What does it take to win? You can’t be afraid to lose...
How Glen Northway has built a remarkable career by daring to be different.
Glen’s pathway into the law wasn’t straightforward…but nothing worth standing up for is. While others study for their law degrees in air-conditioned lecture theatres, Glen toiled under the sun as a bricklayer.
His dedication to seeking justice for everyday people was fuelled by the injustice experienced by his parents.
Today, our down-to-earth yet tenacious Legal Practice Manager helps people rebuild their lives after injury — and he's created an incredible career in the process.
Standing up for what’s right
Growing up on a dairy farm in Victoria, Glen Northway learnt countless life lessons from a young age. But there are three that resonate with him most: the value of hard work, the power and beauty of Mother Nature and that good people’s lives can be turned upside down through no fault of their own.
“My parents decided they needed to upsize their farm, and things went a bit pear-shaped. Things that should have been disclosed around a particular cattle disease weren’t. My parents got tied up in litigation, and it wasn’t a very satisfying outcome. I felt it was a real injustice. I was only a teenager, but I sensed the lawyer my parents engaged didn’t put them first. I decided I’d like to make sure other people didn’t have the experience my parents had.”
Despite the devastating setback, Glen’s parents moved on with the resilience they ingrained in their son. Glen’s journey to legal practice was anything but standard, but it helped shape him into the humble yet indefatigable lawyer he is today. Straight out of school Glen first completed an arts and commerce degree, but he always had his heart set on law. He went on to study law externally, part-time whilst working six days a week as a brickie’s labourer and in a pub. After finishing his law degree in 2008, Glen undertook a two-year clerkship with a general practice law firm in Brisbane, where he was introduced to several different areas of the law - including personal injuries and insurance litigation.
“I was convinced I wanted to be a criminal lawyer, but once I started doing personal injury work, I thought ‘Hang on, this area really speaks to me’. Personal injury is about helping people get their lives back on track from an event that’s had permanent consequences, and in most circumstances wasn’t their fault.”
Once admitted to practice in 2011, Glen focused on defendant motor vehicle accidents and workers' compensation claims. In 2015, he joined Shine Lawyers and finally found his place. From Legal Practice Manager in Queensland to Legal Practice Manager - Personal Injuries, in Pakenham, Glen’s seized every opportunity to grow his remarkable career and stand up for what’s right.
A fierce advocate for justice
Most people avoid risk, but not Glen. Prepared to take on the most challenging cases, our PI expert has had some incredible wins at Shine. Yet, it’s the cases some people might consider losses that he’s most proud of.
“I do believe that if you’re not prepared to lose, you’re not prepared to succeed, either. Not all wins are straightforward. The challenging cases are the most rewarding because you have to work the hardest for them. You learn the most from them, too.”
To challenge and be challenged is not just a way of thinking for Glen - it’s a way of being. And it’s a practice he instils in his PI team as he mentors them through their own cases and career journeys.
“Something I emphasise to my colleagues is don’t be afraid to take opportunities as they come. It’s so easy to talk yourself out of having a go at something because you think you’re not ready. The truth is, there is no perfect time. There will never be a moment where you think, ‘I’m ready.’ So, take the opportunity – you don’t know when it will swing around again.”
A proven path for success
When Glen’s not seeking better justice for clients, he loves spending time with his wife and two children at their home in the Dandenongs. Balancing working from home with days in our Pakenham office means Glen spends far less time commuting - something he truly values.
As for the future, Glen says he’ll continue to be a fierce advocate for every person he represents and keep growing with a firm that stays ahead of the pack.
“I know there will always be career opportunities for me at Shine. They do a fantastic job of providing pathways to get you where you want to be. I’d like to see Shine continue to grow and help more clients because I think we do great work. I love the work I do; I love my job. Not many people are fortunate enough to be able to say that.”