Scott Wedgwood is a principal in our Family Law team and is based in the Brisbane office. He is a Queensland Law Society Accredited Family Law Specialist.
‘I began my career as an articled clerk while completing my degree. It was a terrific experience because I was exposed to all sorts of clients and other lawyers. Quite early on, I got to work on a lot of family law matters. I decided to specialise in that area, which I found interesting simply because it was one where people’s most personal life issues intersected with the law. I moved on to a boutique family law practice and then to a much larger firm, where I was lucky enough to work with some very clever lawyers and barristers, as well as with extremely sophisticated clients. It was at this stage that I really learned to approach property settlements from more than just a percentage division perspective. I became very interested in the taxation and stamp duty consequences of property settlements and the means to deliver an outcome beyond mere percentages.’
Scott advises on all family law issues, but he has particular expertise in high-end, complex property settlements, especially those involving difficult taxation issues.
‘I think my strength as a family lawyer lies in the fact that, although I’ve practised for for more than 20 years, I’ve also worked in the commercial world. As a result, I understand how businesses operate, and I know that it isn’t just about the balance sheet. When exploring options for a property settlement, I’m skilled at looking for ways to ensure that we can preserve the business, not only for the benefit of the former spouses but also for the children. I often take the time to visit a client’s business to ensure that I understand how it works. In short, my interest in businesses and my ability to think laterally is something that clients feel they really benefit from when we work together.
I’m also a strong negotiator and enjoy collaborating with other skilled family lawyers to reach the best possible outcome for everyone involved as quickly as possible. Generally, it isn’t in anyone’s interest for these matters to drag on. Going through a family breakdown is really tough and unpleasant, and I’m always mindful of what my client is experiencing.’
Scott is a member of the Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia, the Family Law Practitioners Association of Queensland and The Tax Institute of Australia. He was listed as a leading family and divorce lawyer for Brisbane in the 2016 and 2017 Doyle’s Guide. Scott is also listed in the 2017 Best Lawyers for Family Law (Brisbane).
‘I think what makes Barry.Nilsson. a different kind of firm is the fact that it’s a partnership in the true sense of the word. We’re very determined to preserve this as we become a national practice. Too many law firms grow rapidly and the partners end up feeling disengaged, which changes the culture. It also seems to create tension, which isn’t good for any partnership. At Barry.Nilsson., the core of our business is based on trust. We care not only about our clients, but about each other.
In the Family Law team, we also take the time to understand our clients’ businesses and, when necessary, we engage the right experts to assist us. In a sense, we avoid the one-size-fits-all approach and, instead, use a more bespoke set of analytical tools to get the best possible result for our client in their particular circumstances, and I think that’s very different from many family law practices.
It’s an exciting time to be at Barry.Nilsson. I’m looking forward to building a strong and united firm with my fellow partners from around the country. More specifically, I’m enjoying helping establish a national family law practice that has an unrivalled depth of experience at the partner level, which is something that I hope will appeal to many of our clients, especially if they’re ex-pats.’
Scott holds a Bachelor of Laws (Hons).
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- Member, Family Law Section of the Law Council of Australia
- Member, Family Law Practitioners Association (FLPA) of Queensland
- Professional Development Committee, The Tax Institute of Australia