01/08/2006 - 22:00

Major moves at Clayton Utz, Minter

01/08/2006 - 22:00

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Law firms Minter Ellison and Clayton Utz are experiencing big changes at the partner level, with planning experts Neil Douglas and Andrew Roberts leaving Minter and corporate lawyer Will Moncrieff leaving Clayton Utz.

Major moves at Clayton Utz, Minter

Law firms Minter Ellison and Clayton Utz are experiencing big changes at the partner level, with planning experts Neil Douglas and Andrew Roberts leaving Minter and corporate lawyer Will Moncrieff leaving Clayton Utz.

Mr Moncrieff will be joining recently departed Clayton Utz partner Rob McKenzie as the founding partner of a new boutique corporate law firm, McKenzie Moncrieff.

Also joining the new firm will be Clayton Utz consultant and University of WA law school lecturer Louis Proksch, who will be engaged as a part-time consultant, and Clayton Utz senior associate Jamie Hodgkinson.

Mr McKenzie said the new firm, which plans to open its doors in early September, would provide a wide range of corporate advisory and commercial law services for emerging listed companies.

The new firm will also give its partners more latitude to pursue outside commercial interests, which in Mr McKenzie’s case include commercial property developments and a board position at gold explorer Mundo Minerals.

Mr Moncrieff, who has been with Clayton Utz for just more than 10 years, said he was looking forward to the change.

“I’m looking for a different direction, concentrating on the smaller corporate market,” he said.

“We will also operate with a bit more flexibility than is allowed at the big firms.”

Clayton Utz chief executive David Fagan said his firm would continue to focus on the top-tier corporate market, which had helped it achieve strong growth last year.

He added that Clayton Utz’s corporate practice would be bolstered by the recruitment of Freehills’ partner Kevin O’Sullivan, as reported early this month in WA Business News. Mr O’Sullivan will switch firms next month.

The changes at Minter Ellison will significantly affect its planning and local government practice.

Mr Douglas was previously head of Minter’s government, planning and environment group and Mr Roberts is also highly experienced in the field.

They are moving this week to Claremont law firm McLeods, which has specialised in local government law and planning law since being established in 1980.

McLeods managing partner Denis McLeod said the new partners would strengthen the practice, which will have eight partners and a total of 14 legal staff. He said the firm acted for most local government authorities across the state.

Minters has also lost partner Graham Castledine to retirement, though he will remain with the firm part-time as a special counsel.

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