Hooper Family Lawyers has been providing Family Law services to the Brisbane Bayside, South Brisbane and Greater Brisbane area since 1 July 2010. Like any business or project starting from scratch it has been a journey with many ups and downs. From working in my bedroom at home and worrying about whether the phone would ring today – to leasing my first commercial premises and employing my first solicitor and other support staff members, it has been an exciting, sometimes scary yet rewarding journey.
Now that journey has taken another twist, as of 1 July 2022 Hooper Family Lawyers is Hooper & Mill Family Lawyers, and it represents another milestone for me taking on my first business partner, long time former employee and friend, Mr Shaun Mill.
Shaun started with me in about late 2011 while he was studying his 4th year of law at QUT. At first, he was in the office to gain some experience and attend Court with me to see how things worked. Even back then I noticed he very quickly understood the principles behind what was going on, he had a common sense perspective, and he was genuinely interested in Family Law.
In 2012 Shaun went into his 5th year of his degrees and he continued doing work experience and odd jobs until he officially became a staff member in May 2012 – answering phones and helping out around the office.
In November 2012 Shaun graduated with a Bachelor Laws degree and Bachelor of Justice (Criminology) and after graduation he went straight in his PLT (Diploma of Practical Legal Training) through the College of Law in Brisbane.
He continued working at the firm and by now he was assisting me with legal work such as Court document production, subpoenas and correspondence. He also sat in with me for most new client appointments taking notes and gaining experience interviewing clients.
On 3 June 2013 Shaun was admitted into practice as a Queensland Legal Practitioner and I had the pleasure of moving his admission to practice before the Full Court in the Banco Court at Brisbane.
Shaun’s career continued to take off and in 2014 he married his long-term partner and high school sweetheart.
All work and no play would make Shaun an unhappy boy, so in 2016 he took extended leave enabling him and his wife to travel to Europe for a few months before returning to Australia and Hooper Family Lawyers.
Shaun and I have had many a conversation over the years about his career, opportunities available to him and how to best upgrade his skills and knowledge so refreshed from his travels he commenced his Masters Degree studies in Family Law in 2016, graduating in 2019.
While studying for his Masters and working, Shaun (with the assistance of his wife) managed to have his first daughter in 2018.
After graduating from his Masters he immediately enrolled in the first available Family Law Specialist Accreditation program which he successfully completed in 2019.
In 2020 he had his second daughter (again with the assistance of his wife) while taking over the running of the office at Victoria Point while I opened an office on the Gold Coast (you certainly can’t fault his work ethic).
What some people in legal circles might not know about Shaun is that in addition to being an exceptional family lawyer, he also an IT expert and he can build a computer from items commonly found in a garden shed (ok I exaggerated there but he does build computers).
As a confirmed luddite, I have terrible technology skills so you can imagine how much money he’s saved me in IT costs – including the time when he figured out why our Website was crashing a server when all the experts at the IT firm and digital marketing firm couldn’t work out what was happening.
As a more senior practitioner, I regularly ramble on to Shaun about how things were back in “the day”, and for the most part he usually appears to be listening. One of the things I have passed onto him is something my supervising solicitor told me back when I was doing Articles of Clerkship in the 1990’s. That is, that traditionally solicitors made agreements between each other with handshakes, not written contracts.
I know many lawyers would strongly disagree that a handshake is good business practice but for me it speaks to why I would be doing business with this person in the first place, that this person is someone I believe is of integrity, and that I trust my gut and judgement without reservation. Shaun Mill is without a doubt all these things and I am enormously proud of everything he has accomplished.
Congratulations mate it is well earned, and I look forward to working together into the future.