Broadband Links Vital For Work
Article and photos courtesy of Manning River Times
Tuesday, 31 August 2010
Megan Grainger, left, says the broadband network has enabled her and her family
(Scott Pyne and son James, above) to enjoy a country lifestyle while working
with city-based clients.
BROADBAND technology could decide which party the rural independent MPs will support to form the next government.
For Taree professionals like Stacks Law Firm commercial lawyer Megan Grainger, the broadband issue is vital to her ability to do business with big city clients.
Megan turned her back on the Sydney rat race three and a half years ago after falling in love with Taree. She moved to Taree with her husband Scott Pyne, who became a successful local butcher. Their baby boy James is just turning one.
Megan found that technology such as video conferencing allowed her to use her expertise in commercial law to carry on business with clients in Sydney and around Australia.
“I could have moved to Sydney or to Canberra but I loved the lifestyle in Taree and it’s a great place to raise a family,” she said. “For the price of a small flat in Sydney we could get a 10 acre property here in Taree.”
Megan had spent years in Bowral building up her business contacts in Sydney and Canberra and was concerned she would lose contact with her big city clients when she moved to Taree.
But she found since she joined Stacks Law Firm in Taree that technology hasn’t only enabled her to keep up her big city specialist legal work, but to expand it across Australia.
“Video conferencing has expanded so much that I find it easy to keep the contact I need with clients in Sydney and other centres,” she said.
“Even while home on maternity leave I was able to keep up contact with clients via video conferencing. The broadband issue is very important for people like me as it enables me to carry on my business around Australia from a country town.
“It’s worked out well for everybody. Our running costs are cheaper here and the client saves money. At the same time we enjoy the wonderful country life and our kids have a far more carefree time.”
Megan said with the national broadband improving, the seachange and treechange move of professionals to regional centres will become a significant population movement.
Stacks Law Firm is fully behind the movement, launching Stacks/Business – Australia’s first company of “virtual lawyers” specialising in commercial law.
Stacks/Business is a network of highly experienced, top quality commercial lawyers who have chosen not to work out of enormously expensive city office suites and the marbled halls of big city law firms. Instead they use modern technology to work from a variety of regional centres.
The 35 lawyers in Stacks/Business are based in country towns across NSW and Queensland using the technology of computer video and telephone conferencing, electronic mail, and webex to stay in touch with each other and their clients.
“The client benefits as we don’t have to pay the exorbitant rents and costs of a big city law firm, but they have the same service from experienced lawyers as they would get from a big city law firm,” said Stacks Law Firm chairman Maurie Stack.
Homeworld CEO Frank Death has been using Stacks’ virtual lawyers for 18 months and says it has made expert legal advice more accessible and economical.
“Legal advice with Stacks/Business is costing me 50 per cent less using virtual lawyers because their operating costs are far less than big city firms,” Mr Death said.
“It works very well. I’m finding I now have access to a much broader range and depth of legal knowledge with lawyers in specialised fields because of the technology. Stacks/Business provides all the expertise and skills of a big city law firm without the big city costs.”