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On the Couch
5 May, 2010  
Leon Zwier

Few lawyers have as many fingers in as many pies as Melbourne solicitor Leon Zwier … He’s the high profile face of Arnold Block Leibler … Dealing with him is difficult … Somehow or other we got him On the Couch, where he tells us about his fears, regrets and obsessions

imageLeon Zwier is a litigation partner of Arnold Bloch Leibler.

Leon has acted, or is still acting, for the Estate of Rolah McCabe in proceedings commenced by British American Tobacco; (the late) Richard Pratt in criminal proceedings brought by Graeme Samuel’s ACCC; Visy class action and other class actions; Trevor Kennedy in relation to ASIC’s Offset Alpine investigation; and the liquidators of Timbercorp concerning the winding up of the group.

He is a member of the Law Council of Australia’s insolvency and reconstruction committee and a member of FraudNet, a global network of lawyers specialising in fraud and commercial crime across foreign jurisdictions.

Leon is also a director of Challenger Financial Group.

Describe yourself in three words.
Difficult. Passionate. Driven.

What are you currently reading?
So Greek by Nikki Savva.

What’s your favourite film?
Die Hard with a Vengeance.

Who has been the most influential person in your life?
My father and Holocaust survivors. They have repeatedly demonstrated triumph out of adversity and that the impossible is achievable.

What occupation would you like to have, if you weren’t solicitor?

What is your favourite piece of music?
Satisfaction by the Rolling Stones.

What is your most recognised talent?

What is your greatest fear?
Upsetting Justice Michelle Gordon.

What words or phrases do you overuse?
What I meant was…” and “I was only trying to help...”

What is your greatest regret?
Not abiding by my new year’s resolution – No more Mr Nice Guy.

Whom do you envy and why?
Fink (Justice Finkelstein ). Brilliant. Commercially savvy. Witty. Blues supporter. Try hard “Rock’n Roll Star” and most relevantly married to Leonie Thompson.

What is currently obsessing you?
The Arnold Bloch Leibler retreat. So many partners to be dealt with and so little time to do it in.

What’s your most glamorous feature?
My imagination.

If you were a foodstuff, what would you be?
Give me a break… ABL, unlike others, has never asked an applicant about foodstuffs and I therefore refuse to imagerespond to that question. But if I were likened professionally to a current day AFL footballer (which ABL does occasionally ask some applicants about ) – Chris Judd.

What human quality do you most distrust?
Self-proclaimed integrity.

What would you change about Australia?
Abolish the States.

Whom or what do you consider overrated?
A pro bono practice run by a partner who claims to have been nurtured, encouraged and supported by well-known tobacco lawyers.

How would you like to die?
Old age.

What would your epitaph say?
But you insisted it was only a ‘man cold’.”

What comes into your mind when you shut your eyes and think of the word “law”?
ABL. Many years ago Justice Allan Goldberg observed (obiter), if you can deal with the ABL partners your opponents are a breeze.