Some speak of the dawn of a ‘golden age’ for the market; others of a sugar rush for the country’s top players; while a third group warns of more challenging times to come. Whichever way you look at it, the feeling is that a new era has begun for Australia’s legal industry.
While relatively unscathed following the global financial crisis a decade ago, the country’s top banks found themselves at the centre of unprecedented scrutiny last year off the back of an inquiry by the Royal Commission into Misconduct in the Banking, Superannuation and Financial Services Industry. Launched in 2017 after years of political pressure to investigate misconduct in the financial sector, the commission’s reports had by February 2019 led to several serious allegations against major institutions, including charging fees for no service and continuing to bill people who had died. Continue reading “Letter from… Sydney: After the churn of the foreign influx, Australian legal elite look primed for their golden age”
Maritime and insurance specialist HFW has set up a standalone consultancy arm, branded HFW Consulting.
The new business, launched today (3 October), will be headed up by the firm’s director of learning and development, Chris O’Callaghan, and will initially focus on Middle Eastern, Asian and Australian clients. Continue reading “‘The right opportunity’: HFW reacts to client demand with strategic consultancy business”
Covington & Burling is to deepen its European footprint with the opening of a new office in Frankfurt – the firm’s third office in the region – while Dentons has taken on 17 partners from domestic Australian firm DibbsBarker.
The US firm has announced today (28 March) the opening of a new Frankfurt branch, which will be led by eight partners, including six from Heymann & Partner and two Covington partners from the firm’s Brussels and New York offices. Continue reading “Covington strengthens in Europe with Frankfurt launch as Dentons takes chunk of ailing Australia player”
Pride before a fall. Everything was going well when the world’s first listed law firm, Slater and Gordon, announced another blockbuster UK buyout in early 2015.
‘In getting to this point, we undertook a very extensive due diligence process,’ said the firm’s managing director, Andrew Grech. ‘The business we are buying is of high quality with robust infrastructure and systems, and good people. This move will accelerate and consolidate our position in the UK market, and bring benefits to the clients and staff of both businesses.’
Continue reading “The Icarus syndrome – the highs and lows of Slater and Gordon”
Pinsent Masons is continuing its sustained international expansion drive with a new Australian arm in Perth and the hire of four infrastructure and energy partners from Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF).
The UK law firm’s new Perth branch, to open in the autumn, will be its third Australian office after Sydney and Melbourne and its fifth international launch in the last 18 months.
Continue reading “Expansive Pinsents ships in four Norton Rose Fulbright partners for third Oz office launch”
Another chapter in the turbulent story of Slater and Gordon (S&G) has unfolded, with the beleaguered listed legal pioneer today (31 August) announcing the splitting off of its UK business from its Australian parent.
S&G’s UK arm will change into a new holding company, called UK HoldCo, which will be owned by the firm’s senior lenders, in a separation agreed as part of a recapitalisation programme linked to its ill-fated acquisition of the Quindell professional services business. Continue reading “Five years on from pioneering S&G acquisition of Russell Jones, Aussie pioneer splits from UK business”
Melbourne office unlikely following Singapore closure
Dentons’ tie-up with Australian firm Gadens, announced a year ago, has been delayed, with Dentons confirming Gadens’ Melbourne office is now unlikely to join.
Continue reading “‘Each market is different’: Dentons’ Australian tie-up delayed”
Simultaneous Melbourne and Sydney launches filled with former Freehills lawyers
White & Case is to open two offices in Australia with the hire of a ten-partner project finance team from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF), and there are plans to continue growing in the country.
Continue reading “White & Case opens Australia practice with ten-partner project finance raid on HSF”
After becoming the first Western firm to open an alternative legal services (ALT) hub in China, Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) is to launch a new centre in Melbourne, as well as maintain a permanent presence in Perth, following the success of its ALT ‘pop-up’ which launched last October.
Continue reading “Australian ambitions: HSF opens alternative legal services hub in Melbourne”