Clayton Glenister is far from your standard lawyer. Sure, he wears the suit and tie, knows his legislation and keeps a legal eagle eye on the multi-faceted cases that come to MBA Lawyers, the long established Gold Coast firm where he is Managing Partner.
However, specialising in body corporate law is what sets Clayton apart as he leads legal expertise in the body corporate and high-rise living epicentre of Australia.
It was a field he entered by chance rather than design.
Educated at The Southport School, Clayton graduated from Bond University in 2001. He soon headed to Melbourne where he practiced media and defamation law.
In 2007, Clayton returned to the Gold Coast, beginning his journey at MBA Lawyers, and with body corporate law.
“I was a junior employee, focusing on planning and environment law until, just two months in, that focus changed,” says Clayton.
“Someone asked me if I knew anything about body corporate and management rights. I told them I’d handled one matter. ‘Welcome to the world of body corporate law,’ they said, as they handed over several files. The door opened and I had the opportunity to dive in and specialise.
“As time has passed, especially here on the Gold Coast, it’s always amazed me that there are so few lawyers specialising in body corporate matters. There are more than 50,000 bodies corporate registered in Queensland alone and of those, the Gold Coast is by far the prime location for body corporate law.”
When it comes to body corporate matters, Clayton has seen it all – from elderly men coming to blows, to himself being labelled a ‘pin-up boy’ for dog rights, after he won a case for clients wanting to keep a beloved pet in their apartment.
Nevertheless, the main issues that cross Clayton’s desk are those in relation to strata title, management rights, building defects and disputes between body corporates, residents and caretakers. The strata living sector in Australia is worth $1 trillion, with the Gold Coast being one of the main contributors.
“We’ve always had strata titles on the Gold Coast and have done them well. Latest statistics from the University of NSW’s National Strata Data Report reveal that 7 per cent of Queensland’s population live in apartments, and that’s especially pronounced on the Gold Coast. So it’s a major issue,” says Clayton.
Husband to Kim and the proud father of two children, Clayton is happy to be raising his young family on the Gold Coast. He is a big advocate for the city, taking on community and corporate roles that reflect his belief in its future.
One example is his executive role for Intelligent Infrastructure Solutions (i2S), a new end to end solutions company for construction and transport that has hit a multimillion-dollar turnover in just two years. Another is his role as a director of the Southport Sharks AFL Club.
As the Gold Coast continues to develop and mature, Clayton will be actively involved in the journey. Yet for all the excitement and potential of the big vision, his work at MBA Lawyers ensures he never loses sight of the needs of Gold Coast locals, with his expertise also spanning corporate, commercial, property and business law, thus providing a broader focus across vital sectors of the city’s economy.
“Infrastructure, IT, health, education and major events are other topics that are very close to my heart, and these are sectors we need to embrace to continue to ensure the Gold Coast has a robust, mature and diverse economy.”
Clayton is proud to be leading the team at MBA Lawyers, which was established in 1970, making it one of the Gold Coast’s longest-running law firms.
“Our partners and staff collectively possess a wealth of knowledge in many key areas of law such as family law, building and construction law, IT law, local government and commercial laws,” says Clayton.
“Our experience and local knowledge is sought after and appreciated by both existing clients and new residents to the Gold Coast. We are proud to have been supporting such a transformative city for nearly 50 years, and look forward to being part of its future.”
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