Australian Women's Register

An initiative of The National Foundation for Australian Women (NFAW) in conjunction with The University of Melbourne

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Exhibitions

  • Australian Women Lawyers as Active Citizens

Nicholas, Rhondda

Occupation
Director, Lawyer and Solicitor

Summary

Rhondda Nicholas is an experienced employment lawyer at Nicholas Dibb, where she is the principal solicitor. She established OzPropertyLaw; the first legal practice in Australia to offer fixed fee conveyancing services online in every state and territory.

A graduate of the ANU Law School, Rhondda also holds a BA (Hons) in political science from ANU and a Master of Philosophy from Griffith University, Qld in Australia - Asia relations.

Details

Rhondda Nicholas recognised early the possibilities for improving client service that was offered by the Internet. She also understood that consumers wanted lawyers who delivered service in plain English and who were open and transparent about their fees.

Acting on these concerns, in June 2003 Rhondda established Australia's first online or virtual law firm, Ozpropertylaw Pty Ltd, delivering residential and commercial conveyancing services direct to consumers. In developing Ozpropertylaw, Rhondda sought to set up an online legal service that was more convenient for clients in that they could communicate with solicitors and paralegals online and access their documents 24/7; which gave them certainty about the legal fees they would pay for the service up front; and which harnessed technology to provide a more efficient service.

Consumers reacted by registering with Ozpropertylaw.com for their legal property services from its inception. Commencing practice in the ACT and NSW in 2003, Rhondda steadily added other states and the Northern Territory. By 2010 Ozpropertylaw Pty Ltd provided conveyancing and property legal services in each state and territory. Ozpropertylaw Pty Ltd is a pioneer of fixed fee conveyancing and consumers are able to obtain an instant online quote from its website. In 2015 that is still unusual in legal practice in conveyancing.

Rhondda attracts and maintains a multinational staff to reflect her client base and so that clients are comfortable with Ozpropertylaw's professional and administrative staff.

Rhondda spoke about the pitfalls in online law firm service delivery in March 2010 at the Sinch Online Legal Services (SOLS) Conference in Sydney, Australia. At the SOLS Conference in Sydney in March 2011 she spoke about legal costs and online consumers. In March 2012 her presentation focussed on developments in UK conveyancing and lessons for Australia and in May 2014 Rhondda spoke about the need for lawyers operating in the online environment to develop business skills.

As owner of the boutique law firm, Nicholas Dibb Solicitors, Rhondda advises employment law clients on difficult issues arising within the workplace and suggests solutions acceptable to all parties. Rhondda and her team have produced Fair Work compliant contracts for law firm clients and real estate agencies in several Australian states. Nicholas Dibb Solicitors practises in employment law, discrimination, commercial law and dispute resolution.

Rhondda is presently working on innovating service delivery in other legal areas to facilitate client engagement with solicitors online.

Sources used to compile this entry: Material provided by Rhondda Nicholas August 2015.

Rhondda Nicholas

Site-wide information and acknowledgements

National Foundation for Australian Women The University of Melbourne, eScholarship Research Centre

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