reached quickly, whereby our client was permitted to continue to practice in his specialist area, because the other partners in the business recognised that to allow him to do so would not in any way affect their own business prospects.

“The best result I could have hoped for”

“I was permitted to leave the business and trade in the area of architecture I love and am known for. I was even able to take clients in that area with me, because my former partners recognised that without my skills, they were unable to continue to service them.”

“I’m now five months into running my new practice and it is thriving” he says “and, best of all, I now focus solely on the area of architecture I most enjoy. Life is going well.”

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Level 11 Como Office Tower
644 Chapel Street
South Yarra VIC 3141
+61 3 9948 2470
info@cielegal.com.au
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