LAWFUEL – The Law Firm Newswire – Partnership may be the culmination of a well planned career development journey for Jared Muller, but nevertheless he describes his reaction to making partner as ‘overwhelming’ and a great honour.
‘I completed my articles at one of Queensland’s biggest firms, but it was mid-tier in size when compared with firms like Freehills. I started articles with five other people, and we all saw things the same way in terms of what our objective was—which was very clearly to make partner of a law firm.
‘Since joining Freehills that goal’s never really changed, but you still need to go through the process, complete all the development steps, and do the work required to position yourself for partnership. So to reach this point is a great feeling, and I feel very proud and honoured to now be a part of the Freehills partnership.’
Jared joined Freehills’ Projects practice in 2000, and has stayed in this practice area ever since, specialising in the construction, telecommunications and energy industry sectors.
‘I enjoy helping our clients complete the big deals. Greenfields power projects are often difficult deals, but quite rewarding to get through. For example, there’s one gas power station deal I’ve been working on for nearly two years that finally closed last month, so it took quite a lot of effort to get it over the line, but we did ultimately, and that’s rewarding.’
Jared’s experience also includes a brief secondment at Telstra, where he filled in for a client on extended leave and helped ‘baby-sit’ some projects relating to the launch of the company’s ‘NextG’ network.
‘It was a great opportunity to learn first-hand about how such a major client looks after management and contractual advice in-house. And it’s the sort of thing that helps build trust and a stronger relationship with such a major client.’
Building strong client relationships is something Jared has focused on during his career to date, and something he recommends to other solicitors as an important part of their development.
‘It’s important to always look for ways to develop strong relationships with clients. As you come through the ranks and head towards partnership, it really helps to have those strong relationships in place. It stands you in good stead to win repeat work, and it’s simply a very important business development skill to have. It’s something that’s focused on a lot as part of your assessment and through the partner nomination process.
‘It’s also important to learn as much as you can from others. The partners that I’ve worked closely with over the last few years have all been great mentors in different ways, guiding me on different types of matters and also suggesting ways I can position myself to succeed with clients.
‘Having said that, there are no shortcuts and I believe you need to be prepared to put in the work if your aim is to reach the partner ranks of a law firm.’
Over the past two years in particular, Jared has concentrated on taking as much responsibility as possible in running matters and deals for clients to prepare for the step up to partnership.
‘There are obviously some aspects of the partner role that are new to me, particularly things like taking more of an interest in the business metrics and more finance and administration, but it helps a lot having had the experience of running my own deals. I ran my first deal when I was a fourth year solicitor, during a period when we were short of resources. I was ‘thrown in the deep end’ I guess, but it was probably the best learning experience I have had, and really set me on my way.’
Outside Freehills Jared enjoys spending time with his family, including young son Hugo, nearly two years old, and playing guitar.
‘I used to play soccer but it’s hard to find the time for that these days. But I find mucking around on the guitar at home is a great way to relax. That and watching Wiggles DVDs, which are popular at our place at the moment!’
Jared’s professional biography is available by clicking here.