1. Where did you grow up and study to become a lawyer?
I am Norwegian and born in the city of Bergen where I attended a Rudolph Steiner School for my primary and secondary school education. I come from a very musical family and have lots of family and friends in Norway, all of whom I visit regularly, barring Covid disruptions.
I started my musical education aged five, on both the piano and the violin. Music therefore plays a big part of my life and I have been a first violinist with the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra since 2004. I also am a keen pianist and practice both instruments every day.
Before moving to Australia, I gained a diploma of Philosophy from the University of Bergen and also studied and gained a Diploma in English at Cambridge University in the UK for students with English as a second language.
I married an Australian, Kim Easton, and moved to Australia when I was aged 22 years where I studied and gained a Bachelor of Business degree from the University of Southern Queensland and a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from Macquarie University. I started my legal career in 2000.
2. What made you choose to open Easton Lawyers in the hinterland?
I commenced my legal career at Charlton and Bain solicitors in Maleny in January 2000 when Mr Alistair Charlton was the principal and also moved to Maleny permanently. My three children Astrid, Andreas and Ari, all went to the local primary and secondary schools in Maleny. In 2007 I opened Easton Lawyers in Mr Charlton’s old practice and have been its principal lawyer ever since.
3. What service(s) does your business offer?
We offer a range of legal services such as conveyancing of both residential and commercial properties; wills and enduring powers of attorney; deceased estate administration and litigation, and business-related transactions and agreements. I also offer legal services for subdivision of land, easements and boundary realignments, as well as body corporate matters.
My wonderful colleague Michelle Kleinig complements this range of services from her vast experiences working for large corporations.
I also offer a lot of Pro Bono legal assistance and advice to clients and local community organisations. I find this personally satisfying.
My managerial and paralegal staff are all extremely experienced and competent. Sharon Schofield, my Practice Manager, has 30 plus years’ experience and is my right hand woman! Without her I am nothing.
Valli Benoit and Jenny Buzaki are my conveyancers; both have extensive experience, are very diligent and provide exceptional service to our clients.
Simone Svenson is my receptionist and without her the office stops! She is the face of this business when our clients walk in the door or call us.
4. What do you enjoy the most about your business?
I absolutely love my job and profession. It is not an exaggeration that I am excited and happy to come to work every day. How lucky am I to work in my own business in beautiful Maleny with my outstanding and treasured colleagues and wonderful clients. Being “my own boss” is to me the key to my love of the job and my profession.
5. Do you have any funny/inspiring stories from your work?
I am constantly encountering amazing clients who inspire and humble me, who make me laugh and cry, who give me inspiration with their own life stories. I like to share some of my life with them too – from my retro kitchen that makes them all smile when they see it, to telling them about my next concert program with the Brisbane Philharmonic Orchestra.
But the most funny and almost daily funny stories is my name which creates a lot of hilarious moments when clients invent – inadvertently – new versions of it.
My first name “Tove” (pronounced Torva) has been re-invented as “Trove”, “Tuuvey”, “Tovey”, “Tov”, “Tovah”, “Tori”, “Tauveh”, “Paula” (!), “Tori” and many many more but the absolute best one is “Towbar”!! My colleagues have had lots of fun at my expense with “Towbar” as you can imagine!
6. What’s been the most useful lesson you’ve learnt along the way?
Listening with empathy is the most valuable trait that a lawyer can have.
7. What do you or the team like to do in your spare time?
I play my violin and piano and attend the gym in the mornings. I also love attending concerts and cooking for friends and family.
8. If you had to share any advice connected to your business, what would it be?
I want my business to be accessible and I have always had a policy of not charging any fees for the initial meeting so that my clients can have the opportunity to ask questions first before deciding whether or not to appoint me to act.
9. What’s your favourite quote?
It takes so little to make a person happy and you end up giving yourself happiness in the process. Double benefit!
Easton Lawyers: 62 Maple St, Maleny 4552 / Phone: 5494 3511 / Website: eastonlawyers.com.au