As a lawyer, family law is all I have ever done. Straight out of law school, I knew it was the practice area for me. And it has kept me intrigued since my first day in the job.
In the 15 years since then, I have helped thousands of separated couples and families through separation and divorce. They have involved all manner of ‘family’ related legal situations. And they have originated from the Gold Coast, where I practice, to places around Australia, and the world.
As a parent, I have been able to appreciate the impact of relationship breakdown on children, and to help parents achieve durable parenting outcomes which shield their children from conflict.
But my real love is ‘the numbers’ – helping those couples and families develop financial solutions, without having to go to court. I have been privileged to work with some of Australia’s most successful entrepreneurs and their families during this difficult time. My experience is that there is a fascinating ‘story’ behind my clients and their enterprises – I am always excited by seeing how business people have grown their businesses, and in hearing from them how they have achieved success.
While family law is a litigious area, most of my work is done out of court – that is where I find that the best results for my clients, and their families, can be achieved. Some of my most satisfying cases have been outcomes where families, and their family businesses, have been able to move beyond family breakdown without having been put through the trauma of litigation. Knowing that a business has been able to continue, and go on to succeed, for the benefit of a family, but where things might have been very different, means that the family lawyers have been a small part of the future success of that enterprise. To leave a case having ‘built’ that result has immense satisfaction.
Those experiences have seen me able to enjoy a participation in the broader family law community as well – promoting awareness of, and education around, family law issues via my being an elected member of the Family Law Practitioner’s Association; ‘guest’ lecturing in family law at Bond University; and participating in the development of the Qld Law Society’s specialist accreditation program for family lawyers – all of which are so rewarding.
So, I describe myself as a lawyer who gets a kick out of ‘seeing behind the curtain’ of the business successes of his clients; who, having seen the results of the Court process, knows that there is a better way for separating families to resolve their disputes; and who loves nothing more than getting creative to achieve positive outcomes for people enduring separation and divorce.
** Dan has been recognised in the Doyles Guide to the Australian Legal Profession:-