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Meet our people
Brendan Foley
Special Counsel

Fresh out of high school, I obtained a degree in Urban and Regional Planning, and worked for a number of years as a town planner in private practice.

During this time I was often involved in disputes in the State Administrative Tribunal. These experiences led me to first investigate, then commence and complete a law degree largely after hours (whilst still working during the day).

I then took the plunge to start my legal career as an Articled Clerk, and gradually worked my way up to Associate level at a local firm.

I made the decision to join Thomson Geer as a Senior Associate in 2019, as I felt that the firm would provide me with an opportunity to grow my own practice, whilst having the support of a very well respected projects team in Western Australia.

"In retrospect, it is the best career decision I have ever made."

Thomson Geer has provided me with all the professional support and opportunities that I desired. I am now a Special Counsel, and work on progressing a wide array of exciting major development projects throughout the State for local, national and international clients.

In addition to professional support, Thomson Geer has also provided me with great personal support over the years. I have a young family, and have been provided with the flexibility and tools to attend school events and activities with my kids during the week – this is very important to me.

"A few years ago, I also had a battle with cancer. During this traumatic time the firm were so supportive of me and my family, and it is this support that I value most."

Hannah Sowdon
Special Counsel

I joined Thomson Geer as a second year lawyer in 2010, with a background in litigation, government and claims management.

"The firm has supported me to develop my litigation, insurance and legal skills, and in the early years I was offered an opportunity to go on secondment with a government client so I could better understand their needs, from not only a legal, but also a policy and stakeholder perspective."

I have been encouraged to engage directly with clients and their insurers since early in my career, which gave me significant exposure to and a deeper understanding of their internal processes, requirements and reasoning.

I have been able to seize numerous opportunities to develop my leadership skills in a practical way, including taking responsibility for matters, providing training and mentoring to junior lawyers, attending client panel conference and preparing and delivering continuing legal education seminars to clients.

Thomson Geer has a strong emphasis on merit based progression, inclusivity and equal opportunity, and was flexible and supportive when I reduced my working hours after starting a family, which made my transition to parenthood much easier

Internally, we are actively encouraged to work collaboratively with other teams, identifying opportunities and referring work where possible. This has resulted in my being able to assist other teams with insurance and indemnity advice, while I have also been able to access the considerable expertise of other teams, delivering more comprehensive and well-rounded solutions to our clients.