My brothers and I were shareholders in a company that owned a property leased to a large company. Certain representations were made to us by the directors of the company to induce us to agree to a new lease on very favourable terms only for them to renig, costing us millions. We’d known Martin for years and trusted him, and so we were not perturbed when the other side engaged a national firm. We won the case and we won big, and, to be honest, it was fun to see the director of the other company squirm as he was being cross-examined by our silk.
I was terrified after I received a Letter of Demand from the NAB, about a claim for $700,000, relating to a Guarantee I had signed concerning my husband’s construction and building business. I instructed Martin and within one month he sent a letter to the NAB telling them why they would never be able to enforce the Guarantee. That was 13 years ago and the NAB are yet to reply to the letter. I assumed I was going to be involved in litigation with NAB for years, costing my husband and I our family home. From start to finish, it took 4 weeks and cost us $10,000.
My wife and I were a franchisee of a major national company. One day our contract was terminated without notice, leaving us with a massive cost base and no income. Martin was recommended to us by another lawyer, and within an hour of meeting with him, we felt at ease. Fast forward to a settlement conference six months later, our QC, one of the best in the country, walked into the meeting 15 minutes late, thumped the table and said to the opposing lawyers of a national firm: “You can’t win. Accept our offer or we’ll destroy your client.” The case settled 30 minutes later. I never dreamed I’d enjoy anything about litigation, but that was fun.
In my industry, I deal with lawyers all the time. I was caught in a difficult situation in my business which had serious consequences for me and my fellow directors. I had the choice of hundreds of lawyers, including those in large firms, but I chose Martin because I knew he would not sleep until we won. We won, and no, I don’t think he slept the entire time.
My 80-year-old grandmother had been defrauded by a local real estate agent of four properties worth 2 million dollars. On the final day of hearing, the judge said to our barrister: “I assume you’ll take about 15 minutes to give me your closing submissions tomorrow”. He then said to the opposing barrister, “I assume you’ll take several hours to convince me of your case. It might be worthwhile the parties (the other side, obviously) to try and settle the case”. We went back to our Silk’s chambers. Martin said we’d get an offer we couldn’t refuse within 10 mins. He was wrong – it only took 5.
My husband was a wealthy and powerful businessman, so it was easy for me to believe him when he told me, loudly and proudly, I would not get a cent from a property settlement because his money was held in trusts and companies all over the world and because I’d never be able to engage a lawyer. I was terrified and felt very alone. I went and saw Martin, who was recommend to me by a girlfriend of mine who is an accountant. Within an hour, I was crying tears of relief. My husband, who told me I’d never get a cent, ended up paying my legal fees as the case was run and the labyrinthine of companies and trusts was stripped back to the point it was as if the money, spread throughout the world, was sitting in a savings account down at the local bank. I ended up doing very well.
Our company instructed a firm of solicitors for 3 years in a case in the Supreme Court. The defendant’s lawyers, a national firm, told our previous solicitor they were not prepared to arrange a settlement conference because our case was so weak. We took the case to Martin and six months later, we reached a settlement beyond our expectations
My case went on for six years. Never once did Martin let-up. He fought for us ferociously every step of the way. (On Christmas Day 2016 Martin sent a two-page email to the solicitor on the other side at 4.30am – I still don’t get that). He predicted the moves of the other side every single time over the 6-year period. I ended settling the case for far more than I expected. I’m not sure how he gets the energy to fight for others so hard, but I’m so glad he does. It changed my life.
Over the past two years, I have engaged Martin in two matters: one was in respect of my company and the issues I was having with my fellow director about some serious and complicated issues about company law. His knowledge and experience, and sound advice, helped me through a very stressful and complicated process. The other matter concerned a motor accident claim for my wife. It’d been going on for two years and I was getting frustrated because the case wasn’t moving. I assumed Martin didn’t do personal injury work but sought his advice on a way forward, calling him one morning after yet another frustrating phone call with the CTP insurer. That was 9am. By 4pm that same day, Martin had managed to settle the matter with the insurer for twice my original offer. I still don’t understand how he did that.
The Police came to my door at 11amon a Sunday morning and told me they wanted to speak with me. I immediately went inside and called Martin I arranged to meet Martin at 1pm that day. After I gave him a full and honest rundown of my case (I felt comfortable telling Martin everything: “I don’t care what you’ve done, I’m your lawyer, not your friend. I just don’t want surprises’), we went down to the police station where I told the Police I was not subjecting myself to an interview. I was charged and bailed that day. We ran the matter at trial, and I won at the most technical of points, but I, like Martin, did not care how I won.
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