04/07/2017 - 15:34

Lavan boss joins HHG

04/07/2017 - 15:34

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West Perth law firm HHG Legal Group has bolstered its leadership team by recruiting Lavan executive chairman Greg Gaunt, who expects the move will rejuvenate his career.

Greg Gaunt will be full-time executive chairman at HHG. Photo: Attila Csaszar

West Perth law firm HHG Legal Group has bolstered its leadership team by recruiting Lavan executive chairman Greg Gaunt, who expects the move will rejuvenate his career.

Mr Gaunt will be full-time executive chairman at HHG and will start in mid July after a brief holiday.

He told Business News he had reached a point where he needed a new challenge, and admitted he probably should have moved earlier.

“I was only working three days a week at the end,” Mr Gaunt said.

“There are no hard feelings, but I was looking for new opportunities.”

Mr Gaunt said he was hoping the move to HHG would rekindle his enthusiasm.

“They’re an interesting group; they’re keen to learn and keen to do better,’’ he said.

“They’ve done really well at a time when the market has been difficult.

“The experience I’ve got should assist.”

In his new role, Mr Gaunt will be focused on productivity mentoring, business development and project management.

Mr Gaunt has spent his entire career at Lavan after graduating from the University of WA in 1978 and was considered an integral part of the firm.

He was managing partner of Lavan (and its predecessor firm Phillips Fox) from 1998 to 2013, when he took on the role of executive chairman.

At HHG, he will work alongside the firm’s co-founders – managing director Simon Creek and director Murray Thornhill.

Mr Gaunt will also work with HHG’s external advisory board, which comprises non-executive directors Harvey Collins, Jeff Claughton and Jim Crockett.

Mr Creek said he was looking forward to working with Mr Gaunt to build WA’s pre-eminent law firm in the areas of litigation, divorce, wills and estates, and commercial and property law.

“The momentum is building and building at HHG,” he said.

With offices in West Perth, Mandurah, Albany and Mt Barker, HHG is ranked in the BNiQ Search Engine as WA’s 12th largest law firm with 47 legal staff and 63 staff in total.

Lavan is ranked number four with 81 legal professionals and 153 staff.

Managing partner Dean Hely said it was business as usual after Mr Gaunt’s departure.

“He played a big role here over a long period of time and in some respects it’s sad to see him go, but he’s obviously decided it’s time to seek a new challenge and we wish him all the best,” Mr Hely said.

Mr Gaunt’s departure coincided with the recent retirement of his friend and former defence minister Stephen Smith, who had worked in an advisory capacity at Lavan for a little over three years.  

Mr Gaunt’s move followed HHG winning two awards this year.

Mr Creek was named lawyer of the year at the Law Society awards in May.

The award recognises practitioners who have made a significant contribution to the legal profession in Western Australia, over and above what might be reasonably expected through paid employment.

In addition, HHG won the attorney general’s community service award for its pro bono legal services to the WA community.

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