Even though today is Managing Partner Bruce Humphrys’ last official day at HopgoodGanim Lawyers, he still will play a role in the firm he has led and cherished for more than 20 years.
Bruce will continue to mentor and support staff while incoming Managing Partner Luke Mountford settles into the position, effective 1 July, and transition to an advisory role.
He was an active member of the Queensland Law Society wellbeing working group for several years and “thoroughly enjoyed my time sharing my own experiences in this area and particularly enjoyed the interactions with younger lawyers”.
His desire to help people attracted him to field more than 40 years ago.
“I like helping people. Helping people in a meaningful way − and this is what led to my career in law.”
HopgoodGanim colleagues speak highly of Bruce’s mentorship and leadership.
Luke said Bruce had always brought an intensity to his work and “wanted to be the best and do the best, for himself, his clients and the firm”.
“At the same time, he has an incredible sense of humour and humility. As a leader, he has overseen the growth of the firm over his tenure as Managing Partner for more than 20 years, and many of us have benefitted from opportunities created by that growth,” Luke said.
“The fact that he was able to lead us through an incredible period of sustained growth in a way that has preserved our culture is – undoubtedly – one of his greatest achievements.”
Chief Risk Officer Martin Kingston echoed those sentiments.
“Bruce is at his best during challenging times – recently during COVID-19, with major events such as the Brisbane floods and when the firm faced adversity from within with the passing of a much-loved partner,” Martin said.
“This is when all of his qualities as a leader have been on show during his decades of leadership at HopgoodGanim.”
Bruce said during this time as Managing Partner, the firm had “experienced periods of incredible growth and the many changes the profession as a whole has endured over the last 20 years”.
“HopgoodGanim is now a national practice with our offices in Brisbane and Perth. The firm is nearly five times the size it was when I became Managing Partner in 2001,” he said.
“Continuity and change have both been part of our journey as a firm. Even as we’ve grown, our team has kept our focus firmly on clients over the years and this focus has been unwavering. We’ve also retained our culture at the firm, and this is one of my proudest achievements.
“We’ll have 42 partners firmwide from 1 July, and under Luke’s leadership, we’ll continue to deepen our expertise across key sectors and industries as a leading Australian mid-tier law firm. It’s an exciting time at HopgoodGanim as we look ahead to continuing our growth journey. I’ll be cheering on our team closely from the sidelines.”
Bruce admits the good times have also been mixed with challenges and sadness.
“When you work closely with your colleagues for as long as I have, they become like a second family. I’ve experienced the highs and the lows with our team at HopgoodGanim over the years,” he said.
“I’ve helped celebrate client wins, seen practitioners grow our expertise in new areas, and felt proud when we’ve been recognised with accolades such as legal industry awards and client service awards.
“Challenges have also been part of the journey. In recent years in particular our firm has navigated periods of immense sadness with the passing of our wonderful Partner, Freda Wigan, and, like many of our peer firms, we’ve experienced turbulent market conditions, the global pandemic and significant Brisbane weather events, which have caused enormous upheaval to our firm and employees personally.
“During the tough times, I’ve been incredibly proud of the people behind our firm – our staff, whether lawyers or professional team members – who’ve rallied together and shown that teamwork, resilience and having a positive attitude, combined with hard work and purposeful decision-making, are vital. Having genuine care and compassion for everyone has always been, and will always be, vital to our fabric.”
Bruce said it was hard to single out career highlights.
“There have been many major development projects I’ve worked on for clients.
“It’s been a pleasure, as a property lawyer, seeing how Brisbane has evolved and developed as a major Australian city in recent decades.
“I was involved in the original development of Couran Cove Resort and the Teneriffe Woolstore Precinct, as well as Raptis Plaza on the Gold Coast.
“HopgoodGanim has a heritage of philanthropy that started with our founders, Paul Hopgood and Joe Ganim, back in the early 1970s. I’ve been honoured to continue this commitment to giving back and fortunate to be in a position, as Managing Partner, to see our team also thrive in supporting charities and social causes.
“This year HopgoodGanim received the Salvation Army’s Others Award. This award recognises having an extraordinary spirit of service to others in the Australian community. Our team was honoured to receive this recognition, as we’ve been for various other awards and service accolades in nearly 50 years of operating as a law firm – from client choice awards to recognition for our practitioners in industry awards such as Doyle’s Guide and Best Lawyers, as well as the QLS Excellence in Law Awards.
“Over the years, I’ve been really proud our firm has supported the work of the Queensland Brain Institute at UQ with fundraising initiatives, as well as organisations such as Foodbank. We have also appointed a dedicated Head of Pro Bono, and I’m proud of our work so far to support positive change for First Nations communities, mitigating the impact of environmental disasters, and reducing domestic and family violence.”
And while Bruce’s mentorship of staff will continue, he is looking forward to more family time.
“I genuinely care about our team, as well as our clients, and I’ve really enjoyed seeing our young talent develop and advance in their careers over the years. I’m so proud of what’s been achieved by all of our staff.
“Stepping out of the top role, I’m anticipating I’ll have a lot more free time. I look forward to continuing to mentor our young talent when I am at work, and spending quality time with my family and grandchildren personally, which should keep me busy.
“I’d like to keep up my fitness and I’ll also be involved in some board and charitable positions.”
And his advice to new lawyers: “The law is a marathon, not a sprint. Make the best, not the quickest, decisions you can.”