09/02/2012 - 06:47

Lavan Legal and Maxim to merge

09/02/2012 - 06:47


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Lavan Legal's Dean Healy (L), Maxim's Kevin Stewart and Lavan's Greg Gaunt.

Perth law firms Lavan Legal and Maxim Litigation Consultants have announced plans to merge in April, creating by far the largest litigation practice in the state.

The merger comes a little more than one year after high profile barrister Martin Bennett and two other partners left Lavan to re-establish Bennett & Co.

However Lavan’s managing partner Greg Gaunt insisted the merger was not designed to fill a gap, saying it brought together two like-minded practices focused on the Perth market.

Mr Gaunt said Lavan’s revenue for the first seven months of the financial year was ahead of the same period last year, as it continued to benefit from being an independent WA practice.

Led by managing principal Kevin Stewart, Maxim will add four partners and 25 lawyers to Lavan.

The combined firm will have 25 partners, with 14 of those focused on litigation work.

Maxim was established in 2004, when the old Pullinger Readhead Stewart split in two, with the commercial practice becoming Allion Legal.

Mr Stewart said he had subsequently received many approaches, but “Lavan Legal stood out as the only large firm with an ethos and ambition similar to our own”.

“We were the first WA practice to make commercial litigation our sole focus and this decision ensures the ongoing growth of the combined practice as one of the largest independent practices in WA,” he said,

Lavan’s deputy managing partner Dean Hely said the Maxim merger would add to the rapid growth achieved by the firm, following last year’s appointment of experienced corporate lawyer Leigh Warnick.

“The addition of the Maxim team will bring invaluable litigation capacity to this area, building on the team’s exceptional work in the corporate, mining, resources and energy space”, Mr Hely said in a statement.

The merger follows a spate of international and interstate law firms moving into the Perth market, a trend Mr Gaunt says has helped Lavan by emphasising its point of difference.

The only other large, full service, independent law firm based in Perth is Jackson McDonald, which last year bolstered its corporate and commercial practice by merging with McKenzie Moncrieff.






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