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Case Study: Interview with a Contract Lawyer

Case Study: Interview with a Contract Lawyer

Edge Director Bill Panourgias caught up with our longest standing Edge Contractor Johnny Chal  this week to gain his insight into his experience of being a ‘permanent’ contractor.

Can you tell us a little bit about yourself and why you decided look at contracting opportunities?

I am a New Zealander, who moved to Sydney in 2011. I was not sure how long I was looking to stay in Sydney for, so when it came to choosing a role, a 6 month contract position seemed like a good fit as it allowed me time to see if Sydney and the tech industry was the place for me.

After that role, I had a number of other contracting opportunities come up in the technology space, which all seemed to be a good fit, so I have continued to contract on and off for the past 12 years.


How did you come across Monty Edge?  What attracted you to Monty Edge?

When in 2021 I was looking for a new role and Monty Edge had a great opportunity. 

I met Andrew and Bill, and found them to be incredibly easy to deal with, very proactive and supportive during the process, as well respecting that I had other recruiters and roles underway.

Once we had connected, there seemed to be more than one opportunity on offer, and Bill and the team were able to wrap up the new role for me within a 6 day period.

Monty Edge were incredibly open and transparent regarding the salary and charge-out rate, and provided a really easy onboarding process.


Can you tell us about some of the contracts (current of previous) you have worked on with Monty Edge?

Monty Edge initially placed me at an international proprietary trading firm/ market maker in Sydney where I really enjoyed myself and felt challenged and well-stretched.  It was a great place to work and fostered a really strong culture of work hard/play hard.  Since then, I have worked in government for the past year working with Transport and was involved in negotiating an incredibly large-value, complex public transport mode contract that really helped hone my drafting and negotiating skills, and allowed me to be involved in a deal that I was able to share with a real sense of pride.


What have you found are the advantages of becoming a Monty Edge Contractor? 

As I mentioned Monty Edge are proactive and always keen to come up with help or solutions, ie. when your manager hasn’t approved your timesheet by pay-run dates!

I’ve really enjoyed working as a part of Monty Edge, but also getting to know much of the team and feeling supported and encouraged by them all. 


Have you had any challenges working under this model?

No not that I can think of. 


How have you found Montgomery Edge as an employer?

Much like I mentioned above, they are always supportive, easy payroll and pay runs, they’ve covered my expenses and been very helpful for me and then when I’ve referred others to work with them, they’ve been great!  If you get a chance to attend their Trivia Night, make sure you do, as it is a lot of fun!


What advice or recommendations could you give to someone on the fence about taking up a legal contract role?  

If you are in a place where you’re open to a new challenge, or want to try your hand at some short term contracting, I would encourage you to embrace this type of work.

Contracting can be a real change and provide incredible work and workplace diversity. You meet a lot of different stakeholders and people, and create a number of connections in a short space of time. Typically higher rate/ salary options provide an added appeal, however,  I have also found far more flexibility in the working model as well as a higher degree of autonomy and control of the type of work I have been involved in when I have contracted.  

I believe that contracting provides you the ability to “try” out a company and/or industry, as well as having access to learning additional skills quickly, as you have to “hit the ground running” incredibly quickly. 

I have found more recently there are a number of mid-long term contracting roles in the marketplace for senior lawyers, so it is something to consider if you want to reinvent your career, or consider evolving and moving into a more specific area of law.

If you are on the fence you should consider giving it a go, as you may never look back at the permanent option again. If you are in a place in your career that you want to mix things up, I can assure you that it really does spark your passion for the law!

Bill Panourgias

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