Interview with Jordon Engwerda
2021 Victorian Young Property Lawyer of the Year Award
What does it mean to you to be awarded the 2021 Victorian Young Property Lawyer of the Year Award?
It feels incredible to have been awarded the 2021 Victorian Young Property Lawyer of the Year Award. The Award is wonderful recognition for the hours of work and a reminder to continue to work at what you love.
Over the course of your career so far, what are some of the key highlights you are most proud of?
I am very lucky to work with some amazing clients on projects that shape the Melbourne landscape. As a junior lawyer, one of the key attractions to property law was watching a project go from flat land to an operational shopping centre or commercial building. I have been lucky to work on the full cycle of projects such as Melbourne Connect at Melbourne University, the redevelopment of 80 Collins Street and the many stages of development at Chadstone Shopping Centre – from strategy and development planning, preparation of precedent documentation, negotiation of deals and operation of the asset.
What’s next? What do you aspire to do in 2022 and beyond?
Within the past 12 months, I have been involved in a number of mixed use developments and enjoyed the challenge of coordinating retail, commercial and residential interests which do not always align! With many institutional landlords diversifying their portfolios, I look forward to continuing to work and support my clients in this space.
What are you most proud of doing/achieving?
Even though I have been at MinterEllison for almost nine years, I still consider myself fortunate to work at Minters, being involved in interesting matters with wonderful clients. I had a very 'non-traditional' path to working in a top tier firm. I'm always conscious of my own humble beginnings and reminded to persevere with your goals.
What are your goals for the future?
I'm at a very exciting time in my career where I am developing my own practice, developing broad property law skills and managing a large and diverse team. I look forward to continuing to develop and grow my practice. I always think back to my admission ceremony where Chief Justice Marilyn Warren spoke about the legal profession – 'always learning, always growing'.
What would you like to change if he had the power to do so?
Having a truly borderless, national leasing practice – I would love to see the introduction of uniform retail legislation. This would allow both landlords and tenants to consistently deal with issues on a whole of portfolio basis.