Bennett & Co and Phillips Fox Perth today revealed the name for the firm which will merge to become the second largest firm in Western Australia: Lavan Legal. Lavan Legal, which will begin trading on April 3, will run as a traditional partnership to begin with, and will consider the option of incorporation at a later stage according to Phillips Fox partner Dean Hely."We just wanted to maintain the status quo moving forward, and will continue the current partnership, with five Bennett and Co partners joining and six Phillips Fox partners leaving," Mr Hely said.He added that the partnership model would be reviewed in the future.Lavan Legal, named after a WA legal family, will have 180 staff and partners, and 19 partners, and will remain in Phillips Fox's current offices.Six Phillips Fox partners, operating mainly in the insurance field, have decided to stay with the national practice, and will relocate.Mr Michael Lavan KC was an Irish barrister who migrated to Australia and was admitted to practice in Perth in 1898. In 1934, his son Sir John Lavan QC joined the firm (currently practising as Phillips Fox Perth), serving as Law Society President in the 1930s. He left the firm in 1969 when he was appointed a Supreme Court judge. He was knighted in 1981.Phillips Fox managing partner Greg Gaunt said today that the way Michael and Sir John Lavan practised law has gone but by saluting their pioneering ways we are acknowledging that we too wish to be pioneers."By joining forces with Perth's leading boutique corporate firm, Bennett and Co, our clients will experience what all the other firms claim but which we will deliver: outstanding client service," he said."Our strengths in property, commercial litigation, liquor licensing, insurance, insolvency and reconstruction, banking, environment and planning are areas where our local knowledge will win through. "It is an exciting time for our new firm. Our clients have made our success to date possible and we value very much the trust they place in us everyday as we deal with their business issues," said Mr Gaunt.
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