P&M 29: Avoiding the unavoidable by making friends with your Lawyer

So often we don’t think of calling in help from experts, like lawyers, until everything has already gone to hell! Issues, conflicts, problems have usually escalated into crisis before we think of calling in legal assistance.

In this People and Management podcast episode I chat with Brisbane based lawyer, Stuart Loudon.

APOLOGIES: A few audio quality hiccups midway, it comes and goes a little, but it does improve.

Stuart shares some great insights about why it’s so important to think of your lawyer as part of your team.

Some key take-aways I gained from chatting with Stuart:

  • We need to check our perception of who lawyers really are; not all them wear Armani suits and drive lamborghinis. Don’t believe the stereotypes.
  • Don’t google a bunch of contract templates thinking you’re safe, you could be inadvertently ruining a great business deal and doing yourself out of opportunities.
  • There’s no such thing as a ‘standard agreement’ or ‘usual terms’.
  • Lawyers are trained to explore and understand a problem or conflict from both sides so that they can help their client reach agreement with the other party … as manager, leader or business owner you find you’re forever trying to resolve conflicts this is a valuable lesson: seek to understand before seeking to be understood.
  • Your costs for the lawyer aren’t necessarily going to go through the roof but your reassurance in your business, team, and work in terms of protection and growth and opportunities can go through the roof.

Stuart also talked about the value of communicating and how, in his previous career, he experienced the painful email ping-pong war as one example of poor communication choices. He also shared that one lawyer mentioned he could make a living just from the issues that arise from email mis-communications. His experiences inspired him to write this poem:


by Stuart Loudon
Just imagine for a second
That we were honest with each other
And we said without hesitation how we feel
Unafraid to be authentic
Not hiding behind pretensions
Saying, doing and being that which is real

Could we stand to let our Selves
See the blazing light of day
Unprotected by the images we portray
Of who and what we’d like to be
To impress those around that see
Images that are little more than clay

Would this honesty leave us weak
Or would it give us what we seek
Promoting closer ties with those around
The sensitivities we possess
No longer seen as some weakness
But giving insight into humanity’s common ground

Would it scare me if I knew you
Or frighten you if you could see
The aspects that give me my life and being?
Or would the natural genuine way
We self-expressed at work and play
Be experienced as something beautiful and freeing?

Just imagine for a second
We banished harshness from our tongues
And simply said directly how we felt
Reconciling with those we’d fought
Speaking words with greater thought
Discouragement and cold bitterness to melt

Just imagine that a man
Put his heart into a poem
Seeing ways in which he was in need of striving
Hoping that these words, when said
Would transform others’ hearts and head
With a thirst to be truly human, not just surviving.


More about Stuart

542265_108180922654463_1690525501_nStuart Loudon is a lawyer based in West End Brisbane; you can see more about him and his law firm: www.lillasloel.com.au
Stuart’s practice is based around commercial law, court work and the assessment of Costs.
Stuart has presented to business and industry groups on the topic of avoiding common legal pitfalls and practising legal self-defence.
Before being admitted as a solicitor Stuart worked for many years as a Clinical Social Worker in the Mental Health area.
Stuart is also a published author of speculative fiction with an anthology (DARKNESS VISIBLE) being published shortly along with his first novel PONTIUS to be published in time for Christmas (2015).
Stuart enjoys movies, time with his wife and family and his involvement with the Brisbane performance poet community.

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