Top Australian firm Blake Dawson Waldron has poached key employment partner Steve Bennett from Brisbane rival Deacons
Bennett is taking with him a senior associate, two other lawyers and support staff. The departures reduce the size of Deacons' Brisbane employment practice by two-thirds. Bennett has already started work at Blakes, having been in negotiation with the firm for several months. His practice covers discrimination, health & safety, freedom of information and judicial review. Other lawyers in the field claim that his move was not unexpected and claim that it stems from dissatisfaction over the merger between Deacons and Dunhill Madden Butler 18 months ago. Bennett has an excellent reputation in employment and industrial relations and has handled major cases for large Australian companies, including Ausdoc DX and the Coles Supermarkets chain. He also acted for public bodies, including the Queensland Police Service and the Australian Federal Police. The loss will be a major blow to Deacons. Managing partner of the Brisbane office Greg Vickery said the firm was already looking to recruit a replacement. A senior associate has already been moved across from the Melbourne office to provide temporary cover.