Betting it all on growing with the region
Words by Janie Barton
Photos by Mick Fuhrimann
14B Aplin Street, Cairns City
Ph: 4051 3833
Since it launched in 2009, Girgenti Lawyers has proven itself to be a firm to watch. Fast-forward eight years and the firm continues to go from strength to strength, adding some of the best legal talent in the region to their already impressive ranks.
Guided by Director/Solicitor Pietro Girgenti, who was one of the youngest solicitors to open an incorporated legal practice in Queensland, the firm established its presence as one of the fastest-growing law firms in Far North Queensland due to its fresh, cutting-edge and genuine approach.
Combining some of today’s newfound and brightest lawyers with genuine old-fashioned personal attention has turned what started as a two-man operation into a thriving in-demand law office with impressive team of solicitors, paralegals and support staff.
Recently teaming up with Northern Property Valuers’ new buyers’ agency division, a one-stop shop for property buyers, was another progressive step for the practice.
Northern Property Valuers’ new initiative combines the expertise of trusted local valuers, with the highly skilled lawyers at Girgenti Lawyers and FNQ Finance Guy to provide the full range of professional services customers need when purchasing property.
“We’re really excited about this alliance,” Pietro said. “Working with like-minded companies like Northern Property Valuers is not only providing an excellent service to clients, but is sharing confidence in the region.”
Pietro and his team deliver legal services across a majority of legal practice areas including conveyancing, civil litigation, estate planning, business and employment advice, government law and family matters, to name just a few.
“We like to think outside the square and are passionate about being results driven,” Pietro said. “We get to know our clients, and in turn their needs, to find the best and most cost-effective way of meeting those needs.”
Girgenti Lawyers, with headquarters in Cairns and branches in Mareeba and Brisbane, prides itself on providing clients with the brightest and newest minds in the industry.
“Some of our team may be young, but they’re exceptional,” Pietro said. “My approach has always been that it’s not years in the seat, but your ability which dictates whether or not you’re great at what you do. Across the board, our lawyers at every level are some of the best in their fields in their practice areas.”
Pietro is excited about the future of Far North Queensland’s economy. “I think Cairns and the region is definitely on the cusp of a boom,” he said. “What we’re seeing now is a fantastic confidence in the region as international, national and local investors return.”
Pietro’s future plans are to continue cementing the company’s name as a first-choice legal firm, as well as being an employer of choice.
“Our goal is to continue to develop relationships with the community based on trust and understanding and to remain one of region’s leading law firms,” he said. “We plan to make Girgenti a household name, even if it is a little hard to pronounce!”
As the Practice Leader of Girgenti’s Commercial Dispute Resolution team, Ross is the firm’s most experienced lawyer. In fact, he’s one of the most experienced lawyers in North Queensland!
He has worked in several Australian jurisdictions and has appeared before Magistrate’s Courts through to the Full Bench of the High Court of Australia. Not only does he practice in all areas of commercial and public law, he is a valued mentor to the Girgenti team.
“Girgenti’s is a fast-growing firm,” he said. “We have some very bright young lawyers here. I feel this firm has a lot more to offer.”
Ross has returned to Cairns after leaving briefly in 2010.
“Cairns has progressed since then and I think it’s getting fired up again,” he said. “It’s just a really vibrant place to live.”
Kirstiana joined Girgenti Lawyers earlier this year and works extensively in property, commercial, employment, marine, and government law, as well as Native Title. “I wanted to be part of the Girgenti team because it’s a vibrant, dynamic and progressive practice,” she said. “Everybody works together towards a common goal – meeting and exceeding our clients’ expectations and servicing them in the most effective and efficient way.” The mother of two, who also volunteers her legal services to the Cancer Council Pro Bono program, worked seven years at another local firm before joining the practice. “Girgenti Lawyers is young, visionary and looking to become the firm of choice,” she said. “I wanted to be part of a practice that wants to be the best in Cairns.”
Dylan joined Girgenti Lawyers in 2015 and quickly established himself as one of the region’s top professionals in Commercial Law, Litigation and Insolvency, while becoming a valuable member of the practice. Dylan, who grew up and spent most of his life in Cairns, represents clients in the Magistrates, District and Supreme Courts of Queensland, the Queensland Civil and Administrative Tribunal, the Fair Work Commission and Fair Work Ombudsman and the Federal Court of Australia.
“Girgenti Lawyers attracts clients because of its new approach,” he said. “When people attend at a law firm they think they’re just going to be dictated to by their lawyer and they won’t really have a say in the way the matter is run, whereas at Girgenti the client is very much involved in the process.”
One of the newest members of the Girgenti team is family law solicitor Ella Thomas, a local who graduated from James Cook University. “I really enjoy the way everyone here works together to create the best practice for our clients,” she said.
“I love that the firm is small and personal.” Ella, who has been a lawyer for two years, was the Associate to a Judge of the District Court of Queensland and worked with another local firm before joining the Girgenti team. She is also a volunteer solicitor for the Cairns Community Legal Centre. Ella practices in divorce, property settlements, children’s matters, parenting disputes, wills and estate planning.
“I want to become an accredited specialist in family law,” she said. “Everyone at Girgenti is supportive of me working towards that, which is fantastic.”