Henry Davis York chief to retire after 20 years

Top Sydney law firm Henry Davis York (HDY) is to lose its managing partner Stephen Purcell, who is set to retire next year.

Purcell, who has been at the firm for almost 20 years, said he is yet to approach the market in relation to future work, but will look for a leadership position in a corporate or professional services firm. On his decision to leave, Purcell said it was simply time to try something new.

“It feels like the right time for a change,” said Purcell. “The firm has had enormous success and I’m leaving it in good shape and well positioned for whoever succeeds me.”

It was Purcell who took the decision for the firm to keep its Sydney-centric business model and he feels that this has proved to be viable and successful at growing the firm, as well as increasing its profitability.

Purcell will continue in his role as managing partner until next year. The HDY board is yet to announce a successor, although it is in the process of electing a new firm chief.

The news comes as former managing partner of Minter Ellison Alan McArthur has been appointed managing partner of Dibbs Abbott Stillman’s Sydney office.