Legal experts join the ‘Our Community family’

Posted on 05 Mar 2021

By Matthew Schulz, journalist, Our Community

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Our Community has forged a new legal partnership with leading law firm Maddocks to cater for the complex legal needs of the country’s 600,000 not-for-profits.

The partnership will generate free and affordable legal help for the sector including:

  • New plug-and-play deposits for the renowned Policy Bank
  • Help sheets tackling legal issues for the community sector
  • Guidance around workplace issues, health and safety, human resources, fundraising laws, and not-for-profit and charity regulation
  • Sector education and presentations from Maddocks experts.

Maddocks has built a strong pedigree since establishing an office in Melbourne in 1885. The firm has grown to employ 600 staff, adding offices in Sydney and Canberra.

Maddocks has extensive experience helping not-for-profits and charities, including helping new organisations get established, and providing advice on governance and operational issues. Maddocks also advises organisations about awards and contracts, and helps groups manage industrial relations, discrimination, and a range of employment matters.

The organisation has a strong track record of pro bono work, providing 10,776 hours of free assistance in the 2020 financial year. The company also provides a discount rate for not-for-profits.

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Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty

Our Community group managing director Denis Moriarty said Maddocks was a great fit for Our Community.

“We’re pleased to see their strong focus on leadership equality for women; and for the not-for-profit sector, which is dominated by women.”

Maddocks has one of the highest proportions of female partners in the country, and helps practice and has won many awards for family-friendly policies.

“We first worked with Maddocks about a decade ago when key leaders reviewed policies in our Policy Bank. We know who we’re dealing with and we’re happy to welcome them to the Our Community family,” Mr Moriarty said.

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Maddocks partner Lindy Richardson


Maddocks partner Lindy Richardson said the organisation had a strong commitment “from the top down” for its work with not-for-profits, including establishing a “firm-wide” committee to tackle not-for-profit issues, hosting a human resources managers’ forum for not-for-profit clients, and a busy pro bono practice.

“This is a really important part of our practice,” Ms Richardson said.

Ms Richardson said the partnership fit well with the firm’s existing culture and work with the not-for-profit sector.

Maddocks also has partnerships with the arts, including through the Maddocks Art Prize, as well as with the Taronga Zoo, the Indigenous Marathon Foundation, and the William Ah Ket scholarship that encourages lawyers of Chinese heritage. The firm distributed $125,000 from its foundation and $19,000 worth of small grants to a dozen organisations in the past year.

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