ONCE lawyers reach the pinnacle of their careers, many begin to ask 'what's the next step?'
For Byron Cannon, founding director of Brisbane firm Ferguson Cannon Lawyers, the next step means a leap of faith away from private practice and into the corporate world.
Following 21 years spent alongside friend and fellow director Glenn Ferguson, Cannon has taken up the offer to work as an executive in the aged care sector at the invitation of one of his long-standing clients.
While he says it wasn't something he was actively searching for, Cannon's career shift from directing partner to business executive has provided him with a whole new challenge to relish.
"When I was making the decision, I just thought it would be an opportunity that I was going to regret if I let it go," says Cannon.
"For me, the biggest attraction is learning and in this new role I'll be learning something completely different.
"It is an idea I think a lot of other lawyers thrive off as well, because learning is something we do every day in our jobs."
Cannon says the focus of the firm has shifted over the years to being more of a commercial practice, with both founding partners leading expansion into new areas of the law including migration and retirement villages.
Looking back on his time with the firm, Cannon is proud of its evolution from a two-man endeavour into the legal force it has become.
"The founding process was pretty casual, Glenn and I worked for another law firm together Glenn left and then a few months later I said 'I'm coming with you' and that was that," says Cannon.
"Any work that came through the door we latched onto it, which is good because it gave us exposure to a lot of different areas.
"We made a bucket load of mistakes and learned from them all. It's been a great journey."
Even though his departure tugs on the heart strings, Cannon says it isn't a final goodbye as he will continue to work closely with Ferguson Cannon firm through his new role.
At this stage Cannon says there won't be another person stepping into his former role until the dust settles.
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