ONE of Muswellbrook's best-known businesses has been recognised for its high quality of work by receiving a nomination for the Australasian Law Awards.
Equilaw was selected in the State/Regional Firm category after 32 years of service representing members of the local community.
It’s the company’s first nomination and sole director and owner Michael O’Brien said it was a wonderful feeling to get the nod for their efforts.
“It’s very humbling,” he admitted.
“When you’ve been here for as long as I have, I suppose it’s just a testament to longevity and the staff.
“You can’t do it yourself and you need a team around you, so it’s very humbling and we’re very grateful for the nomination and the clients who have supported us.”
Incredibly, the legacy Mr O’Brien has built in Muswellbrook was only as a result of a bet he made with friends in 1987, when they challenged him to live a country town for 12 months.
Skip forward 32 years and he’s one of the region’s most respected businessmen and has helped countless people across his time here.
He’s extremely thankful for those who have stuck with him throughout that period.
“The most humbling aspect of it is the recognition of the work we have done over so many years, and to build that client base and our work ethic being reflected in the size of the client base is great,” he said.
“Something I’m really proud of is that we do generational work.
“I’ve been here long enough now that generations come through acting for their grandparents and parents and now there’s young people coming in buying houses, too.”
The team around him has obviously contributed greatly to their success too, with solicitors Ben Hoffman, Emily Pocket and Joshua Whale, conveyancer Renee Allen and paralegal Rebecca Stanley all holding strong reputations within the community.
Mr O’Brien said keeping his staff happy and allowing flexible work hours had been one of the major factors in Equilaw becoming such a powerhouse, with the likes of Mr Hoffman taking time off last year to attend the Tug-of-War World Championships is South Africa.
Finalists will be selected in March and the awards will be presented on May 23 in Sydney – and the Equilaw team will certainly be hoping it is in attendance that night.