Barrier-Breaking Barry.Nilsson. Partner Fiona Sennett
12 December 2017
- Barry.Nilsson. Insurance & Health Law Partner, Fiona Sennett marks 25 year milestone with the expanding national firm
- Significant contribution to the firm’s growth into a national leader, heralded by clients and peers alike
- First female insurance partner for the firm and played key role in mentoring female lawyers
Barry.Nilsson. Insurance & Health Law Partner Fiona Sennett has highlighted the significance of a team culture and being part of the insurance industry after celebrating 25 years with leading national law firm Barry.Nilsson.
Ms Sennett’s achievements in the profession have been recognised by both peers and clients, having been listed in Best Lawyers - 2016 and 2017; Doyles in 2016 and being consistently re-appointed to the panels of major insurer clients.
A fluent Japanese speaker, Ms Sennett joined Barry.Nilsson. in 1991 as an articled clerk, helping the firm expand its Asian commercial retail business practice. She then joined the Insurance & Health Law team, becoming a solicitor in 1997, with her expertise and dedication to clients leading to her promotion as the firm’s first female insurance partner in 2007.
A specialist in public liability (including personal injury and property files) and product liability, she credits Barry.Nilsson’s culture as the driving force behind her successful career.
“We see ourselves as part of the insurance industry rather than part of the legal industry. There are no egos, everyone has common goals, and we all work together as a genuine team,” she said.
“We also take the time to understand client drivers, which has helped to develop longstanding relationships with clients based on shared values and cultural fit.”
Commenting on Ms Sennett’s career, Managing Partner Don Leembruggen said she had served as an inspiration to her colleagues across the expanding firm.
“Fiona has consistently performed over and above our already high expectations, and has been instrumental in the implementation of client service standards and compliance reporting,” Mr Leembruggen said.
“She is highly respected by clients and peers alike, and Barry.Nilsson. has been fortunate to have her for 25 years.”
Arriving in a then male dominated industry and sector 25 years ago, Ms Sennett has seen the industry change substantially.
“When I started and for a long time, I was the only female in the firm’s insurance practice, whereas now we are about 70 per cent women. The firm has been a strong supporter of work-life balance for all of its staff, which has accommodated my own needs on many occasions,” she said.
When asked the secret to her success, she responded: “My dad has a saying that ‘There are those who say what they do, and those who do what they say’. In law you need to be the latter to earn the trust and respect of peers and clients.”
Established in 1963, Barry.Nilsson. is a national law firm with a reputation for leadership in the areas of Insurance & Health, Family Law & Estate Planning, and Property & Commercial. The firm has offices in Brisbane, Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide and Hobart.
In 2016, Barry.Nilsson. was named Professional Services Firm of the Year at the ANZIIF 2016 Australian Insurance Industry Awards after finalist nominations in the previous four years, while also being nominated as a finalist in the 2016 Australasian Law Awards for both the Australian Law Firm of the Year and Insurance Specialist Firm of the Year categories. Barry.Nilsson. has been ranked as a leading insurance practice in Doyle’s Guide with 27 new individual listings achieved in 2016, and has seen eight insurance solicitors listed in Australia’s Best Lawyers.