I left school when I was 16. Being from a single parent family I was expected to work as soon as I could, so I did a trade at BHP as a fitter and turner. At the end of that I decided I couldn’t see a future for myself in industry. I was very interested in music so decided to go back to school to matriculate, years 11 and 12. My results were better than expected and the careers advisor suggested a number of courses. Law was what I applied for, got into and became passionate about.
When I first started practising law, I was doing a mixture of family law, criminal law and contract disputes. Five years later I handled a case for a young woman, who had a really bad fibroid that had been undiscovered. She was a young girl who had been let down very badly by a doctor, had to have a full abdominal hysterectomy and in the end couldn’t have children. It really struck a very big chord with me. I felt quite aggrieved by the fact that a doctor with so much privilege could change a life so irreparably.
My next case was a year later. It was a case where the birth had been managed very badly – there was a hypoxic event and the child ended up with cerebral palsy. My passion for helping those affected by medical negligence developed from there.
I decided to set up the firm The Law Office of Conrad Curry because I wanted to set it up my way. We have efficiency in the conduct of files. Other firms I’ve been a partner in or employed at, the efficiencies aren’t there, and clients are getting charged too much for the results they are getting. This makes the fees too large a proportion of the result that they get. A case shouldn’t take years, it should take 18 months maximum to get a result for a client. Because legal proceedings are so stressful for people you want to reduce that stress by reducing the time that they’re subjected to it.
As for medical negligence generally, why I want to do it here, my way, is that doctors have a very large obligation to their clients where their actions affect life and death and I want to be able to do what I can as a by-product of the litigation to change practices in medicine and make people more accountable and not so blasé about their work.