07/07/2011 - 00:00

Merger puts JacMac at 2

07/07/2011 - 00:00

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Law firms Jackson McDonald and McKenzie Moncrieff will merge to create a 32-partner firm with more than 120 professional staff, cementing it as the second biggest law firm in Western Australia.

Law firms Jackson McDonald and McKenzie Moncrieff will merge to create a 32-partner firm with more than 120 professional staff, cementing it as the second biggest law firm in Western Australia.

It is the latest in a string of mergers by Perth law firms and follows the tie-up of Cochrane Lishman Carson Luscombe with international firm Clifford Chance in February and the merger of Blakiston and Crabb with national firm Gilbert + Tobin earlier this month.

Jackson McDonald is a commercial firm specialising in commercial litigation and construction, energy and resources, tax and property law.

Jackson McDonald chairman of partners Graham Goerke said the merger was a natural fit.

“McKenzie Moncrieff has established a solid reputation for their expertise in the corporate advisory area and mergers and acquisitions in the mining and other sectors, which are major growth areas for our clients,” Mr Goerke said.

“They will bring valuable additional capacity to Jackson McDonald through and beyond the current mining and energy boom.”

Rob McKenzie and Will Moncrieff established their firm in 2006 as a boutique legal practice specialising in corporate and commercial law.

Mr McKenzie said the firm was approached by a number of international and national firms before deciding on the Jackson McDonald merger.

“For us, Jackson McDonald is the right partner, with the right culture, at the right time,” Mr McKenzie said.

“As a boutique law firm with a top-tier client portfolio, we also recognised the opportunities for our clients in joining forces with a full-service, large law firm, particularly at the onset of a new phase of major growth in Western Australia, and against a backdrop of increasing regulatory complexity and change.”

With a team of 14 lawyers, Mr McKenzie said the firm needed to expand its staff to keep pace with market opportunities.

“It makes sense to offer our clients a bigger team, with a broader range of skills, but with the same personal service from top lawyers,” he said.

The firms will operate under the Jackson McDonald banner from September 1 and will have the same number of partners as Perth’s biggest firm, Freehills.

The top six Perth firms based on the total number of legal professionals are Freehills, Jackson McDonald, Blake Dawson, MinterEllison, Clayton Utz and Lavan Legal, according WA Business News’ latest Book of Lists.

Jackson McDonald and Lavan Legal are Perth-based only and do not have a national presence like the others in the top six.

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