Kristy Nunn is a Director in the Dispute Resolution & Litigation Law group and has been with Mullane & Lindsay since 2004.
She is also a member of the Law Society of New South Wales, the Newcastle Law Society, the Australian Insurance Law Association and the Women Lawyers Association of NSW.
Kristy is motivated by meeting and exceeding client expectations and ensuring her work continues to enhance her professional reputation.
- What led you to where you are now?
Firstly, at High School I had a very, very passionate Legal Studies teacher which led me then to share a passion for learning about the law.
After that I landed on my feet when I got a job at Mullane & Lindsay, which was a very well-established law firm in Newcastle, and in particular a law firm that had opportunities to have really interesting work. I have been there since I finished uni, which in this field it is quite unusual to be in one job for such a long period of time. I have stayed there ever since so I am very proud that I’m where I was when I finished uni and have developed now into my role as a Director of that firm.
- What motivates and drives you?
As a lawyer you are motivated to do your best in terms of legal result for your client, but you also have obligations to the Court and to the public as a whole as a professional, so you need to consider always your standards of ethics and your reputation when you are practising.
So I am certainly motivated to be a lawyer who is recognised as an ethical lawyer, but also as a lawyer who knows her stuff in Newcastle.
What drives me is I am very proud to be a business owner of a successful law firm at this age and that was something that came about not because I was pushing down the door for, but an opportunity arose and I am very happy that it arose for me. I am now in a position where I can drive the younger lawyers in our firm for the whole firm to be a successful firm.
- Where would you like to be in 10 years?
In 10 years I would like to be, and I will be, running our successful law firm as probably one of the senior partners. At the moment there are two directors at my age and we have three older directors who established the firm. They have set in place a firm with a really good reputation with good staff but they won’t be here in the next couple of years, so in 10 years I would like to be running the law practice together with my co-directors and building up and continuing on the reputation of Mullane & Lindsay.
- What have been some of your biggest challenges
The area of law that I specialise in is professional indemnity work so we act mainly defending professionals against claims made against them. That is a fairly sensitive area as obviously a professional feels that they are being attacked if a claim is made against them. One of the challenges I have encountered in dealing with those professionals is that as a younger practitioner they may not accept my advice on face value when I really need to prove myself, not withstanding the fact that I have done that work for 10 years and have seen many more professional negligence claims than those practitioners would have ever known about. I really have to prove myself because of my age in that area.
Another challenge recently is in terms of having a family and coming back to work part time and how that is dealt with both within the firm and with the clients and with other professionals. It’s a challenge that you really need to tackle head on and make sure that you are well organised and communicate when you are in and out of the office if you are not always in the office. So that has certainly been a more recent challenge and something that not only I, but other lawyers in our practice are dealing with.
- Have you had any significant Hunter-based mentors during your career that inspire you?
I have, certainly early in my career there was a Registrar at the Family Court, Julie Carney. She is now a barrister who is practising in Newcastle. She became a mentor to me both in the practice of law but also professionally. I really admired her as she came from interstate and took a position in Newcastle as a registrar which was a position where she had to be strict with local practitioners, certainly practitioners that were older than her. She really knew her stuff and needed to and faced many challenges in terms of decisions that she made. So she really assisted me professionally and we later became friends and personally in terms of how to manage my career as a lawyer I spoke to her when I was offered the directorship at Mullane & Lindsay and she certainly has been a good guidance during my career.