Freeda Stevenson is a principal in our Property and Commercial team and is based in the Brisbane office.
‘After starting my career in a small firm in Brisbane where I was exposed to a wide variety of commercial, property, intellectual property and franchising work, I headed off to London, where I worked in the not-for-profit sector. I enjoyed my role as in-house counsel for Save the Children International. During the early part of my career, I was incredibly lucky not only in the people who supported me, but in the breadth of experience I gained as a lawyer. On my return to Australia in late 1999, I decided to specialise in property law because I like the mechanics of it and the sense of achievement you get from working as part of a team to “build” something.’
At Barry.Nilsson, Freeda specialises in:
- Property development
- Acquisition and disposal of commercial property
- Development of community title properties
- Leasing and property management
‘I think there are four main reasons why I have such a loyal pool of clients.
‘First, I have the ability to look beyond the immediate problem or issue. Whenever a client comes to see me, I make sure I take a bird’s-eye view of their situation and not only examine where we need to get to, but also plan how we’re going to get there. I’m very analytical and strategic in my approach, because I’m looking for a legal solution that’s also commercially desirable. Today, transactions are less straightforward and, quite often, I draft documents from scratch to achieve our client’s objectives.
‘Second, I work hard to ensure that our clients don’t end up in court. I do this by anticipating problems and making sure we’re prepared way ahead of time so that we’re better positioned to deal with any issues. Most issues can be resolved with some goodwill by all concerned.
‘Third, I keep things simple. I’m very pragmatic, especially when it comes to dealing with lawyers on the other side of transactions. In my view, posturing and positioning between lawyers achieves very little and can often lead to an unnecessary escalation of costs for the client.
‘Finally, I make sure I know the client, their business and exactly how they operate. In property law, you can’t take a one-size-fits-all approach. You need to tailor the legal solution to the client’s circumstances and objectives.’
In recognition of her achievements as one of Queensland’s most skilled property lawyers, Freeda is listed in Best Lawyers 2017. She is also named as one of Brisbane’s recommended property and real estate lawyers in the 2016 Doyles Guide. In 2009, Freeda was a finalist for the Queensland Woman Lawyer of the Year Award in recognition of her contribution to the profession.
‘I think that what makes Barry.Nilsson. different from other firms is that we trust each other. We all know we’re excellent legal technicians and have similar values. As a result, the partners aren’t looking over each other’s shoulders. Even more importantly from a client’s perspective, if we don’t have the capacity to handle a matter here, we refer it outside the firm to someone who has the requisite expertise. This contrasts with other firms that may take on work even if it falls outside their area of specialisation.
‘At Barry.Nilsson., we value our clients and treat them accordingly. We’re focused on the things that matter, which is building deep and long-term relationships with our clients and delivering outstanding, cost-effective legal advice. Finally, we’ve built a firm where it’s nice to come in to work each day, which I think is incredibly important.’
New regional planning legislation to impact resource activities in Queensland
28 Nov 2013
New laws to split and repeal the Property Agents and Motor Dealers Act 2000 introduced into Parliament
28 Nov 2013
Increased liability for sellers of land near waterways on the Gold Coast
20 Sep 2013
No loss to vendor where residential property bidder engages in misleading and deceptive conduct at auction
20 Sep 2013
- Member, Law Society of Queensland
- Co-Vice President, Graduate Women Queensland (GWQ)
- Master of Laws
- Bachelor of Laws
- Bachelor of Arts