Lara Menon once observed the Coutts team from afar and hoped to join the firm one day. 4 years later, she has now been promoted from Senior Lawyer to Senior Associate, effective as of 18th of February 2022.
“I saw Coutts at local functions and worked with the team as the ‘opposing side’ on matters. The Coutts culture seemed very fun, supportive, and close-knit. Professionally, the lawyers were not only knowledgeable, tenacious, and achieved excellent client outcomes, but they also embodied the highest level of integrity. They were the lawyers I aspired to be,” Lara Menon said.
Although there were no vacant positions in the Family & Criminal team at the time, Lara was determined to be a part of the Coutts team and directly contacted Managing Partner, Adriana Care. Since starting as a Paralegal in 2018, Lara has ascended from Law Graduate to Lawyer, Senior Lawyer and now Senior Associate.
When Lara first discovered she was promoted, she was battling coronavirus and thought it was all a dream.
“I was home sick with COVID, and Luisa Gaetani (Partner & Head of Criminal & Family Law) called me. I thought I was hallucinating! I am still pinching myself to make sure it is real,” she said.
Lara has practised solely in the areas of Criminal and Family Law at Coutts and developed a formidable reputation as the lawyer who scores legal victories in difficult matters. Recently, she achieved a not guilty verdict for a client who made incriminating statements during questioning, with two charges withdrawn before trial.
“Lara has always taken the initiative to go above and beyond what is expected of her. Her innovative legal strategies and compassionate nature have consistently ensured our clients are satisfied. Whether she was a Paralegal or Senior Lawyer, she maintained a desire to learn more and finetune her skills. This promotion is very well deserved,” Luisa Gaetani said.
Beyond legal excellence, she is passionate about providing support and emotional guidance for clients. As a Criminal Defence Lawyer, Lara is often met with cynicism when she states her passion for making a positive difference in society, particularly in the areas of women’s rights, equality, and ending domestic violence. However, Lara says, she takes the time to identify the root causes of their problems, so they can remedy these issues and rebuild their lives with resilience and strength.
“I take the time and the opportunity to educate in an effort to end violent behaviour. I assist my clients to correct the errors of their ways and make sure they don’t appear before the Courts again. I have seen many marriages and relationships repaired as a result,” Lara said.
For Lara, the mentorship, education and support she received from Luisa Gaetani (Coutts Partner and Head of Criminal & Family Law) showed her “what it took to be an exceptional lawyer” – strengthening both her legal and interpersonal skills.
“Now, as a Senior Associate, I am most looking forward to becoming a mentor and hopefully helping someone else in the same way Luisa helped me,” Lara said.
Ultimately, Lara’s success did not come without challenges. When she first commenced work at Coutts, she was also a full-time law student, mother of two young children and wife. Lara credits Coutts’ flexible work arrangements and supportive culture for enabling her to successfully balance both work and life responsibilities.
“Without Coutts, I wouldn’t be where I am today. I am proud to go to work every day!” Lara said.
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