Q&A: Damien van Brunschot, Partner, Kaden Boriss (Australia)

Jason Clark, Legal Reporter, SpeakingThreads in conversation with  Damien van Brunschot, Partner, Kaden Boriss (Australia).

Damien van Brunschot 2Photo: Damien van Brunschot

Jason: Where do you see Kaden Boriss (Australia) in the next five years?

Damien: Kaden Boriss (Australia) has the vision of sustainable growth and has implemented a strategy to grow in the next five years as a flourishing specialist Australian Law Firm with offices in Sydney, Brisbane and Melbourne complimenting its overseas offices which take in Asia and the Middle East.  The key to increasing our Australian footprint is undoubtedly the unique Kaden Boriss culture attracting and retaining leading lawyers and consultants in their fields of expertise.  In an increasingly global world, Kaden Boriss (Australia) is uniquely positioned as a firm with offices in the new economy of Asia and the Middle East.  Starting from a traditional Insurance and Employment Law base, Kaden Boriss (Australia) now has recognised expertise in commercial and construction law, corporate risk and advisory, hospitality and tourism, as well as a newly acquired international division with an emphasis on project management. 

Jason: What area of law practice does your Brisbane office specialise in now and which new areas do you wish to venture into?

Damien: The Brisbane office of Kaden Boriss was started by Jamie McPherson and myself eight years ago.  The firm joined the Kaden Boriss Network in October 2013 and in a period of eight years has grown from 4 to over 45 staff in the Brisbane office.  Commencing with established expertise in insurance litigation, workplace health and safety, and employment law, Kaden Boriss has expanded its service offerings with established expertise in commercial and corporate law, construction and building projects, corporate risk and advisory, health and medical law, and hospitality and tourism.  More recently, the Australian office of Kaden Boriss established the international division with an emphasis on international project management led by Simon Harrison, Partner.  As the Australian network grows, Kaden Boriss remains committed to the core area of its practice (insurance, employment, health and safety) across other Australian State jurisdictions, whilst continuing to expand its commercial and international reach.

Jason: Do you have any plans to open a new office in Australia? If yes, where and why?

Damien: The Melbourne office of Kaden Boriss legal will be established in 2017 led by Andrew Bautovich, a former Senior Associate of the Brisbane office and now Partner of the firm, who has moved to Melbourne.  Andrew has established expertise in commercial and corporate law, corporate risk and advisory, construction and building projects, and litigation and dispute resolution.  The Melbourne office of Kaden Boriss legal will complete an Australian presence along the eastern seaboard and will in turn lead to the development of further Australian offices, in particular in Perth and Adelaide.

Jason: In the difficult age of artificial intelligence are you thinking of hiring or entrenching and if so why?

Damien: Certainly artificial intelligence and digitisation is a big challenge for the legal services sector both in Australia and abroad.  Whilst we recognise that allot of tasks traditionally undertaken by lawyers will invariably change, the key challenge in the legal services sector remains attracting and retaining legal talent, maintaining an excellent culture of collaboration and professionalism and ensuring flexibility and innovation is adopted in working collaboratively with our clients.  Without understating these challenges, Kaden Boriss Australia has the unique advantage of being ahead of the pack as a specialised and innovative firm- for example, we have both embraced and promoted fixed fee costing which best delivers client value and rewards efficiency and innovation.  

We are committed to hiring legal talent and growing our Australian presence, alive to the importance of remaining flexible and working in collaboration with clients. We acknowledge both the reality of increased competition and the challenges presented by artificial intelligence and digitisation generally, although we consider that firms that focus on the marketplace and remain and innovative flexible in their approach will continue to enjoy growth.