21/06/2013 - 11:58

Downings Legal to merge with east coast firm

21/06/2013 - 11:58

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Downings Legal to merge with east coast firm
HWL Ebsworth managing partner Juan Martinez.

One of Perth’s oldest law practices has been acquired by national firm HWL Ebsworth Lawyers, which will open its first Perth office at the start of next month.

HWL announced today it would acquire Downings Legal to form the new office.

Downings partners Mitch Artus, Andrew Davidson, Joyce Chin, Keith Thomas, Lynnete Goh and Veronica Jemeaux will be retained at the new HWL Perth office.

HWL said it was recently ranked as the 7th largest law partnership in Australia, while Downings is ranked as the 27th largest practice in WA, according to Business News' Book of Lists.

The combined firms will have 154 partners, 357 other legal staff and 255 support staff across six offices.

HWL Ebsworth operates as one integrated national partnership, as such the Perth practice will be financially integrated with the firm's practices in Queensland, New South Wales, ACT and Victoria.

Commercial terms of the merger were not disclosed.

Downings has a history in Perth’s legal market dating back to 1897, and offers expertise in a range of areas including building and construction, commercial, employment and workplace relations, energy and resources, as well as environment and planning.

Mr Artus said the partners were delighted to join a firm that was closely aligned, culturally and strategically, with Downings.

“The success of both firms has been based on the principles of offering commercially and technically outstanding legal advice and unsurpassed value for money,” he said.

“Moving to HWL Ebsworth enables us to continue to service our clients in this way, whilst offering access to a more extensive range of market-leading specialists across Australia.”

HWL Ebsworth managing partner Juan Martinez said the expansion was an exciting development for the firm.

“By offering broad and relevant legal services in Western Australia, we are ideally placed to provide our domestic and international clients with specialist expertise across the east and west coasts of Australia,” he said.

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