Interview: Domantay Legal
Bringing you another ripper interview today with Jan Domantay, Founder of Domantay Legal. As any business owner knows, finding like minded people to refer work to, chat through the ups and downs of ownership and maintain relationships with is invaluable. The Domantay Group is incredibly ambitious, growing to a team of 30 in a relatively short period, opening multiple firms around the country. There’s a lot to learn from Jan, read on!
How did Domantay come to be?
Domantay Legal got off the ground with just myself as a sole-practitioner. I had the goal (and still do) of helping as many people and businesses as I could. Despite having over a decade of experience exclusively in criminal law, I completed over 65 hours of further legal training in various practice areas including commercial, business, property, migration and estate planning in under 6 months. This left me with a greater breadth of knowledge and able to provide legal solutions to many more clients.
DL opened its doors on 19th September 2016 and we now have five law firms across three states, with each firm having strengths in various practice areas including commercial, insurance law, estate planning, family and property. Our headcount is around 30 across the five firms, which includes three support staff based in Manila, Philippines.
What’s been the hardest thing about being in business so far? And the biggest lesson learnt?
The most difficult part so far has been onboarding and retaining quality staff over the years. Inevitably, as we grow, so does our reputation which brings in recruiters swooping in on a daily/weekly basis making attempts to poach our talent – some with success, unfortunately.
The biggest lesson has to be ensuring our culture is on point and striving to be an employer of choice with the vision to “not be a typical law firm”, rather a modern, progressive and client/solution focussed practice.
If you could give one piece of advice to someone considering a foray into business, what would it be?
Find something you’re passionate about and don’t focus on the money. The money follows when you’re genuine about the product or service you’re providing, and delivering.
What has been key to Domantay’s success so far?
The hustle mentality coupled with a desire to find solutions to help as many people and businesses as we can. We genuinely see the world in ‘abundance’ as opposed to scarcity, and as a result are always on a path to delivering quality and efficient legal services to as many people and SMEs as we can. Providing more solutions to many stakeholders, means we’re constantly in the market to find talent to join our ever growing team.
How has Future Advisory helped you along the way?
Future Advisory has backed the DL vision from day one, noting we are always aspiring to reach BHAGS goals on a monthly, quarterly and yearly basis. No idea we float has been too crazy – Future have not only tested our ability to execute with forecasting and strategy meetings, but actively support and champion our goals.
For any business owners reading this, what are some critical legal areas that they should be thinking about and why are they important?
We provide a complimentary business health check to all business owners, no matter their journey (from start-up to mature) and no matter their size (from one person operations to multi-national), and we’ve never met a client who has achieved all of the following items:
- Asset protection: make sure your personal assets are not attached or incorporated with any business or Directorship assets. This is to protect any potential claim made against your business
- Estate planning: if you do not have Wills in order, we guide you through the best form of Estate Planning catered to your personal and financial situation
- Business structures: ensure you are registered under the correct entity to minimise any personal liability between different structures
- Commercial property and leases: review all current leases to ensure the business is best protected from any risk
- Employment or contractor and services: how your staff are hired and current contract agreements that need to be in place or reviewed
- Commercial contracts: this will identify changes that need to be made to your current engagement contracts to fit legal best practice, any contracts that you need immediately as part of your business operations, and contracts that you might need as your business grows in dealing with your suppliers and distribution channel
- Australian Consumer Law: every business needs to comply with Australian Consumer Law if you are selling goods or services to consumers. A Legal Health Check should identify if your business needs to comply with consumer laws in Australia and lay out the steps you need to take to ensure that you do comply with them moving forward
- Intellectual property (IP): in order to protect your branding and goodwill, these will include protecting your brand name, logo, website and any products or ideas you have created as part of establishing your business as well as the Trademark of your business
- Business growth and investment: if and when you are looking to involve an investor or a business partner to gain more capital and investment in your business, you would need to ensure that your business have a good corporate governance and understanding amongst the investors and management, and ensure a clear exit strategy and business succession plan to minimise conflict and disputes.
You must get hit up for legal advice from friends and family all the time… what’s the most common question you get, and can you answer it for us?
Most common question is “Can you help with A, B or C” and given our wide variety of practice areas, more often than not, we can assist. Whether it’s conveyancing, business structures or estate planning, we can assist. The only real practice area we do not cover is personal injury or high-level tax advice… the latter we forward on to the Future Team.
Visit to find out more about Domantay Legal here.