Good people are at the heart of every great business, and ours is no different.

Our story

Quest for change

We were founded by pre-eminent business woman, Eve Mahlab AO in 1968. A lawyer with three young children, keen to get back to the workforce but limited by opportunity, Eve set about changing the status quo.

The creation of Mahlab was transformational for lawyers seeking rewarding, career-defining roles and for organisations in search of the best talent. We pioneered flexibility and diversity and inclusion before the words were even part of the business vernacular.

Today, we are known to provide the best career opportunities to all lawyers, and excellent talent to clients in private practice, the corporate sphere, financial institutions, not-for-profits, in Australia and internationally, as well as in government at all levels.

Owners as business leaders

In the mid to late 1980s, energised and inspired by the enterprising culture, our current owners and managing directors, Lisa Gazis (NSW) and Katherine Sampson (Vic), were lured from their roles as lawyers to be part of the pioneering specialist legal search firm.

With great entrepreneurial spirit and ability, Eve went on to build several other businesses and seek new ventures, including becoming the first woman to join the Westpac board, achieving the recognition of Australian Business Woman of the Year and advocating for social change. 

Kathie and Lisa have now been at the helm longer than Eve, but the foundations she created continue to ground us today. 

Freedom to excel

Being privately owned by directors who work in the business allows us extraordinary agility and great freedom to constantly evolve and innovate.

For fifty years we have continued to meet the changing needs of the environment. We have expanded our reach internationally, extended into corporate, and expanded our methods to include search.

We aren’t driven by quarterly metrics, only the desire to build long-term relationships and create lasting positive change for clients and candidates.

Guided by ethics, professionalism and respect

Our company values are ethics, professionalism and respect. They underpin everything we do and guide our interactions with everyone we come into contact with, including clients, candidates, staff and suppliers.

A team of lawyers, for lawyers 

We are all lawyers ourselves and possess the skills you might expect: we have strong analytical and evaluative capabilities, we think strategically and exercise good judgement, and we are creative in our problem-solving.

In addition, we have undergone rigorous training to become legal search specialists, so that above all, we know what is required of a role and how to  identify, target and attract the right person to do it justice.

What keeps us going

The satisfaction we feel is immense when we not only add value to the legal sector by finding the right lawyers for clients, but also enhance people’s careers by finding the right roles for them.