Middletons takes over Acuiti

Australia’s Acuiti Legal will dissolve in November when its remaining corporate and commercial practices merge with Middletons, the law firm that the practice originally split from.

Around 85 staff, including 14 partners, from the firm’s corporate, commercial and commercial litigation groups will join Middletons’ Sydney office from 15 November, bolstering the office to 24 partners and a total staff of 130.

The Acuiti partners are well known to Middletons, as the two firms used to be part of Middletons Moore & Bevin before the Sydney and Melbourne partnerships split in November 2001 to create Acuiti and Middletons respectively.

The move follows a string of defections from Acuiti, including the transfer of the firm’s 11-strong real estate team to Sparke Helmore last week (1 October). Acuiti’s industrial relations, hospitality and gaming practice also moved to Thomson Playford in April.

It also signals a commitment by Middletons to its growth strategy, as the firm had already acquired six partners and more than 30 staff from KPMG Legal in Sydney in April.

Middletons chief executive John Chisholm said further appointments were planned, particularly within the Sydney office. Before the two recent acquisitions, Middletons had just 15 staff in Sydney.