There are essentially three ways someone can discover a passion for their work. Some are undoubtedly born with it. Others stumble into it by chance. While the third group finds what begins as a general attraction grows, over time, into something they simply couldn’t imagine themselves without.
John Tucker, leader of the DW Fox Tucker Tax team and one of Strathalbyn’s favourite sons, counts himself among the latter. And after nearly five decades plying his trade, the Best Lawyers Australia 2014 Adelaide Tax Law Lawyer of the Year says that passion remains as strong as ever.
What was it that first drew you to the law?
If I’m honest, it was really my father’s desire that I become a self-employed professional! Law seemed to tick all the boxes of what I “should” do, which led me to study it at the University of Adelaide.
Where did you get your start?
I started as a part-time article law clerk at Cleland Teesdale Smith & Co early in 1966, became a full Partner on 1 July 1968 and remained there for about 14 years
Malcolm Teesdale Smith was a great mentor for me in my Articled Clerk years, he impressed upon me the value of attention to detail.
A start in the law has however been a continuing process as new knowledge and skills in the application of that new and of my existing knowledge have been derived through subsequent practice associations and learning experiences right up to the present.
In the years that have followed, what would you consider to be your greatest achievements?
In terms of personal recognition, being elected National President of the Taxation Institute of Australia by my peers in 1992 certainly stands out. I had been heavily involved in the activities of the Institute and derived great enjoyment and benefit from it and its members, so election to that office meant a great deal to me.
I’ve also been fortunate enough to have my work and professional skills recognised in other community and industry circles, and that’s always been very satisfying.
Another satisfying achievement, has been my ability to build and maintain a number of longstanding – some very longstanding – and deeply rewarding professional relationships with clients and other professional services providers, including accountants, business advisers and other lawyers.
That’s a two-way street, of course. Rewarding work related relationships only come when both parties do good work. It is satisfying to look back over many matters where I and my team have provided high quality services and considerable value to our clients, especially those where creative solutions have been successfully provided for difficult issues.
What have been the major interests in your life outside the law, and how have you indulged them?
My family has always been very important to me, of course, but I regret they have suffered at times from the priorities I have afforded my work.
I also have enjoyed participation in sport, in particular cricket and tennis. Through cricket I became involved with Prince Alfred Old Collegians Association and eventually, the youngest to that time, became President of that body. I have spent significant parts of my “spare” time in pursuing a number of private business interests, particularly in the food industry.
I’ve found these ventures very satisfying and rewarding for a number of reasons, not least of which is the close association with people engaged in different walks of life. My involvements in food manufacturers Bellis Fruit Bars, Tuckers Natural and Greenwheat Freekeh Pty Ltd, have provided stimulating challenges outside my professional practice.
In the final analysis though I have been a workaholic and these other interests have been subjected to the demands of legal practice and post graduate study.
Having now worked for 49 years, are there any professional goals that you’d still like to achieve?
Of course! I’m looking forward to helping our new firm grow its current respected status to be second to none and to continuing to help our Tax team deliver the best results possible for our clients.
When that happens it’s a very satisfactory outcome to be part of.
This communication provides general information which is current as at the time of production. The information contained in this communication does not constitute advice and should not be relied upon as such. Professional advice should be sought prior to any action being taken in reliance on any of the information. Should you wish to discuss any matter raised in this report, or what it means for you, your business or your clients' businesses, please feel free to contact us.