60-second interview with Grahame Young
What does your firm do?
I am a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers in Perth, the oldest and largest set of chambers in Western Australia.
What is the most important thing STEP does, in your opinion?
It raises the profile and ability of members to advise families and influence decision makers.
You were recently given a Founder’s Award. What does this mean to you?
First, it made me conscious of the number of other members doing wonderful work for STEP who were not so rewarded; next, immense pride that I was chosen.
How and why did you get involved with STEP?
I became aware of the unique role of STEP as a multi-disciplinary organisation in the area of trusts and estates from colleagues I had worked with for many years.
What benefits has it brought you?
The principal benefit has been exposure to the experiences and knowledge of practitioners worldwide in dealing with common issues, and also access to decisions of courts, particularly in the Channel Islands and the Caribbean, of which I had been blissfully ignorant.
What do you feel are the main challenges facing your branch or region at the moment, and how are you planning to deal with them?
In Australia, the main challenge is increasing the number and breadth of members, especially outside the legal profession. This would result in the benefits of membership of STEP being shared more widely, and would give STEP greater influence at a policy level. It would also make membership a desirable prerequisite for employment.
What do you most like about your job?
I have always loved the law as a discipline, and after more than 50 years of practice remain acutely aware of the need to continue my lifetime of learning.
.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?
When it is possible to assist to resolve real-life issues in all their variety, particularly as families transition from one generation to the next.
What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?
I would say read and learn as widely and deeply as possible and keep on doing so. Plus always remember you are dealing with fellow human beings and put them first, ahead of displaying your technical prowess or securing financial gain.
Where do you see future growth, both in terms of sectors and jurisdictions?
I see a change from the dominance of patriarchs and matriarchs to a more family-centred approach with reliance on, and continuing involvement of, the trusted professional. Many families now live and work in different jurisdictions, and so demand an international outlook, and knowledge and use of a wide range of tools and networks.
Which social media channels do you use and why?
For privacy reasons I confine myself to LinkedIn.