Swaab 2022 Lawyer Inter­view Series | Chris­t­ian Marchant

Why did you become a lawyer?

I grew up around the con­struc­tion indus­try (4th gen­er­a­tion on my mum’s side and 2nd Gen­er­a­tion on my Dad’s) and there­fore, always felt com­fort­able liais­ing with peo­ple in the indus­try but was­n’t par­tic­u­lar­ly thrilled at the idea of man­u­al labour. Five years as a Trade Assis­tant fol­lowed by one year as a Con­tract Super­vi­sor on a major infra­struc­ture project gave me enough incen­tive to jump on the oth­er side of the con­tract­ing process.

Why Swaab?

I was rec­om­mend­ed Swaab by an indus­try friend of mine who hap­pens to run his own suc­cess­ful con­struc­tion law firm. His advice to me was that Swaab was a great firm with a strong rep­u­ta­tion, espe­cial­ly in the Prop­er­ty, Plan­ning & Projects space and that there was a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to grow and mature as a young prac­ti­tion­er in a healthy environment.

Once I joined the firm, all of the above was con­firmed and I was exposed to a fan­tas­tic group of indi­vid­u­als whose ideals and ethics as lawyers match­ing my own. I think it’s safe to say we put peo­ple before prof­its and it is reflect­ed by the high cal­i­bre clients we get to work with and gen­er­al hap­pi­ness in actu­al­ly being a lawyer.

What’s your best mem­o­ry or client success?

I gen­uine­ly have three great mem­o­ries of client suc­cess in my career thus far:

  • The first great client suc­cess (although one of my small­est vic­to­ries) was suc­cess­ful­ly defend­ing a claim against our client. The mat­ter was passed over by one Bar­ris­ter who did not see any mer­it in our claim, before I stum­bled upon Coun­sel Tal­itha Fish­burn who saw the light and fought with me to get the right result for our client. 
  • The sec­ond great client suc­cess was my first adju­di­ca­tion vic­to­ry under the Build­ing and Con­struc­tion Secu­ri­ty of Pay­ment Act. I large­ly attribute this process to being as close to sport as lawyers get in this pro­fes­sion, so it was a great feel­ing to get the metaphor­ic mon­key off my back and get a great result for my client. I’ve since gone on to get a num­ber of good wins, but in my opin­ion, the first is always the best. 
  • The third great client suc­cess was for a home build­ing dis­pute. This mat­ter could be char­ac­terised by the builder being paid Fer­rari mon­ey and deliv­er­ing a Hyundai Excel. We were over­all suc­cess­ful for our client but hav­ing been exposed to good builders my entire life to that point, it was a gen­uine shock to see the stan­dard that a builder believed was suitable.

Who has been your great­est influence?

I have had a var­ied career thus far with a major­i­ty of my pro­fes­sion­al career being out­side of the legal indus­try and work­ing with a huge num­ber of stake­hold­ers with­in var­ied projects. I would say that I have been very for­tu­nate to work with and for some great peo­ple and each has influ­enced me in such a way that it is dif­fi­cult and not par­tic­u­lar­ly fair to pin point one per­son. There are also peo­ple in my per­son­al life who have been instru­men­tal in help­ing me main­tain my dri­ve and ambi­tion and so I think real­ly, any suc­cess that I achieve and the per­son that I am, is a prod­uct of those same people.

What do you like to do out­side of work?

I am a sports nut so I pret­ty much watch as much as I can both live and on the tele­vi­sion. I am also both a keen cyclist and motor­cy­clist (some­thing about two wheels) so I try to get out on one form or both on my week­ends. I have also redis­cov­ered my hatred of los­ing golf balls in water or in bush­es recent­ly so that is also keep­ing my occu­pied as well.