23 January 2018

Australian law firm mergers set for take-off in 2018

Australia could be in for a bout of merger mania this year as two law firms announce plans and another is said to be ready to propose.

Australian law firms have started the new year off with a series of mergers as two law firms announce plans and a third is said to be about to tie the knot. WL Ebsworth Lawyers and TressCox Lawyers are to join forces next month, creating an 840 lawyer strong firm. Australian commercial disputes corporate advisory law firm, Polczynski Lawyers, is to  merge with Robinson Legal on 1 March 2018 to create Polczynski Robinson. Meanwhile intellectual property firms Cullens Patent and Trade Mark Attorneys (Cullens) and Fisher Adams Kelly Callinans (FAKC) are reported to be linking up to create Sprusons Brisbane.

Ebsworth merger

HWL Ebsworth is an independent, nationally integrated, full service 209 partner commercial law firm with offices in nine locations across Australia whilst TressCox is a 27 partner firm and a member of global network Alfa which has 145 members globally. 'I have been highly impressed by the energy and commitment to clients demonstrated by the TressCox team. Culturally, the two firms operate in a very similar way, and I am confident that our practitioners will come together as one team seamlessly. I am proud to be leading a firm with the courage and capability to challenge the status quo within Australia’s legal industry. This combination will only enhance our ability to deliver unrivalled value for money without compromising quality or service,' said Juan Martinez, HWL Ebsworth managing partner.

Varied career opportunities

'The new venture with Australia’s largest legal partnership offers our clients access to a significantly improved national footprint with greater depth and breadth of expertise, and gives our people more varied career and professional development opportunities” said Scott Chapman, executive chairman at TressCox. 

Specialist boutique

Polczynski Robinson will be headed up by Stephen Polczynski as managing partner. Mr Robinson set up his firm in 1982 and specialised in commercial disputes. He brings four partners and consultants as well as seven other lawyers to the new team. He said that the specialist boutique model was a more attractive alternative to the major or mid-tier law firm model. Based in Sydney, it will offer services throughout Australia.