Australia & New Zealand Business Report 2017

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Discovery Reports

Maternity leave cut short to handle clients’ commercial and migration needs

Goodwin’s law firm is sought by clients for its migration and commercial expertise by English, Putonghua, Cantonese, Korean and Japanese speakers

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 5:15pm
UPDATED : Friday, 22 September, 2017, 5:15pm

One morning in 2012, Vivienne Goodwin was woken by a solicitor calling to ask where to send a contract for one of her previous clients whom she had helped obtain a business investment visa. At that time, however, Goodwin was looking after her four-month-old daughter Chloe and had only been considering whether to join another law firm or start her own.

Goodwin recognised the need for a law firm that could handle not only the complex migration needs of high-net-worth Chinese clients, but also their comprehensive legal needs – from large commercial transactions to property development and significant investment opportunities. Goodwin saw that Chinese clients yearned to work with a large Australian law firm, but were frustrated when partners were unable to speak their language.

The communication barrier led to slower and more costly service, as every question and piece of advice needed translation by Chinese-speaking junior solicitors.

Goodwin understood that clients from mainland China expect straightforward advice that focuses on getting the job done. She immediately contacted the previous client who insisted she handle his matter.

Within two hours, Goodwin & Co Lawyers was incorporated as it handled its first multimillion dollar commercial transaction from Goodwin’s dining room table.

Goodwin & Co Lawyers has grown to become a leading boutique law firm with a team of more than 40 people. Located in Martin Place at the heart of Sydney’s central business district, the firm is sought by Chinese and international clients for its migration and commercial expertise.

The rapidly growing firm has a wide range of Australian solicitors with diverse cultural backgrounds, and who are proficient in English, Putonghua and Cantonese. Goodwin knows that various cultures have different expectations from their solicitors, but she believes that ultimately the most important thing for clients is to receive cost-effective,
efficient and high-quality legal advice. Goodwin’s now six-year-old daughter absolutely agrees.