June 3, 2022

Home-grown law firm expands in leaps and bounds

Wollongong firm Foye Legal set for rapid growth with expansion to Shellharbour and appointment of leading legal talent to head up Compensation Division.

In a testament to taking measured risks and never forgetting your core values, law firm Foye Legal is set to open a regional office in Shellharbour – after starting from a home office just a few years ago.

Foye Legal will open its new practice at 3/1 Memorial Drive, Shellharbour City, with a team providing the full suite of legal services currently available from its Wollongong office. The expansion is a double celebration for Foye Legal, which has appointed Lawyer Melissa Pacheco Zizic as Director of Compensation.

Ms Pacheco Zizic is a specialist in personal injury and compensation law, with 12-years-plus experience in supporting clients accessing financial compensation and insurance claims, ranging from product and public liability to motor vehicle and industrial accidents, medical and other professional negligence, workers compensation and work injury damages, assault and institutional abuse, total permanent disability claims and more.

“Many people suffering the long-term effects of ill-manufactured medical devices in their body are unaware of their rights to seek compensation,” she said. “In recent years, I have had the privilege of representing clients who received recalled hip implants that contained a metal-on-metal component that led to metal poisoning and other issues.”

“I can’t take away the pain or injuries, but obtaining compensation helps place them back in the position they were in before injury, as far as money can do that. For most, this helps soften the burden because something has finally gone their way. It can be life changing.”

With a Chilean father and Italian mother who both immigrated to Australia, Ms Pacheco Zizic has a deep understanding of the challenges people from non-English speaking backgrounds face. She was drawn to study law and finds the most rewarding part of the job is learning people’s stories and supporting them in changing their future for the better.

“Through my parents’ experience I came to appreciate that knowledge is power, and that education is the greater equaliser. So, from a young age, I was attracted to the romantic ideal of lawyers seeking justice for the oppressed. If I could make a positive difference in people’s lives –¬ I thought that would be a truly rewarding and fulfilling career.”

Ms Pacheco Zizic describes her approach as compassionate and caring with clients but relentless for their cause.

“Soft skills are more critical than ever. Life is tough for many people, and they truly appreciate seeing our human side. We shouldn’t be afraid to show it; it takes us back to the very reasons behind why we became lawyers in the first place. My focus is client-centric, the goal is to exceed clients’ expectations in terms of service and outcome, offering a superior legal experience.

“It’s about creating a safe space where they can comfortably engage and ask any question they want and being readily available to answer with clear and concise advice. I believe in considering each case from every angle, exploring early settlement opportunities and staying up to date with the best systems and processes to achieve excellent results as efficiently and quickly as possible.”

Foye Legal CEO Diana Foye said the appointment of Ms Pacheco Zizic and the opening of the Shellharbour practice were all down to following our vision without compromising our values.

“I have never wavered from my belief that the law, and lawyers, exist to help people in need. When we put clients first and walk a mile in their shoes, you have purpose and drive. That is particularly fulfilling when you can help change their lives. At the same time, you need a team of like-minded people to go on the journey with you.

“Our growth is based on supporting talented people, particularly women, who align with your values. Too many talented female lawyers are lost to the profession or have stalled careers simply because they don’t have the support to balance careers and family. It’s 2022 – any argument about flexible work being bad for business is prehistoric, and our growth proves that.”

Joining Ms Pacheco Zizic at the Shellharbour location will be recently appointed Special Counsel Terri Anderson, who will lead the growing Commercial, Property, and Estate Planning Division. Her extensive background in the not-for-profit sector, including seven years as a not-for-profit in-house counsel, will enable Foye to support a growing not-for-profit and charity sector.

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Diana Foye