Q&A with Ian Temby

02 Apr 2020
The newest member of our Government Services team sits down and explains what makes him tick.

What appealed to you about being part of the Clayton Utz Public Sector team?

My practice is squarely focused on Commonwealth public sector work and, in my view, Clayton Utz is the preeminent firm in the country for that kind work. The opportunity to be part of such an amazing team, and work with leading experts across the Public Sector team, both in Canberra and nationally, was (and is) very exciting.

You have carved out a very diverse public law litigation practice. What do you enjoy about the type of work you do?

The two things I enjoy most about the work I do are the diversity of the work and the significance of the matters I am lucky enough to work on. Typically, I would have the opportunity to work across several matters in a day, from complex litigation involving research and development and anti-dumping matters, to environmental litigation, litigation involving the childcare and education industries, regulatory work and inquiries and investigations.

All of these matters are significant to the parties to the litigation, but some are also of broader significance. For example: I am currently assisting one agency respond to a data breach which resulted in the release of information concerning several thousand people; and I am assisting another in relation to a matter which has received considerable media attention as a result of its impact on a roads project that has been the subject of several protests.

You're based in Canberra. What do you like about living there?

What's not to like? Well, winter. Winter is entirely objectionable. Everything else is perfect! It is a very pretty city, with beautifully clean air and lots of open space, and everything is so close and easy to access (work is about as far as I normally drive, and even that is less than 15 minutes). It is a great city to bring up children and, honestly, the best place in Australia to live (a view supported by several city rankings, for all of you doubting Thomases in the big cities!).

How do you like to spend your down time?

Down time is not easy to find with young children, but I love spending time with my family (albeit, as far as down time goes, I prefer the occasions when my 3 year old is not engaging in some sort of daredevil behaviour like climbing a rock wall (an actual rock wall, not a constructed rock wall with safety equipment), sprinting down the driveway, climbing a tree, sprinting away from me just for fun or jumping between various pieces of furniture in the living room exclaiming that he is a ninja warrior).

These are very unsettled and challenging times in the world right now. How are you staying connected with your team and clients?

Both my team and my clients have a very strong commitment to doing what they can to carry on in the face of these challenging times. I am fortunate that there is a shared desire to remain connected as individuals and to progress our work and, through the use of technology (video calls, audio calls, emails and messaging), we are having great success in doing this with as much normalcy as possible.

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