Peter Macmillan & Associates grew out of volunteer work that our founder, Dr Peter Macmillan, undertook for individuals and small businesses during the COVID-19 lockdowns in Melbourne in 2021 and 2022.
With too few Justices of the Peace available in the city, Dr Macmillan worked all hours helping hundreds of people sign affidavits and statutory declarations, file divorce documents, secure Family Violence Intervention Orders, buy interstate properties, renew their passports and visas, apply for new jobs, secure personal and business loans, initiate police and criminal history checks, and simply make sense of all the complicated (and often overwhelming) legal and official documents affecting their lives.
Read this article in The Sunday Age about how we started: Why it is almost impossible to find a justice of the peace in the city.
After meeting the needs of so many people in his own time, Dr Macmillan realised he needed a team to continue his work. So in mid-2022, he founded our unique Australian law firm dedicated to helping individuals, families and businesses with their legal and official documents.
For over 20 years, Dr Peter Macmillan worked for governments and law firms in Australia and internationally, including as a senior investigator with the ACCC, a legal specialist with top-tier Australian law firms, a government policy representative in Geneva, and as Head of Competition Law at Hong Kong's largest law firm.
He also found time to complete a PhD in cognitive science and write several books on professional development for lawyers and professionals in other fields.
After returning to Melbourne from the UK in 2018, Dr Macmillan changed his focus from advising governments and big corporate clients, to using his qualifications - first as a barrister and solicitor, and later as a Notary Public - to help ordinary people and local businesses with their legal documents. It was during the COVID-19 lockdowns that he experienced first-hand the huge need for these kinds of services, which is why he founded our firm.
While what we do may seem like simple tasks, such as witnessing signatures and certifying and authenticating documents, Dr Macmillan believes that our work is both critical and challenging (when done properly), and that the way in which we do it can change people's lives.