Client Spotlight: Simone Pentis Advantage Partners Lawyers

by Marketing March 23, 2022

A love of business influenced Simone Pentis to study law.

Welcome to mattero's first Client Profile interview for 2022 where we introduce you to Simone Pentis, Managing Director of Advantage Partners Lawyers.

Hello Simone, thank you for taking the time to speak with us today. Let's start with your background and why you decided to study law?

My earliest memory was my grandmother saying we needed a lawyer in the family after I gave her my portfolio of fashion designs at about 7 years of age. However, when I was in high school, my father told me, 'law is a good base for business.' I come from a family of small business owners, and I love business, so these factors influenced my decision to study law. 

You have been Managing Director of Advantage Partners Lawyers for 14 years. Can you tell me about the start-up?

I started my firm in 2008 after having been encouraged to start my own firm by a few parties, one party in particular guaranteed me nine months of work if I finally made the decision to do so. As I said, I've always loved business and starting a firm took me to the next level of both having my own business and focusing on working exclusively with businesses.

Advantage Partners Lawyers

What factors do you credit to the success of the firm?

I'm very passionate about my work, I know and focus on the area I can excel and put in the effort required. In the past few years, I've taken the firm on a new journey of growth. I was pretty comfortable with what I was doing but realised that there are a lot more opportunities to grow. So, I've started to capitalise on more of these.

Did the pandemic affect your business or influence the way you worked?

Yes. I lost a few months' worth of work in the first week when the pandemic first hit. Because I do business law, people looking to grow their business put things on hold. People who were about to purchase a business hit the pause button, and seller’s contracts were terminated by anxious buyers. People were not looking to invest in a business when the pandemic started.

So, during this time, I focused on what I could control and just making sure my existing clients were okay. I had some severely affected by the pandemic, some hurt but the level depended on what would happen next, with a few not impacted at all.

The other thing it stimulated me to do was upskill. I have always been someone who loves learning, but this has usually focused on legal knowledge and skills. This motivated me to grow and develop myself and the business.

I tell my clients to invest in their business, so I decided to do the same. I took this opportunity to learn more about business operations and how to grow my business. I relooked at my operations, my systems and my technology. Through this, I also learned many business strategies and tips to not only use in my business but to also pass this knowledge onto my clients.

Work picked up and we also managed to work with those clients needing help to pivot and/or adapt do this.

What do you love about Franchising and Business law?

You are creating. You create something to help others realise their dreams and build the life they want. I love the creative aspect of the work and love to feel a part of building something. Even if someone sells their business and moves on to their next adventure, you become a part of that.

Is this a competitive area of law?

Yes, several firms do transactional business law. We focus on business, intellectual property and franchising. We don't do conveyancing, wills & estates, family law or litigation. I have relationships with other lawyers who specialise in these areas. 

mattero wasn't around when you started your firm in 2008. Why did you decide to move to mattero last year?

I have both been exposed to and have had a number of systems over the years, and I wanted a new system that would be more flexible for where I wanted to be. Because I specialise in a particular area of law, many of the other systems on the market are more expensive with me paying for features that I didn’t need. 

mattero was very streamlined for what I wanted. In addition, my paralegal had experience with mattero which was a definite bonus. After going through a review process for about a year, I finally made the decision to go to mattero because I found it overall flexible and more aligned with how I wanted to grow the business. It is in the cloud so that my team and I can access it from anywhere; it's relatively easy to use, and I have to say that dealing with the mattero team was fantastic. They were so helpful. That service level in the initial stages really makes a difference.

Is mattero helping your firm today?

Yes definitely. I have been very happy with it. When I have questions, the mattero team are exceptionally helpful. I'm not an IT person and have found it easy to use.

What are your plans or strategies for the future growth of your firm?

I need to be more active in our marketing activities. I tell my clients to do numerous things; now, I'm taking the time to do them myself. I have no desire to grow into an all service large law firm but would like to continue our focus and grow a bit bigger in line with my goals.

Are you involved in activities outside of practising law but related to the profession?

I'm on a number of committees; body corporate committee; deputy chair of the Queensland Law Society Franchising Committee, as well as the Franchise Council Australia QLD Chapter Committee. I also do a few speaking engagements.

Otherwise, living on the Gold Coast, I love getting outdoors and spending time with my daughter and dog. With Covid, it emphasised to me the importance of family, having a bit more quality time and using my time more efficiently as I go forward.

Do you have any advice for lawyers with established firms who are considering moving to mattero? 

Don't keep using or doing the same thing just because you're in a comfort zone. There are many other options in the market than when you first looked for a Practice Management System.

I'm very happy with mattero. It would have been easier to keep with what I had, but I'm pleased I changed because of the long-term benefits.

When you have an established small firm, you spend so much time working in the business that you don't always get to work on the business or really consider various alternatives and opportunities out there. However, if you are running a law firm, you are not just a lawyer but also a business owner. Take the time to review your technology, check your business systems and identify ways to work more efficiently and operate more profitably.

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