20/11/2008 - 12:20

Salter Power, Franklyn law firms merging

20/11/2008 - 12:20


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Eastern states-based law firm, Middletons is merging with two of Perth's boutique corporate law firms, Salter Power and Franklyn Legal.

Salter Power, Franklyn law firms merging

Eastern states-based law firm, Middletons is merging with two of Perth's boutique corporate law firms, Salter Power and Franklyn Legal.

West Perth-based Salter Power and Perth-based Franklyn Legal will both take the Middletons' name and be part of the national firm, effective 1 December 2008.

Middletons' Perth office will have 8 partners in total with a total of 30 legal staff.

Middletons, a mid-tier firm, has experienced rapid growth of late and is nudging towards the top-tier bracket due to an increase in the number of clients now requiring legal services in Western Australia and around the country.

A spokesperson for the company said Perth has been an area where Middletons had been doing a lot of work so it made sense to continue building on that presence in Western Australia with this merger.

Midway through 2005, the partnership that made up the law firm of Fearis Salter Power Shervington was split with the emergence of boutique firm Salter Power, established by Stephen Power and Simon Salter who broke away from Neil Fearis and their other partner Jeremy Shervingham, who remains a sole practitioner.

In January 2007, Mr Fearis returned to the big end of town, taking on a role as special counsel with Minter Ellison after seven years in boutique practice.

In 2004, Rob Franklyn established boutique practice Franklyn Legal after spending 15 years at Freehills, having become the national law firm's most senior M&A lawyer in WA.

Middletons managing partner, Nick Nichola, in announcing the merger said Perth represents an enormous opportunity for Middletons.

"Western Australia has been the powerhouse Australian state for some time, being blessed with a wealth of natural resources that will continue to underpin the development of the State for some time to come," Mr Nichola said in a statement.

"In addition, many view Perth as the gateway to Asia with tremendous opportunities via a presence in the west."

Mr Nichola said he was particularly interested in gaining access to both firm's extensive client lists, especially those in the mining and resources sector.

"We have a fairly strong mining and resources practice, but they are clients found only in Sydney and Melbourne when the nations resources base is in Perth," Mr Nichola told WA Business News.

"And as we had no presence in Perth, and more and more client requirements coming from the West, we thought we should have someone here rather than continue to fly in and fly out.

"As I'm sure you're aware, flying from Melbourne to Perth is not like flying from Melbourne to Sydney."

Franklyn Legal managing partner, Rob Franklyn said the merger creates a new force in the Western Australian legal market.

"Salter Power and Franklyn Legal together represent an extremely good fit, consolidating the two firm's respective strengths in mergers and acquisitions, reconstructions, equity capital markets, resources, corporate litigation and insolvency," said Mr Franklyn.

"The addition of Middletons further bolsters the scope of our service offering and provides our clients with a national reach."

Salter Power managing partner, Simon Salter emphasised the friendly nature of the merger through similar corporate cultures.

"I think it is fair to say that all parties have similar approaches to delivering innovative, cost-effective solutions to clients," Mr Salter said.

"Similarly, the 3 firms are internally focused on the recruitment and retention of the best lawyers in the land and providing a supportive, caring environment for them."



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