Lawyers fear slowdown after Hayne sugar hit

Original article by Michael Pelly, Edmund Tadros
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 34 : 28-Jun-19

The latest Law Partnership Survey shows that the number of partners at participating firms has increased by 2.8 per cent in the first half of 2019, and by 3.2 per cent in the last year. Meanwhile, Herbert Smith Freehills and Allens are among the firms that have recorded strong growth in non-partner fee-earners in the last six months. Some lawyers are upbeat about the outlook for the legal services sector, noting that law firms are continuing to gain work in the aftermath of the financial services royal commission.

CORPORATES
HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, ALLENS, AUSTRALIA. ROYAL COMMISSION INTO MISCONDUCT IN THE BANKING, SUPERANNUATION AND FINANCIAL SERVICES INDUSTRY, KING AND WOOD MALLESONS, ARNOLD BLOCH LEIBLER, DLA PIPER, LANDER AND ROGERS, CLAYTON UTZ, MINTER ELLISON, CORRS CHAMBERS WESTGARTH, MILLS OAKLEY LAWYERS PTY LTD, JOHNSON WINTER AND SLATTERY, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Slaters and Shine hold merger talks

Original article by Luke Housego
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 1 & 20 : 11-Jun-19

Senior board members of law firms Shine and Slater & Gordon were recently overheard discussing the possibility of a merger. The two firms are the second and third biggest firms in Australia’s plaintiff law sector, behind market leader Maurice Blackburn. Shine and Slater & Gordon are very close in terms of market capitalisation; Slater & Gordon has a market value of $129 million, compared to Shine’s market value of $113 million.

CORPORATES
SHINE LAWYERS, SHINE CORPORATE LIMITED – ASX SHJ, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, AMP LIMITED – ASX AMP

Mallesons in conflict over Capilano Honey takeover

Original article by Joyce Moullakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 21 : 4-Sep-18

Law firm Mallesons was understood to be advising Wattle Hill and ROC Partners on their agreed $190 million takeover bid for Capilano Honey, announced in August. However, it removed itself from that process after revealing it had been involved in the commissioning of a report that was highly critical of Capilano’s products, with the report alleging it and a number of other honey producers had products that had tested as "adulterated". Capilano has denied the claims, while it is believed Minter Ellison has replaced Mallesons as the law firm adviser on the Capilano bid.

CORPORATES
MALLESONS STEPHEN JAQUES, WATTLE HILL, ROC PARTNERS PTY LTD, CAPILANO HONEY LIMITED – ASX CZZ, MINTER ELLISON, MACQUARIE CAPITAL PTY LTD, PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, BEGA CHEESE LIMITED – ASX BGA, KPMG AUSTRALIA PTY LTD

Freehills leads on promoting women partners

Original article by Michael Pelly, Edmund Tadros
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 6-Jul-18

Law firms taking part in the annual "Australian Financial Review" Law Partnership Survey added 290 partners in the first six months of 2018, of which 126 were women. A total of 43 firms appointed new partners, with HWL Ebsworth Lawyers adding the most. Herbert Smith Freehills promoted eight women to the role of partner, but it did not promote any men. Richard Spurio of Allens said its target for women to comprise at least 35 per cent of its partners was achieved in 2017, five years ahead of schedule.

CORPORATES
HWL EBSWORTH PTY LTD, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD, ALLENS, MORAY AND AGNEW, MADDOCKS, MACPHERSON AND KELLEY LAWYERS PTY LTD, ASHURST AUSTRALIA, COLIN BIGGERS AND PAISLEY

Why lawyers are deserting partnerships

Original article by Katie Walsh
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 11 : 18-Aug-17

Law and accounting firms are increasingly moving away from the partnership structure in favour of a corporate model. John Chisholm, previously with both Maddocks and Middletons but now a consultant, says the need for consensus decisions among partnerships tends to lead to reduced creativity and innovation. The advantages of a corporate structure include reduced liability and greater ease in raising funds. Danny Gilbert of law firm Gilbert + Tobin notes that partnerships promote a sense of co-ownership, while the corporate model allows for quicker decisions.

