60-second interview with Kimberley Martin

Kimberley Martin, 18/3/2019

Kimberley Martin TEP is Director, Worrall Moss Martin Lawyers in Hobart, Tasmania, Australia.

What is your role within your firm?

I am a Director at my firm and lead the estate planning practice area, overseeing related matters in our estate administration, estate litigation and commercial practice areas. My expertise is primarily in the areas of trust and estate law, with a particular focus on wills, Enduring Powers of Attorney, instruments appointing enduring guardians, trust law, superannuation law (including self-managed superannuation funds), company law (from a succession planning perspective), and tax law.

How did it feel to win a STEP Private Client Award

I feel extremely honoured. Looking at the calibre of the other finalists, and being the only representative from Australia for an international awards ceremony that was open to both members and non-members of STEP from all over the world, it is a privilege to be named as the winner. It was an unbelievable feeling that I can’t compare to any other moment in my professional career.

Why is winning a STEP PCA important to your firm?

My firm prides itself on being experts in estate planning and related fields. To be recognised on the international stage reinforces that expertise, and emphasises to our clients, referrers and associates that we are serious and know what we are doing.

Domestically, my winning this award is incredibly important when you consider that my firm is in Hobart in Tasmania, a small part of Australia, and we suffer from a community expectation that if you want the best legal service, you need to retain one of the ‘big city’ firms. This international recognition of my expertise reassures my clients, and my potential clients, that they can obtain a quality of legal service here in Tasmania to rival or surpass what they would expect from larger mainland firms.

On a personal level, winning this award is important because it shows that it doesn't matter where you are based - if you set your dreams big and you work hard towards them, they are possible to achieve.

What do you like best about your job?

I love meeting new clients, finding out about their lives and helping them to put a plan in place to provide for what will happen if they lose capacity or die. It is not something that we can avoid, it will happen to all of us and our loved ones at some point, and I find that my clients find peace of mind after undertaking the estate planning process with me.

.. and what do you feel is most worthwhile?

It seems a cliché, but in performing legal work I really feel satisfied when I am able to genuinely help someone resolve a difficult issue. I am committed to my clients, and helping them issues that affect everybody, incapacity and death. I do this by helping them put a proper estate plan in place, or helping them to find solutions when there is no (or an inadequate) estate plan. With each client’s circumstances being different, it’s rewarding to develop and implement solutions for those clients, and I am known for creating bespoke and creative solutions to achieve this purpose.

Law is one of the professional areas where I believe there is a benefit to be derived from the interaction between colleagues, and the sense of camaraderie that develops amongst an effective team that plays to each others’ strengths is professionally satisfying. The law attracts perfectionists, and it is rewarding to have those traits valued and recognised.

What would you say to a young person thinking of a career in this industry?

When I was starting out I was incredibly fortunate to have experienced and talented lawyers around me, who became my mentors. I was able to go to them for guidance and career development advice, as well as having the benefit of their knowledge, and practical legal expertise. I learned to listen to constructive criticism, and from that was able to develop the areas where I was less strong, in order to become a well-rounded practitioner. I believe that most people who become lawyers are accustomed to being recognised as high-achievers, so the best advice I can give young practitioners is to listen, learn and grow, because being a lawyer is all about constantly developing and improving your knowledge, your practices and yourself.

It somewhat pains me to say this, especially given the contemporary recognition of the value in achieving work-life balance, but in my early career I saw the benefits in putting in extra time to get to where I wanted to go, and I was prepared to do what was necessary, including sacrificing other pursuits which were less important to me than the law. However, it is important to have a plan, and to be effective and efficient with your time, and to chart your expectations and achievements. It is important to stay present and to stay focused not only on your career goals, but your life goals, and to allocate a balance to both.

Which social media channels do you use and why?

I use LinkedIn, Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, to varying degrees. I think that it is important for my associates, clients and wider network to know what I (and my firm) are doing. The best way to communicate that to them is through social media. The spread of recognition of my STEP Award through LinkedIn alone was massive.

  • Kimberley won the STEP Private Client Awards’ Young Practitioner of the Year in 2018/19. If you’d like to be considered for this year's Awards, get your entry in by 30 April.

Kimberley Martin TEP is Director, Worrall Moss Martin Lawyers, Tasmania in Australia. Kimberley is on the Steering Committee of the STEP Digital Assets Special Interest Group. In 2018/19, she was awarded the STEP Private Client Awards’ Young Practitioner of the Year.