In a sign of significant generational change, Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers has announced the appointment of three new directors to the experienced leadership team of the 60-year-old Canberra law firm.
Julia Bridgewater, Emily Shoemark and Amber Wang are all senior lawyers currently practicing at Snedden Hall & Gallop.
Julia has a wide range of expertise in all aspects of succession planning and estate disputes, and currently heads the Snedden Hall & Gallop wills and estates practice.
Emily leads Snedden Hall & Gallop’s employment law and intellectual property teams, providing business clients with advice on all commercial transactions.
Amber manages the Snedden Hall & Gallop personal injury and medical litigation team. With a deep understanding of the complexities associated with personal injury litigation, she is also the ACT president of Australian Lawyers Alliance.
Snedden Hall & Gallop has played a longstanding role in Canberra’s history. Norm Snedden first opened his sole practice in February 1960. The firm was formed in partnership with Allan Hall and John Gallop.
Current directors Richard Faulks, Dennis Martin and Gerald Santucci will all remain with the firm, although Dennis has stepped back from his role as a director. The addition of the three new appointments will increase the number of lawyer directors to five.
“In an industry where the number of women at the partnership or director level remains disproportionately low, I am proud to say we now have three outstanding professional women on our board of directors,” says Richard, Snedden Hall & Gallop’s managing director.
“Each of the incoming directors has proven to share the values Snedden Hall & Gallop considers important to serving our local community in a way that is professional, respectful and authentic.”
The appointment of the three women reflects changes in law across Australia – 53 per cent of solicitors are female, and every state and territory is reporting more women lawyers than men for the first time.
Richard says while the numbers of women in the profession have grown, this has not necessarily translated to the numbers of women in leadership in law.
“It is really good to have female lawyers progressing to leadership roles,” he says. “Capable and talented lawyers are good for business – the challenge has been to keep them progressing. Firms need to be flexible and have the capacity to allow for family commitments.
“Having a meaningful level of workplace flexibility allows people to have a family life and still manage to work at a high level.
“I am excited about this change and for the progress of the business. I have confidence in the future. Our staff and our culture are really important to us.”
Snedden Hall & Gallop has previously had female partners and directors, but this is the first time in the firm’s long history in which three female directors have served on the board simultaneously.
Julia moved to Snedden Hall & Gallop in 2020 and says not long after she arrived, Dennis opened an important conversation about succession planning.
“I felt it was amazing timing,” she says. “This is an opportunity to be a part of stepping into the future of the firm.
“While stepping down from the role of director, Dennis will remain with the firm. Experienced lawyers are invaluable and can be a huge help to junior lawyers.
“The appointment of Emily, Amber and I as directors is a sign of the maturing of the legal profession. Law is primarily about solving problems and is well suited to women. While the [numbers of] women has been growing steadily, it is the follow through to leadership roles that has been a problem.
“Together with Richard and Gerald, we will be a strong leadership team. The culture at Snedden Hall & Gallop is strong and positive, and why I jumped at the opportunity to be part of its future.”
For more information, visit Snedden Hall & Gallop Lawyers.
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