Miriam and David Chiappetta, down under. If you're not jealous of the scenery, be jealous of his hat.
If you try to ring up David Chiappetta, you won’t find the Menlo Park litigator at his old Perkins Coie office anymore.
That’s because in August, Chiappetta and his family left the country for Australia where he now works as an antitrust lawyer at Corrs Chambers Westgarth.
Chiappetta is a friendly guy who worked at Bingham McCutchen before moving to Perkins Coie where he took cases for Internet clients like Facebook. But a visit down under changed that in short order.
He just smiles and gives us a Vegemite sandwich, after the jump, um, mates.
“My wife and I visited back in 2003 and really fell in love with the place,” Chiappetta said this week, talking on the phone from his office in Melbourne.
He said they liked how sincere the Aussies are and described the country as a mix of England, California and Alaska — tradition, entrepreneurship, and wild frontier.
“The day to day interactions with people — Australians are just the most genuine people on the planet,” Chiappetta told us.
After filling in some gaps in his Australian legal education, Chiappetta was sworn in as a “solicitor and barrister.” in 2006. He noted with a laugh that the swearing in ceremony was begun by shouting “God Save the Queen.” Then he waited for a job to open up — and it did at Corrs Chambers, a firm that prosecutes antitrust cases for the Australian government.
The law isn’t that different, although the spelling of words is. “One of the things that has been somewhat of a challenge is Australian spelling,” Chiappetta said in a follow-up email. “Having lived in England for a year as an undergraduate, I was certainly ready for words such as "favourite" and "realise." But nothing could have prepared me for "connexion."
Chiappetta’s wife, Miriam, is an accountant and it was easy for her to get admitted in Australia paving the way for them to be able live there permanently, he said. They have two small children that made the move as well.
Chiappetta said his former colleagues at Perkins were gracious when he left … and now they all want to know if he needs any associates, he said with a chuckle.
— Zusha Elinson