Lara Block

Qualifications: Solicitor BEc LLB, Law Institute of Victoria Accredited Specialist (Personal Injury Law)
Professional Memberships: Law Institute of Victoria, Law Society of NSW, Australian Lawyers Alliances

What is your area of expertise?

I am an accredited specialist in personal injury law. I work with clients who have been injured at work and in car accidents. I also handle public liability and medical negligence claims.

What do you enjoy about working in personal injury law?

An injury can ruin your life and it can happen to anyone of us. In circumstances where the injury has been caused by the fault of another or someone’s claim has been rejected or denied, I can help clients through the process of making a claim and appealing an adverse decision. Obtaining a successful outcome for a client is one of the most rewarding parts of my job. Helping a client achieve a successful financial outcome so they can move forward with their life is always satisfying.

What are some examples of how you’ve made a real difference for a client?

I had a client who had a car accident 22 years ago. As a result of his injuries, he was slowly degenerating and had just become unfit for work. There is a six-year time limit for issuing proceedings for motor vehicle accident injuries in Victoria so he was well out of time. Most of the cases on record where an extension of time has been sought have not involved a delay of this magnitude. However, I was successful in getting him leave to bring his claim notwithstanding the 22-year delay and then got him a pay-out for his injuries, so that was a great outcome.

I also had a case where a client was run off the road on his motorbike by a car that didn’t stop. There was a lot of skepticism on the part of TAC as to whether the other vehicle was actually present at all. My client was very severely injured and I brought a claim on his behalf in the Supreme Court against the TAC as the Nominal Defendant for the unknown driver, because you can only get damages if you can prove that someone was at fault. We were successful in proving that it was more likely than not that my client was run off the road by a car and he was then successful in his claim for damages for his injuries.

Why do you believe you have a good track record in securing good outcomes for your clients?

Unlike some of the large firms where there’s a mass production line of files, we have a more boutique practice. There’s more personal attention to a file. Each personal injury claim is different, with individual challenges and problems to address and overcome if you want to succeed in court. Often in larger firms, the time and billing pressures are such that they can’t always give individual files the attention they probably need.

You’re passionate about supporting women in law, how do you help?

I’m one of two partners at Harris Lieberman and one of the things that has been my key objective has been to provide opportunities for women in the law. We’ve offered flexible work arrangements and our staff the opportunity work part time or job share. This is a good opportunity for women who want to stay in the law after having a family. Some firms insist that their lawyers work full-time work, or not at all and this can be really hard for women who want flexible work arrangements in order to balance their career and family obligations.

What do you enjoy about living and working in Albury Wodonga?

I live on a little farm out of town – I have horses and enjoy riding. It’s a beautiful place to raise children. I also enjoy contributing to our community. I was the Treasurer of Beechworth Montessori for a period of eight years and am now the Chair of the Flying Fruit Fly Circus Foundation. I am also a participating member in a number of local sporting clubs.