CORPORATES
MADDOCKS LAWYERS, MIDDLETONS LAWYERS, GILBERT AND TOBIN LAWYERS, AUSTRALIAN TAXATION OFFICE, K&L GATES LLP, LEXOO, KEYPOINT LAW PTY LTD, LEGAL VISION, PHI FINNEY MCDONALD PTY LTD, SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, HWL EBSWORTH PTY LTD, BAKER AND McKENZIE, THE LAW SOCIETY OF NEW SOUTH WALES

Grech steps aside from Slater + Gordon

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro, Sarah Thompson
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 & 24 : 30-Jun-17

The board of embattled law firm Slater & Gordon will resign in the wake of a debt-for-equity deal with a group of international institutional investors. US hedge fund Anchorage Capital will emerge as the major shareholder in the listed law firm, while investment banks and distressed debt funds will also convert their debt into equity. Slater & Gordon’s veteran MD Andrew Grech will stay at the firm as a non-executive director until a successor is appointed. The firm incurred large losses following its expansion into the UK market.

CORPORATES
SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, ANCHORAGE CAPITAL PARTNERS PTY LTD, YORK CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LP, TACONIC CAPITAL ADVISORS LP, DAVIDSON KEMPNER CAPITAL MANAGEMENT LP, RIVER BIRCH CAPITAL, METRIC CREDIT PARTNERS, BANK OF AMERICA CORPORATION, MERRILL LYNCH AND COMPANY INCORPORATED, DEUTSCHE BANK AG, QUINDELL PLC, MIRVAC GROUP – ASX MGR, MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD

Blind lawyer sues Maurice Blackburn

Original article by Misa Han
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 7 : 4-Jan-17

Lawyer Louisa Young has accused law firm Maurice Blackburn of discriminating against her because of her blindness. The documents lodged with the Federal Circuit Court allegedly show that Young was effectively demoted. Young says she was informed at a meeting in August 2016 that her duties had to be changed due to her disability. Young’s employment at Maurice Blackburn was terminated in December 2016.

CORPORATES
MAURICE BLACKBURN PTY LTD, FEDERAL CIRCUIT COURT OF AUSTRALIA

Injury to ambitions as Slater and Gordon battles for cash

Original article by Jonathan Shapiro
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 15 : 31-Aug-16

Slater & Gordon lost $A1 billion in 2015-16. The figure includes an impairment on goodwill of $A876 million related to the $A1.3 billion acquisition of the professional services division of Quindell in Great Britain. The Australian-listed personal injury law firm’s normalised profit of $A49.7 million reflected its earnings before tax depreciation, amortisation and movements in work in progress. Slater & Gordon’s problems are quite serious, resulting in negative net operating cash flow of $A104.2 million.

CORPORATES
SLATER AND GORDON LIMITED – ASX SGH, QUINDELL PLC

Law firms ‘sleepwalking towards a disaster’

Original article by Marianna Papadakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 31 : 17-Jun-16

Law firms should prepare themselves for the challenge posed to them by artificial intelligence. Ted Dwyer, of Dwyer Consulting, says the impact of artificial intelligence will be severe and law firms have only around five years to rearrange their services. Not only junior lawyers but also their older colleagues will be affected, particularly in areas such as electronic discovery, document automation, compliance and contract analysis.

CORPORATES
DWYER CONSULTING PTY LTD, DLA PIPER, IBM CORPORATION, GOOGLE INCORPORATED

King & Wood Mallesons tops M&A table for first quarter

Original article by Marianna Papadakis
The Australian Financial Review – Page: 3 : 8-Apr-16

King & Wood Mallesons has appeared at the top of the list of Australian law firms in terms of the value of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) in the first quarter of 2016, with about $US18.6 billion ($A24.5 billion) worth of deals. Other firms that handled a significant number of M&A deals included Gilbert + Tobin ($US17.3 billion), Allens ($US17.1 billion) and Herbert Smith Freehills ($US11.2 billion).

CORPORATES
KING AND WOOD MALLESONS, GILBERT AND TOBIN LAWYERS, ALLENS, HERBERT SMITH FREEHILLS PTY LTD