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The Dream Lawyers

The Dream Lawyers is a law firm creating a paradigm shift in the way legal services are delivered and how lawyers work.  For too long, the legal industry has been dominated by the billable hour, quotas in order for lawyers not only to advance, but merely to survive in their jobs, and a lack of focus on client outcomes.  We are part of a growing number of law firms around the world who are becoming instrumental in shifting from this past model to a more workable world where people love working with their lawyers and lawyers are fulfilled in what they do and valued in their positions.
When one hears the word ‘lawyer’, the immediate concerns that come to mind in the average person are:
1. They cost too much.
2. Will they fight for me and my outcome or just take my money and forget about me?
The impact of these concerns is that there is a loss of trust in society for lawyers, a high incidence of mental illness, anxiety and depression amongst lawyers, zero focus on client outcomes, a disproportionately high focus on how much clients are charged and an unsustainable industry providing services out of touch with what clients want and need.
Whilst this may seem dramatic, it is a very real situation that has been left unchecked for too long.  Don’t take it from us though, here are what some others have to say on the matter:
“The key is to work out how to prevent the disease rather than how to deal with it [mental illness] once it has occurred.”
– Bruce Humphrys, partner, HopgoodGanim
“I think it’s much more open now in terms of talking about it [mental illness] and recognising it, reflecting society in general, but I do think, unfortunately, we’re still dealing with many of the symptoms and not the cause. That’s something we risk as a profession if we don’t start looking at the causes and stop dealing with the symptoms.”
– John Chisholm, consultant and former Chief Executive of Middletons
“When you treat people on the basis of only measuring their time and not by the value they give to a particular client … you’re reducing that person to a very low common denominator. It’s a very lonely experience.”
– Damian Sturzaker, partner, Marque Lawyers
“We continue to fail to recognise that clients don’t actually buy our time and that really, what we do, is sell intellectual capital.  We’re not digits or widgets … We’re actually knowledge workers … [Time-based billing] is just a dumb and outdated business model.”
– John Chisholm, consultant and former Chief Executive of Middletons
 
At The Dream Lawyers, we are focused on two simple things:
1. Providing value to our clients

 

2. Providing an environment where our staff can thrive, be valued, acknowledged and have a space to contribute to the world in ways beyond their legal skills

 

A by-product of these outcomes is that there will be a shift in how the legal industry operates as our team grows, as our clients speak to the people in their lives and as the projects we work on not only as a law firm but also through our charitable foundation, The Dream Foundation, grow and prosper.

 

I have learned that having a vision in life is what gives it real power.  My vision is to leave a legacy where lawyers are trusted partners in business and personal affairs, where they provide excellent and transparent value for their services and where lawyers and other people working in the legal industry live well-rounded, fulfilled lives, full of love, joy, contribution and leave a legacy that each of them will be proud of.

 

- Santiago De Silva, Founder and Counsel of Dreams

 

Santiago’s Experience

I bring a decade of experience practising in Australia and overseas to The Dream Lawyers.
I began my career being trained in the areas of property, wills & estates, finance and litigation here in Sydney by my mentor Peter Wise at Wise Legal.  From there, I moved to London to gain more experience and developed my commercial law and litigation skills through a number of environments, including local government, private practice and working in-house to train hundreds of employees on legislative updates.
On my return to Australia, I continued developing myself in the areas of commercial and business law as a consultant to Wise Legal, before taking up a position with NTSCORP working as a native title law, extending my experience in property law, commercial contracts as well as developing a strong competency in native title law and other areas of Aboriginal law in Australia.  My expertise in commercial law and litigation was further strengthened in a period of practice in insurance law and in 2013, I embarked on a journey throughout South East Asia and southern Africa, providing contract law and commercial negotiation services to non-profit organisations in both these regions.  Following my return to Australia, I founded De Silva Legal in October 2013, which became The Dream Lawyers in March 2015.
Since that time, I have used my expertise in business law, property law and wills & estates to build a practice that serves small and medium business in Australia.  We provide a comprehensive service designed to address any legal needs a business may have.  In particular, the versatility I have developed as a commercial litigation lawyer has enabled me to provide businesses with the advice and service they need in a customised manner, which deals specifically with the needs of each business and business owner.

Where we are

The Dream Lawyers is located in North Sydney on the Pacific Highway between the Mater Hospital, North Sydney Girls’ High School and North Sydney Police Station.
We provide our services to customers all over Australia, with a particular focus on our home city of Sydney.