December 13, 2017

Ezequiel Trumper, lawyer

Friday, April 21, 2017

Law and order

By Sorrel Moseley-Williams
For The Herald

Born: Buenos Aires
Lives: Sydney, Australia
Occupation: Principal at Haller & Grad Lawyers; Broadcaster/Presenter Radio Austral, Sydney
Education: Law degree at UNBA,  Masters of Comparative Jurisprudence (LL.M) ­ New York University School of Law, Examination in New Zealand Law & Practice ­ University of Auckland, New Zealand. Admitted as a lawyer at the Supreme Court of New South Wales, Australia, High Court of Australia, High Court of New Zealand, Corte Suprema de la República Argentina
Currently reading: A Man For All Markets
Just seen: Billions
Gadget: My iPhone

Ambitious and seeking opportunity, Floresta-born lawyer Ezequiel Trumper knew early on that he would likely leave his native Argentina to reach his goals. After studying in the US, he moved to New Zealand and now lives in Sydney, Australia, with his wife, where he heads his own law firm and hosts a daily radio show.

Ezequiel says: “I left Argentina young, after finishing my law degree aged 27, and went to study in New York. I hadn’t wanted to stay in Argentina since I was about 20 so it wasn’t an impulsive decision; I didn’t think Argentina would give me the opportunities I wanted in life. Also qualifying as a lawyer in the US, I married a New Zealander and spent about 12 years living there, before moving to Australia.

“After being in the US, there weren’t too many cultural differences to adapt to, other than that Americans are a little more outspoken, so I adjusted quite easily. I was happy living in Wellington and got a job working for one of the largest law firms in the country within the first three weeks of being there. I never looked back and there’s not been a single day I’ve woken up and wished I was in Buenos Aires. I often go back to visit but I wouldn’t live there again.”

Supreme courts

And, that decision has paid off. Not only was Ezequiel admitted as a lawyer to the Corte Suprema de la República Argentina but also to the Supreme Court of New South Wales in Australia, High Court of Australia and the High Court of New Zealand; from Sydney he runs his own firm and hosts a daily radio show.

He says: “When I finished my Master’s in New York, I briefly went back to Argentina — and I remember it vividly — with what you would call the perfect CV, a degree from a top school, a graduate from NYU. And, [the law firm] wanted to pay me peanuts. I told them for that sort of money, something like US$600 a month, I could go and wash dishes in Queens, so I said ‘thanks very much’ and left. I thought that anyone who accepted those conditions would be a fool and I didn’t want to be a fool. That was in 1988.

“And, Iooking back, I’ve done something that’s hard to achieve, which is to become a lawyer in the mainstream; it’s not something many immigrants achieve. On reflection, it wasn’t easy but maybe I was so full of ambition and determination, I didn’t realise it at the time. But if I had to do it all again, knowing that, the truth is I probably wouldn’t do it.”

Sydney sider

The lawyer and radio presenter lives in Sydney with his wife and Zack, his youngest of two sons. Ezequiel says: “We live in a well-to-do area called Zetland in a penthouse. I have two children and am very pleased with my life. I’m delighted that Australia has given me the opportunities it has and allowed me to develop my life. It’s a great country.

“My neighbourhood is quite new and high rise and here, you do the same sorts of things as in Argentina. Argentines always say they miss their friends back home and asados but the reality is you make friends as a youngster so if you move, you can’t expect to develop those same kinds of friendships. They confuse childhood friendships with something new. And Australians are just as friendly as anyone else.

“My eldest son is 23 and now independent while my youngest Zack lives with my wife and I. I’m not afraid of my kids leaving Australia, in fact they can stay or can go but if they do leave, they will go as Australian professionals and will be able to get a job anywhere in the world. I’m very proud of the fact they won’t have to leave unless they want to — not like I did because I had no choice.”

On air

In his spare time, Ezequiel enjoys making the most of Sydney’s thriving food scene and also hosts a daily radio programme on Radio Austral. He says: “I go kayaking, go to the gym and enjoy spending time with my lovely wife. We go to the movies and the theatre, or for walks along the beach. Plus, there are Italian, Japanese, Thai, Chinese and even Argentine barbecue restaurants, there’s anything you fancy, so we got out for dinner a lot. Restaurant offerings are very diverse here, not homogeneous like in Argentina.

“Sydney is one of the nicest cities in the world and the upside is excellent weather; it’s very temperate. You can be in your office at 3pm then walking barefoot on the beach at 4.30pm and that’s what people do. That’s why it’s such a pleasant — and expensive — place to live.

“I also work as a volunteer on Radio Austral so I’m quite well-known within the Latin American community because of Hora de Noticias, my daily show. I’m currently in New Orleans and just broadcast from here!”

As for travels around the vast island, Ezequiel has visited much of the country over the years. “I’ve been everywhere from Western Australia to Adelaide and Melbourne. Australia is a great place to travel for nature though you won’t find much in the way of culture outside Melbourne and Sydney. But its natural beauty is as good as anywhere else. Everything happens in Sydney and as I’m a city person, I don’t tend to go for walks in the bush much!”

Leaving Argentina some 30 years ago, Ezequiel has never looked back. He adds: “Besides family and friends, I don’t miss anything. Nothing. In fact, I have a very poor view of Argentine society and I always thought it would go backwards. I don’t miss it. The problem is incompetence and ineptitude. There’s corruption everywhere but incompetence is what holds Argentina back.”

As for his most Australian characteristic, the lawyer has risen to the challenge of working hard. “It’s the work ethic and punctuality. Being formal and respectful. Something I detest is disrespecting other people’s achievements and being treated like rubbish for doing so. That happens in Argentina but it would never happen here: I follow Australia’s tradition.”



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