Australian firm HWL Ebsworth opens in Perth

HWL Ebsworth, ranked as the 21st largest independent firm in The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, has expanded its national coverage by opening a new office in Perth.

HWL Ebsworth’s Perth office, to be launched on 1 July, is founded with the entire team from Perth general corporate boutique Downings Legal, which consists of six partners and 25 lawyers and paralegals. The firm’s practices focus mainly on general corporate and commercial, property, insurance, litigation and workplace relations law.

The six new HWL Ebsworth partners will be Mitch Artus, Andrew Davidson, Joyce Chin, Keith Thomas, Lynnette Goh and Veronica Jumeaux. Artus, managing partner of Downings Legal, will be leading HWL Ebsworth’s Perth base.

Juan Martinez, HWL Ebsworth Managing Partner, noted that the firm will look to further enhance its Western Australian offering with the recruitment of additional leading partners in key areas of law in the coming months.

Following the latest expansion, the firm will have a total of 766 staff including 154 Partners and 357 other legal staff in six locations – Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Norwest (North West Sydney), Perth and Sydney.

HWL Ebsworth is ranked as the 21st largest independent firm in Asia Pacific and the sixth largest independent firm in Australia by The Lawyer Asia Pacific 150, which was launched on Monday (17 June 2013). According to the report, the firm’s 2011/12 financial year turnover stood at A$140m, up 16 per cent from A$120m the previous year. Revenue per lawyer (RPL), however, decreased by five per cent from A$373,000 to A$353,000 at the firm. The opening of its Canberra office by taking on a team led by six partners from DLA Phillips Fox in May 2011 (10 May 2011) helped drive up its revenue.

Although real estate, litigation and workplace relations are the three areas that have experienced the strongest growth in 2012/13, the firm is expecting modest growth for the current financial year ending 30 June. However, the newly established Perth office will provide new growth momentum for the firm in the coming years.

Martinez told The Lawyer HWL Ebsworth seeks to remain independent and focus its growth only in the domestic market, as this strategy allows the firm to reassure international firms with certainty that it will not be seeking to compete with them in their home markets.

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