Mikaela Mahony

Graduated: 2012

Current Role:  Solicitor at Pikes & Verekers Lawyers
                          - a boutique law firm in the Sydney CBD

Did you always aspire to be in the job position you currently hold?

When I left CTHS I enrolled in a Bachelor of Laws combined with a Bachelor of Arts in Communication (Journalism) at UTS. I was interested in both industries. English was always one of my best subjects and many people including my Nana told me I’d make a good lawyer.  

I started looking for Journalism work experience in my first couple of years of university because it seemed an easier industry to gain experience in than law. I completed work experience at 2UE, Hornsby Kur-ring-gai Local Radio and Fairfax. I eventually was offered a part time job at Fairfax and worked for five local newspapers including the Hills News, Rouse Hill Courier, Parramatta Sun, Blacktown Sun and St Marys-Mount Druitt Star writing news and sport stories.  

In my third year of university I undertook work experience with a barrister in criminal defence. I liked law but I definitely knew that criminal defence was not the area of law I was interested in.

In 2018 I began my Practical Legal Training at Pikes & Verekers Lawyers. I was exposed to a variety of practice areas including property law, commercial and corporate transactions, wills & estates, planning law, environmental prosecutions and commercial and civil litigation. After a few months I realised that I wanted to be a part of the litigation team as I enjoyed the variety of work and the investigative nature of compiling evidence and putting together a case.

I have now been at Pikes & Verekers over 3 years and work solely in litigation and dispute resolution and I love it. Did I ever think my favourite type of litigation would involve corporate governance and shareholder disputes? Absolutely not.

What have you done since leaving CTHS?

Represented Australia at the Junior World Softball Championships in Canada in 2013 (bronze medallist)

·         started playing AFL

·         travelled to Canada, Europe and Singapore

·         moved to the Eastern Suburbs

Describe your average work day....

I usually get into the office around 7.45am. I am an early riser and so is my boss so this suits us well.

I usually review emails when I first get in. Then discuss with my boss anything that is urgent or needs to be at the top of the priority list for the day.

Litigation means every day and week is different. I definitely work a lot of hours some weeks and very usual hours other weeks.

My work can involve drafting affidavits, compiling evidence for court books, drafting chronologies, drafting written submissions, putting together applications to wind up a company, drafting statutory demands, issuing bankruptcy notices, emailing and calling barristers briefed in matters, calling solicitors who represent the other parties in proceedings, drafting pleadings, attending directions hearings in Court, reviewing documents for Legal Professional Privilege, calling clients and asking for instructions, witnessing affidavits, drafting letters offering to compromise and settle proceedings.

I spend more time than I ever could imagine advising clients not to go to Court.

Please share some words of wisdom for today's students...

Where there is a will, there is a way.

Someone once said to me: “Are you going to play softball for Australia or become a lawyer?” I smiled and said “Both”.