The Crash of the Legal Profession’s Reputation

The reputation of the legal profession can be likened to a modern jet airliner. It travels much of the time on auto pilot. It can withstand heavy turbulence and it very rarely crashes. However, when a crash does occur, it usually leaves few if any survivors. Such a crash occurred on September 16, 2010. It was an ordinary Thursday morning. The auto pilot was performing its job. The radar showed no sign of oncoming turbulence and all other systems appeared to be functioning correctly. This steady state of affairs changed suddenly when word began to spread about an article in The Australian by Gold […]

ClarkeKann to Merge with Gray & Perkins Creating a 90+ Person Firm

ClarkeKann Lawyers and Gray & Perkins will merge with effect on 1 November 2010. Established in 1965 ClarkeKann is a leading commercial law firm based in Brisbane and Sydney, while Gray & Perkins has a 120 year pedigree as a commercial practice based in Sydney. ClarkeKann is comprised of 70 people including 40 lawyers. Gray & Perkins has 23 people including 13 lawyers. Prior to coming up with the idea to merge, key partners in each firm already knew each other very well. It was not a case of either firm going to the market to seek out a merger […]

Countdown Commences for Number of Female Lawyers to Pass Number of Male Lawyers

Statistics reveal that in NSW there are 12,652 male practising lawyers and 10,654 female practising lawyers. In percentage terms this is 54.29% male and 45.71% female. In 2005 the percentage was 58.9% male and 41.1% female. In 2005 the Law Society of NSW commissioned a study which predicted that the number of female lawyers would pass the number of male lawyers during the course of 2013. The current figures show that we are slightly ahead of this trend and that equal numbers could be reached within the next 24 months. The situation around the country shows a similar trend with […]

National E-Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL) Launches New Website

The website is designed to be a one-stop-shop on the development of electronic conveyancing in Australia. www.nationaleconveyancing.com.au has been launched with stakeholders in mind. From finance institutions to solicitor and conveyancing companies, all can keep abreast of new developments. At present NECDL is leading the development of an e-conveyancing solution for Australia. Various studies have now fed into a recently completed business case. NECDL itself was established in 2010 to develop a national e-conveyancing solution for Australia. The establishment of the company represents a major commitment by the State Governments of NSW, Victoria, and Queensland in achieving their stated goal of […]

E-Conveyancing Now Seeking Public and Private Sector Investors

National E-Conveyancing Development Limited (NECDL) is the corporate entity established to build and manage a national e-conveyancing system. It has received seed funding from the state governments of New South Wales, Victoria and Queensland. NECDL provided an update on its activities today via a webcast in which it was revealed that the e-conveyancing system will take up to 18 months to 2 years to build from the time that development funding is secured. NECDL is open to obtaining development funding from both public and private sector sources. “We believe that we now have an investible business proposition that will enable the funding to be secured […]

BRW’s Annual Legal Revenue Survey

Law Firm Revenue Survey Business Review Weekly (BRW) has published its annual legal revenue survey (Special Report September 16-22, 2010 edition). The only firm in the “big six” group that achieved a revenue increase in financial year (FY) 2010 compared to FY 2009 was Minter Ellison with a 2% increase. This helped it take the number one spot in terms of revenue. Last year it was number two to Mallesons. Revenue of the top-tier “big six” firms as a group fell approximately 7% in FY 2010 compared to FY 2009. Conversely, in the next 24 largest firms as a group, revenue increased […]

Australia’s Top Performing Law Firm – Based on a Ratio of Total Fees to Number of Staff

Gilbert +Tobin is the star performer according to an analysis of statistics published by Business Review Weekly (BRW) magazine.  BRW has published its annual list of Australia’s largest 500 private companies by revenue. It is a compilation of private companies across the whole economy. This year’s list included 16 law firms. According to the BRW list, Gilbert + Tobin’s 370 staff produced $123 million of fees in financial year 2010.  This represents a ratio of close to $332,500 of fees for every member of staff, including lawyers and non-lawyers.  In terms of this particular measure, Gilbert + Tobin performed better than all of the other 15 law […]

Queensland Law Society Receives Assurance National Licensing System Will Not Bring Conveyancers to Queensland

Last month the Queensland Government confirmed with Queensland Law Society that conveyancers will not be licensed in Queensland and interstate licensees will not be recognised as a consequence of the National licensing scheme. Queensland Law Society raised its concerns with the Queensland Government after becoming aware of lobbying from interstate parties during the latest COAG agreements for national occupational licensing. In Queensland Treasurer Andrew Fraser’s correspondence to the Society, he said the Queensland Government previously considered whether to license conveyancers as part of the national competition policy review of the legal profession legislation. Mr Fraser said the Government had decided […]

Slater & Gordon to Open New Sydney Office in Liverpool

Slater & Gordon will open a new office in Liverpool next week (Monday 13 September 2010).   The new office, at 185 Northumberland St Liverpool, will be headed by experienced local lawyer, Mr Michael Lawandi who has worked in the region for more than 10 years. The new Liverpool office will offer a range of legal services covering specialised areas of motor vehicle accidents, workers compensation and personal injury. The Liverpool office will work closely with Slater & Gordon’s Parramatta office which will deal with conveyancing, wills and estates issues. “With a population of more than 1.85 million, Greater Western […]

Small Firm Whipping up a Storm

As Slater & Gordon’s efforts are winding down in its representation of Commonwealth Bank Storm Financial victims, small firm Levitt Robinson’s fight is just beginning. Slater & Gordon today announced that it had finalised 900 claims against the Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA) under a negotiated resolution scheme. By the end of December 2010, all Slater & Gordon CBA claims are expected to be finalised. Damian Scattini of Slater & Gordon said today more than 1,500 individual investors had now received compensation from the Bank as part of the process. Levitt Robinson’s Class Action against CBA is on behalf of […]