Alumni Profile — Will Heath
1. What position(s) did you hold on the Review?
I was conscripted into the footnote fanaticism movement in 1998, became a Book Review Editor and then Case Note Editor at around the turn of the millennium, and finished my life’s work with the beloved (and at that stage futuristic) stylised tome, the Australian Guide to Legal Citation.
2. What is your fondest memory from your time on the Review? You are also welcome to include details of other ‘less fond’ memories.
The people. The passionate pedantry and great character of the Review’s membership stands out. It’s always a pleasure to see Review alumni and reminisce about the dark days of proofreading in poorly-lit rooms of the old Law Quadrangle. And time spent in the catacombs of the Review office (as it then was). Each year’s Editors did a wonderful job and were well-supported by a fine Faculty member and migrant from Manitoba. There are many fine memories of articles too, including the text of a wonderful lecture by Professor Peter Birks ((1999) 23 Melbourne University Law Review 1).
3. Do, or did, you keep in touch with any of your colleagues on the Review?
Yes and yes. They are doing all sorts of wonderful things in Melbourne and beyond. And then there are the baristas.
4. What do you consider to be the highlights of your career?
An early highlight of my career was escaping a career for two years of postgraduate study at Oxford, thanks to the Menzies Foundation. I arrived just after the untimely death of Professor Birks to a restitution (or should that be unjust enrichment) BCL class in mourning, led by Professor Andrew Burrows with the very able assistance of two young lecturers, Jamie (now Justice) Edelman and Rob (now Professor) Stevens. The following MPhil year was a drowning in directors’ duties under Professor Joshua Getzler. This led to a decade of work in corporate and commercial law, which has taken me from Melbourne to Tokyo and back again. There were many and varied highlights during this time — clients from around the world, mergers and acquisitions, capital raisings, joint ventures, arbitration, litigation, white collar crime and immersion in the many laws of numerous countries including Liberia, Thailand and Russia. This year’s highlights have been joining the partnership at King & Wood Mallesons and returning to the Melbourne Law School to teach — or should that be torment — students in an LLM course on shareholders’ rights and remedies.
5. Do you feel that your time on the Review had an impact on your legal career?
A very positive impact. The Review instilled in me a strong and enduring interest in law. It also trained me for the long hours and discipline required to work in the legal industry. Moreover, the invisible hand of Review mafia ensured I found gainful employment. Who needs to read Grisham when you can live the Review.
6. How have you found the transition from Senior Associate to Partner?
It is a work in progress and a rude awakening to a world of unlimited liability shared, in some cases, with Review alumni.
7. Do you have any other personal interests or hobbies outside of law that you would like to share?
My time on the Review was shared with another passion — the Double Bass. I play the thug instrument of the classical music scene and my thuggery took me to jam with the Australian Youth Orchestra and chamber groups across Australia and Europe. This passion has since been forced to share with three others, a wonderful wife who has one failing (former membership of the Melbourne Journal of International Law) and two children (who expose my many failings).