2018 was an exceptional year of merger activity amongst medium sized firms.
In hindsight, the 2017 merger of Henry Davis York with Norton Rose Fulbright could have been seen as an early warning of the merger wave that was to follow in 2018.
In January 2018 we learned that TressCox would merge with HWL Ebsworth. The TressCox name ceased to be used. Read more.
In early March 2018 it was announced that McCabes Lawyers and Curwoods Lawyers had agreed to merge on 1 July 2018. The firm is now known as McCabe Curwood. Read more.
On 30 April 2018 the name DibbsBarker officially ceased to be used following the absorption of the majority of its partners into Dentons. Read more.
DibbsBarker and TressCox, whose names were discontinued, each had a history of more than 100 years.
It was a few months until the next wave of market-changing mergers.
In October 2018, Kemp Strang was acquired by Thomson Geer. Read more.
ACA Lawyers – class action specialists – was acquired by Shine Lawyers. Read more.
In November 2018, it was announced that Sydney firm Aitken Lawyers would merge with Melbourne-based law firm Russell Kennedy. This will take effect on 1 March 2019. Read more.
On 27 November 2018, two ASX-listed firms Qantm Intellectual Property Group and Xenith IP Group Limited announced that they will merge. Read more.
In previous years we’ve had waves of top-tier mergers. We’ve had Slater & Gordon and Shine Lawyers make numerous acquisitions of personal injury firms and other firms. We’ve had the international law firm ‘invasion’ which resulted in many well known firms swapping their brands for international names. We’ve had the consolidation of intellectual property firms into ASX-listed entities.
In 2018 we’ve had a year of big change in the mid-tiers or medium sized firms.