He’s a rugby league legend, both as a player on the field who broke countless records throughout his career, and as a former coach of the Canberra Raiders, Queensland State of Origin team and Australian Kangaroos. Off the field, Mal Meninga is well-known around Canberra as the face of local personal injury lawyers, Maliganis Edwards Johnson (MEJ).
In the ads, you’ll often catch a glimpse of Mal hard at work in the MEJ offices, standing in reception, or even meeting with potential clients. Which has left plenty of people wondering: is Mal actually a lawyer? Does he bring the ‘Mal’ in Maliganis?
And to be fair, the evidence stacks up.
Mal did actually start his career in another part of law: law enforcement. He was a police officer for a number of years before his impressive footy career. And there are certainly plenty of parallels between the footy field and the work the team at MEJ does.
Working shoulder-to-shoulder as a team alongside their clients, they tackle cases head-on. They keep their eye on the ball of every single case, to ensure they clock up another win on the board. Just like on the footy field, MEJ is all about what’s fair, and they play within the rules to get the best outcome. They are fierce advocates for their clients, and if they feel the justification with the ruling isn’t adequate, they will use their ‘Captain’s Challenge’ and take the case into extra time.
As an important member of the MEJ family, we can confirm Mal has his own MEJ business card, but alas, he’s not actually a lawyer.
“The business card says: Mal Meninga – I just do the ads,” laughs the football legend.
Mal says he’s often stopped by people looking to chat about their legal case, and the MEJ reception regularly receives phone calls asking to speak to him about their personal injury claim.
Mal has now been the face of MEJ for almost 12 years now, and says if he’d realised the partnership was going to still be going so strong after this long, he may actually have taken the legal path.
“If I knew where this was going to take us to, I probably should have gone back to university and studied law 10 years ago,” says Mal.
“I’d have my degree by now, and could have been working in the business. I may even be a partner after all.”