Every family has their annual traditions and for us, it is to take stock at the end of the financial year and consider what we have achieved with our clients and as a business. This year we may be peaking a little early, although it does feel like the year has gone incredibly quickly and the end of the financial year will have been and gone before we know it, said no accountant ever.

Client outcomes

Each year we enjoy sharing the fantastic outcomes we have achieved with our clients for them and their families. Here’s what some of them had to say: 

Thank you! I’m so pleased to have this resolution, and to be able to see a light at the end of the tunnel. It will be wonderful once the house is sold, and the financial commitments untangled. You have all been so helpful, supportive, clear and patient during this process. I truly appreciate your unflagging support. 

I just wanted to reiterate my absolute deepest thanks for everything you are doing for my boys. I’m extremely relieved about the outcome for today. 

Thank you for your outstanding help, support and the most professional way you handled my matter today. Nothing whatsoever gets past you, you are a true asset to BWB and have been a literal Godsend to my family and me. 

Your empathy and explanation of the options available led to a positive outcome, particularly in relation to the custody of the children. 

I can see the light! Thank you for all your help. You have been wonderful.

Improving the client experience

Like any business, we would not exist without our clients and, in our line of work, ensuring our clients receive the best possible service is key. This year we engaged a consumer experience firm to conduct a mystery shopper exercise across our entire firm to help us understand whether the service we actually provide to clients matches the service promises we make to ourselves and them. Unsurprisingly, our team was shown to provide an empathetic and professional service, although there was definitely room for improvement.

As a team, we have worked through the results in depth and made a commitment to each other and to our clients, colleagues and referrers, that we will aim to do better. While we will not bore you with the details of that we do invite you to let us know where you think we can improve. In the new financial year, we will also be inviting back our mystery shoppers to see whether we have met our new targets and to identify our next challenges in providing an ever-improving client experience at Best Wilson Buckley.

7 year itch

In November 2016, we celebrated our seven year anniversary as a firm. To prove that lawyers do have a sense of humour (and humility) we aptly titled our celebrations as our 7 Year Itch. It was wonderful to celebrate the milestone with staff members of days gone by in addition to our current team as well as our clients and colleagues.  Our parent company also celebrated a milestone in 2016 with Shine Lawyers celebrating 40 years since their establishment, in 1976 in Toowoomba. It was an honour to be included in the celebrations, especially rubbing shoulders with the effervescent Erin Brockovich for whom we have an enormous amount of respect and admiration.

Ipswich office

Off the back of celebrating where we all came from, a major foundation stone was laid in the path to where we are going; to become the first truly national family law practice, with the establishment of our Ipswich office. This was officially opened in late February 2017. While the cynics may mock that all we really did was open a half-way point office between our existing Toowoomba and Brisbane locations (it is remarkably convenient though) the true believers will recognise that we are now in a position to deliver dedicated family law services to the Ipswich region, truly the first firm to provide a specialised service in the fastest growing region in Queensland. To top it all off, we had Amity Anderson join us from a major Brisbane firm to lead the team together with another experienced and empathetic family lawyer, Alecia Connor, and Lauren Kruger as Paralegal. We’re incredibly proud of this team and the quality of family law advice we are providing in Ipswich.

Leading family law firm

We were named as the Leading Family Law Firm in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region for the second consecutive year and a Recommended Family Law Firm in Brisbane. Our Reagan Wilson, Kara Best, Dan Buckley and Andrew McCormack were all mentioned as leading family lawyers in their respective regions, with Reagan named as the only Preeminent Family Lawyer in the Toowoomba and Darling Downs region. This list is the result of a rigorous, independent review of lawyers in all areas of practice with input from clients and colleagues alike and we’re grateful for the recognition from these people.

Lawyers Weekly nominations

The awards nominations didn’t stop there though. Reagan Wilson was named as a finalist for the Lawyers Weekly Family Law Partner of the Year. While he didn’t take out the top gong, it was a win for regional practice with Reagan being one of only two regional practitioners recognised in the awards. Our Katherine Marshall was also recognised for her commitment to family law and named as a finalist in the Lawyers Weekly 30 under 30 Family Lawyers. These awards are not due to be announced until in late June although Katherine is already a winner in our eyes. Yes, it’s corny, and we’re okay with that.

Growth

Our team continued to grow in 2016-17 and we now have a team of 36 lawyers and support staff across our three offices. We were pleased to welcome Lynn Armstrong to our crew. Lynn has been practising family law for over 11 years in Toowoomba and came to join our team in 2016. In addition, we now have a pipeline of wonderfully talented, earnest and enthusiastic future family lawyers: Annabel Myatt was admitted as a solicitor in October 2016; Kiara Greenway has completed her Practical Legal Training (PLT) and is due for admission in August 2017; Max Sutton graduated from university in April 2017 and is currently completing his PLT; and we have budding lawyers in students-by-night and support-staff-by-day Josh Schonfeld, Matt Gemmell, Madeline Dowling and Lauren Kruger. We also welcomed Kim Bolte, Kate Lowry and Jodie Handley to the ranks. Then there are those on our team burning the midnight oil to undertake a very demanding course administered by the Queensland Law Society to become Accredited Family Law Specialists.

Better people make better family lawyers has always been our philosophy and our bunch sure is made of some tough stuff.

That just about brings the year to a close, and after all that we must admit that if we were on the outside looking in we would be thinking:

How did they do it all?

What a bunch of over-achievers.

Sure, you did all that…

That’s fair. Especially that we’re over-achievers. We intentionally set out to get the absolute best result for our clients, team and greater community and in 2016-17 I think we can safely say we did that. This year has been an absolute cracker and hopefully is only just a sign of things to come from Best Wilson Buckley.