In our latest interview we hear from one of our clients, Alison Cusack. Alison is the Founder and Principal Lawyer of Cusack and Co, a niche maritime law firm working with shippers and freight forwarders who import into or export out of Australia.  

Alison is a Victorian University first class honours graduate who is an influential force in the maritime community. She is a passionate supporter of women to enhance their career in the maritime industry through her work as President of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA).  

Alison shares her experiences from being in the corporate world to taking the leap of faith in setting up her own values based legal firm designed to provide clients with the flexibility to do things differently. She also shares her top tip for business success. 

Tell us a bit about Cusack & Co  

Cusack & Co is a boutique maritime law firm that brings the way maritime law is approached in to the 21st century. We work with our clients in their commercial reality to co-design solutions. We work proactively with our clients to minimise risk and work on a fixed fee basis so there are no bill shocks.  

We believe education is key and also provide training services tailored to businessesexisting procedures and policies. My training skills have been bolstered by being a lecturer at Victoria Universitys postgraduate program teaching Contract and Company Law. 

What inspired you to set up your business?   

I really wanted that sense of independence and a chance to work with clients the way I felt would bring the most value. I also enjoy being able to balance my job with my role as WISTA Australia President. 

What type of clients do you work with?  

I work with shippers and freight forwarders who import into or export out of Australia. I work within the containerised industry (no bulk cargo for me!). 

We know you have recently celebrated one year in business, what has been your biggest highlight/achievement? 

It’s the seemingly small wins that mean the most. I moved into a brand-new office with views overlooking Flagstaff gardens and for the first time ever, have my very own office I can close the door on the world. 

Also being invited to speak at the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) / International Maritime Organisation (IMO) dinner on Gender Equality within the shipping industry. 

Whats your top tip for business success? 

You dont need to do everything at once! Just focus on the first stair of the staircase, even if you cant see where it leads. 

Tell us about your role as president at Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA)?

Being President of WISTA Australia is a real honour. I get to work with an amazing volunteer committee who are working hard to inspire women to take the next step in their career and connect them to other like minded people. I got to travel to Hong Kong in June for the regional conference and now were looking to host the APEC Conference here in Melbourne in 2020. We are also hoping to launch a nationwide mentoring program online for 2020. 

Whats next for Cusack & Co? 

We will be launching a “Introduction to Legal Retainer” offer for clients who want to dip their toe into having a lawyer on the other end of the phone. We are also launching the “Unknown Unknown” six-week program that helps businesses do a risk assessment on their business and end up with a prioritised list of to-dos. 

Alison’s bio 

Alison Cusack is a breath of fresh air to the maritime industry as the Founder and Principal Lawyer of Cusack and Co Pty Ltd. Alison is an influential force in the maritime community, recently appointed as the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Australia President. She also contributes her knowledge as a committee member of Maritime Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (MLAANZ) and a member of Melbourne Marine Insurance Forum (MMIF). 

Cusack and Co, with Alison at its helm will be the innovative firm the industry has been waiting for building a space for likeminded individuals and companies to do law differently. 

In addition to running her own law firm, Alison is also lecturing Contract and Company Law to Victoria University Postgraduate Business students bringing the law to life with real world experience. 

Click here to find out more about the great work Alison is doing at Cusack & Co, in her role as President of the Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) and lecturing Contract and Company Law to Victoria University Postgraduate Business students.

How Hadleigh & Co worked with Cusack & Co to develop their marketing strategy

Cusack & Co choose Hadleigh & Co’s strategic marketing planning session to develop a short-term marketing strategy. This gave them a clear roadmap of key marketing activities that were focussed around growth and differentiated them from their competition. 

At Hadleigh & Co. we are a professional marketing consultancy for small to medium sized businesses, sole traders and start-ups.
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