A Day in the Life - William Garcia 

William is an Australian-based paralegal who was recently awarded a training contract with Systech Law to be a trainee solicitor of England and Wales. He joined Systech in May 2022, has worked on major infrastructure and rail projects in Melbourne and Sydney, and is currently advising on the construction and fitout of a high-tech data centre.

What is your typical day?

My work is predominantly construction law based, whether it is advising, commentating or drafting. A typical day could see me reviewing and commentating on contracts, or drafting a whole agreement for example a Memorandum of Understanding, Tender Service Agreement, or Joint Venture Agreements or writing up a specific clause related to dispute resolution processes, intellectual property rights or exclusivity rights. I also work on the procurement of subcontract packages whereby I liaise with the team to ensure there are no scope gaps and I select the correct contractual and tender documents to issue for tendering.

What are the challenges?

My challenge is understanding the ins and outs of Australian Construction Law. There are differences between the construction laws of Australia, and England and Wales, that require further research and understanding. However, it is helpful to rely on my more experienced Systech colleagues to support me in my work and learn from them.

What are the interesting aspects of your work?

The ever-changing aspect of my work, you just do not know what is going to be coming through that door or be put on your desk. You may find yourself working on an international dispute one day then the next working on an Australian project in its current pre-contract phase. It is always exciting. I am currently working on the procurement aspects for a data centre in Hong Kong, where I can utilize my linguistic skills having grown up there.

What words of advice would you offer someone thinking of working for Systech?

If the person wants to work in a different country from their own, gain experience in another country, or experience working on international projects, then Systech is the place to be. One day you are working in Melbourne then I found myself in Sydney, now I am working on international projects while being based in Australia.

You will need to be flexible and ready for a challenge, there is always support but the expectation is for you to hit the ground running.

What training and support has Systech given you?

I have been supported from day one, taken under the wing of my more senior colleagues in order to feel comfortable here in Australia and be ready to take on challenges of the new projects I am working on.

Each new project has been a learning opportunity to get more involved in construction law, as someone who is predominately from a commercial and financial law background, changing sector has been challenging but very enjoyable. I have learnt so much from my colleagues and from first hand experience in the matters I am involved in.

What is the culture like?

Systech has a great work life balance with a work culture that is team orientated and collaborative. You are given responsibility from the beginning, and there is the opportunity to work hard and show what you can do. With that said, everyone is there to support and collaborate with you for you to make the best impression to the client and higher ups.

How has working for Systech helped you achieve your career goals?

Joining Systech meant I have been able to develop my legal practice skills, and more so working towards being awarded the training contract to become a fully qualified solicitor of England and Wales. Additionally, working with Systech has given me the opportunity to continue working internationally and on globally connected projects.

What makes working for Systech different from the competition?

A specialist firm that deals with construction matters, with the capability of calling upon experienced people around the world. Systech offers multi-disciplinary assistance on all construction related matters. As Systech has people around the world, there is always someone local to help you. If not, then we can get the appropriate support for you, by way of our team of seasoned professionals who have at some stage been in practically every country worldwide.

Tell us about a project where you have learnt a key lesson.

Time is important. Keep track of your dates and set up a programme that will remind you when you have to get things done by what day. Furthermore, asking for clarification is never a bad idea. Its best to ask and get it right rather than not asking and missing an important detail.