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Get to know Dean Pinto, new partner and financial lines specialist

In our next Q&A with recently promoted senior lawyers, we get to know Sydney partner and financial lines specialist Dean Pinto.

Tell us about your journey to becoming a partner at W+K

I had never given thought to insurance law until looking for a job after university. I accepted a paralegal position in the insurance department of a national law firm in England and worked my way up from paralegal to lawyer. My work in England predominately involved defending lawyers, valuers and brokers and included secondments with a global insurer and a third party claims provider. My wife is Australian and when she was due with our second child we decided to explore the possibility of moving to Australia. During a holiday in Sydney I met with W+K, and a year or so later we had our second child, moved to Australia, got married and I started at W+K – all within 3 months! I joined W+K as an associate in the Financial Lines team and within my six years here have used the opportunities and support provided to move through the gears to go from associate to senior associate to special counsel to partner.

What made you decide to become a lawyer?

There was no one thing that contributed to my decision. From a young age I always quite liked the idea of being a lawyer, probably due to the books and TV shows I used to read and watch (the reality of being a lawyer is very different!). I was the first person in my family to go to university and opted to study law because I thought it presented opportunities for a range of professions. Ultimately, I decided to become a lawyer because I wanted a challenging and evolving job that pays well.

What’s the best piece of advice (work or personal) you’ve been given?

Three kids out number two parents – we stuck at two kids and got a dog! In a work context, ‘prepare hard, fight easy’.

What do you think is a major issue facing your area of insurance law?

Capacity. This hardened market is new for many and problematic for insurers and insureds alike across all lines of business and professions. The availability of insurance is not what it once was and premiums and terms have to be looked at closely to ensure there is a viable and affordable insurance market.

What do you enjoy most about working at W+K?

The flexibility with working arrangements and the people. Both have come to the fore in these difficult circumstances we are all having to live with.

What do you get up to outside of law?

Spending time with the family mostly. Weekend mornings are usually filled with football (soccer!), swimming, dancing or art lessons of some kind, and the afternoons are usually more chilled out affairs. Time to myself will usually involve catching up with friends, Netflix or my (son’s) Nintendo Switch.

Complete this sentence: If I wasn’t a lawyer, I would be… 

…probably living in England still.

© Wotton + Kearney 2020
This publication is intended to provide commentary and general information. It should not be relied upon as legal advice. Formal legal advice should be sought in particular transactions or on matters of interest arising from this publication. Persons listed may not be admitted in all states and territories.