Middletons Moore sails into Sydney

Melbourne-based firm Middletons Moore & Bevins is bolstering its Sydney presence by opening a trade and transport office.

The firm already has a presence in the city. But it was shaken last summer when a quarter of the Sydney partners left after a merger with an unspecified accountant was rejected (The Lawyer, 30 August).

The departures were a blow to the 71-partner practice, traditionally regarded as being stronger in Melbourne than in Sydney.

But Middletons says the new office is being established because of a need to focus on national, rather than state-based, maritime law. Melbourne has traditionally acted as a centre for bulk shipping.

Last year, the firm poached Maddock Lonie & Chisholm Don Chisholm's managing partner, who became chief executive of the Melbourne office (The Lawyer, 17 December).

Part of his role is to focus on the firm's client base.