20 May 2011

Learn more about Mark Paganin

Mark Paganin is the Perth office Corporate Practice Group leader.

Mark talks about what makes his area of law so exciting. 
Mark Paganin, Partner, Corporate Advisory / M&A

My name is Mark Paganin. My practice area is corporate advisory and merger and acquisitions and I am the practice group leader in the Perth office of that practice group.

What do you do for clients?

I'm just part of Clayton Utz, we're a team and we try to first deliver excellence, and strive for excellence in everything we do, and that's a challenge but it's an enjoyable challenge. First of all it's to deliver competent legal advice. What has become most important as everyone knows, is understanding your client and each client - we act for a lot of different clients - and trying to tailor our advice to meet the clients' commercial objectives. We are getting involved at a lot earlier stage now in the decision-making, implementation and proposed processes of decisions by clients to invest and that's involved us at an early stage which gives us a better understanding of clients and what they want.

What's so interesting about your area of law?

I'll try not to be selfish and the reason I say that is that everyone has a job do to and they enjoy it presumably. Being objective about what we do, I'd say the key attractions of why I get out of bed in the morning is the diversity and the people I work with.

Clayton Utz is a large organisation, again we happen to be a law firm - and this could equally apply to any large organisation - but being large means that it is a learning environment which is most stimulating. We are a team environment, we work together towards common challenges and requests and problems -that's most interesting.

Also we act for a variety of clients in a variety of sectors. We don't act for one client. We don't operate in one sector - diversity again, which makes it interesting. We're involved with the decision-makers and that could be at board level, board of directors, senior management level, and with staff ,and together we get an understanding of working together with the client to try and again meet their commercial objectives. So I find that interesting.

As an example, I have been a partner probably in total duration for over 16, 17 years but about 12 years ago I took two years off and that was because I think I needed improvement, so I studied in the US an executive management program and then I became a director in investment banking. Now the reason I did that and then came back into this partnership 12 years ago is to add extra strengths to my bow, in areas relevant to me. If I was a property lawyer it would be absolutely irrelevant what I did, but for me it was relevant and I found that I better understood the clients, and coupled with the background in undertaking law and commerce degrees in university I have a natural interest in that area. So that's an example of how I've tried to broaden my horizons, but there's a lot of improvement to go.

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