Phillip Graham is the Managing Director of Graham Legal and he was admitted to practice as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Victoria on the 1st March, 1976.
Phillip is a local. Before law school, Phillip was educated at Strathmore Primary School and then Strathmore Secondary College. Phillip is married to Julie (who is Graham Legal's Office Manager) and they have two children (born in 1982 and 1983 respectively). Phillip and Julie's children also began their education at Strathmore Primary School before completing their secondary education at Penleigh and Essendon Grammar.
Phillip has considerable experience in many areas of the law. Phillip has worked mostly as a litigation lawyer and he has had personal responsibility for litigious matters in cases ranging from the Magistrates' Court through to the High Court of Australia. Phillip also has a history of regular appearances in the Family Court, the Magistrates' Court and the Victorian Civil & Administrative Tribunal (V.C.A.T.).
Phillip is a member of the Law Institute of Victoria, the Law Council of Australia and the Building Disputes Practitioners Society. In his early years Phillip worked exclusively in family law, personal injury compensation and general civil litigation. From 1987 onwards his practice widened considerably. Whilst continuing to work in family law and general civil litigation, Phillip began practising in conveyancing, wills, powers of attorney, estate administration and probate. He also developed a special interest in building and construction law.
Phillip finds that the opportunity to combine more than 40 years of legal practice in these diverse fields of law with more than 60 years of personal life experiences is a distinctive resource of considerable benefit to his clients. Often one area of the law overlaps with another. Phillip is respected for his ability to quickly find legal solutions for clients in diverse, stressful and complex factual situations.
Since 1987 Phillip has embraced technology creating numerous innovative opportunities to utilise technology to improve office efficiency and his ability to respond to the particular needs of his clients. (please visit Our Technology page)
People are often overwhelmed by their personal problems and benefit much from Phillip's skill and knowledge as well as his mature, friendly, practical and common sense approach. Phillip has had extraordinary experience dealing with clients from all walks of life, various ethnic backgrounds and in differing states of distress and anxiety.
Phillip has acted for academics (including professors and teachers), professionals (including micro biologists, scientists, doctors and other lawyers) generally doing so in their personal rather than their professional capacities. Phillip also acts for mums and dads and for the adult children of mums and dads. Phillip does not act for government or big business but he does act for the people who work in government and big business. Phillip acts for people who want honest, accurate, clearly explained, independent and yet frank legal advice.
Many clients are nervous about their first consultation with a lawyer. Some clients are worried because English is not their first language. Many clients imagine that they will not be able to relate their story sensibly or that they will become confused and unable to understand legal jargon when their lawyer gives them advice.
Phillip therefore first focuses on putting his clients at ease. He speaks at their pace, using words and expressions that they understand. He creates a friendly environment to enable clients to relax and be assured that they can relate their private and personal story in strict confidence. Phillip also focuses client attention on the economic realities of the work he is being engaged to perform.
As extensive as Phillip's knowledge of the law is he readily admits that he does not know everything about every situation. Part of the quest to do better today at what he did well yesterday means that Phillip continually researches the law to find the right outcome for his clients. That research is now done extensively and conveniently via the internet. Phillip enjoys research and the challenge of keeping pace with the many changes in the law.
Still, there are times when Phillip's role is to take relevant instructions so that an experienced Barrister may provide the right advice. Clients are always told in advance when this occurs. However, if a client problem is completely outside Phillip's areas of practice he will not take the job on. Clients will be advised to consult other lawyers experienced in those fields.
Phillip is proud that his clients return to him time and time again and that they refer their friends and relatives. Clients may have consulted Phillip for the first time in his capacity as a litigation lawyer, but over time that relationship often extends to conveyancing, wills, attorneys and a host of other legal situations.
Where necessary and reasonable, Phillip will be assisted in client matters by Candice Rasmussen (Solicitor) and by Val Jakovac (Legal Executive). Additional clerical assistance is also very capably provided by Phillip's wife (Julie Graham) who is also our Office Manager.
Please understand that although Phillip wishes to be accessible to his clients, he will not always be available for face-to-face meetings or to speak by telephone. Clients are encouraged to email or telephone to make an appointment before attending our Office. This will ensure that Phillip will be available to give clients the proper attention they require. Clients are reminded that it costs no more to see Phillip in person than it does to speak over the telephone.