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.
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.