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Careers in Law - Sach Fernando

Careers in Law - Sach Fernando

Welcome to the YLS Professional Development Committee’s monthly feature blog, ‘Careers in Law’. This month the Committee interviewed Sach Fernando about his career in personal injury law.

Name: Sach Fernando
Firm: Zaparas Lawyers
Position: Senior Associate

Why did you decide to pursue a legal career?

I always aspired to be in a profession where I could use my education and knowledge to make a difference to the lives of individuals by giving them access to the legal system. A career in law made perfect sense. As a personal injury lawyer, I help individuals who have been injured in a workplace or transport accident. Our firm’s “no win, no fee” policy resonates strongly with my values, as it provides people who ordinarily would not be able to afford representation the opportunity to pursue their claims and achieve a just outcome. 

How did you get your first job in the law?

During my stint as host on a Channel 31 TV program, I interviewed Justice Christopher Weeramantry, who also asked whether I was interested in legal research and could assist him on a project. I was delighted to accept the offer.

How and when did you move into your current position?

I began working with Zaparas as a trainee in 2010 and was recently made a senior associate. As a trainee I worked within the TAC, public liability and medical negligence departments. In my second year of practice, I was approached by Minter Ellison to work in their insurance and corporate risk group. I accepted the role and worked on WorkCover matters, representing the Victorian WorkCover Authority. After a short period of time I returned to Zaparas’s WorkCover department. I now represent injured workers on statutory benefits, including impairment benefits matters, as well as serious injury applications and common law damages.

What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

My job allows me to meet people from all walks of life, and it is inspiring to see how my clients persevere through life despite limitations caused by their injuries. The most rewarding aspect is, of course, when I am able to achieve large lump sums of compensation for them.

What are the biggest challenges you face?

There will be times when we go to court but no magistrate or judge is available to hear the case. This results in the matter being adjourned for at least a further six months. This can have a devastating impact on the client, whose quality of life depends on the compensation they receive. Managing the client’s expectations and emotions during this time can certainly be a challenge.

What advice would you give to people wanting to practise in your area?

Working for people who have injured themselves is both challenging and rewarding. Your clients will be emotional and at times highly demanding. You must have empathy and patience, and be prepared to fight relentlessly to achieve the maximum compensation for your client.

What has been the best career advice you have received to date?

Network, be respectful and conduct yourself with integrity. 

Did you have a mentor/s?

Peter Zaparas, principal of Zaparas Lawyers, and my mother, Padme Witharanage.

If you had your time again would you do anything different?

No.

What do you like to do outside of the law?

I enjoy travelling and recently returned from a five-week trip overseas. We went all around Turkey, Greece, France, England, Italy and Sri Lanka.   

What is your favourite legal TV show or movie and why?

Suits: watch one episode and you will know why.  

 
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Comments

Comments

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Sach Fernando
Thank you for all your feedback. Personal Injury law is a great area of practice and if anyone is interested in discussing this area of law, please email me at sfernando@zaparaslaw.com.au.
15/09/2015 3:56:07 PM

Dinukshi Senanayake
Congratulations Malla so proud of you. .. All Gods choicest blessings be upon u always. ..May you shine like a star... coz you are such Good Human being... Best wishes Frm all @ home Sri Lanka
10/09/2015 1:55:32 AM

Charika
Hi Sachith, what a wonderful and valuable piece of article. It is so interesting and it shows that you really enjoy your work, and helping people in professional manner. Yes what you said is correct regarding judges. We had a case and the date of the hearing out of 5 judges only 2 turn up, so our case was postponed for 2 months but still we had to pay for the lawyer, barrister so on. It is so frustrated. Congratulation to your new promotion.. Good luck
28/08/2015 1:39:06 AM

Atibhav Damodaran
Great piece Sach. I did my year 10 work experience with Sach at Zaparas' Lawyers. It was a great experience that motivated me to pursue law (I'm in my second year!) Thanks Sach!
27/08/2015 10:12:31 PM

Esan Pilai
Sach,

A great piece, with answers that resonated with my own core legal values. Congratulations with your new appointment; and it's great to see you imparting professional words of wisdom onto many a reader who have the opportunity to peruse this article.
25/08/2015 10:46:44 PM

Margarita Yerusalimsky
Congratulations Sach; what a wonderful article. I have had the pleasure of working with Sach since day one at Zaparas Lawyers.
He is a passionate lawyer and I am sure he will continue to achieve incredible results for his clients.
25/08/2015 7:40:45 PM

Natalie Grubb
I worked with Sach during my traineeship year at Zaparas Lawyers. His comments are certainly in line with his personality and values. Sach is a very professional, committed and empathetic practitioner. Sach will no doubt have a very successful career.

Congratulations on your recent appointment to Senior Associate, Sach. Well deserved.
25/08/2015 12:37:37 PM

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